Residents upset over loss of their bus services
RESIDENTS from some Wellington suburbs are upset over proposed changes to the bus system and are making submissions to change council plans.
The Wilton Residents’ Association met with councillors last week to discuss the changes proposed by Greater Wellington Regional Council’s city bus review, which aims to make the bus system more efficient.
“They were very unhappy. People are not happy about the proposals,” says association organiser Robert Davies.
The meeting was well attended, with about 100 residents from the small suburb filling Cardinal McKeefrey School hall.
The main issues included the loss of the faster peak hour number 13 service which runs down Glenmore St, the loss of the Gloucester St loop, and a reduction in the number of evening services to the suburbs.
The last bus to Wilton on Saturday is currently at midnight, but would change to 10pm under the plans.
“That means if you go to the orchestra or a show on Saturday then you won’t get a bus home, unless you catch the drunks’ bus at 1am,” Mr Davies says.
The plan also proposes an integrated ticketing system between buses which would charge a single fare for transferring between buses, however doing the same between different bus companies or to the train is still years away.
A ten-point summary of issues residents had with the changes has been drafted by the association for submission to the council.
The general feeling at a similar Brooklyn Residents’ Association meeting two weeks ago was that current bus services are fine and don’t need fixing, says association Chair Simon McLellan.
The impression he got from the presentation by Greater Wellington regional councillors at the time was changes in the review plan, which mean Brooklyn would get far fewer services, were necessary and inevitable.
“They didn’t answer the questions properly and they didn’t address the concerns raised by residents at the meeting,” he said.
Councillors Paul Bruce and Daran Ponter organised a number of these community meetings this month Wilton to inform the public and encourage submissions.
Mr Ponter says the review looks at reducing traffic along the golden mile route and making sure public money is spent effectively by the council.
It has been in the works for about two years after of similar reviews of Porirua and Hutt Valley bus services.
Councillor Ponter says the review may take a while to deal with public responses before action is made and should perhaps wait until the Wellington Spine review is finished (read more HERE).
The council subsidises 44 per cent of each bus fare from regional rates and national taxes.
There are five more community meetings planned, and submissions can be made to the council HERE
Wellington CBD: Greater Wellington Regional Council, 142 Wakefield Street, Ground floor, Meeting Rm 1. Tuesday 28 February 11am – 1pm, Wednesday 29 February 12-2pm
Karori: Karori Community Centre, 7 Beauchamp St. Saturday 3 March 10am – 12 noon, Monday 5 March 11am – 1pm
Johnsonville: Johnsonville Mall. Saturday 3 March 1- 3pm, Tuesday 6 March 11am – 1pm
Newtown: Newtown Hall, Cnr Daniell and Constable Sts. Wednesday 7 March 11am – 1pm, Saturday 10 March 1-3pm
Kilbirnie: Kilbirnie Community Centre, 56 – 58 Bay Rd. Thursday 8 March 11am-1pm, Saturday 10 March 10am – 12 noon