25 Apr 2024

Cash fare boxes stolen from Wellington buses

5:17 am on 25 April 2024
One of the new buses being rolled out in Wellington.

File photo. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Police are investigating a string of cash fare boxes stolen from buses in Wellington.

Metlink said there had been four recent reports of robberies and thefts of fare boxes from bus drivers - all along the same route in the Hutt Valley.

The thefts appeared to be linked, it said.

Metlink senior manager Matthew Chote said the bus drivers involved were unharmed.

"Fare box crime on the Metlink bus network is incredibly rare," he said.

"Following the introduction of electronic ticketing to our bus network in 2008, less than 5 percent of Metlink bus fares are currently paid in cash."

Kinetic New Zealand commercial director Nigel Piper said driver safety was at risk.

"What I've said to council, is I think one of the biggest things they can do to improve driver safety is to remove cash off the buses.

"I think the way the economy is at the moment, people are desperate."

Chote said Greater Wellington Regional Councillors may consider extending the networks cashless services in the near future.