Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Former journalist gets the complaint data on bus changes

Public servant and former journalist Felix Marwick wanted to find out the volume and nature of complaints about Wellington’s new transport network, mainly because, he explained on Twitter (‪@felixmarwick) where he posted his findings, “My wife and I have had to give up using the bus service (as) we can’t rely on it to get to work and to after-school pick ups on time”.

His OIA request to Metlink about the response to the roll-out resulted in some interesting information.

Marwick found that between 15 July and 31 August, Metlink received feedback from 3760 passengers; 3664 were complaints and 95 were compliments.

For the same period in 2017, feedback was received from 730 passengers, with 675 comprising complaints and 55 compliments.

That’s a 414 per cent increase in feedback, and 442 per cent increase in the number of complaints.

The ratio of negative feedback also rose slightly, from 92.4 per cent in 2017 to 97 per cent in 2018.

Five routes were responsible for just over half of the complaints Metlink received in the first six weeks of its new network.

The most complained about service was Route 1 (Johnsonville West/Churton Park/Grenada Village – Island Bay) with 647 complaints (17.2 per cent of total feedback).

Next was Route 2  (Karori – Wellington – Hataitai – Seatoun) with 435 complaints (11.6 per cent of total feedback).

Route 7 (Kingston – Brooklyn – Wellington) was third with 319 (8.5 per cent of total feedback), and Route 3 (Lyall Bay/Rongotai – Kilbirnie – Newtown – Wellington) came fourth with 308 (8.2 per cent of total feedback).

Rounding out the top 5 was Route 24 (Johnsonville – Broadmeadows – Wellington – Miramar Heights) with 279 (7.4 per cent of total feedback).

Marwick noted that “The data does seem to match the sentiments expressed in news stories and on social media posts. People have been very vocal about routes 1 and 2.”