Taking the bus to get to work, to school or an appointment should be a mundane part of daily life, but for some Wellingtonians it's been the stuff of nightmares.
This time one year ago commuters were trying to make their way home on day one of Wellington city's disastrous new network rollout.
In July 2018 politicians never imagined they'd be giving interviews today reflecting on the chaos.
The situation has been called many things, but a frustrated commuter's description of the network as being a "lasagne of failure" particularly stands out.
It got so bad Greater Wellington Regional Council chief executive Greg Campbell cleared his schedule for months to focus exclusively on sorting things out.
The network ended up before the Transport and Infrastructure select committee and has become part of the case for a government review of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM).
It has turned into a subject that will either make or break some politicians' careers.
The bustastrophe has hurt Wellington's reputation and blown confidence in public transport, which couldn't have come at a worse time considering the city is now embarking on a $6.4b transport plan that puts mass rapid transit front and centre.
Changes have been made to the network and the situation has eased considerably, but a year later there's still work to do.
The Herald asked Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) for performance data from June 2019 to compare it with the month before the network rollout.
Council 'breathtakingly arrogant' over Wellington buses
'Lasagne of failure': Wellington's bus network slammed
A spokesperson directed the Herald to Metlink's website, which is now publishing monthly data, but the month of June is yet to be made available.
The most recent performance numbers are explained in documents provided to the latest select committee hearing over the bus saga.
GWRC reported network performance had been stabilised.
Overall on time performance for the bus network reached 92.5 per cent in May, with a target of 95 per cent.
But break that figure down and it's obvious Wellington City's network remains the problem child.
The East, West and city areas are the worst performers in the punctuality department, sitting at 89.2 per cent for May.
It's the same story in those areas for reliability, which is sitting at 96.7 per cent for May. Although it's noted that figure was adversely affected by cancellations due to a union AGM.
The poorer operational performance on that "East-West spine" translates to continuing discontent in communities like Karori, Strathmore, Miramar and Kilbirnie.
To provide the level of service it aspires to for Wellington City, GWRC points to proper bus priority measures and sufficient driver numbers as the answer.
But the report to the select committee did show growing use of the network, the majority of which came from Wellington City where boarding increased by 6.3 per cent for the month of May.
GWRC chief executive Greg Campbell puts that down to some of the good things to have come out of the new network.
There are 45 per cent more services at weekends now, 26 more suburbs have more regular off-peak services, there are free transfers, better tertiary and accessibility concessions, and new buses including double deckers and electric vehicles.
GWRC doesn't have the best track record with public meetings over the bus network, although it has improved dramatically since the early days.
The most fiery of those early meetings was one held on a crisp September evening at Karori West Normal School.
The suburb of Karori is not to be underestimated. One only has to look to Victoria University's former Karori campus as an example of just how strongly that community can rally over issues it cares about.
It didn't fail to disappoint over the buses - cue the "lasagne of failure" comment.
Seething commuters lined up one after another to take the mic and voice their woes to a hall packed with hundreds of people.
The sticky notes set up around the room for them to write their suggested improvements on seemingly got lost in the noise.
But those meetings were important for one thing, providing a platform for some much-needed venting.
Now, one year on from the new bus network rollout, there's another round of meetings.
At first glance it's easy to understand why people might question the need for them when they've been telling the regional council what's wrong for months.
But the difference between these meetings and those from the months immediately following the network rollout is they are part of a planned review network and are not being scheduled on the fly.
They hold the promise of structure and a clear method for how the information will be collated and assessed.
These drop-in sessions start in the Eastern suburbs, then move to the Southern, Western and Northern ones.
Wellington City Council soaks up a lot of the mainstream media attention in the region but the new bus network shoved GWRC into the spotlight.
Some elected members stepped sideways into the shadows of the stage wings, while others stood under the glare to take the heat.
As mentioned, following the network rollout there were a series of public meeting organised and hosted by a range of people, including city and regional councillors and local MPs.
GWRC Sustainable Transport Committee Chair Barbara Donaldson and Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw copped criticism for not showing up to all of them.
Journalists also had a hard time getting hold of the pair for comment on stories and quickly turned to the deputy chair of the Sustainable Transport Committee Daran Ponter for comment.
Soon enough the regional council communications team was pointing journalists to Ponter too.
It's difficult to say which way it's going to swing for the councillor who fronted the bustastrophe.
Ponter's name could be tainted by the fiasco when voters turn out for this year's local body elections, or his hands-on approach to the issue could work in his favour.
There's speculation Laidlaw will be hanging up his boots this year, although he's yet to publicly confirm or deny those rumours.
Any elected members who don't put their hat in the ring for another term will face public scepticism they're just washing their hands of the bus disaster.
But it's important to note that while they may have got the bus network terribly wrong, there are other things they've got right during their time steering the GWRC ship.
The bus fiasco couldn't come at a worse time for the city.
The Let's Get Wellington Moving transport plan has set aside $2.2b for mass rapid transit.
GWRC has been charged with looking after public transport in the city for decades, but it's the last year that's fresh in people's minds.
In light of that, asking the public to trust GWRC to run such a significant public transport network will be a hard sell.
Just last week mayor Justin Lester mooted a regional transport authority to manage Wellington's transport assets.
National List MP Nicola Willis saw that as a vote of no confidence in GWRC's ability to deliver transport measures.
Whether it's light rail or trackless trams, that system will rely on what's become known as the dreaded "hubbing".
Hubbing is another word for transfer.
In London, the Tube for example is so seamless commuters find themselves tapping their feet impatiently if they ever have to wait more than five minutes for their switch.
But in Wellington hubbing was so unreliable Councillor Ponter called for a "hub busting exercise" to eliminate as many transfers as possible.
Luckily, mass transit is a few years away yet so the LGWM team will have the benefit of the dust settling before pitching its hub model.
They also have the benefit of the lessons learnt from the new bus network rollout, like what a good idea it is to actually have all of the hubs built before pressing the green button.
'Thank you driver'
One of the biggest hurdles to fixing the new network is addressing the city's driver shortage.
The current driver recruitment campaign aims to get between 60 and 80 drivers on board over the next three months.
Meanwhile some drivers are in their own battle, a year down the line the Tramways Union is still in negotiations with Transurban over a collective agreement, although one has been signed with NZ Bus.
Then there's the Government review of PTOM, which Transport Minister Phil Twyford blames the driver shortage on.
Bus drivers are also waiting for the implementation of new paid rest and meal breaks.
In April a transition period of 12 months was negotiated following fears the new rules could not be implemented without cancelling thousands of bus services across the country.
GWRC will not be able to implement any changes to the new network which require a reschedule of driver rosters, additional drivers or additional vehicles for months because of the driver shortage.
But even once the new network is ironed out it will have little breathing space with Let's Get Wellington Moving at full steam ahead, triggering the biggest changes to the city's transport network in decades.