Bay of Plenty MP weighs in on bus issues

File photo.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller is voicing his frustrations alongside parents whose children use the current bus system to get to school.

Todd says buses are great when they work, but in this case they don’t seem to be, and unfortunately that undermines our communities’ trust in our public transport system here in the Bay.

“My office has been inundated with emails, calls, and Facebook messages over the last few days about recent changes to the bus network. There is a real sense of frustration and it’s clear that the service is not delivering to the expected standard.

“I’m hearing from the community that there have been cancellations of direct services between Maungatapu and the CBD. That it’s now one a hour trip from Papamoa to Tauranga Hospital requiring three bus transfers, and that bus drivers on the new ‘free school bus scheme’ are charging school students for their fares because they simply aren’t aware of the new policy.

“With indirect routes we are having children and the elderly having to make connecting buses, which don’t always seamlessly connect. For some this can be intimidating or confusing.”

Todd says this is entirely unacceptable from a safety perspective to have situations where kids are missing connecting busses or aren’t being collected and are being left on the roadside.

“Working parents simply don’t have the time, or ability, to be driving across town to collect their kids at rush hour.

“If the Regional Council, and the Government, are serious about encouraging people to get out of their cars and on to public transport then this needs to be urgently addressed. At the moment the reality is falling well short of the rhetoric.

“Perhaps part of the reason traffic congestion is so bad in Tauranga is that our local network doesn’t deliver for locals.

“Council needs to review this issue at their meeting on today as a matter of priority. I’ll be keeping a close eye to ensure our community’s feedback is given a fair hearing,” says Todd.




6 Comments

Don't blame the busdrivers !!!!!

Posted on 09-02-2019 09:02 | By savedbygrace

Everybody is only complaining about the new schedule which is totally understandable. Its a mess! But stop blaiming the bus drivers!!! They just do their (not easy) job and in addition have to carry all these complaints on their shoulders. They are the ones who get blamed from morning to evening! People shouting and yelling at them. I advice the public and the guests to complain at the right places! Second advice: Talk to these bus drivers and find out, if the former service was that great!!! You will probably be very surprised listen to them. Being married to one of the most well behaved, patient and wonderful busdrivers in this city - I could tell you story after story and Road Ranger would be very surprised to listen to me! Please stop yelling at the busdrivers!!!! Bless them and the people who are causing this mess!

Preferred old bus system

Posted on 09-02-2019 08:23 | By Kancho

The new bus routes on number 1 routes make all the journey I have previously done more time consuming with transferring bus and longer route to return home so I have largely returned to using the car . Pity but guess that’s the way it will be

NZ Bus

Posted on 08-02-2019 18:07 | By davidt5

This is a company which will promise anything to get a contract. Once the contract has been awarded the bus company forgets all of the promises which had been made. They set the lowest price for the contract and experience from other cities in NZ shows that they then give the poorest service. Should you ring to complain the phone gets "accidentally" disconnected. Very poor customer service is the norm for NZ Bus. The Regional Council staff who awarded this contract should be sacked as they sat starry eyed in their council office wearing their best pink glasses knowing from other councils in NZ that they were making a decision which was guaranteed to go wrong. But hey they got the cheapest price. The bus company gets paid in full regardless whether the bus is full or empty.

bring back the original (local) operator

Posted on 08-02-2019 17:18 | By CC8

There were no problems with the original operator either ( Tony Lugg) Bayliner Buses. Bayline built the whole thing from nothing between 2001 and 2008, keeping the pricing down and barely breaking even only to have it all kicked out from under them , as soon as it looked like a profit was in the offing.... Stupid short term , narrow minded vision from a Regional Council more concerned with votes than logic.

Buses a complete mess!

Posted on 08-02-2019 12:28 | By jed

The bus company does not even know where their bus stops are located (staff unaware of bayfair closures). Their website is out of date (although I see they have now updated it after i complained), they don’t announce bus stop closures under their service announcements. Recently my kids were waiting nearly an hour for a bus to arrive (it should have been a 20 minute wait), then two buses just drove by and neither stopped for my kids. Why don’t the buses have an app showing gps locations like uber? Because they are incompetent and living in the dark ages!

Bring Back the Previous Operator

Posted on 08-02-2019 11:22 | By Road Ranger

We did not have this problem with the previous bus operator. They ran a very good service, their customer service was excellent, buses were clean and they fulfilled their contract with the Regional Council right to the end. Why fix something if it ain’t broke!!

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