ZB

More than 1000 buses cancelled in week as Covid-19 pressures Wellington's public transport

Author
Vita Molyneux, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Jun 2022, 1:23pm
More than 1000 buses have been cancelled this week. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
More than 1000 buses have been cancelled this week. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

More than 1000 buses cancelled in week as Covid-19 pressures Wellington's public transport

Author
Vita Molyneux, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Jun 2022, 1:23pm

More than 1000 buses have been cancelled in the last week as Wellington's bus network creaks under the pressure of Covid-19 coupled with a driver shortage.

Since Monday 20, 116 bus services have been cancelled – mostly in Wellington city. The highest number of cancellations in a single day came yesterday when 270 buses did not manage to complete their route.

Metlink general manager Samantha Gain says Metlink has been actively working with its staff to try and ensure services continue, and when this is not possible, to actively let commuters know.

"Customers are encouraged to check the Metlink app, website and bus stop RTI for up-to-date cancellation information," Gain said.

She added that the mass cancellations stem from the on-going issue of Covid-19.

"They result from a combination of the ongoing nationwide shortage of drivers and the impact of Covid, which has caused illness among drivers and operational staff resulting in absence and a required period of isolation from the workforce."

It's the latest woe for the capital's public transport network. Last week, commuters were jammed on to trains "like sardines" when a train fault meant all services on the Melling line were cancelled.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Daran Ponter said the situation was bad.

"People were literally jammed in like sardines on some trains this morning just to make the journey into town because we were only running one in three trains."