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Metlink is listening on buses

Greater Wellington Regional Council has reinstated a popular bus service, saying the decision is evidence that it is listening to concerns about the new bus network introduced by Metlink last month.

The reinstatement of the route 18 service between Miramar and the university, returning it from its present peak-only operation to off-peak as well, will be of particular benefit to university students, many of whom travel to lectures outside peak travel times.

However the council says the bus network can never return to the old design, which had outlived its usefulness after decades of operation.

“The old design was well past its use-by date. The inner city was increasingly clogged up by bus congestion, especially along the Golden Mile, and many of the newer, outlying suburbs were insufficiently served, or not served at all,” says Greater Wellington chair Chris Laidlaw.

“Even though it’s still early days the new network seems to have made a positive difference to these issues, and has set us up well for the anticipated future growth of our city and region.”

Mr Laidlaw says Greater Wellington regrets the inconvenience and disruption the introduction of the new network has caused for some Wellington bus customers.

“Change of this nature is never an enjoyable experience and we are sorry this has been such a negative experience for some people. We know there have been problems for some and the network is not delivering in the way we want it to yet. But we are working systematically through the problems and making good progress with putting fixes into place.”

Mr Laidlaw says that as the implementation process continues, any issues with the design of the network itself will become more visible and steps could then be taken to make corrections to it where necessary.

“The restoration of the full route 18 service is a measure we have identified early as something we can do to make a material improvement for this group of passengers, and we will now work with the operator to put it into effect as soon as possible,” says Mr Laidlaw.


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