Ms Parkinson says the Community Board has been in discussions with Metlink and Greater Wellington Regional Council over the past year in a bid to introduce public transport to the eastern and western edges of Tawa – and the on-demand trial “is a really good start”.
She says large areas of Tawa are not currently served by bus routes for a range of reasons including street layouts which make it difficult to establish economically-viable routes. “We have an excellent commuter rail service that runs through the centre of town – but it’s a long walk up the western and eastern hills of Tawa. Grenada North at present lacks any public transport.”
Ms Parkinson says the trial, which starts early next year, will give people an alternative to walking or driving. “Obviously it’s in all of our interests to reduce the need for people to commute by car.”
On-demand public transport uses technology similar to ride-hailing, using an app to receive bookings, take payments and schedule pickup and drop-offs.
Metlink says that in addition to better connections to rail services, it’ll also give passengers better access to key social and retail destinations in Tawa and Porirua. The trial will use wheelchair-accessible vehicles allowing people with limited mobility a cost-effective option for local travel.
The trial will be made possible through Metlink’s partnership with international technology platform Via and existing bus operator Mana Coach Services.