Wednesday, 4 Aug 2021

Wellington bus cancellations: Reduced timetable revealed, union meets

Some Wellington buses will be permanently cancelled while other services will operate at a reduced frequency, due to a shortage of at least 60 drivers.

The city’s new reduced peak-hour bus timetable has been revealed.

It’s being implemented from July 25 in an effort to provide more certainty, instead of commuters waiting for buses which never show up.

Meanwhile, services will be disrupted today while Tranzurban drivers attend a Tramways Union meeting.

About 38 per cent of Tranzurban drivers in Wellington are union members.

Their collective agreement is up for renewal and union members are meeting to discuss what they want to bring to the bargaining table.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said disruptions should be expected between 9.30am and 1.30pm.

“The key thing for customers is to please check before you travel as there will be individual trips affected rather than entire routes.”

The affected routes are: 1, 7, 17, 19, 19e, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 39, 210, 220, 226, 230, 236.

The union meeting will not affect school services.

Meanwhile, NZ Bus union members are still in a wrangle over their collective agreement which has already resulted in a strike and a lockout.

At a stop-work meeting last month drivers voted to reject a third pay offer from the operator.

Overall, the network is about 60 drivers short and last month a record of 3572 buses were cancelled.

Issues affecting operators include the border being shut due to Covid-19 and drivers who are sick needing to stay home.

Metlink has re-designed bus timetables to reduce the number of cancellations.

Some peak services will be less frequent, but there will be more off-peak options.

For example, on the Number 1 route three morning peak services from the northern suburbs will now only run to Courtenay Place instead of through to Island Bay.

Morning peak services on the Number 17 route from Kowhai Park to the railway station will have a reduced frequency from every 15 minutes to every 20.

But daytime off-peak services will increase in frequency from every 60 minutes to every 30.

A new route called, HX, has been established for express trips between the railway station and the hospital. There will be five trips in the early morning and four trips in the afternoon peak.

Routes affected by the timetable changes in Wellington City are 1, 7, 17, 19, 19e, 23, 24, 26, 29, 32x, 52.

Changes to NZ Bus services will be implemented at a later date.

Full changes from July 25:

Route 1
• Three morning peak services from northern suburbs changed to finish at Courtenay Place, instead of running through to Island Bay
• The 4.25pm service from Grenada Village has been retimed to leave at 4.28pm

Route 7
• Morning peak service frequency from Kingston to Wellington Station reduced from every 7/8 minutes to 10 minutes
• Weekday 8.07am trip from Kingston to Wellington cancelled

Route 17
• Morning peak service frequency from Kowhai Park to Wellington Station reduced from every 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
• Daytime off-peak service frequency increased from 60 minutes to 30 minutes

Route 19e
• All morning and evening services cancelled, and will be replaced by extra route 19 services that shuttle between Churton Park & Johnsonville Hub

Route 19
• Extra peak services added to compensate for cancellation of route 19e services
• School extension to cover current Route 647

Route 23
• Three morning peak services starting from Newtown Park Zoo cancelled
• Daytime off-peak service frequency increased from 60 minutes to 30 minutes

Route 24
• Three morning peak services altered to run shorter trips by not running on lower-demand sections of the route
• Daytime off-peak service frequency increased from 60 minutes to 30 minutes

Route 26
• Morning City-bound services reduced from 7 to 3 services (outbound trips also reduced accordingly)
• Afternoon Khandallah-bound services reduced from 8 to 3 services (inbound trips also reduced accordingly)

Route 29
• Two morning peak services from Wellington Station to Brooklyn cancelled
• Daytime off-peak service frequency increased from 60 minutes to 30 minutes

Route 32x
• Morning peak service frequency from Houghton Bay to Wellington Station reduced from every 8 minutes to 12 minutes

Route 52
• Extra weekday service added: 2.20pm Courtenay Place to Johnsonville

New route HX
• New Hospital Express services from Wellington Station to Wellington Hospital. Five trips in the early morning & four trips in the afternoon peak

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