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Services added, seats removed in bid to salve bus woes

Metlink have added extra peak-time services to two of the main Wellington bus routes, as well as removing seats from buses to increase capacity.

The extra services will run on routes 3 and 36 from Lyall Bay through Kilbirnie and Newtown to the Railway Station, and on the No. 2 route between Karori and Seatoun, via Hataitai.

Both services are operated by NZ Bus.

The frequency of peak services on these routes is currently supposed to be every ten minutes, but Greater Wellington Regional Councillor Daran Ponter said that ideally these will be reduced to a seven-minute wait.

The move comes after the controversial decision to remove seats from buses as a way of boosting passenger capacity.

Ponter told the NZ Herald earlier this week that the removal of up to eight seats on buses was “uncivilised in terms of the way that Wellingtonians are used to taking the buses” and plans to table a motion for the return of the seating at the GWRC’s next Sustainable Transport Committee meeting on 19 September.

However, the chair of the regional council’s transport committee, Barbara Donaldson, told the Herald that standing on buses was part of the new design, and “will become more normal”.