Customer confidence in Metlink buses and trains on the rise
The results of a recent Passenger Satisfaction Survey show customer confidence in the Wellington region’s public transport network is growing.
Metlink General Manager Greg Pollock says the results of the survey, which were recently collated after the survey was taken independently in November 2019 following NZTA guidelines, show customer satisfaction levels have improved over the last six months.
“The survey of 3190 people shows customers feel Metlink drivers and staff are more helpful and services are more reliable on both Wellington City buses and regional trains.
“Satisfaction with the overall trip of bus users in Wellington City has increased to 90 per cent from 85 percent six months ago. Similarly, satisfaction levels from train users have risen from 89 per cent to 93 per cent.
“It’s great to see rising confidence in our services, especially given the Wellington region passed a milestone in September last year with annual ridership passing 40 million trips across bus, train and ferry for the first time.
“This has been a good start in terms of improving performance and I applaud our operators and their drivers as well as customer service representatives who worked hard to turn these results around quickly. However, we know there remain a number of areas in the network where we need to focus on doing better,” Mr Pollock says.
Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter agrees there is still important work to be done to further improve services for Metlink customers.
“Metlink and KiwiRail are working together on the $300 million Wellington Metro Upgrade Programme which will bring our region’s network up to a standard that allows for frequent services, longer trains and more reliability.
“What we now need is for government to agree to our $414 million bid for new rolling stock and further track upgrades,” Mr Ponter says.
Greater Wellington and the Horizons Regional Council have prepared a joint business case for the purchase of modern, longer distance trains which will boost service levels and regional access for the Wairarapa and Palmerston North lines, and provide more capacity on the Wellington metro network.
“With over 14.3 million passenger journeys counted in 2018/19 new rolling stock is essential in catering to passenger growth.”
Mr Ponter says improvements are being made to Wellington’s bus network following on from a one-year review of the new network.
“Thanks to feedback from Wellington City customers, council has agreed to a schedule of activity starting this month which will see a reduction in forced transfers, more direct services, reinstatement of suspended services and more reliability.”
A purchase order for additional electric buses is now imminent, Mr Ponter says.
“The next step is public engagement for Porirua, Kapiti Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa in 2020.”