Metlink announces finalists for popular 'Design a Bus' kids' competition

Customers & Communities

Fifteen young artists across the Wellington region are one step closer this week to seeing their design turned into a real-life Metlink bus.

The ‘Design a Metlink bus’ competition, part of Metlink’s contribution to this year’s Brendan Foot Supersite (BFS) Round the Bays festivities, saw hundreds of kids put colouring pencil to paper in a bid to design their very own Metlink bus.

Greater Wellington councillor and Transport Committee chair Roger Blakeley was floored by the number and quality of the designs submitted.

“Wellington is chock-full of incredibly talented young bus designers. It was great to see aroha for our region and te taiao in the entries we received, along with abstract pieces with brilliant bursts of colour that I interpreted as a nod to Wellington’s wild landscapes.  

“In fact there were so many fantastic designs that we had to bend the rules of the competition, we’ll now be choosing two winning designs to be turned into bus wrappings instead of one.

“On top of that, we want to give all the shortlisted entries their well-earned spot in the limelight, so all of these designs will be turned into posters that will brighten up bus shelters all around the region,” says Cr Blakeley.

Adshels featuring the shortlisted entries will go up in bus shelters across the region in late April.

Cr Blakeley is part of the panel of councillors who will choose the two winning designs. The winners and their whānau will be invited to the unveiling of their specially designed bus before it hits Wellington’s streets.

This year, Metlink provided free public transport for BFS Round the Bays participants and volunteers across the entire public transport network, as well as a free shuttle service from the finishers’ festival at Kilbirnie Park to the city centre.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher was heartened to see so many people taking advantage of Metlink’s offer.

“Providing free public transport kept cars off the road when thousands of people were moving into the city, reducing congestion and, importantly, lowering carbon emissions across the region. It also made the event more accessible to whānau who saw transport as a hurdle to taking part in the race.

“I want to thank everyone who travelled by public transport on race day. Together, we kept 425 tonnes of carbon out of the air. To put that massive number into perspective, that’s equivalent to the amount of carbon released by launching a rocket into space. It would take one hectare of native forest 65 years to take the same amount of carbon out of the air, so that’s huge,” says Mr Gallacher.

In 2019 event organisers Nuku Ora (formally Sport Wellington) committed to making BFS Round the Bays a zero waste event by 2025.

Nuku Ora CEO Phil Gibbons says, “We are incredibly grateful for the partnership with Metlink that brings us one step close to reaching our waste-free goal.”

“Not only does the free public transport reduce carbon emissions, but it also aligns with our organisation’s goal of removing barriers to participation so that everyone can experience the positive benefits of being active. Thanks to the service Metlink provided, people and whānau from all over the region were able to participate in this beloved event,” adds Mr Gibbons.

Mr Gallacher says that Metlink is proud to have been a part of making people’s BFS Round the Bays experience fun, enjoyable and stress-free.

The two winning bus designs will be announced next week. In the meantime, people can peruse all the shortlisted entries for the ‘Design a Metlink bus’ competition on Metlink’s website.