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To: Metlink & Greater Wellington Regional Council

Get Better Buses for Ōwhiro Bay

Ōwhiro Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Wellington, with the worst bus services in the city. Support our small but vibrant community in calling for better bus services to help us be connected with the rest of the city.

As a small community of just over 2,000 people in the south of Wellington, we are not provided the bus services a suburb of our size requires. The current services provided by Metlink, and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have done in the past and continue today, significantly underdeliver and under-represent our suburb. 

We are trying to get community support to show Metlink that there is a large demand for bus services in Ōwhiro Bay, so they increase the number of buses that service the suburb.

We are calling on Metlink to adopt the 8 recommendations in the Better Buses Report:

Recommendation 1: Revert all school-only bus stops to public ones
  • Currently, just under 40% of all Ōwhiro Bay’s bus stops are exclusively for School Buses, including all the bus stops on the main street, Happy Valley Road.
  • Important community locations such as the School and Community garden are located on Happy Valley Road and are unable to be serviced by bus routes due to these stops being school bus only.
  • Reverting them back to public bus stops will allow for more access to bus routes, as well as more buses going through the suburb.

Recommendation 2: Route 1 Extension
  • The level of bus services in Ōwhiro Bay needs to, at minimum, double in order to get up to a level that is proportional to the population.
  • Route 1 is a high-frequency service that operates close to Ōwhiro Bay. Extending it to cover the suburb every second service, will not severely impact its frequency, but will provide more services to Ōwhiro Bay.

Recommendation 3: More Route 39’s
  • Route 39 is the peak-hours direct Route to Ōwhiro Bay. It currently sees 8 daily services, with four each in the morning and evening. This is the lowest frequency direct Route in the entire network.
  • Increasing the number of services of Route 39 will enable more residents to catch the bus to-and-from work.

 Recommendation 4: Consistent Route 29 Schedule
  • Currently, the schedule of Route 29 is between 20-60 minutes, leading to significant uncertainty about when the bus will arrive.
  • Ensuring a 30-minute frequency, will bring consistency and trust back to the main off-peak Route that services the suburb.

Recommendation 5: Removal of Short Runs
  • Route 29, has 4 services which start/stop in Island Bay, neglecting Brooklyn and Ōwhiro Bay. These services occur during morning peak and evening hours and cause lots of disruption to residents who might need to get to suburbs such as Newtown.
  • These “short runs” make no sense and only disrupt commuters. Removing them will ensure that all services of Route 29 complete their full routes.

Recommendation 6: Route 29 Loop Service
  • Currently, it is impossible to get a reliable journey into the city centre during off-peak hours. As Route 29 stops in Brooklyn, commuters are left waiting for Route 7 in order to transfer to the City, however, this is frequently unreliable.
  • Extending Route 29 to the Wellington Station, creating a loop service, will give constant and consistent travel options to the city centre for residents not just of Ōwhiro Bay, but also Brooklyn and Southgate.

Recommendation 7: New Brooklyn-Kilbirnie Route
  • In the current bus network, no bus route connects the southern suburbs with the eastern suburbs, despite this type of Route being considerably popular with Brooklyn, Ōwhiro Bay, and Island Bay residents.
  • Creating a route travelling from the Brooklyn hub to the Kilbirnie hub will ensure quick and direct access to the eastern suburbs for residents of the southern suburbs.

Recommendation 8: Ensuring that disproportionate Bus services can not occur in the network ever again
  • Having been ignored by Metlink, being victim to mass suspension and cancellations on a scale unseen anywhere else in Wellington City, and receiving vastly disproportionate levels of bus services when compared to other similar suburbs, the Bus service in Ōwhiro Bay is in dire circumstances.
  • Creating institutional remedies to ensure that this level of poor bus services can never happen again, will create a trustworthy bus network not just in Ōwhiro Bay, but throughout the entirety of Wellington City.

Why is this important?

Ōwhiro Bay is a growing suburb. Situated in the south of Wellington, it hosts a vibrant local community of 2,000 residents. However, Ōwhiro Bay receives the worst bus services in the entirety of Wellington City. Having once had a decent network, it has since spent the last 6 years deteriorating into a state where at the best of times, you’d struggle to have a wait time of less than an hour for a bus during the evening rush hour.

We want to see bus services return to the suburb, to a level where anyone can take a bus from our great suburb. As Wellington moves away from car-based transport, Ōwhiro Bay is being left behind. 

Metlink however, feels that everything is fine. Their metrics only account for demand but don’t take into account the impacts of cancellations, reduced services, or community opinion. Because Ōwhiro Bay receives, by their incorrect metrics, the bare minimum of service levels, they do not believe there is an issue. However, the numbers show otherwise. Ōwhiro Bay receives the worst level of bus services, relative to its population, in the entirety of Wellington City.

We believe, through the implementation of our eight recommendations, that the bus services in Ōwhiro Bay can improve considerably and return to levels that a suburb our size deserves. 

We want to see a good bus service in the entirety of Wellington, and it starts with getting better bus services for Ōwhiro Bay.
Ōwhiro Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

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2024-07-14 17:33:14 +1200

100 signatures reached

2024-06-27 09:17:38 +1200

50 signatures reached

2024-06-26 07:34:17 +1200

25 signatures reached

2024-06-25 17:19:56 +1200

10 signatures reached