Councils Share Joint Approach to Bus Priority with Committee
At an update to the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee today, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council presented their joint plan of action for further bus priority through the city to increase reliability and reduce journey times on key bus routes.
Wellington City Mayor Justin Lester said now was the right time to take action on bus priority in a move to tackle growing traffic volumes which could detract from the city’s amenity and liveability, eroding the things that make Wellington a great place to be.
“Bus priority has been on the table for a number of years but both councils needed to see where Let’s Get Wellington Moving package landed and let the bus network settle down before taking any action.
“As Wellington grows, we need to ensure we can move more people with fewer vehicles. At the moment many people drive into the city because it is quicker and more reliable than public transport. Those people will only make a shift to public transport if travel speeds, journey times and consistency of service are in place and bus priority will help achieve that.” said Mayor Lester.
There’s strong public support for bus priority too. Metlink’s customer satisfaction survey reported just 61 percent of Wellington City respondents were satisfied with bus travel times – something that bus priority could help improve.
Greater Wellington Chair Chris Laidlaw said while there had been genuine good will from both councils in the past there had not been the level of shared commitment to city-wide bus priority that there is now.
“Ratepayers want a reliable and efficient bus system so getting our buses moving through the city faster and using limited road space in a smarter way is our absolute focus.
“We know now that Let’s Get Wellington Moving will eventually deliver better bus corridors and a mass transit spine, but we’ve also recognised the need to deliver better bus priority across a number of key routes in the city as an immediate priority,” said Chair Laidlaw.
The bus priority plan will be presented to both councils in September.