Greater Wellington shares final bus review plans

Greater Wellington Regional Council detailed the final part of its bus network review for Kāpiti Coast, Wairarapa, Porirua and the Hutt Valley at today’s Transport Committee meeting.

Councillor Roger Blakeley, Transport Committee Chair, described the process as robust and a heartfelt commitment to communities across the region.

“It’s an ambitious plan but we’re taking what we learned from the successful city engagements to make sure we hear from the widest range of people in the community including passengers, drivers, and people who have no real alternatives to public transport,” says Cr Blakeley.

Feedback received by Greater Wellington through its contact centre, social media channels, and community and council forums since July 2018 will also help inform the review. In analysing the complaints data for the Kāpiti Coast, Wairarapa, Porirua and Hutt Valley less than five per cent of complaints received since July 2018 related to network issues.

“It’s important for us to iron out the remaining network design issues. We want to make sure we are connecting the right communities to each other, that buses have the right balance of frequency and that we have the right mix of direct services to help people get to where they need to go,” says Cr Blakeley.

Community engagement is scheduled to take place between 23 March and 17 April 2020 and will include community drop in sessions, focus groups and online surveys. The final findings will be reported to the Transport Committee in June 2020.

Following findings from its Wellington City bus network review in December 2019, Greater Wellington started rolling out an aggressive schedule of activity in January 2020 which has seen a reduction in forced transfers, more direct services, the reinstatement of suspended services and more reliability through additional peak and shoulder peak services.

“Once we have all the findings back for Kāpiti Coast, Wairarapa, Porirua and the Hutt Valley we will act just as swiftly and put in place any changes that need to happen to give passengers a better journey,” says Cr Blakeley. 

The cost of the engagement process will come from existing budgets allocated to the Post Implementation Review and Metlink customer experience.