Ōtaki bus services to be doubled

Service Changes

Metlink’s Ōtaki bus services will be doubled from 25 July, vastly improving commuter connections to trains running between Waikanae and Wellington.

Weekday services on the number 290 bus route are being increased from nine to 19, and from six services to 11 on weekends and public holidays.

Greater Wellington’s Kāpiti Councillor Penny Gaylor said the increase would be a boon for Ōtaki residents.

“Ōtaki commuters have long struggled to access Metlink’s Kāpiti rail line, which terminates in nearby Waikanae,” Cr Gaylor said.

“This is real win for those commuting to Porirua or Wellington by rail. It’s also a boost for workers and shoppers on the Kāpiti Coast who rely on the 290 bus to get to Paraparaumu.”

The new 290 timetable will benefit Ōtaki bound commuters as well, with an additional bus leaving Waikanae station at 7.20pm on weekdays after connecting with the later 6.14pm train out of the capital.

“As an Ōtaki local, I know those of us working and studying in Wellington will be pleased we can get home on public transport if we miss the 5.35pm train,” Cr Gaylor said.

“Our older community will also benefit from the increased frequency of 290 buses, and those of us who rely on cars will be able to protect the climate by shifting to public transport.”

While doubling the route 290 buses will support Ōtaki’s growing population, Metlink ultimately wants the town to have frequent rail services beyond the daily return journey currently provided by KiwiRail’s Capital Connection.

“A once-a-day diesel commuter train is not enough. But as the track is only electrified as far as Waikanae, that’s as far as Metlink trains can go.

“Our trains are 50-years-old and due to be replaced. We need the government to get behind our business case(external link) for a fleet of hybrid electric trains that can run on batteries to Ōtaki and all the way to Palmerston North.”

“Until then, the 290 bus will remain a vital service for Ōtaki and the Kāpiti Coast. I’m delighted its timetable is being doubled.”

Commuters and travellers can view the new route 290 bus timetable that will take effect from 25 July, at metlink.org.nz