Metlink passengers urged to ‘Plan Ahead’ this holiday season

  • Published Date 12 Dec 2023
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Wellington’s public transport network is receiving the gift of much-needed track and tunnel improvements this Christmas and New Year.  

Metlink passengers are encouraged to ‘Plan Ahead’ and allow extra time when travelling while the following changes are in place: 

  • All services will operate on a reduced Christmas and New Year timetable from 23 December to 8 January.
  • Buses will replace all rail services on the Hutt Valley Line, Melling Line, Kāpiti Line and Johnsonville Line from 26 December to 7 January.  
  • Buses will replace all services on the Wairarapa Line from 26 December to 14 January.
  • The Hataitai bus tunnel will close from 26 December to 12 January, with stop closures and detours in place for affected services.   

Metlink group manager Samantha Gain asks passengers to think of the temporary service changes as short-term pain for long-term gain.  

“The improvements we’re making to tunnels, stops, and stations across the region over a short three-week period will have long-term benefits for the wider network.  

“We encourage passengers to expect some delays, and plan ahead using the Metlink website or app when travelling this Christmas and New Year,“ says Ms Gain. 

Greater Wellington Transport Committee chair Thomas Nash says the festive season is the best time for the network to undergo maintenance and upgrades.  

“Metlink and its partners are making the most of the Christmas and New Year period to complete planned projects and upgrades to infrastructure and systems,” Cr Nash says.  

“We wish we didn’t have to have these closures over the holiday period. Ideally people could enjoy public transport on public holidays at the same level of service as a normal workday. But we have a mountain of renewal and maintenance work in front of us, so we just have to take the best opportunities we can to get stuck in and chip away.” 

“Metlink is also spreading the festive joy with free fares on Christmas Day, and off-peak fares on all public holidays, making travel more affordable as people get out and enjoy everything our region has to offer.”  

The planned network improvements include maintenance on the Hataitai bus tunnel, progressing the replacement of the signaling system at Wellington Railway Station, signal work for Plimmerton Station, upgrading the Fitzherbert Street-level crossing in Featherston, and renewing track inside the Māoribank tunnel. 

“I want to thank all of the public transport workers who helped provide 43,800,000 trips across bus, rail and ferry services this year. I wish them and all of our passengers a Meri Kirihemete and we look forward to bringing you more services on an improved network in 2024,” adds Cr Nash. 

Find out more about service changes and free Christmas Day fares.

Updated December 15, 2023 at 11:08 AM

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