Wellington bus anger

Stuff reports:

Bureaucrats faced the wrath of some Wellington bus users at a meeting to discuss the city’s new, and problematic, bus network.

About 300 people were at the public meeting of the city’s southern and eastern suburbs on Sunday afternoon, at which officials were jeered at and abused by frustrated bus users. 

The new bus system has caused an outcry from those using it since it was implemented in July; driver shortages, a lack of route knowledge, no-show ‘ghost , overcrowding, IT malfunctions, and poorly planned timetables have seen the overhaul labelled a disaster.

The bus system before the “upgrade” was actually pretty good. Wellington has always been a public transport friendly city (as it is so compact). The WRC has managed to take a good system and turn it into a disaster.

GWRC chairman Chris Laidlaw and public transport general manager Wayne Hastie faced heckling from the crowd as they tried to state their case. Perhaps one of the biggest jeers of the afternoon came when Hastie suggested the service had improved overall during the past week.

But Laidlaw took the brunt of criticism. He was jeered at, shut down and abused as he addressed a number of issues.

Good on him for facing up, but elections next year could be pretty ugly for incumbents.

Former IT boss and Miramar bus user Joe Stewart told the officals the new network was a disaster and slammed GWRC’s excuses over malfunctions with its new computer system.

“If you’re putting in a new computer system there’s this great concept called testing,” Stewart said to loud applause. 

Not a new concept either.

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