Metlink signals disruption and potential capacity issues as full services resume at Alert Level 2
Following the Government’s Alert Level 2 announcement Metlink has confirmed that all payment methods including cash will be reinstated and a new NZ Bus timetable will be introduced as it transitions back to full bus, train and ferry services from 11:59pm Tuesday 7 September.
General Manager of Metlink Scott Gallacher says the NZ Bus changes, delayed by Alert Levels 3 and 4, will start to benefit passengers from Alert Level 2 onwards but signalled that passengers will see some disruption and capacity issues across the network.
“As we transition to our full services, it will take a few days for our technology, operators, and frontline teams to adjust. We expect many people will, in accordance with Government guidance, still be working from home but we will see an increased demand for services. My request to passengers that can’t work from home is to have patience with us and our staff as we get back up to speed,” says Scott Gallacher.
Metlink’s Real Time Information (RTI) system, journey planning and Snapper will be affected by the Alert Level change while updates are applied but passengers will still be able to access timetables at bus stops and train stations as well as online at the Metlink website and app.
In the latest changes to Alert Level 2, the Government requires all people on public transport to be seated, with standing now prohibited except on school services. This will have a direct impact on the number of people able to be carried on Metlink services. Schools do not start to open until Thursday at which point school buses will start running again. Students on school services are allowed to stand under Government rules, but if travelling on public services they will need to be seated like everyone else.
“In line with Government direction, our drivers and frontline staff are not expected to enforce the scanning of QR codes for contact tracing or the wearing of face coverings while waiting and on board services. We know from experience that the majority of our passengers will do the right thing,” says Scott Gallacher.
“For our passengers with accessibility needs, all accessibility features return to service. That means front door boarding on buses and availability of ramps on trains,” says Scott Gallacher.
Metlink continues to carry out enhanced cleaning measures at all Alert Levels across all trains, buses and ferries. If people are unwell they should not travel on public transport.
“People across the region did a great job at Alert Level 2 last time and this time will be no different. I want to thank them for their patience and commitment to their fellow passengers. Stay safe and be kind,” adds Scott Gallacher.
For further updates check out the Metlink website, app or contact centre 0800 801 700.