Bus route changes may be delayed

Wellington City Council wants some proposed bus route changes to be delayed until an integrated fare system is in place.

In its submissions on the capital's bus review, the city council says it is, in principle, in favour of the changes proposed by Greater Wellington regional council but it is essential that public feedback and concerns be taken on board.

As part of the proposed bus changes, about 10 per cent of passengers will need to change buses at new interchanges; the core route from Seatoun to the railway station would bypass the Golden Mile, instead looping onto The Terrace; and some peak services could be sent along the waterfront to ease congestion.

In its submission, the city council raises concerns with the proposed Johnsonville rail line, saying it "makes the fare situation in the northern suburbs more complicated than the situation in the rest of the city". The city council says changes in the northern suburbs should be delayed until fares between bus and rail services have been integrated.

The council also says that, as an "absolute requirement", no additional fares should be charged to people transferring between buses operated by the same company. "Council supports a fare policy which charges for a trip, rather than one which is based on how many buses are boarded for the trip," the submission says.

According to the submission, the infrastructure needed for connections should be paid for by Greater Wellington. Connections require weather-proofing, lighting and CCTV, and the council says it will continue to work with Greater Wellington to agree on placement but expects investment to be provided by the regional council.

A council spokesman said it was usually expected that Greater Wellington would pay for any extensive bus related infrastructure.

A Greater Wellington spokeswoman said it did not want to comment on individual submissions. "Over the next few weeks we'll be analysing and evaluating Wellington City Council's submission along with all the other submissions received on the proposed changes to Wellington city bus services."

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