See below for answers to common questions about the recent bus network changes. Got a question not answered here? Call the Metlink Service Centre on 0800 801 700 or email us via:

  1. When did the bus network changes come into effect?
  2. What will be the big differences with the new network?
  3. Where did the idea for these changes come from?
  4. Why is Snapper becoming the main payment system?
  5. What do these changes mean for fares?
  6. Why do we need electric buses?
  7. What have you done to tell people about this?
  8. How much is all this change costing?
  9. Why have you changed the bus routes that people have used for many years?
  10. Where do the new bus routes run?
  11. Are school buses also affected?
  12. Who can you you contact for help?

1. When did the bus network changes come into effect?

Changes were rolled out from 30 April in three phases: 

  • Phase one in the Wairarapa on 30 April
  • Phase two in the Hutt Valley and Eastbourne on 17 June
  • Phase three is across the whole region, with more significant changes in Wellington city, Kapiti and Porirua on 15 July

2. What are the big differences with the new network?

We’re building an integrated public transport network that is simpler, more connected, consistent and one that offers more choices – so that all of us can go to more places, more often. That means rejigging our timetables so that connecting between Metlink buses, trains and ferries works better for more of us.

We’ve also made our fares simpler and more affordable for some of you. Special fares have been introduced for eligible tertiary students, people with disabilities, and adults travelling during the off-peak. Snapper is likely to be the best way to pay for Metlink bus travel across the region – no other bus payment cards are valid. Monthly passes and 10-trip tickets are likely to be the most cost-effective option for train journeys. Find out more about the new tickets and fares.

Wellington city now has a new bus network with high-frequency routes and more services. We have also made improvements to routes and timetables across the region.

New buses, including high-capacity double-deckers and electric buses, are an important part of the new city network. There will be over 250 brand new buses serving the region from 15 July 2018 and another 90 early in 2019.

3. Where did the idea for these changes come from?

We’re expecting trips to increase 10% by 2024, so we need to make sure we’re ready for the future. We came up with the changes after years of planning, consulting with the community and having a look at what other cities do.

4. Why did Snapper become the main payment card?

We wanted a single payment card for all Metlink buses in the Greater Wellington region, making it easier and more affordable to pay for bus travel, no matter where you are. It’s the convenient and cheaper way to pay your bus fare as you’ll pay at least 25% more using cash than with a Snapper card. Snapper was already in use in Wellington and the Hutt Valley. Other cardholders can get a free Snapper from Metlink. Cash will still be accepted on Metlink bus services as will MonthlyPlus passes on bus services. 

5. What do these changes mean for fares?

There was a general 3% fare increase – the first increase in five years to help us to offset the cost of other fare changes, including new discounts, and to ensure all of us that use public transport contribute to the share of the cost. But we are doing a whole lot of other things to make travel more connected and affordable.

Changes included a 25% off-peak discount, 30-day bus passes for parts of the network, 25% discount for full-time tertiary students, 50% discount for people with disabilities, 50% discount for all school students, and free bus connections to trains with a MonthlyPlus pass.

Zone changes included moving the northern boundary for zone 5 northwards to cover Titahi Bay, Waitangirua, Ascot Park and most of Papakowhai. The boundary now passes through Paremata Station (which will be in both zones 5 and 6), north of bus stops at 17 Tirowhanga Road and 51 Omapere Street. This means the trip to Porirua Station for many people is now only charged at one zone instead of two.

Find out more about our new tickets and fares.

6. Why do we need electric buses?

We think it is the right thing to do for the environment and Greater Wellington region. We’re bringing in lots of shiny new, low-emission buses across the network and are aspiring to have a 100% electric fleet. This includes 10 fully electric double-deckers in 2018. Electric buses, like trolley buses, have no emissions but offer the advantage of being able to go anywhere without the need for overhead wires.

7. What have you done to tell people about this?

General information about the changes and their background has been on the Metlink website since last year. The changes follow years of talking to the Greater Wellington community. We have delivered an extensive advertising and media campaign through our Metlink website, advertising, social media, direct mail, plus information on Metlink buses and trains and at bus stops. We delivered information on the new timetables and routes through a tool on the website. New timetables were available six weeks before the 15 July go-live date.

8. How much is all this change costing?

The rollout of the new bus network is part of the $1.3 billion we are investing in operating and improving public transport infrastructure and services.

9. Why are you changing the bus routes that people have used for many years?

We made major changes for the first time in 20 years to build a more connected network so that more of us can travel to more places, more often now and in the future as more of us use public transport. Where a route has been changed it is because we know from looking at other cities that will help us to carry more of our customers more effectively. 

10. Where will the new bus routes run?

Most route changes are in Wellington city and these came into effect on Sunday 15 July. Our handy suburb search tool provides more information about changes to bus services in your suburb, as well as bus frequencies, and our bus route search tool provides detailed information about the new routes and the routes they are replacing. The Journey Planner delivers immediate and future travel options as well as information on how much your trip will cost.

11. Are school buses also affected?

There have been changes to school routes and timetables. We also implemented a 50% discount on student fares and you may have had to switch to Snapper. We worked closely with schools to keep them up to date on changes. We have consolidated changes to school bus services into a new Travelling to School section.

12. Who can you contact for help?

Call Metlink on 0800 801 700 or email up to My Metlink is the best way for you to get up to date information on your travel.


Find out more:

Have a question not answered here? Call the Metlink Service Centre on 0800 801 700 or email us via: You can also stay up to date by following us on Twitter (external link)  and Facebook (external link) .