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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 01:52 am

Bus and train improvement ideas from capital commuters

Apr 7th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

By NewsWire Team

Wellingtonians are generally okay with public transport, but they do have ideas for improvements.

Most of the 50 responses ranged from “okay” to “excellent” when the NewsWire team talked to people on the streets of the city about their experiences.

The region’s public transport provider Metlink

Ideas for improvements included having Snapper cards on all services, buses having bike carriers, lower prices for students, and more bus-only lanes.

Retailer Peter Desmond-Gittings (65), right, of Johnsonville, has just started using public transport again and described the service is excellent, but “priority lanes into the city would be good.”

Lack of Snapper cards across the system annoys sales assistant Casey Penn (18), left, of Te Aro : “I think the most frustrating thing is the fact that not all buses take Snapper card.”

Kelburn student Caitlin Smith (18), right, repeated a familiar request: “I think university students should pay a student fare instead of adults.”

Some commuters were grumpy about service, reflecting the region’s public transport provider Metlink’s comments in February that it was not coping.

For example Heather McKeon (23) of Te Aro says in her experience half the time the buses come late, so she suggests making them run on time.

Lyall Bay teacher Erin Taylor (63), left, says she often does not trust buses: “If I’m in a real hurry, I don’t take the bus, because the buses are quite often not on time, it’s too risky. It’s also very expensive, there’s little incentive to take the bus.”

Other responses to NewsWire’s question of people’s experience in public transport, and what could be improved, included:

Pieta McAleen-Hardling (18), right, Kelburn, student: “We’re from Christchurch where the public transport there is disgusting, like awful, so this is fine.”

Connor Wilkinson (20), left, Newtown, student: “Pretty good, I just really use the buses just for going to and from university and I find it very handy.” However his run between Newtown and Kelburn could be more regular. “If I want to get there early there’s only one bus every hour or not very often, you have to be there extremelyearly or late, so for me I would like more buses going to and from that area more often.”

Victoria Smith (23) Mornington, game developer: “Generally it’s pretty good it’s pretty reliable.” However weekend and night service is an issue. “My bus route doesn’t have a weekend bus so I either have to walk 50 minutes up a giant hill or half an hour down to the bottom of the hill to catch a bus into the city so weekend buses would be amazing, later buses as well because mine stops at seven.”

Ben Lousley and Loren Moore

Loren Moore (26), Mount Vic, bartender: “The buses kind of suck because it’s slow and takes you too long to get anywhere.”

Ben Lousley (21) Mount Vic, bartender: “Wellington is so compact you got to wait 15 minutes for the next bus to go up to where you want, in that time you could probably walk there or Uber home instead”. He says later buses for hospitality workers would be a good.

Hannah Simpson (19) Wellington Central, student: “I haven’t really lived here for very long so I just catch it to the airport. Good, I guess. The bus is quite expensive – $9 to the airport.”

Hans Kim (26) Auckland, marketing manager: “Can’t say I use the public transport too much, I drive myself most of the time.”

Harry Rogers and James Harris

Harry Rogers (18) Miramar, student: “I live in Miramar, so there’s a fair amount of buses. It’s fine, it’s just they get really busy. Especially in town. So busy I have to carry the guitar around and I don’t want to.”

James Harris (17) Johnsonville, student: “I’m coming from Johnsonville. The buses get busy. And I have to carry my bass around so that’s a pain.”

Andrew Yorkstone (25) Te Aro, hotel receptionist: “I used to use the buses to go back and forth from the airport. I found them really good actually – like affordable. I don’t have a Snapper or anything like that so I just paid the normal fare. Otherwise, I just used Ubers.”

Kriti Velji (50) Woodridge, public servant: “Yes, I use the buses. They’re never on time. Sometimes they change the Woodridge routes when they’re running late. The evening buses are always late. The drivers are fantastic, buses are clean enough, the bus system is convenient when it works.” More buses would help.

Yrlma Tafere Tasew (60), right, Mount Cook, unemployed: “I use the bus usually every day. Excellent.” Improvements would include pricing. “Like everybody talks about it. A little bit cheaper, perhaps not much.”

Anna Patete (19) Masterton, student: “It’s hectic. If it’s not late, it’s packed, totally packed, as well as having no student price. You either say that you’re still in high school or have to fork out a little bit extra. It’s just hassle.” Improvements should include regular buses. “At my old flat we had one bus on the hour and if you missed it you had to walk in. It was up a massive hill, so it wasn’t great. As well as prices for tertiary students, that would help everybody.”

Gerard Dunne (54) Paremata, business broker: “I use the trains occasionally but not the buses. I don’t have any problems. Train frequency could be optimised and public transport could be cheaper but connected to population.”

Eimii Boswell, left, and Piimio Mei

Glennie Healey-Burgess (53) Perth, local government administrator: “I use the buses and trains extensively. Wellington’s public transport system knocks the sox off the public transport system in Perth. There’s no customer service on the buses in Perth, its cheaper to drive than use public transport.”

Eimii Boswell (22) Hataitai, student: Uses the buses regularly. Only has problems when the 7.50 gets cancelled, which is common. This makes the 7.55 crammed and then it often gets pushed back to 8am.

Piimio Mei (20) Newlands, student: “Sometimes the Newland buses are late. Sometimes they drive past you and don’t stop at stops unless you hail them.” She did say that the website is quite hard to use – she’d make it more user friendly.

Nick Dejardine (37), left, Karori, designer. Doesn’t use the buses because it’s quicker for him to drive than take the bus. “To get from Karori Park to Courtney Place takes approximately an hour on the bus, I can drive it in 25–30 minutes. I have a young family, so in the afternoons, I can be home in 20 minutes. The 3W bus often never shows up. He would like to make the public transport system “dirt cheap”.

Dan Twigg (60) Khandallah, manager: Uses buses all the time. “I have a car park at work, but I don’t use it, I prefer public transport. The buses are excellent. I’ve seen in the papers that there’s a shortage of drivers, but its not on my route yet.” Improvements could include making the signboards accurate. He is not sure about light rail, because he has seen the mess in Sydney.

Tem Pearse (24), right, Strathmore, Musician: “Yes I’ve had problems on the buses with people trying to fight me, buses being late, not following protocol, bus breakdowns, timetabling issues. Improvements could include battery power. “Get Elon Musk, Tesla, electrify the buses. Ask the Government to work with Uber. Public transport would be less of an issue, advertising could make Uber cheaper. Promote more getting around ourselves, bike lanes, more evening buses for intoxicated people”

Sia Sole (18), left, Berhampore, tourism student: “The buses are always late, or delayed. I saw two empty buses drive past when it was raining and they didn’t stop. Other times, the buses are really full and drivers still stop, people get squashed.”

Simone Duggan (20),right, Newtown, Student at Vic: “I’ve only been here for a couple of months, the buses are often full so I can’t get on.” She wants more buses in the morning for commuters.

Elza Van Boxel (27) Mount Vic, massage therapist: “It’s always late, not only that, sometimes I have to wait for multiple buses until one actually can pick me up because they are usually full to capacity in the mornings.”

Alexi Garland (24), left, Newtown, retail: “I get the bus from Newtown, it’s late every single day,  like they obviously need more buses, half the time it  goes past me because there are too many people. It happened to my

work mate this morning, she had to wait for 2 buses because it was too full to get on.”

Elliot Thornton (33) Mount Cook, town planner: “I don’t catch it too often but when I do it’s pretty reliable.” One thing he says he would improve would be integrating bus and train services so they intertwine better.

Lajahwon Hughes (24), right, Wellington, Shramrock agency: She think’s that the buses get too full. “You see when older people jump on the bus that people give their seat over to them, but it’s so full but that it’s hard for them to get to that spot. I feel sorry for them because they’re quite fragile, nearly falling over.”

Leanne Rehu (42) Wellington, health professional: “Really good, I use public transport all the time. It would be really good if there was space for bike storage though. sometimes I want to bike to work.”

Kristen De Growen (52), left, Seaton, accountant: “It’s good yeah. I think the only thing is if it was bit cheaper then it would be more of an incentive to catch the bus. It doesn’t cost that much more to just drive yourself.”

Susan Andreassend (57), right, Wellington, retired: “The drivers are sweet and they are rarely late and are reliable the only trouble I have is the cost. It’s such a struggle to send my kids to school, and it would be good if there could be a subsidy for low income families. I’ve also got an older daughter that went to uni and it used to cost her a lot to get there as well. Subsidised for kids at school and people who are studying would be really good.”

Skylar Love (26), left, Thorndon, acting student: “It’s pretty good, but I kind of use Uber a lot now though, because it’s kind of in the middle of taxi and bus. If it was cheaper it would probably encourage me to take the bus more.”

Lillie Lamb (19) and Reuben Wyllie (20), right, Te Aro, students: “Catching the train is very expensive.” They want better student fares on trains especially. However, they walk mostly.

Henare Parata (28) Hataitai, security manager: “Public transport is good but it’s not that frequent, especially the number two and five bus.” He thinks they should have more buses.

Jazmin Menheere, left, and Penny Coleman

Jazmin Menheere (20) Mt Cook, full time student and Penny Coleman (24) Mt Cook, works at Area 51: They both catch the bus when it rains and it’s good. They would like to see an app created.

Jono Coates and Chloe Coles

Chloe Coles (31), Newtown, graduate architect: “A few weeks ago I started using the bus and it’s was a good experience. There was one time though that it was full and I had to wait 10 more minutes for another one.” She would like to see it made cheaper.

Jono Coates (29) Newtown, interior designer: “I’ve just moved to Wellington. Public transport needs to be cheaper and bus lanes more frequent.”

Margaret Lafrentz (65) Newlands, administrator:  “I think that the service is good.” However while Newlands drivers are good, she doesn’t find the drivers quite as good in the city, and she’d like more buses at peak hour.

Newswire Team: Julia Steel, Sally Heming, Gemma Braggins, Zachary Graham,  Zoey Offord


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