In 2018, we made big changes to the public transport network in the Wellington Region and we're listening to our customers' feedback. Right now, Wellingtonians make 38 million journeys a year on Metlink buses, trains, and ferries, and this number will only increase in the coming years. We made major changes for the first time in 20 years to build a more connected network with the potential to grow to meet these needs. 

The bus network is part of the $1.3 billion being invested in operating and improving public transport infrastructure and services. This brought many exciting changes to the Wellington Region, including more than 300 new buses, as well as electric vehicles and a fully accessible fleet, and bus hubs for them to use. We also introduced a single payment card for all Metlink buses, simpler fares, more concessions, and performance based contracts with all of our operators. 

We're committed to getting the Metlink network right, and we're continuing to refine and improve it based on our research and your feedback.

What we're working on

We’ve listened to our customers, taken note of feedback and are making further changes to get you where you need to go, when you need to.

Bus services

Rail services

What we've already done

Ongoing monitoring and review of the network, and feedback from the community over the last year, has led to a range of changes to better meet customer needs. 

  • Improved customer and performance data
  • Online reporting of patronage, reliability, and punctuality data published on Metlink website

Bus services

  • We've completed construction of most of the bus hubs; Wellington Station, Brooklyn, Miramar, Kilbirnie, Wellington Hospital, and Courtenay Place
  • New bus fleet, including electric vehicles - and more to come over the next two years
  • Timetable updates and improvements in November 2018 and February 2019
  • More double deckers increasing capacity on key routes
  • Additional targeted services and routes:
    • Route 18e: hourly off-peak daytime and weekend services added
    • Route 2: more peak services to increase capacity
    • Route 14: extended to Kilbirnie and route change via Waipapa Road
    • Route 27: new route from Vogeltown to the City during morning and evening peak
    • Route 23z: trial service hourly from Wellington Station to the Zoo during off-peak and weekends
  • A bus-by-bus review to improve accuracy of GPS tracking equipment, and ongoing work to improve the accuracy of on-street displays

Rail services

  • The Wairarapa Line has a nine-car train
  • Modern electric Matangi trains, which replaced the entire old Ganz Mavag fleet (2016)
  • New stations at Tawa, Naenae, Paraparaumu, and Upper Hutt (2016)
  • More Park & Rides and space on board trains for wheelchairs and bikes

More information

Prioritising buses on Wellington’s busiest routes

We need to move more people with fewer vehicles in Wellington, especially at peak travel times.

Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington are working together to give priority to buses and improve the reliability of key bus routes in the city. It’s also an important way of making bus travel quicker than driving by car. Right now, bus trips can take twice as long as cars in some parts of the city.

Which bus routes are you looking at, and why?

We are identifying the bus routes that carry the most people, are the least reliable and slowest at the moment.  On these routes we will look at ways to give buses more priority while making sure walking, cycling and other transport options are not unduly affected. The benefits will include more people using public transport, less traffic and reduced emission.

LGWM is already looking at increasing bus priority along Hutt Road, Thorndon Quay and the Golden Mile and they will seek public feedback on options in 2020.

The other priority routes we are looking at are those to Johnsonville, Karori, Brooklyn, Lyall Bay, Island Bay, Miramar/Seatoun and Kilbirnie.

Giving buses priority could include improvements and changes to bus stops, bus lanes and traffic signals.

How does this work link to other public transport improvements?

The bus priority programme is one of a range of measures underway to improve the bus network and transport systems in Wellington. Greater Wellington is undertaking a review of the design of the Metlink bus network which – one year on from the implementation of the new network – is looking at what works well and what changes may be needed. Find out more.

The work also links closely to Let’s Get Welly Moving (LGWM). The proposed early delivery programme for LGWM includes improvements to bus priorities, walking and cycling on key routes into and through the city. Find out more.

LGWM will deliver a mass transport option in the longer term, but buses will continue to be crucial to people getting into and around the city for the foreseeable future.

Next steps

Between June and August 2019 we will do more work to understand the issues and opportunities on the bus priority routes. We will develop a draft plan to propose the order of work on key routes and develop a range of possible solutions for testing. It is intended to submit the draft plan for councillors to consider after October 2019.

How can you have your say?

After councillors have considered the draft plan and made decisions, we intend to engage with the community on the proposals. The timing for community engagement is to be confirmed. After community engagement is complete and decisions are made, we will deliver improvements as quickly as possible.

Related links

Paper to Wellington City Council - Increasing the Reliability and Travel Time of Buses

Paper to Greater Wellington Regional Council - Increasing the Reliability and Travel Time of Buses

Map of priority bus routes

More information

Contact the Greater Wellington Regional Council by calling them on 04 384 5708 or freephone 0800 496 734, or email

Contact the Wellington City Council by calling them on 04 499 4444, or email


Wellington's rail services were the first go through the new PTOM contract process. Transdev Wellington was awarded the contract and took over operating the network on 3 July 2016.

A redacted copy of the contract is available:

1. Partnering Contract and Schedules 1&2

2. Schedules 3 to 19

3. Annexures 1 to 23


  • This contract has had commercially sensitive information redacted. 
  • Each redaction in the contract includes a comment box. The comment box shows the section of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) that forms the basis for the redaction. To view the comments box you need to download the document and open in Acrobat. LGOIMA deals with the availability to the public of official information held by local authorities and includes the limited grounds available for withholding information.


1. Bus Partnering Contract and Schedule

2. Schedules 2 - 15

3. Annexures 1-23

4. Articles of Agreement

5. Novation Deed

You can find out more information on this PTOM process on the GWRC website