One name for Greater Wellington’s bus and trains
5 August 2004
One name for Greater Wellington’s bus and train network
Greater Wellington Regional Council will launch a new name for the region’s bus and train network in 2005 as part of a plan to recognise these vital services and their potential for further growth.
The network will become known as ‘Metlink’ to mark a regionwide effort to link the region’s population centres with bus and train services using a common fare structure and co-ordinated promotional strategy.
“The services are there now but they are provided by a variety of different companies with no system for identifying them as part of a regional bus and train network,” says Chris Turver, Chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Passenger Transport Committee.
“600,000 trips are currently made on buses and trains every week. Our goal is to get more people to use public transport by making it easier for people to understand that bus services provided by more than four different companies and passenger rail services are part of one integrated network.”
With the introduction of Metlink next year, passengers from Masterton to Paraparaumu, or from Wellington to the Hutt or Porirua, will know they are using one network with agreed standards between the operators and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Cr Turver says the first step in a very large region was to get agreement with the operators on a common fare structure and that is now underway.
The second step is to identify all buses and trains, bus stops, stations and shelters as part of Metlink and that process will start in 2005.
“From that point Greater Wellington Regional Council can mount a more vigorous and co-ordinated approach to encourage motorists to leave their cars at home and use the bus and train network instead.”
Cr Turver says the integrated network will be backed up by an improved inter-active website and better identification of services, including the phased introduction of Metlink signs on buses and trains. This will be followed by real time service information and integrated ticketing.
“The Wellington region already has the highest level of passenger transport service usage in the country but increasing roading congestion means we have no option but to put more effort into encouraging greater use of buses and trains.”
Cr Turver says it is all about trying to maintain a transport balance in a region where further roading improvements are constrained by geography, topography, and cost.