Wellington Scoop

Driver shortage continues: 3000 buses cancelled last month

Since we reported a record number of 72 buses cancelled during the morning peak hours last Friday, the DomPost has been looking back through the daily Metlink statistics and coming up with an equally alarming figure – a total 0f 3412 buses were cancelled last month.

Joel MacManus reports that this was the highest number of cancellations in at least the last three years, and more than double the 1500 buses a month cancelled during the peak of the “bustastrophe” in late 2018 and early 2019.

He quotes Tramways union secretary Kevin O’Sullivan as saying the driver shortage is causing companies to overwork existing drivers.

“Because of the staff shortage they are driving everyone to death trying to do the work,” he said. “That’s causing burnout and causing people to leave, and those people aren’t being replaced. It’s an absolute disaster in every respect.”

MacManus reports that an added problem is that Metlink has been unable to bring drivers from overseas due to border restrictions.


  1. Roger Blakeley, 11. June 2021, 8:00

    Problem is serious bus driver shortage. Factors: shortage of commercial drivers, higher wages & less stressful conditions than bus driving. GW is exploring national Fair Pay Agreement to improve pay & conditions for bus drivers. [via twitter]

  2. Harold Rodd, 11. June 2021, 8:59

    Surely the bus contract requires the bus company to perform? If they have to give bus drivers more pay and better conditions then so be it.

  3. Greenwelly, 11. June 2021, 9:30

    So in the short term, how about removing services from the schedule until it’s clear these issues are solved… The biggest annoyance is the uncertainty … knowing there is only a bus every 20 mins is a whole lot better than planning on there possibly being one every 15.