7 Dec 2019

Plan to speed up Wellington buses' travel times to be considered

7:32 pm on 7 December 2019

Wellington city and regional councils are to consider a plan to speed up buses' travel times on key routes in the city.

A new double decker bus

Photo: RNZ / Emma Hatton

The Bus Priority Action Plan was commissioned earlier this year by the councils with work from the Transport Agency (NZTA).

It identifies eight bus routes where changes could be made so travel times can be sped up - such as giving buses priority at traffic lights, more bus lanes, and improving bus stops so people can get on and off quicker.

It states bus journey times on some routes could be reduced by up to a third in the morning peak.

The plan also identified key issues on these routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Wellington City Council and Wellington Regional Council will vote next week on whether the bus priority improvements should be wrapped into the the Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) City Streets package

The $6.4 billion LGWM plan aims to ease the capital's congestion woes by building rapid transit from the city to airport, improving public transport and cycleways and easing traffic choke points on arterial routes. Funding for it is to be split roughly 40-60 between the councils and central government.

Mayor Andy Foster said bus priority will help deal with the bottlenecks that currently undermine the city bus service's reliability and efficiency. It is about getting buses past and to the front of traffic queues.

LGWM will seek feedback from the public in the new year to inform the design of the improvements.

Work will start next year and could take up to a decade to complete.

Some of the easy win parts of the plan will be done as business as usual activities by the councils outside of the LGWM.

The eight priority bus corridors identified for improvements in the plan are:

  • Johnsonville to Ngauranga Gorge
  • Karori to city
  • Kelburn to city
  • Brooklyn to city
  • Newtown/Mount Cook to city
  • Miramar/Kilbirnie/Mount Victoria to city
  • Miramar/Kilbirnie to Newtown
  • Newtown/Mount Cook to city.
  • Wellington looks to accelerate a multi-billion-dollar plan to fix its traffic woes
  • Bus service fiasco 'biggest frustration' of mayoral term - Lester
  • Fair pay for bus drivers a hot topic in Wellington elections
  • Another 25 Wellington bus services cancelled