KAPITI BUS SERVICE CHANGES

ISSUES AFFECTING PUBLIC TRANSPORT USERS

The long awaited extension of the Wellington passenger train service to Waikanae, whilst very welcome, has brought a range of problems to residents living and travelling within Kapiti.

The new train service to Waikanae appears to mostly benefit commuters to Plimmerton and south. This is due to changes to the bus services now that trains are running the route between Waikane and Paraparaumu. Simultaneous changes to the bus timetables for Paraparaumu and Raumati have also posed problems to users.

The majority of the problems are faced by those travelling between Otaki and Waikanae to Paraparaumu and return. The problems are mostly around passengers now having to use two modes of transport for one trip, as against the previous one mode of transport per trip.  Whilst we are representing the age group 50+, these problems are also having very negative impacts on a wide range of the Kapiti population.

Of particular concern are issues around:

  • An apparent lack of understanding by GWRC at the nature of travel within the Kapiti District – requirements for shopping, medical appointments, visiting friends etc.
  • A lack of understanding that Paraparaumu township is the hub. A large number of our members travel to Paraparaumu purely to do their shopping at Pak’n,Save as this is cheaper than other supermarkets (Otaki and Waikanae members use their super goldcard to travel to Pak’n’Save Paraparaumu). There are also the larger “bulk” retail, stores such as the Warehouse, Briscoes, Number 1 Shoes, Farmers etc. The shopping trip also becomes their “social day out”.
  • Access for elderly, disabled and parents with children/prams etc – struggling on and off two modes of transport compared with previous one mode.
  • Ability of school children to travel safely between Paraparaumu and Otaki, and to arrive at school on time every day and return home in the same manner.
  • The fare structure of the dual mode transport for Waikanae and Otaki to Paraparaumu travellers is for cash fares only, and gives no recognition of those who have used the likes of the Mana smartcard for discount fares. It will now cost more to use this than the cash fare.
  • Reduction in bus services via Coastlands – last buses depart at 2.48pm. Whilst we appreciate that this is within the SuperGold Card timeframe, this is only for those aged 65+.  Our membership is for those aged 50+. This reduction in service limits all public transport users to do their shopping at convenient times. Many mothers may need to take their children shopping after school.
  • The reduction in services across the Kapiti District from previous half hourly for all services, then to hourly with a split of services running on the hour and half hour, and now to the new “service” of hourly only. This reduction in service is to a District that is one of the fastest growing in the country, has a high proportion of elderly and other low income households (who would be higher users of public transport) and is fast approaching city status.

The above outline the main issues of concern to our members.  However, we are well aware of ongoing problems for school children travelling from Paraparaumu to Otaki, and the dangers posed to them through having to change from train to bus at Waikanae.  These issues are:

  • Young children having to change from train to bus at Waikanae.
  • Trains are often late and the bus has already left for Otaki, leaving children stranded.
  • Children have returned home as they cannot get to school, missing out on school days, and parents have had to leave work so children are not home alone.
  • Waikanae Station manager has driven children to Otaki, not part of his/her job
  • Parents are now trying to accompany their children to Waikanae so they can ensure their safe arrival at school.
  • Parents were promised that the bus service had instructions to wait for late trains. This instruction not advised to all drivers, plus there is a limit to how long they can wait due to timetable demands.
  • This has been ongoing since the service changes, with no satisfactory resolution

We understand GWRC’s position of not running competing services on a route, i.e trains and buses between Waikanae and Paraparaumu. However, this train service is geared mainly for longer trip commuting and is proving to not be beneficial to local travel within the Kapiti District, and the needs of these transport users.

We also question this stance being applied to Kapiti, when there are other bus and train services on the same route, for example Churton Park buses go to Johnsonville Station then into town and return via the station before doing the Churton Park route.  Surely with all the problems impacting Kapiti transport users, this side by side policy should not apply.

We have summarised the main issues of concern on the following table. We welcome the opportunity to have frank discussions about the impacts of the service changes on our membership and the wider Kapiti Community.

 

Trevor Daniel               Betty van Gaalen                                     Helene Donaldson
President                      Local Body Affairs Spokesperson           Secretary

Service

Service Prior to Waikanae Trains

Service Following Waikanae Trains

Impacts on Passengers (Customers)

Otaki to Paraparaumu Bus from Otaki to CoastlandsSingle transport mode Bus from Otaki to Waikanae Station, Train to ParaparaumuWalk from station to Coastlands/PaknSave etc and back A physical struggle for elderly, disabled, people with pushchairs and young children having to embark/disembark 2 transport modes and walk from station to shops.Have to carry shopping from PaknSave and Coastlands to P’rm Stn and on/off 2 transport modes.If train is late, miss connecting bus at Waikanae Stn.Return ticket price – costs no more than the previous return cash fare price.
Paraparaumu to Otaki – schools Bus from Paraparaumu to Otaki for schools, particularly the sole  Maori education providersin Kapiti Train from P’rm to WaikanaeBus Waikanae to Otaki Young children travelling.Safety issues of having to catch multiple transport modes.Late trains means bus connections are missed. Children stranded in Waikanae.
Waikanae to Paraparaumu Waikanae bus circuit to Paraparaumu station, one transport mode Waikanae bus circuit to Waikanae Station, Train to P’rm A physical struggle for elderly, disabled, people with pushchairs and young children having to embark/disembark 2 transport modes.Have to carry shopping on/off 2 transport modes.If train is late, miss connecting bus at Waikanae StnReturn ticket of $7.00 cash fare. Penalises those who have a Mana smartcard and used to receive the discount on the fare. Not everyone travels on Super Gold Card.
Waikanae Circuit Ngaio Road Bus stop outside Countdown supermarket (also used by shoppers at Waikanae Village, library and Health Centre) Ngaio Road bus stop deleted.  Buses depart Waikanae Station This service change creates huge negative impacts for Waikanae bus users:
-Shoppers must lug shopping over busy SH1 to station or along Parata Rd to next bus stop.-Health Centre patients also faced with lengthy walk to above bus stops.-No cover to either above stops – exposure to adverse weather elements.
Paraparaumu Stn toParaparaumu Beach and Raumati Beach Buses every half hour (one each on the hour to P’rm Beach and Raumati Shops, and one each on the half hour via different routes) All buses leave P’rm Station at quarter past the hour. Reduces ability to travel to P’rm Beach and Raumati shops, pool etc to every hour.If train late, miss all connections and have an hour to wait for next connection.
Coastlands Stop Final buses depart PaknSave bus stop at 2.48pm Very limiting service cut and makes it difficult for those who have shopped at PaknSave to struggle over to the station