05 November 2008

Commuter mode in Wellington

Wellington is friendly to commuters; it has a network of buses that ply major thoroughfares on a regular schedule so you can visit the city even if you don't have a car. It has trains as well that service major towns, with the central station at Wellington City itself.

You will find these signs along the roads where you can flag down the bus. On the post itself is the approximate time you can expect the bus to arrive. I can say the times indicated therein are quite accurate. Some stops even have benches and shade to protect you from the wind. They weren't kidding when they said Wellington is the windy city!

Here comes the bus! We belong to Zone 3; it costs $4.00 to reach the city, in half an hour or so, a little under an hour til Courtenay Place, which is the last stop also in the city. You can also buy a bus card. It's $20.00, but $10.00 is credit you can use. It's also great having a card because you get 20% off , so it's $3.60 to the city. When you no longer need the card (you're moving, for example), you can return the card and have the $10.00 refunded (provided it's still in great condition, that is).Here in New Zealand, the driver is also the conductor. So when you step up, inform the driver where you will go and hand over your cash. See the contraption to the left of the driver in the photo below? Place your card on top of this after announcing your destination. In both payment modes, you get a receipt printed out. You can also buy your bus card from the driver.
Don't forget to say "thank you!" to the driver when you alight!

And then there's the train station. Use of the train is being encouraged. For one thing, it cuts back on emissions. Many stopovers have parking areas so you can park your car and board the train for the rest of your trip to work.

This is the central railway station at Wellington.

Previously, we had the impression that trains were cheaper than the bus. But when we boarded one in going back to Johnsonville, it cost us $4.00 each! Kids 4 years and below ride the bus and trains free of charge. One of the stopovers is shown below. Most are simple platforms.
Emote moment in the train :-)


  1. Hi, Watson! Based on your story and photographs, I can see that New Zealand is a nice place to stay and well-organized in any way.
    I'll wait for more of your posts... :)

  2. Dodong: Kumusta! Nice seeing you here!

  3. Pre, ayos magkalapit na lang tayo....dalawin kita dyna one of this days or dalaw kayo dito sa brissie.

    Goodluck mate!

  4. Tanggers: thanks mate! Naghahanap pa ako ng work. Hopefully soon para tagayan mo ako! :-)

  5. It all looks very well organized!

  6. sidney: that it is! their website, metlink, can even provide you with information on how to schedule your itinerary given bus, train, and ferry options!

  7. Sana ganyan din ang Pilipinas.

  8. Sana ganyan din ang Pilipinas.

  9. Wow, ang linis ng bus! Walang sulat galing sa pentel at bolpen!
    ^ ^;

    Blogs updated. :D

  10. jho: Ang maganda dito, may mga bus stop na sinusunod. Sa atin, kahit saan pumara, ginagawan ng paraan. Kahit sa gitna ng kalsada, sige! ahuhuhu

    meowok: actually may malaking problem rin dito on vandalism. Tagging ang tawag nila. But not on buses. Sa walls madalas.

  11. that bus looks a lot like the ones in hongkong... as in..

    may exact time rin what time the bus will arrive..

    sana nga.. ganito rin dito satin. good luck! can you imagine:

    to lawton: 945 am, 1000 am, ect. wahahah! darating yan an hour after

  12. Anonymous12:58 pm

    Wish everything was as good as you say it is. Late buses, often resulting in two buses on the same route arriving at the same time after a long gap, buses pulling out on passengers as they try approach the bus, buses not arriving at all, seating for waiting passengers a long way from where the bus pulls in making it difficult for the elderly or disabled (that's if the bus is even accessible to them as many of them are not.)

    And that's in Wellington city, try commuting to or from Wainuiomata when the train is late or from there when the bus runs early - see link to my blog- I am having problems updating it but the situation is basically the same as it was in 2006!

  13. Dessagirl: I guess it's because they both have British influences?

    wncommuter: thanks for dropping by my blog. I am speaking from the viewpoint of somebody who comes from a place where buses come and go as they please and stop wherever they want to, so experiencing the bus system here is quite a treat.

    I have recently been made aware of some problems related to the buses though, such as errant drivers and the buses seemingly too big for the streets but personally, about the only glitches I have experienced were those I mentioned in this post and some delays for a couple of minutes.

  14. Unfortunately, I have just experienced my second "bus driver with attitude" just yesterday, May 10. Actually it was directed towards a fellow passenger (who is incidentally Filipino) but I felt like answering back just the same.

    It was a Newlands Coach bus scheduled for the 3:55 stop on Johnsonville. The bus was late for 10 minutes. We just met the Filipino who was riding the same bus (a mother with 2 kids) at the terminal but was not able to chat much because the bus finally arrived. So we were on our way, and when we were turning to our street, we mentioned that it was already Cortina and the lady, who looked like she was thinking about something else, glanced out and pressed the stop button. Unfortunately, it was not yet her stop; she was dropping off on the same second stop we were. So the driver stopped the bus and the lady immediately apologized to the driver.

    The driver's temper flared and he said he was already running late and he was going to be even more late and then he added, "What's the matter, you don't know where you live?", then mumbled and finally said "s**t" very audibly.

    As if that lone error for which the passenger immediately apologized was the cause of his tardiness! Really rude. He was wrong on all counts to lash out like that. Inspite of this fact, she and my wife thanked the driver when we all alighted. I just kept my mouth shut because my wife and son were with me and I was really all fired up to cause a commotion. But it was still foul play and I really want to let this out and so here it is!

  15. OMG! I don't what to do if I were in your shoes....


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