by Conor Hill
Bendy buses are not a solution to the long-term public transport problems plaguing East and South Wellington. But after years of consultation, this is one of two ‘solutions’ Wellingtonians may be stuck with.
The Dominion Post reported on Tuesday that Let’s Get Wellington Moving is considering buses as a rapid transit option. These would be flexible buses with a capacity of 100 to 120 people traveling in certain reserved lanes in the city but on a shared space elsewhere. In total, they would be able to move 1,500 to 2,000 people per hour.
This is the literal status quo.
We currently have buses in our fleet that can carry 100 people. They operate on a dedicated space in the city center and share the road space in other parts of the city. On our busiest suburban road bus sections, they already carry around 2,000 people, with 26 buses heading north past Wellington Hospital between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on a weekday morning.
We don’t need a multi-year investment program to deliver what we already have.
The only possible reason why this would be billed as rapid transit is to exclude it.
Our buses need investments and improvements. Good solutions have been presented elsewhere.
However, rapid public transport is not and should not go out for consultation as such.
Wellingtonians deserve better.
Good progress from LGWM on a choice of Mass Rapid Transit. Wellington residents will be invited in November to choose between light rail or rapid transit by bus. Which option will best offer quality public transport, urban development, reduction in carbon emissions? https://t.co/d7UVWnEUwF
– Roger Blakeley (@roger_blakeley) September 28, 2021