Airport Express patronage massively exceeds expectations
Almost 50,000 customers have caught Metlink’s Airport Express in its first two months of service, nearly 18,000 more than forecast.
Patronage figures show 25,613 passengers used the bus route in August, a 5.8 percent increase on July when 24,219 people took the Airport Express in its first month.
The route was forecast to be used by 15,983 customers each month in its first year.
Ten, fully electric Airport Express buses commenced service on 1 July, running between Wellington Railway Station and Wellington Airport approximately every 10 to 20 minutes, seven days a week.
Metlink General Manager Samantha Gain said the patronage figures showed Greater Wellington made the right decision to establish the airport route.
“The regional council’s bold vision has materialised into a popular, premium, high frequency service that Wellingtonians and visitors to the region are coming to rely on,” Ms Gain said.
“The Airport Express offers customers free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and luggage racks, making it a highly convenient, affordable and climate friendly way to get to the airport.”
With the vast majority of Airport Express customers previously needing to access the airport by car, the bus service is becoming a major contributor to Greater Wellington’s goal of a 40 percent increase in public and active transport modes by 2030.
The Airport Express is operated by Transdev’s Mana Newlands Coaches. Mana Newlands Chief Executive Craig Chin said he was pleased customer demand was growing.
“It’s great to see people catching the bus and liking the service and we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide more equitable airport transport,” Mr Chin said.
“This service is accessible and environmentally friendly and is serving both visitors and workers in and around the airport.
“Being a fully-electric service in Wellington also reflects Transdev’s commitment to zero emission fleets around the globe.”
Mr Chin said his team was focused on providing a great customer experience which was reflected in the positive feedback.
One customer said, “The new bus is on time, warm, clean and gets me into town faster and cheaper than any other option”.
A retiree said they were, “Very grateful for the new service into airport. No more long wet and windy walks hauling luggage”.
Another customer said they, “Had a really great driver on the Airport Express this morning, he was really helpful for all the people unfamiliar with Wellington and took the time to make sure everyone got off in the right place and knew where to go. A great welcome to Wellington.”
For more information about the Airport Express visit: metlink.org.nz/airport-express(external link)