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Wellington Bus Review

9 February 2012

The Greater Wellington is commencing public consultation on a review of all bus services in Wellington City.

The review proposes changes to either the routes or timetables of all routes in the Wellington City area (South of Grenada North), except for the Airport Flyer. The review does not include school buses or after midnight bus services.

Councillor Daran Ponter, a Wellington constituency regional councilor and member of the Council’s Economic Wellbeing Committee, says that the review is proposing to bisect the City with six core high frequency routes, providing no less than 15 minute all day frequency, including the weekends. Secondary routes will generally provide at least 30 minute frequency services and peak hour services will continue to be provided, though with some changes.

The proposals are designed to ease congestion in the inner-city. “The Golden Mile is currently experiencing as many as 140 buses per hour which is resulting in significant jams and delays”

In addition the duplication of so many routes along the Golden mile leads to huge inefficiencies. “By consolidating some of the routes we will be able to use buses more effectively in other areas, as well as providing better services in the weekend and in the evenings.”

The trade-off for more regular services is that some passengers will need to change buses in order to complete their journeys. “Council officers have worked hard to minimise the need for transfers, which is now expected to affect approximately 10% of users.”

The review proposals should generally bring significantly improved bus services across the City. But there will be people who feel that the review proposals will leave them worse off.

“I am urge people to make submissions on the proposed changes to both routes and services. People need to let us know how the proposed new services will affect them in order that we can take this into account in more detailed planning.”

Integrated ticketing is a major questions for users, especially if they have to change buses. Under the proposals people transferring from a Go Wellington to a Go Wellington bus using a snapper card will be able to do this as one transaction. This will also be the case for transfers between Mana Coachlines buses. “But transfers between different bus operators and to and from the trains is still some years away from being addressed”

Councillors Daran Ponter and Paul Bruce have been meeting with community groups on the review proposals. “There is strong interest in the review. Feedback from meetings and discussions to date includes:

• Approval of higher frequency services throughout the day and into the evenings and the weekend on many routes
• Concern that quality bus stops will be erected and minimum waiting times adhered to at bus transfer points.
• Concern about the removal of some bus routes
• Strong desire for integrated ticketing
• Concern about proposals t o retire trolley bus routes (replaced by diesel buses) in Seatoun and Aro Valley.
• Desire to retain current bus route number as much as possible.
• Concerns about how the elerly and disabled will adapt to changes “
Councillor Daran Ponter and Paul Bruce will be presenting on the Wellington Bus Service Review at the following community meetings during February and March:

Wednesday 15th February 7.30pm Brooklyn Residents Association Brooklyn Resource Centre
Thursday 16th February 7.00pm Makara/Ohairu Community Board Ohairu Hall
Sunday 26th February 2.00pm Wellington Residents Coalition Newtown Community Hall
Monday 27th February 7.00pm Aro Valley Residents Association Aro Valley Community Centre
Tuesday 28th February 7.00pm
Newlands Residents Newlands Community Association
Thursday 1 March 7.30pm Berhampore:
21 Luxford Street,
Berhampore St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church hall
Monday 5 March 7.30pm Island Bay:
284 The Parade, Island Bay Wellington South Baptist Church hall
Monday 12 March 7.30pm Newtown: Corner Columbo and Rintoul Streets, Newtown Newtown Community and Cultural Centre
Wednesday 14th March 7.30pm Churton Park Residents Association Churton Park School Hall

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