Out with the old

Wellington’s trolley bus fleet will be replaced as the GWRC approve regional transport plan

The Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan has been adopted by the Greater Wellington Regional Council this week with the 10-year aim to greatly improve the region’s public transport.

Under the plan, the oldest diesel buses and the trolley bus fleet will be replaced with hybrid vehicles before investing in full electric buses.

Transport Portfolio Leader Paul Swain says renewing the bus fleet is a crucial part of improving bus services and bringing in bus rapid transit.

"A major part of the new Public Transport Plan is a new bus network for Wellington City, giving more people access to high frequency bus services, faster travel times through the CBD and a simpler route network."

Council has reiterated its commitment to a fully electric bus fleet when the technology has developed sufficiently and is cost-effective.

"In the interim, our plan is to replace the oldest diesel buses and the trolley bus fleet with hybrids," he says.

 "We’ve still got plenty of time to ensure specific local routes and timetables meet people’s needs before the new network is in place in 2017."

There will also be changes to fares and the ticketing system, as well improvements to rail.

 "The plan aims to continually improve public transport, ensuring it goes where people want to go, provides competitive journey times, is safe, comfortable and reliable, easy to understand and use and provides value for money," says Swain.

 "A new fares and ticketing system will mean one card for all travel, you won’t pay more for connections between modes and services, off-peak travel will be cheaper and all under-19 year olds will get half price fares."

Swain says rail services will continue to improve with more frequent services between Wellington and Porirua and Waterloo and faster services on long distance lines such as Upper Hutt and Kapiti.

Council is aiming for a 15 to 20 per cent increase in public transport patronage over the next few years.

Copies of the Regional Public Transport Plan will be available from July 24 2014.

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