Wellington commuter buses have faced "heavy delays" on key routes, as the already-struggling network is further tested by school going back at the same time as industrial action begins.

There were problems last week with the new timetables, routes, and buses, following Tranzit taking over most of the region's services.

Today more strain has been piled on, with 50 bus drivers taking part in industrial action through Hutt Valley.

The drivers will only work eight hour shifts, instead of the 14 hours they claim they're being pushed to work.


A Metlink spokesperson said there had been delays on the number three route from Lyall Bay, and services from Miramar.

While there have been few official updates, Metlink is responding to frustrated Wellingtonians on Twitter.

The company admitted there had been "a very high volume of feedback via all channels", and heavy delays on certain routes.

Customers were told part of the problems were bus breakdowns, and previous trips running late and causing a knock-on effect.

Previously, Tranzit managing director Paul Snelgrove said the strikes shouldn't have a significant impact on the system.

He said they would ensure they had the drivers they needed to get people where they needed to go.

But Greater Wellington regional councillor Daran Ponter said it was a big day for the network.

He said the bus system would be under pressure as it dealt with the same number of commuters as last week, as well as dedicated school services, and driver shortages.

He said they would prioritise school buses this morning, and were endeavouring to avoid dropped services.

"Not only do we have all the commuters who were on the network last Monday, but we've got all the school kids and the need to provide dedicated services to those children.

"Parents and kids can help by getting to their stops a little earlier, just to make sure that kids are connecting with the right services."

With Wellington's bus network already struggling for the past week, some commuters are losing patience.

There's little information about the strikes and possible outages on the Metlink website, with customers on Twitter being told the operator wasn't sure which services would be affected.

Some Wellingtonians have taken matters into their own hands in recent days, offering lifts to bus customers stranded at bus stops with no bus in sight.

Metlink responded to one complaint that an elderly woman was left at a bus stop for an hour in the cold on Saturday, when there was supposed to be a bus every 20 minutes.

The Metlink spokesperson said they'd logged a complaint, and agreed it should never have happened.

Parliament's Speaker has even waded into the Wellington bus strike.

Trevor Mallard delivered a serve to two former Labour parliamentary colleagues over today's industrial action.

He told Greater Wellington regional councillors Paul Swain and Chris Laidlaw in a tweet, that they'd both failed in their basic duty to protect low income workers.

"Time you got off your backsides, showed some integrity and sorted your mess out".