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New Route, Reinstatements Underpin Network Stability

Improved public transport access to Wellington CBD, Wellington Regional Hospital and Victoria University’s Kelburn campus comes to Strathmore Park and Wilton residents from Sunday.

Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter says the introduction of bus route number four is a highlight in the regional council’s work to restore trust in public transport.

“The addition of route 4 is a really positive step forward after recent difficulties arising from Covid and driver shortages,” Cr Ponter says.

“It’s no secret that trust in public transport has been shaken, but we’ve been working hard to return reliability to the bus network. It’s great we’re now able to add services our passengers have been calling for that decongest our roads and reduce emissions”.

Other services being added on Sunday 28 January include:

  • The reinstatement of 54 weekend bus trips suspended by the driver shortage in November 2022,
  • Route 20 extended to Wellington Railway Station,
  • Karori bus services boosted with additional morning peak trips on routes 33, 34 and 2,
  • Route 35 morning peak trips added for Hataitai and Mt Victoria passengers,
  • Route 26 peak frequency increased to every 30 minutes.

To enable the improvements, bus operators, the government and the regional council lifted driver wages last year to attract more workers to the profession.

Significant recruitment efforts by bus companies have bolstered driver numbers, including route 4 operator Kinetic who employed over 100 drivers in 2023.

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Kinetic’s general manager of operations for Wellington, Ken Pearson, says, “It’s pleasing to expand our services in the capital with a new route that’s long been in demand.

“Kinetic recognises the importance of reliable public transport to Wellingtonians and we look forward to providing another punctual, high frequency bus route that links the city’s communities,” Mr Pearson says.

Replacing route 12, route 4 will run every 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends.

Route 4 will also take over part of route 22, which will instead travel between Wellington Station and Victoria University as a weekday shuttle service, with an hourly service to Johnsonville.

To view the route 4 timetable, visit www.metlink.org.nz/service/4/timetable

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