Wellington bus route reinstated after complaints

5:46 pm on 16 August 2018

After weeks of complaints, Wellington will get back its popular route 18 service.

Wellington Go Bus bus.

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The service, between Miramar and Victoria University, will now operate in off-peak times in addition to its present peak hour-only operation.

Greater Wellington Regional Council said the move would be of particular benefit to university students, many of whom travelled to lectures outside of peak travel times.

Council chair Chris Laidlaw said the decision was evidence the council was listening to commuter concerns about the new Metlink network, introduced about four weeks ago.

"[This is] something we can do to make a material improvement for this group of passengers and we will now work with the operator to put it into effect as soon as possible.

"The old design was well past its use-by date. The inner city was increasingly clogged up by bus congestion… and many of the newer, outlying suburbs were insufficiently served or not served at all.

"Even though it's still early days the new network seems to have made a positive difference to these issues."

The overhauled network included new routes, new drivers, new fares and, inadvertently, new problems.

Initially brushed off as teething issues by council, problems on the network sparked public meetings and talk of fare boycotts.

Mr Laidlaw said the council regretted the inconvenience and disruption the introduction of the new network caused for some.

"We know there have been problems for some and the network is not delivering in the way we want it to yet."

Mr Laidlaw said that as the implementation process continued, any issues with the design of the network would become more visible.