Wellington bus drivers have voted to strike indefinitely.

Drivers will walk off the job on October 23, and stay on the picket line until the Tramways Union and bus operators can settle a collective agreement.

Union Secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said it's been a long time since Wellington drivers have thought about industrial action.

"1996 was the last time we did anything, and even that wasn't on this scale."


O'Sullivan said there's no date set for a meeting between operators and the union - and he has no idea when he'll hear from them.

"I'm expecting we will. I hope we will! It would be pretty silly to not touch base with us, but who knows."

Tranzit Group Managing Director Paul Snelgrove said he understood about 233 drivers attended the stop work meeting today and only 29 of these were from Tranzurban.

He said bargaining has been under way for some time and is ongoing between Tranzurban and the union.

Snelgrove said he understood all NZ Bus services were cancelled today and Tranzurban was the only operator covering services in the city.

"This included providing an extra service to transport more than 100 passengers from Miramar to the city on a route we are not contracted to operate."

Snelgrove said Tranzurban covered 98% of its services across Wellington city and Porirua and 87% across the Hutt Valley.

He said continuing to get on with providing the most reliable and efficient bus service possible wis their number one priority.


"The majority of our drivers are happy and we are going to continue to work damned hard to keep them happy."

The dispute between the union and bus operators comes after an overhaul of the city's public transport with the new bus network labelled a fiasco. Regional councillor David Ogden said he was concerned about the relationship between bus operators and the union. He said it was fractured.

"People should come together and act as adults, as grown up people and even talk to each other. The players have very long histories of success."

Ogden said there was a place for courteous, logical and meaningful discussion on everything rather than division.

"There are always problems in transition but this one, everything that could go wrong has just about gone wrong and I for one am very sorry about the situation."