NZ plan based on bus


Huge investment in the bus network will prepare Wellington for future growth

Wellington’s trolley buses may stay past 2017, despite a huge investment from by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GRWC) into the city’s bus network.

The GRWC’S Long Term Plan 2015-25 has been amended to allow for the existing trolley bus network to remain in place for another 10 years, until technological advances have made fully-electric buses an economically viable option.

Prior to this amendment, the trolley buses were set to be replaced by diesel-electric buses 2017.

GWRC chair Fran Wilde says funds must be invested into the bus network to ensure it becomes an even more viable option for people in the future and this is a key focus of the plan.

"Massive investment in rail over the last few years has led to significant passenger growth and these initiatives will move even more people onto public transport," she says.

Plans that will go ahead include a new rapid transit bus system through central Wellington and more high-frequency, all-day bus routes and evening and weekend services to the suburbs.

Existing bus shelters will be improved, new ones will be built and improved signage will be installed.

A single electronic fare and ticketing system will also be introduced from 2017 and should simplify the process of switching between buses, trains and ferries.

The plan includes substantial funding the bus network and aims to build on investment in the train network that has seen patronage steadily increase, and extend this to the bus network.

Ultimately, the plan aims to increase the number of public transport trips by 15 per cent over the next 10 years.

The council also plans to build a number of new or upgraded flood stopbanks to reduce risk of flooding, which has repeatedly halted key services into the city this year.

The total-spend for flood mitigation works will top $51 million over the next 10 years.

Land will also be gradually purchased for more park and ride facilities at rail stations outside of Wellington, the priorities being at Waikanae and Paraparaumu.

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