Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Sick of the problems, or sick of hearing about them...

Please note that this is only my opinion, and is not one that reflects any person or company.

58 Cancelled buses... On a Sunday... Dave Armstrong...


The Stuff article in question, which can be viewed here, was posted on a Facebook Group I am part of, regarding Wellington buses. The conversation about it consisted of some people who were rather tired of hearing about the failures of the bus network. And rightly so; the amount of media attention this has had since it's creation is large, and the media, with people like Dave Armstrong with Stuff, or on wellington.scoop.

This is where I come in, with my opinions and all, so brace yourselves!

One person was rather miffed that Tranzurban were being beaten by the media based on one single day, of what I call "Failure".

If we were to read this article knowing nothing about what Commuters have had to put up with over the last nearly 12 Months, we would be wondering as to what all the fuss is about.

But the problem is that we didn't have our blinders on, like the GWRC did and still does.

We were affected first hand, like the drivers, by this new network and it's rollout.


Unfortunately, something called a "Track Record" exists, and the major bus operators have a pretty poor one at that.

And that's the problem. Some people wonder why all the hate because of one day of failure, but you have to look at the companies track record, and then it might become a little clearer.


Time for me to be honest. I like NZ Bus, it's as simple as that. They operated buses, under the name of Valley Flyer in my area, the Hutt Valley, since Cityline was sold to them in 2005. I liked my local operator, like many bus enthusiasts probably do. There are those who like GO Wellington, Mana/Newlands, Uzabus, Tranzit etc. And I have no problem with that, no beef with them. I may not like the operator that they do, but that's personal preference!

I'll use Valley Flyer as an example for a comparison:


This isn't a detailed comparison, but just things that I can definitely answer from the top of my head.

One thing that I discussed with a "fresh" (Not working for NZ Bus prior) Tranzurban driver last friday, was Maori Wardens on buses. Valley Flyer had an agreement with Maori Wardens for them to be present on late night buses to try and prevent any trouble.

Tranzurban have no interest in having Maori Wardens on late night buses. So much so that when one of their local drivers was robbed, they were defenceless. Not only that, but Comms told her to continue her shift!

Let's be honest, the Hutt Valley ain't no safe haven, and Maori Wardens on buses make sense in a place like this. So it's a shame that TU don't want them there. Many drivers wouldn't mind them on the L8 Nite Buses.

I've been speaking to a few TU drivers thanks to my travels, and I remember one telling me what it was like working for TU after hearing from ex-Valley Flyer drivers.

She explained it like the company was a pretty girl. Good looking and all, but she was cold as stone on the inside. Not a company I would want to work for. Probably a reason why I saw this driver chatting with a 145 (Belmont) driver, and they were still wearing their Valley Flyer get-up!

I better wrap this up, but it's not a glowing endorsement from a fresh driver that they wouldn't recommend working for a specific company...

It all comes back to that explanation. It looks great from the outside (New buses, drivers, none of the old stuff holding them back etc. But when you dig deeper, you see a company that wants to get their contract done with little thought for the drivers...


Just an opinion...