Bus Industry News, International

Kinetic partners with Wellington Regional Council to launch Pride Bus

New NZ Bus owner Kinetic has partnered with Greater Wellington to launch a new ‘Pride Bus’ as part of their shared commitment to inclusive public transport across the Metlink network.

Kinetic is partnering with the Wellington Regional Council on a newly-wrapped ‘Pride Bus’ that adorned the city’s streets recently.

The bus, which is covered in colours of the progressive pride flag, hit the streets in its first public appearance at the Wellington Pride Festival last weekend.

The design is a symbol of inclusion not only for sexual diversity but gender diverse and marginalised people within the LGBTQIA+ community. The bus also features the words ‘You are Loved’, sending a clear message to visitors and the community that everyone should feel safe, respected and welcome in Wellington.  

Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair Thomas Nash welcomed the Pride Bus and says it will help champion the message that Wellington was a progressive city welcoming of everyone.

“Metlink is proud to have another bus adorned with the Pride Flag in our fleet. Not only does it show our support for the Pride Festival, but it also tells our Rainbow Communities they are loved and cherished public transport users alongside all our other passengers,” Nash says.

“Greater Wellington is pleased to have another LGBTQIA+ ally in Kinetic to spread this important message of inclusion across the capital every day.”

Wellington Pride Festival 2023 ran from March 4-18. The event traces its history back to the Newtown Lesbian and Gay Fair in 1986, organised to support the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, which passed into law on July 9, 1986.

Since then, the capital has been home to an array of rainbow festivals and other events which have celebrated, represented and supported the LGBTQIA+ community in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and beyond. 

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Wellington Pride Festival Event Director Vondy Thornton says the bus was a great addition to the Hikoi/

Kinetic Head of New Zealand Calum Haslop says he was delighted to see the company’s first New Zealand Pride Bus launched in Wellington.

“We’ll see Wellington come alive this month celebrating diversity, inclusion and compassion and that will be something we hope people think about throughout the year every time they see this bus drive past them,” Haslop says.

“This is about people knowing they are seen, they are cared for and they are loved – and they should always feel safe and comfortable being themselves on our buses and through joining our team and being part of the change we want to see in the community.” 

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