Wellington, you're doing buses wrong

Wellington are ditching the trolley busses. Cool. I’m not too worried about that. And they’re going to do some awesome things like one fare per complete journey. Sweet.

This part of the article got me though

“Getting people out of their cars and on to public transport would reduce emissions even further, but the public would not jump on buses unless they were frequent and reliable, she said.”

People don’t avoid the bus because it’s unreliable. More often than not, it’s fine.

I live in Island Bay, which has a good bus service. But I still drive to work everyday for one simple reason - cost.

A bus trip from Island Bay to town costs $5 each way using cash, adding up to $50 a week. Paying with Snapper is only $10 cheaper. And that’s just to and from work, for one person.

I pay $40 per week for a 24/7 dedicated park in town, which is obviously the same as a week with Snapper, but the flexibility is worth far more than the extra ~$30 or so I’d save on petrol. Obviously there’s car maintainence and things, but my car is going to be road legal whether I drive it to work or not, so that’s a non-issue.

Want to get people like me to get out of our cars and into buses? It’s simple. Make it cheap enough that the hassle is worth it.