Buses off the roads for 6 hours as drivers stop work to discuss loss of trolleys

Press Release – NZ Bus
Wellington and Hutt Valley bus commuters are advised to make alternate travel arrangements today as a result of a two-hour union stop work meeting starting at 10.30am. Disruptions to services will start from 9:00am.

All Go Wellington bus services will cease between 9:00am and 3:00pm, and reduced Valley Flyer bus services will operate during these times. Airport Flyer, Mana / Newlands and school bus services will not be affected.

Full bus services will resume by 3:00pm.

The Wellington Tramways and Manufacturers and Construction Workers unions have called today’s meeting to inform their members of the implications of the Regional Council’s pending decision to adopt the draft Regional Public Transport Plan and terminate the city’s trolley bus services in 2017.

The unions represent over 500 NZ Bus drivers and depot staff who work on the Go Wellington and Valley Flyer fleets.

NZ Bus Chief Executive Zane Fulljames says he apologises for the inconvenience to commuters.

“While we recognise that some commuters will be impacted as a result of this meeting, we support the unions’ right to take the time to ensure their members are properly informed of what the draft Plan means for them, including the implications of ending trolley services and transitioning to new technology,” says Mr Fulljames.

Trolley buses have been operating in Wellington city since 1949 and NZ Bus staff are proud of the technology and its benefits. In 2007 NZ Bus invested $36 million in modernising the trolley fleet. There are 60 trolley buses in operation out of the region-wide bus fleet of 517, of which the remainder are diesels.

Mr Fulljames says any potential transition to a fully hybrid fleet is a significant change and carries specific implications for workshop staff who do not have the specialist skills required for electrical fleet maintenance.

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