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FIT proposes two options for running both buses and light rail in central Wellington.


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The objective is a much-needed step-change in Wellington’s public transport, an integrated service using buses and light rail, as well as improved connections to rail. All are needed: buses alone have insufficient capacity, and light rail alone requires too many transfers.

The intention is to make the best use of each mode’s characteristics:

  • Fast, high capacity services on light rail, with time-savings sufficient to offset most transfer delays.
  • Fewer buses to relieve bus congestion, making remaining services faster and more reliable, but with little change to stops or walking distances.
  • Local bus services (such as Hataitai and Brooklyn) retained because transfers would unreasonably delay passengers.
  • Frequent bus services retained on the golden mile (say every two minutes), so that passengers needing to transfer can reach a hub with minimum delay.

FIT anticipates that integrated public transport in Wellington will facilitate greater public transport use, with corresponding benefits in fewer crashes and lower pollution, congestion and carbon emissions. A realistic goal in Wellington should be driving light rail demand to support a 5 minute frequency, 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week. From the Railway Station, light rail would reach the Airport in under 20 minutes.

FIT’s first option is for buses on the golden mile and light rail on the waterfront, with hubs at the Railway Station and Te Aro Park. A second option assumes that Lambton Quay will be pedestrianized between Whitmore and Willis Streets. Light rail runs on the western side of Lambton Quay (or on Stout Street), with a hub at Midland Park, then uses Panama and Hunter Streets to reach the waterfront and a stop at Frank Kitts Park. See Light rail and buses in the CBD.

Northbound buses stay on the existing route, but southbound buses take another route, on Johnston, Featherston, and Panama Streets to Customhouse Quay. New bus stops at Panama Street (about 100 m apart) replace existing stops between Willis Street and Farmers.

At Midland Park southbound buses stop at a realigned kerb, with the footpath on an enhanced existing path in the park. This allows space for bus and light rail platforms, as well as vehicle access for deliveries (on the same basis as in Cuba St, 10 am to 4 pm).

Apart from Lambton Quay, this option has little effect on existing traffic circulation. In most places narrowing lanes and removing parking will be enough. Other traffic modifications are:

  • No motor traffic on Lambton Quay, but with space for service vehicles as far south as Grey Street.
  • Panama Street’s existing use, taking motor vehicles off Lambton Quay, becomes redundant. A suggested new use is service vehicles coming down Featherston Street and turning either left to reach Customhouse Quay (northbound only) or right to reach Lambton Quay.
  • The existing seven lanes in Jervois Quay reduced to six. Light rail would need a width of about 6.2 m, partially offset by narrowing the remaining traffic lanes to a minimum of 3.0 m, with a central reserve retained. The stop at Frank Kitts Park can be moved into the park a little, to make room for platforms.
Page last modified 16 September 2017 at 06:59 PM