Metlink announces new airport bus service partner and a zero emission fleet

Sustainability & Technology Airport Express

Metlink is pleased to announce Mana Newlands by Transdev as their partner for the new airport express bus service launching in 2022.

The partnership means that Wellingtonians from across the region will soon have an easy and convenient way to get to the Airport, with a new 7-day bus service set to run from Wellington Railway Station to the Airport in 2022.

The service, funded by Metlink and delivered by Mana Newlands by Transdev as part of a six-year contract, will operate on the Metlink network, and will have Snapper ticketing, credit and debit payments by EFTPOS, real-time information and a dedicated fleet of ten new zero-emissions electric buses.

Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher says the new service will provide thousands of people with safe, convenient, affordable and reliable access to the airport.

“With a new service part of the overall Metlink network we’ll be able to see passenger journey data, exactly who is connecting to the service and from which parts of our region. This will help us make adjustments to our bus and rail network and target our resources better to meet demand from our communities,” says Scott Gallacher.

Mana Newlands by Transdev CEO Craig Chin said the company was thrilled to have been chosen to operate the service which will service 11 stops between Wellington Station and the Airport, to be delivered by a new fleet of modern electric buses.

“We’ve been a part of the local community for more than three decades and the expansion of our services to the Wellington Airport is a very exciting one,” Mr Chin said.

Mana Newlands by Transdev currently operates Metlink bus services in Newlands and Tawa. Its parent company, Transdev, is also a Metlink operator, providing rail services across the region. Transdev New Zealand Chief Officer, Greg Pollock, said the new service would provide a high level of customer service.

“Public transport is all about people serving people, and there’s nothing that beats the warm welcome for those who are coming home or visiting our city. The team at Mana Newlands by Transdev are excited to be delivering a cleaner, greener and comfier service for passengers,” says Greg Pollock. 

Daran Ponter, Chair of Greater Wellington, said it was great to finally have the first proper public transport service in place at the airport. 

“This is fantastic news to ratepayers and Metlink passengers who have long requested a service to the airport. We’ve worked diligently to make this happen and I’m looking forward to seeing a service that is fully integrated to all parts of the wider Metlink network,” says Cr Ponter.

Andy Foster, Mayor of Wellington City, said the new service is a welcome boost to the economy and the tourism industry.

“The airport is a key destination for people in the city and across the region. The last two years have been tough for many families and businesses, and I am very much looking forward to this service helping people reconnect, particularly as international travel resumes,” says Mayor Foster.

Roger Blakeley, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee welcomed news that the service would provide access for the whole region, as well as affordability and value for money for public transport users. 

“A quarter of all eastern suburbs traffic comes from the airport so having a bus service back in place and fewer private vehicles on the road will help ease congestion and meet our climate change obligations. Wellingtonians will tell you that a successful service needs to be frequent, well priced, and at a place people can easily catch it. This new partnership and service ticks all the boxes,” says Cr Blakeley.

Metlink and Mana Newlands by Transdev are now working together on the route and bus infrastructure with details to be revealed in early 2022.