Wellington bus network changes cause lengthy delays for some
Radical changes to the capital's bus network have prompted some commuters to vent their frustration at the delays.
Commuters at a bus stop in Newtown this morning Photo: RNZ / Emma Hatton
Wairarapa bus company Transit took over the contract for most of Wellington's bus routes on Sunday but its first real test was during this morning's commute.
And there were a few issues. Buses ran late, others didn't show up at all.
Real-time tracking also wasn't working as expected. Bus network company Metlink said it was dealing with teething issues.
New Metlink buses are on their way this morning. A few aren't tracking in real time but this will improve over the morning. Check our updates on bus hubs & Wellington Station Interchange https://t.co/o5P9xNI6fF— Metlink Wellington (@metlinkwgtn) July 15, 2018
Commuter Dion McKenna, was waiting at his usual Berhampore bus stop, wasn't impressed.
"I'm late for work already, there were no buses for about half an hour even though it said four minutes on the sign, so they're not doing too well so far on the number en route," he said.
"Maybe it's buses getting stuck in traffic or not enough drivers, who knows."
Mr McKenna said about 15 people were waiting at a stop in Berhampore and the bus had to pass a number of stops between there and Newtown as it was too full to pick up anyone else.
"A bus used to come past every 10 minutes, but every half an hour a bit of a change, so might be leaving for work a little bit earlier now."
Another commuter from Brooklyn said she had to wait, but was glad to get a seat.
"It took a long time for the bus to come, there was a lot of us waiting, but then we all actually fit on it for once," she said.
"Usually they just drive past here because there's no space, but there was actually room on the double decker."
One of the new new double decker buses brought into service on Sunday. Photo: RNZ / Emma Hatton
Meanwhile, Sarah from Mount Victoria said the new route meant the bus no longer went past her house so she would be unlikely to take it anymore.
"I think I'll be less inclined, it's not convenient anymore. There might be another one I can take but it might just be quicker for me to walk now."
Some were happy
But others had no complaints.
A commuter from Newtown said the new route was now closer to her house and she had no issues this morning.
She said services were worse in the lead up to the change over, when up to 30 services a day were being cancelled.
"There was definitely a lot of queues and lines, I think that was because they had less bus drivers when they were ending their contracts but it was really busy all the time I ended up walking most days.
"Hopefully it will be better now."
Metlink's social media feed also showed mixed feedback.
Some people posted they were excited to ride the new double deckers, while others vented frustration on Twitter about a number of delays.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council said it expected to have up to 60 double decker buses in service this year, including up to 10 electric ones.