Fare strike suggested as Wellington commuters vent about new bus network

by Emma Hatton / 13 August, 2018

Residents at the Newtown Community Centre meeting protesting the new bus service. Photo  / Emma Hatton

Fed up Wellington bus passengers should consider not paying their fares in protest at the capital's revamped public transport network, a community organiser says.

It's been four weeks since Wellington's public transport system was overhauled, with new routes, new drivers, new fares and a whole raft of new problems.

Initially, the regional council said there were just some teething problems, but since then a host of meetings have been scheduled and a promise by the council that things might change.

More than 100 people packed out the Newtown Community Centre last night at a meeting for commuters to come together and vent.

Mother of three and Newtown resident, Kayte Fairfax, said she had not taken the bus since the changes came into effect on 15 July.

"I've got a three-year-old and 18-month twins. You say, 'maybe two changes are okay but three's a bit much' - no way can I take three kids and stand in a bus stop or a hub with a shelter or no shelter, keeping three young children safe while we do a little change-over.

"I would challenge the regional council to think about this in terms of equity and who isn't able to come to public meetings and who can't catch the buses anymore."

Post it notes outlining problems commuters have with the buses. Photo / Emma Hatton

Four councillors attended the meeting, to listen.

Go Wellington bus driver Trish Fenaughty said her first week driving under the changes was the most stressed she had ever been.

"I felt like, I need to get [commuters] on, because I know there's a limit on how many buses come through here so everybody was getting on and then I had a 24-year-old faint ... maybe a panic attack. So I'm sorry to those of you who get crammed on."

She said she had to take the afternoon off, during that first week, due to stress.

Meeting organiser Kara Lipski. Photo / Emma Hatton

Event organiser Kara Lipski said she set up the meeting so people could come and share stories and to feel like they were not alone.

She said with the support of bus drivers the public might hold a fare strike.

"The reason why I have suggested the fare strike action is to actually just put [the regional council] on notice that we're not going to go away.

"If we don't see a return to the bus service that we had, then there will be action taken."

The next meeting, hosted by MP Paul Eagle, will be held on 26 August.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

Daffodils is a charming, bittersweet and tuneful piece of Kiwiana
103864 2019-03-22 16:20:19Z Movies

Daffodils is a charming, bittersweet and tuneful p…

by Russell Baillie

Aren’t pop musicals meant to be all sweetness and light? No, not if Daffodils is anything to go by.

Read more
Bill Ralston: The keyword is tolerance – even of those we disagree with
103852 2019-03-22 12:37:05Z Social issues

Bill Ralston: The keyword is tolerance – even of t…

by Bill Ralston

Neither evasive nor hate-filled words are needed in the Christchurch mosque-killings aftermath.

Read more
How young New Zealanders are demonstrating their inclusiveness
103832 2019-03-22 09:47:50Z Social issues

How young New Zealanders are demonstrating their i…

by The Listener

Kiwi students provide an inspirational example of how to embrace diversity in the wake of – and even before – the Christchurch attack.

Read more
I never thought I could be in danger over my beliefs – until Friday 15 March
103824 2019-03-22 00:00:00Z Social issues

I never thought I could be in danger over my belie…

by Fatumata Bah

I heard the stories and anecdotes of racism faced by my fellow sisters in hijab, but it was never at the forefront of my mind every day.

Read more
How to enhance your dining experience – with water
103174 2019-03-22 00:00:00Z Dining

How to enhance your dining experience – with water…

by Metro

A stunning dining experience isn’t just about food and wine. Water plays a big part too.

Read more
Facebook won't give up its insidious practices without a fight
103856 2019-03-22 00:00:00Z Tech

Facebook won't give up its insidious practices wit…

by Peter Griffin

Facebook came under fire for its response to the live-streaming of the Christchurch terror attack, but it's digital nudging that's also concerning.

Read more
In photos: The world unites in solidarity with Christchurch
103800 2019-03-21 15:36:46Z World

In photos: The world unites in solidarity with Chr…

by Lauren Buckeridge

Countries around the world have put on a show of solidarity for the victims of the Christchurch terror attack.

Read more
The tangled path to terrorism
103777 2019-03-21 09:59:55Z Psychology

The tangled path to terrorism

by Marc Wilson

The path that leads people to commit atrocities such as that in Christchurch is twisting and unpredictable, but the journey often begins in childhood.

Read more