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Regional Council Intends to Cut Major Student Bus Route

2 May 2014

Press Release: Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association

Regional Council Intends to Cut Major Student Bus Route

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President, Sonya Clark, is leading the call to “save the 18 bus route” after the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s proposed Regional Transport Plan plans to cut the “popular student route.”

VUWSA’s Welfare Vice President, Rick Zwaan, says that “the number 18 route currently connects four Wellington University Campuses and so is very popular with students and almost always full.”

“The current direct route is the fastest way for students living in Newtown to get to Kelburn Campus or between Massey, Te Aro, Kelburn and Karori campuses.”

The changes would mean that most people travelling from Newtown would go along the ‘golden mile’ route before having to transfer to travel up The Terrace from the railway station end. This would add 3.3 km to the route increasing the travel time by at least 5 mins in off peak travel– a 25% increase. Congestion along the golden mile during peak hours would increase this even further.

“This would unnecessarily add time to the commute and cause stress to already time poor students. “The change further discourages the use of public transport and impacts on the accessibility of University.”

“Students with disabilities will be further marginalised as transferring busses creates an additional barrier to getting to class.”

“We’re pleased that the plan proposes free transfers, so there wouldn’t be an extra cost, however the main concern is about the needless removal of a quick, convenient and popular route.”

“Instead of the 18 there is a proposed new route that goes from Karori to Mt Victoria via Kelburn and Courtenay Place. Rather than servicing the student populated suburbs of Newtown and Mt Cook, this proposed new route will service the upmarket suburb of Mt Vic which unfortunately is out of price range for most students.”

VUWSA has been actively involved in the plethora of transport plans that have culminated in the current proposal and is surprised that the concerns raised about the 18 route over the last four years have not been heard.

Public transport is a crucial service to get right for our region. In particular, students rely on it to get to class and home safely.

Submissions close on Friday the 9th of May and VUWSA encourages as many people to voice their concerns as possible. “Head to gw.govt.nz and help save the 18” concludes Mr Zwaan.

ENDS

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