Targeted consultation has positive results for Broadmeadows, Khandallah and Ngaio bus users
Proposed changes to Broadmeadows and Khandallah bus services have been modified, and now include a full seven days a week bus service for Broadmeadows, after targeted consultation with residents.
The changes, consulted on as part of the draft Regional Public Transport Plan last year, involved replacing the existing "loop" routes 43 and 44 between Khandallah and Strathmore, with simpler, consistent "there and back" bus routes between Khandallah and the city.
Paul Swain, the Regional Councils Public Transport portfolio leader, says the complex, long, one way bus routes 43 & 44 are the most unreliable on the Metlink network with a high number of complaints from passengers. "Monitoring has found that 52% and 62% of trips are late running on routes 43 and 44 respectively. Travel times on the route 44 can vary by up to 25 minutes."
More than 120 submissions were received from residents of Khandallah, Ngaio and Broadmeadows who were particularly concerned about reduced off peak services for people who lived around Lower Onslow Road and longer travel times for residents in the eastern area of Khandallah around Homebush Road. Broadmeadows bus users raised concerns around the bus capacity proposed at peak times with some requests for a direct service bypassing Homebush Road as a means of reducing the number of people who could use this service.
"A public meeting, held in July last year, agreed to hold two workshops involving volunteer resident and bus user representatives and Council staff. These workshops developed three options for change. The options were distributed to 5,500 households in Khandallah, Ngaio and Broadmeadows. From the more than 500 responses received, a clear option emerged. This involves a Khandallah west / Ngaio route starting at Khandallah Village and a Broadmeadows / Khandallah east route starting at Johnsonville. The current Ngaio route 45 peak hour only service will remain unchanged.
"This option will give Broadmeadows a full seven days a week bus service for the first time with better access to local centres at Johnsonville and Khandallah Village. More frequent peak hour bus services would be provided to Broadmeadows to ensure there's sufficient bus capacity."
Cr Swain says the positive outcome is a great example of what can be achieved with targeted, focused consultation. "We acknowledged the specific concerns and worked through them with the local communities, and we've now got a really positive result."
He said the proposed new services, part of a new Wellington City-wide bus network, were planned to be introduced in 2017 when the new bus operating contracts come into effect. "However, given the significant issues with reliability on the current routes, we're exploring the possibility of bringing these particular changes in earlier. Watch this space."
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