“Save our bus route;” students want to keep links with four campuses

Press Release – VUWSA
Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President Sonya Clark is leading the call to “save the 18 bus route” after the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s proposed Regional Transport Plan plans to cut the “popular student route.”

VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President, Rick Zwaan, says that “the number 18 route currently connects four Wellington University Campuses and so is very popular with students and almost always full.”

“The current direct route is the fastest way for students living in Newtown to get to Kelburn Campus or between Massey, Te Aro, Kelburn and Karori campuses.”

The changes would mean that most people travelling from Newtown would go along the ‘golden mile’ route before having to transfer to travel up The Terrace from the railway station end. This would add 3.3 km to the route increasing the travel time by at least 5 mins in off peak travel– a 25% increase. Congestion along the golden mile during peak hours would increase this even further.

“This would unnecessarily add time to the commute and cause stress to already time poor students. “The change further discourages the use of public transport and impacts on the accessibility of University.”

“Students with disabilities will be further marginalised as transferring busses creates an additional barrier to getting to class.”

“We’re pleased that the plan proposes free transfers, so there wouldn’t be an extra cost, however the main concern is about the needless removal of a quick, convenient and popular route.”

“Instead of the 18 there is a proposed new route that goes from Karori to Mt Victoria via Kelburn and Courtenay Place. Rather than servicing the student populated suburbs of Newtown and Mt Cook, this proposed new route will service the upmarket suburb of Mt Vic which unfortunately is out of price range for most students.”

VUWSA has been actively involved in the plethora of transport plans that have culminated in the current proposal and is surprised that the concerns raised about the 18 route over the last four years have not been heard.

Public transport is a crucial service to get right for our region. In particular, students rely on it to get to class and home safely.

Submissions close on Friday the 9th of May and VUWSA encourages as many people to voice their concerns as possible. “Head to gw.govt.nz and help save the 18” concludes Mr Zwaan.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. MetLink, 2. May 2014, 12:58

    There is one week left to have your say on public transport in your region. For more http://bit.ly/ptplan

  2. Daran Ponter, 4. May 2014, 20:48

    I quite agree with these comments. Both Victoria University, Massey University, the wider Kelburn area, Houghton Bay, Melrose, and Upper Newtown will be significantly disadvantaged by the latest bus route proposals. For example, the number of bus routes through Kelburn and Victoria University (Kelburn campus) will drop from 6 to 2.

    The two remaining services are identified as only being “local services” and they do not serve useful catchments for the University, the residents of Kelburn or Karori.

    Equally, for the residents of Houghton Bay, Houghton Valley, Melrose and upper Newtown the termination of the Number 23 bus now means no cross-City link that could have so easily have been afforded via Taranaki St.

    Community and residents groups must insist on negotiation with the regional council on the routes. The routes proposals have now changed dramatically three times in as many years leaving little confidence that the proposals are being informed by rational decision making.

    The best solutions will be arrived at by sitting around a table and nutting out better solutions rather than filling in a tick-box submission form.

  3. CC, 5. May 2014, 7:10

    No Daran, insisting on negotiations will be about as fruitful as ‘consultations’ – you end up having to listen while the decision makers tell you what will be done!

    Adding to your list, Route K is going to be a cracker, doubling the daily commute time for a large proportion of users while consigning others to traverse a busy road with no footpaths then navigating SHs 1 and 2 at an intersection where there is no provision for pedestrians.

  4. Megan Pledger, 5. May 2014, 11:58

    The provision in Miramar is really awful as well. It’s really hard to tell from the map where the buses go but services that used to go from Miramar to town now stop at Miramar shops or Kilbirnie shops. The direct service to town now starts at Seatoun and goes through Miramar Ave, Kilbirnie and Haitaitai. I don’t know where they are going to put the connecting bus stops – Miramar Ave is already very heavily congested and cars go every which way into shopping areas and side streets.

    As far as I can make out if you live in the north end of Miramar and want to go to the hospital instead of catching an 18 (the university bus), you will have to catch a bus to Miramar shops, a bus from there to Kilbirnie shops and a bus from there through Newtown to the hospital.

    How is a mother with a kid and a baby, who has to go to an outpatients clinic at the hospital, going to negotiate three buses – one of them I am guessing is a shuttle – with a pushchair for the baby and two transfers in the rain. I suspect hospital appointments will have even greater levels of no-shows.

    A friend’s father went to the consultation meeting and all they talked about was what type of buses they are going to use – nothing at all about the huge change in service that is being proposed in our area. Maybe because they had such huge push-back last time they made similar insane decisions.

  5. peter@east-welly, 5. May 2014, 19:07

    No No.23 – who’s deciding on this – Fran? The last time she decided on anything important, Wellington lost its electricity Corporation. Wow!!

  6. Tony Randle, 5. May 2014, 19:54

    You guys need to insist the GWRC undertake a proper formal public consultation on the new routes.

    We have similar issues with proposed changes to services to North Wellington and the GWRC just told us what they plan to do with “their bus service”.

  7. Daran Ponter, 5. May 2014, 23:02

    CC – Negotiations are the only way to go. It worked for a number of communities during the last bus review exercise two years ago. Being able to eyeball council officers and getting a decent conversation going about what they are trying to achieve led to quite a few reversals and alternatives last time around.

    Certainly, simply complaining about it will not register a jot with the Council.

  8. Mike Mellor, 6. May 2014, 18:37

    It’s interesting the way GWRC is describing the changes to VUW Kelburn services: “This will enable access [to VUW Kelburn] from across Wellington, rather than just those suburbs currently fortunate to have direct services via routes 17, 18, 47.”

    But “just those suburbs” is not true, since suburbs served by the 20, 22, 23 also have direct all-day access, plus the 5, 7 and 43 in the morning peak. They also don’t point out that the core routes feeding in to the links to Kelburn are proposed to run at 10-minute intervals, while it appears the Kelburn links will have a 15-minute headway, guaranteeing having to wait at connecting points.

    There are many other such contradictions, like the repeated assertions that peak-period frequencies and hours of operation will be the same as now – but looking at the detail shows that they’re all proposed to finish at 6pm, while many of the current (well-used) services run to 6.30, 7 or 7.30. For instance, a proposed 50% reduction in the hours of the 31 Miramar North express is described as “no change to hours of operation”.

    For Miramar and the eastern suburbs, reductions of 40% in the number of buses per hour during the day and on Sundays are described as “increases in frequency”; and a reduction in the evening service from every 10 minutes to every 30 minutes is called “service as now”, as are evening services that are proposed to end up to 2½ hours earlier than now.

    Don’t forget to make a submission!


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