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New name for region’s public transport network

News release
28 September 2005

New name for region’s public transport network

From today, Greater Wellington’s public transport network has a new name – Metlink.

All bus, train and harbour ferry services will carry the Metlink name and distinctive green and blue arrow, as well as individual operators’ names, like Stagecoach Wellington, Mana Coach Services and Tranz Metro. Metlink covers services in the Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Wellington.

“Metlink will make public transport easier to recognise and use,” says Councillor Glen Evans, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Passenger Transport Committee. “It brings all parts of the region’s transport network together under one name, so people can easily make the connection between services.”

In addition to a network name, Metlink introduces a range of improvements to Greater Wellington’s public transport, including better information and new services.

Ridewell has been renamed Metlink Service Centre and is open seven days a week to answer enquiries – 0800 801 700.

New services will include:

- a website just for public transport information www.metlink.org.nz (try out the journey planner)

- convenient pocketsized Metlink bus timetables

- txtBUS providing timetable information via mobile phones

- a convenient pocketsized Metlink network map showing route connections

- bus information displays at 21 stops in central Wellington

- Metlink Explorer bus and train ticket that lets you take a child for free

- Metlink bus stop signs with a bus stop number for txtBUS users and improved bus information

- Metlink Park & Ride station car park signs

- Additional services on selected routes.

Many of these have been trialled successfully in the Hutt Valley before being rolled out region-wide over the next six months.

Greater Wellington residents can also look forward to more improved bus services in Whitby from 1 October and Newlands and Otaki from 31 October, a new Petone ferry service, increased trips on the Days Bay ferry service, refurbished trains on the Johnsonville and Hutt lines over the next twelve months and new trains on the Wairarapa line from 2007.

Metlink and its associated programme of improvements has been developed by Greater Wellington Regional Council and the region’s transport operators, in partnership with Wellington City Council, Kapiti Coast District Council, Porirua City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, South Wairarapa District Council, Masterton District and Carterton District Council.

“Metlink’s arrival is the start of a long-term programme of improvements to public transport to create a seamless, integrated public transport network,” says Glen Evans.

“Many of these changes are in response to people telling us what they want from our public transport system. A survey carried out for Greater Wellington Regional Council earlier this year showed that more than two thirds of residents rate our public transport network highly and 37% use it regularly. In fact, Wellingtonians use public transport more than in any other city in New Zealand.

“People said better access to information and well timed, reliable connections between buses and trains would encourage them to use public transport more. Ease of travel across the region was also identified as an issue.

“We’re addressing all of these concerns with improvements we’re making under the Metlink name. Many are happening right now, some will be phased in over the next six months and others, like upgrading our transport fleet, will take longer. The end result will be a first class public transport network we can be even more proud of.”

ENDS


Metlink questions & answers

Q: What is Metlink?
A: Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.

Q: Why has Metlink been introduced?
A: To bring together all parts of the network under one name, making public transport easier to recognise and use. We’ve got a network name now so it’s easier to promote.
Research we conducted over the last few years shows that people don’t understand how the different parts fit together to make it easy to travel across the region. Metlink will help them make the connection.

Q: Who chose the name?
A: Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Passenger Transport Committee looked at a range of possible names and thought Metlink the best because it conveys how public transport links the metropolitan centres in the region.

Q: Does Metlink replace the existing names like Stagecoach and Tranz Metro?
A: No, the individual names and logos of transport operators and services will continue to be used, along with the network name, Metlink.

Q: Will my bus/ferry/train service stay the same?
A: Yes, you’ll still catch your usual bus, harbour ferry or train at the same time, but it’s now part of the Metlink network.
Extra services have been added to the following bus routes – Whitby, Brooklyn and Miramar North, and Newlands and Otaki from 31 October, plus there will be an extra daily return run on the Days Bay ferry and a new Petone ferry service in the next few months.

Q: Isn’t this just a rebranding exercise?
A: No, Metlink comes with a whole package of improvements to public transport; some are being introduced over the next six months and others over the next few years.

Q: What are these improvements?
A: Metlink is all about better public transport services and information. To start with there are convenient pocket-sized timetables, new bus signs, a Metlink network map, a new Metlink website making it easier to access information, a Metlink Explorer bus and train ticket that lets you take a child for free, a txtBUS service providing timetable information via mobile phones, backlit bus information displays in downtown Wellington with bus route guides and maps, easy to see Park & Ride signs at train station car parks….and there’s much more to come including new trains on the Wairarapa line from 2007.

Q: When will these improvements happen?
A: You’ll see a difference from October 3. More Metlink improvements will be rolled out over the next six months and the rest will be introduced gradually in the next five years to make our public transport network one we can be even more proud of. The Metlink logo signals a change for the better.

Q: Where will they happen?
A: Improvements to public transport under the Metlink name are being made right across the region, including the Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa – from Otaki and Masterton to Cook Strait.

Q: Who is behind these changes?
A: Greater Wellington Regional Council has been working in partnership with all the bus, train and harbour ferry operators and city and district councils within the region to make Metlink a reality. We’re responding to what people have said they want from our public transport system.

Q: How are the improvements being funded?
A: Funding for Metlink improvements is coming from Greater Wellington Regional Council’s budget. That includes money from regional rates and public transport funding allocated by Land Transport New Zealand.

Q: How much is it costing?
A: Approx. $500,000.
The Metlink roll-out involves a number of one-off infrastructure costs, like the production and installation of new bus stop signage and bus information displays. These total about $420,000. Promotional activities to let people know about new Metlink services total about $80,000.
However, many initiatives are covered by existing passenger transport budgets, for example, updating timetables is part of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s usual business and in other cases it’s a simple matter of applying the Metlink logo to stock or materials already in use. Interestingly, some Metlink improvements will result in long-term savings, for example, the new-look bus timetables cost half as much to print as timetables in the old format.

Q: What’s being done to address real public transport issues in Greater Wellington?
A: The introduction of Metlink is the start of a long-term programme of improvements that addresses public transport issues identified by ongoing market research. Greater Wellington Regional Council and the region’s transport operators, in partnership with the city and district councils are working together to improve reliability of services, the standard of the transport fleet (eg, the quality of train carriages) and accessibility, including not only better access for disabled people but other access issues such as how we can make train stations more accessible to everyone living here. You’ll see some improvements to public transport information right away, but other changes, such as fleet improvements, will be rolled out over the next few years.

Q: How can I find out more about Metlink?
A: Go to www.metlink.org.nz or phone the Metlink Service Centre – the new name for Ridewell - on 0800 801 700.


Fact Sheet – What Metlink means for the Hutt Valley

Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.
Metlink makes public transport in the Greater Wellington region easier to recognise and use with better information and a range of new services. The Metlink name and programme of improvements will be rolled out over the next six months.
The Hutt Valley has been a trailblazer for Metlink. Many of the new services being introduced under the Metlink umbrella were piloted in the Hutt Valley, starting in October 2003. Following an enthusiastic response by Hutt Valley residents they’re now being rolled out across the rest of the region.
We know from market research by Greater Wellington Regional Council that the public’s reaction was very favourable and has resulted in up to a 40% increase in public transport patronage in the Hutt Valley (comparing March 2003 with March 2005).
Hutt Valley residents were first to enjoy:

- new pocket-sized bus timetables

- new bus stop signs

- new route maps

- new public transport wayfinding units at key stations and bus interchanges

- new bus routes

- enhanced bus services

- txtBUS – providing timetable information on mobile phones.
Now the Hutt Valley can look forward to more improvements with Metlink:

- New Metlink tickets – the $15 Metlink Explorer provides all the benefits of the old Capital Explorer ticket enabling you to travel across the region by bus and train, plus it lets you take a child for free. Metlink HuttPlus replaces the HuttPlus ticket, a combined bus and train ticket for Hutt Valley commuters.

- Existing new look bus stop signs, wayfinding units and timetables will be upgraded with the Metlink logo so there’s a consistent look throughout the region. New Metlink timetables are available from the Metlink Service Centre, libraries, information centres and outlets with a Metlink sticker.

- New Metlink signage at Park & Ride car parks will be installed during October at Hutt Valley train stations to make these car parks more visible and identify them as public transport facilities.

- New Petone ferry service within the next few months. An additional ferry has been bought by East by West to operate this new service between Petone Wharf and Queens Wharf, providing a new relaxing alternative for commuting to and from the city.

- Extra trips on the Days Bay – Queens Wharf ferry. In the next few months there will be an additional trip to and from Days Bay to Queens Wharf.

- The Metlink logo will be added to train carriages on the Hutt Valley line over the next month.

- The Metlink logo will be added to platform signs at Hutt Valley stations over the next month.

- Refurbished trains on the Hutt line over the next twelve months.

- New trains on the Wairarapa line from 2007.

More information
Getting information on Greater Wellington public transport is now a lot easier:
Go to the new Metlink website www.metlink.org.nz to download a timetable, find your bus stop number and instructions for txtBUS, check fares or plan your trip using the new journey planner.
Or contact the Metlink Service Centre (formerly Ridewell) on 0800 801 700. Staff are available seven days a week to help you.


Fact Sheet – What Metlink means for the Kapiti Coast

Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.
Metlink makes public transport in the Greater Wellington region easier to recognise and use with better information and a range of new services. The Metlink name and programme of improvements will be rolled out over the next six months.
Kapiti residents will enjoy:

- Improved Otaki bus service from 31 October.

- New $15 Metlink Explorer bus ticket – allows you to travel across the region by bus and train, plus take a child for free (replaces the Capital Explorer ticket).

- New Metlink bus signs will be installed throughout the Kapiti Coast within the next six months. They will display more information, including a bus stop number for txtBUS users.

- New convenient pocket-sized Metlink bus timetables for Waikanae and Paraparaumu, plus Otaki from 31 October 2005. (Bus schedules haven’t changed, except for Otaki, just the format.) Available on Mana buses, as well as from the Metlink Service Centre, libraries, information centres and outlets with a Metlink sticker.

- txtBUS - Bus timetable information via your mobile phone. Just text your bus stop number to BUS (287) and you’ll receive the next three departure times. Find bus stop numbers and full txtBUS instructions on www.metlink.org.nz

- The Metlink logo will be added to platform signs at Kapiti stations in the next month.

- The Metlink logo will be added to train carriages on the Paraparaumu line within the next month.

- New Metlink signage at Park & Ride car parks will be installed during October at Kapiti Coast train stations to make these car parks more visible and identify them as public transport facilities.

More information
Getting information on Greater Wellington public transport is now a lot easier:
Go to the new Metlink website www.metlink.org.nz to download a timetable, check fares or plan your trip using the new journey planner.
Or contact the Metlink Service Centre (formerly Ridewell) on 0800 801 700. Staff are available seven days a week to help you.

Fact Sheet – What Metlink means for Porirua

Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.
Metlink makes public transport in the Greater Wellington region easier to recognise and use with better information and a range of new services. The Metlink name and programme of improvements will be rolled out over the next six months.
Porirua residents will enjoy:

- Whitby - New bus routes and times – A more direct Route 67 service from Joseph Banks Drive travelling to Porirua City Centre via Whitford Brown Avenue. Routes 66 and 67 will also be extended to serve new housing areas around Samwell Drive and Navigation Drive. Ayton Drive and Crows Nest will get a full seven day a week bus service, currently weekday peak only (Route 65).

- New $15 Metlink Explorer bus ticket – allows you to travel across the region by bus and train, plus take a child for free (replaces the Capital Explorer ticket).

- Convenient pocket-sized Metlink bus timetables - Available on local buses, as well as from the Metlink Service Centre, libraries, information centres and outlets with a Metlink sticker. Bus schedules haven’t changed (except for Whitby), just the format of the timetables.

- New Metlink bus stop signs will be installed within the next six months. The new bus stop signs will display more information, including a bus stop number for txtBUS users.

- txtBUS - Bus timetable information via your mobile phone. Just text your bus stop number to BUS (287) and you’ll receive the next three departure times. Find bus stop numbers and full txtBUS instructions on www.metlink.org.nz

- The Metlink logo will be added to Porirua station platform signs in the next month.

- New Metlink signage at Park & Ride car parks will be installed during October at Porirua train stations to make these car parks more visible and identify them as public transport facilities.

- The Metlink logo will be added to train carriages on the Paraparaumu line within the next three weeks.

More information
Getting information on Greater Wellington public transport is now a lot easier:
Go to the new Metlink website www.metlink.org.nz to download a timetable, check fares or plan your trip using the new journey planner.
Or contact the Metlink Service Centre (formerly Ridewell) on 0800 801 700. Staff are available seven days a week to help you.


Fact Sheet – What Metlink means for Wairarapa

Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.
Metlink makes public transport in the Greater Wellington region easier to recognise and use with better information and a range of new services. The Metlink name and programme of improvements will be rolled out over the next six months.
Wairarapa residents will enjoy:

- The first ever complete public transport guide for all Wairarapa bus and train services. The timetable includes full colour maps and timetable and fare information on all local Wairarapa public transport. It has been produced in response to feedback from Wairarapa residents that information on local bus services was not readily available. Collect your copy from the Metlink Service Centre or libraries, information centres and outlets that display the Metlink sticker. (Bus times haven’t changed, just the timetable format.)

- New Metlink bus stop signs within the next six months. The new bus stop signs will display more information, including a bus stop number for txtBUS users. There will be more bus stop signs in more locations to assist new users not familiar with bus routes.

- txtBUS - Bus timetable information via your mobile phone. Just text your bus stop number to BUS (287) and you’ll receive the next three departure times. Find bus stop numbers and full txtBUS instructions on www.metlink.org.nz

- The Metlink logo added to platform signs at train stations in the Wairarapa over the next month.

- The Metlink logo will be added to train carriages on the Wairarapa line within the next month.

- New Metlink signage at Park & Ride car parks - installed during October at Wairarapa train stations to make these car parks more visible and identify them as public transport facilities.
And they can look forward to:

- New trains on the Wairarapa line from 2007.

More information
Getting information on Greater Wellington public transport is now a lot easier:
Go to the new Metlink website www.metlink.org.nz to download a timetable, check fares or plan your trip using the new journey planner.
Or contact the Metlink Service Centre (formerly Ridewell) on 0800 801 700. Staff are available seven days to help you.

Fact Sheet – What Metlink means for Wellington City

Metlink is the new name for Greater Wellington’s public transport network.
Metlink makes public transport in the Greater Wellington region easier to recognise and use with better information and a range of new services. The Metlink name and programme of improvements will be rolled out over the next six months.
Wellington residents will enjoy:

- New Newlands bus routes from 31 October. These will give Grenada Village and Woodridge a more frequent, full seven day a week service with extensive hours of operation. Currently, only limited services operate in these areas.

- Route 7 Kingston – More frequent Saturday service from October 8. Improved Saturday timetable with buses every 20 minutes, currently half hourly.

- Route 31 Miramar North – Extra bus trip. A new early afternoon (2.25pm) express bus service from the city to Miramar North will be trialled for working parents so they can get home in time to pick up their children from school. Takes effect immediately.

- New $15 Metlink Explorer bus ticket – allows you to travel across the region by bus or train, plus take a child for free (replaces the Capital Explorer ticket).

- New pocket-sized Metlink bus timetables - available on some buses and from the Metlink Service Centre, libraries, information centres and outlets with a Metlink sticker. Some routes now have their own timetables, such as the Miramar and Seatoun Express services. Other services which travel along a similar route have been grouped together to show people all of their options. Bus schedules haven’t changed, apart from the additional services outlined for Brooklyn, Miramar North and Newlands services.

- txtBUS - Bus timetable information via your mobile phone. Just text your bus stop number to BUS (287) and you’ll receive the next three departure times. Find bus stop numbers and full txtBUS instructions on www.metlink.org.nz

- New Metlink bus signs will be rolled out within the next six months. Those on the busiest routes – routes 1, 2 and 12 – will be completed first. Bus stops will be easier to see and display more information, including a bus stop number for txtBUS users.

- 21 new CBD bus information displays will be installed over the next six months at key bus stops in central Wellington to make it easier for people to use the bus. These large displays will show routes, timetables and maps and are backlit at night for easy reading. They’re designed to provide “real time” information in the future – up-to-date information about when bus services are due. The first will be installed on Lambton Quay.

- The Metlink logo will be added to Wellington train station platform signs within the next month.

- The Metlink logo will be added to train carriages within the next month.

- New Petone ferry service within the next few months. An additional ferry will operate a new service between Petone Wharf and Queens Wharf, providing a relaxing alternative to bus or train travel.

- Extra trips on Days Bay – Queens Wharf ferry with the next few months. One extra return trip each day between Days Bay and Queens Wharf.

- Refurbished trains on the Johnsonville line arriving over the next twelve months.

More information
Getting information on Greater Wellington public transport is now a lot easier:
Go to the new Metlink website www.metlink.org.nz to download a timetable, check fares or plan your trip using the new journey planner.
Or contact the Metlink Service Centre (formerly Ridewell) on 0800 801 700. Staff are available seven days a week to help you.

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