Public Transport - meeting customers’ expectations for the Metlink network and services
The Wellington Region has a high-quality, well-used public transport network (the Metlink network). Per capita, we have the country’s highest number of public transport users. Our buses, trains and harbour ferries play an important role in helping people get to work and to play, and contribute significantly to the region’s liveability and economic productivity.
Delivering on our vision of a world-class public transport system is a big focus for Greater Wellington. We have a long-term commitment to improving public transport services in the region and it will take time and money to make changes. We’ve already seen the benefits of the substantial investment we’ve made in the Matangi trains. We’re now delivering a similar step change to the bus network. In mid-2018 we will be launching a new bus network in Wellington, and new bus operators will be working under new contracts throughout the region.
We understand that expectations of the services we deliver are evolving. It is clear from customer feedback that you want us to invest in reducing emissions and providing seamless connections. The introduction of new buses in 2018 will reduce congestion and harmful emissions. A more modern fleet, alongside our commitment to a higher level of customer service, will bring us closer to meeting our goal of providing the region with a modern, world-class public transport network. We will be introducing a single ticket system for the bus network and are on the way to a system which means you can travel on a bus, train and ferry using one ticket. This is all part of our Public Transport Transformation Programme.
Our focus over the next 10 years is:
- Continually improving levels of service for customers
- Unlocking capacity to cater for ongoing and expected high levels of population and economic growth
- Improving the resilience of the network as a whole
A single ticketing system
The extension of Snapper in July 2018 across the entire bus fleet will mark a significant improvement for ticketing on bus services. The extension of Snapper is an interim solution and is a prelude to a single ticketing system for travel on all public transport in the region, whether by bus, train or ferry. Greater Wellington is working closely with the NZ Transport Agency and other regions as part of a national approach to integrated ticketing. To prepare for this, a new Metlink fare schedule will come into effect in July 2018. The new fares have been simplified and applied consistently across the network.
Transforming your bus experience
The Wellington city bus network service is stretched, and future demands and expectations will make this worse. The new bus network means that more people will live closer to high frequency routes, providing greater coverage with more options to travel by bus, and increased capacity and frequency. In preparation for the new bus network we are developing transfer hubs and shelters, and more extensive public transport information, including Real Time Information and wayfinding. While the new bus network will significantly improve the overall bus service levels, it will not meet all current and future patronage demands or customer expectations. Capacity and frequency of service levels could be enhanced to attract patronage and better cope with urban population and economic growth. As a result, the 10-Year Plan includes funding for additional service enhancements for greater coverage, capacity, shoulder peak service and frequency. We’ve allocated $600,000 for these improvements in 2018/19, as well as ongoing funding throughout the 10 years of the plan.
Overall for this area, the level of service is proposed to increase over the 10 years of the plan.