Football fans in the capital can travel to and from Wellington Regional Stadium for free on Metlink public transport for matches in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair Thomas Nash said the regional council’s public transport wing was working with WellingtonNZ to fulfil the capital’s host city obligations.
“Metlink buses, trains and the harbour ferry will be free on game days to match ticket holders. We’ve considered kick-off times as well as the potential for extra time and penalties in knock-out games and will be doing everything we can to match service capacity to projected demand,” Cr Nash said.
“With nine matches at Wellington Regional Stadium, including a round of 16 game and a quarterfinal, we want visiting teams, fans, officials and media to have the best possible experience in Wellington.”
Most games in the capital are played outside of peak commuter travel times, meaning the bus and train networks can absorb additional demand.
Off-peak rail services will be added based on projected crowd numbers, and with no track maintenance planned on game days, it’s unlikely buses will be needed to replace trains unless there’s unexpected disruption.
For two of the group matches, including New Zealand versus the Philippines, kick off falls within peak commute times, and if the quarterfinal goes to penalties, its final whistle will also occur during the peak. In these cases, based on current driver recruitment projections, operators may not be able to add extra capacity, but contingency plans and clear passenger communications will be in place.
“By collaborating with Metlink, we’re going to make the FIFA Women’s World Cup enjoyable and accessible for Wellingtonians and visitors to our city,” said WellingtonNZ Chief Executive John Allen.
“Through working together, we can help everyone discover what our region has to offer. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase the best of our city to football fans from around the world.”
Tournament accreditation pass holders can also ride Metlink public transport for free from two weeks before the tournament until five days after the Wellington quarterfinal. Pass holders include players, team and tournament officials, tournament volunteers and official media.