Metlink welcomes green light to go to tender for new airport service

Metlink welcomed the regional council’s decision to establish an express bus service between the Railway Station and the Airport, and is now preparing to go out to tender for an operator to service the new route.

The new bus service will be an integral part of the Metlink network with real time information tracking, on-board announcements, Metlink ticketing as well as featuring on the Metlink app and website.

A unit to create the service was established through the Greater Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) 2021-2031, which was formally adopted at yesterday’s Council meeting.

Greater Wellington Transport Chair Roger Blakeley says the new service aligns with the community’s clear support for a greener, more sustainable and customer-friendly public transport network.

“The RPTP was met with overwhelming positive public response, particularly for our bold ‘mode share’ shift and decarbonisation targets that will maintain our region as leaders in sustainable public transport.

“A convenient, direct and affordable service between the Railway Station, the public transport gateway for the capital but also a hub of employment, retail and residence in itself, and the airport is an important part of the RPTP package,” says Cr Blakeley.  

Metlink General Manager, Scott Gallacher, says there are multiple benefits of integrating the airport service into the wider public transport network.

“With a new service as part of the overall Metlink network, we’ll be able to provide continuous services when responding to challenges such as COVID-19 and taking advantage of rail and bus connections to ensure the whole of the region can make use of the service.

“We’ll also be able to see passenger journey data, exactly who is connecting to the service and from which parts of our region. This will ensure the network remains resilient and agile, capable of quickly adjusting to meet the changing demands of our communities.

“The next step for us will be going out to tender for an operator who will deliver this new service. We’ll also be working with communities in the Hutt Valley and Porirua, as well as other parts of Greater Wellington to ensure that regional connectivity to the airport is maintained and enhanced before the service takes flight,” says Mr Gallacher.