Temporary morning peak bus changes to provide customer certainty during NZ Bus driver shortage

Service Changes

Metlink has released details on a range of temporary morning peak bus changes as part of a series of measures to provide customers with certainty over the next six months, while NZ Bus addresses its driver shortage.

Starting Monday 25 February, nine routes will see some trips suspended in the morning peak with customers given advanced warning through the Metlink website and app detailing the trips affected, alternate travel times, and alternate services where available.

Greg Campbell, Greater Wellington Chief Executive, says the range of actions will enable NZ Bus to deliver the best possible service to customers with the drivers they currently have.

“The past few weeks have been an uncertain time with customers, particularly in the eastern suburbs, not being sure if their trip will happen or not.  This was not acceptable so we have worked with NZ Bus to identify routes across the city that could be temporarily suspended or replaced with the least amount of impact on customers,” says Mr Campbell.

Metlink expects that customers travelling at alternate times and on alternate services during the morning peak will result in fuller buses with customers having to stand more.

“We know that this will impact on the level of comfort for customers but this inconvenience to around 200 passengers will bring increased certainty to thousands of customers across the 1,300 trips operated by NZ Bus each day,” says Mr Campbell.

Other measures include some essential community services, like the 12 and 28, being replaced by Metlink branded shuttle vans in the morning peak.  Four morning school services will also be operated by alternative providers.

While the range of measures will provide increased certainty, Greater Wellington is also working with NZ Bus to quickly increase its driver numbers to ensure network performance is up to the standard customers expect.

Metlink advises customers to check the website and app before they travel and plan their journey.