Wellington bus cancellations are starting to ease after some peak services were axed, despite more than 3000 services not showing up for the third month in a row.
The city has been struggling to cope with a shortage of at least 60 bus drivers, which has been exacerbated by a wrangle over the collective agreement between the Tramways Union and NZ Bus.
That was resolved last week when union members accepted a new collective agreement from bus operator.
In response to the shortage, a new reduced peak-hour bus timetable came into effect on July 25 for some services in an effort to provide more certainty, instead of commuters waiting for buses that never show up.
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New data released by Greater Wellington Regional Council shows 482 fewer cancellations on Tranzurban services in the last week of July since the timetable was introduced, compared with the month's first week.
Despite changes to the timetable Tranzurban dropped most services, cancelling 2342.
Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said they are monitoring the performance of the new timetables as drivers and passengers get familiar with the changes.
"We're starting to see early signs that the timetable changes are having the intended effect. Since the introduction of the new timetables, Tranzurban services have seen a 4.2 per cent reduction in cancellations."
Overall, there were 3350 cancellations across Wellington's bus operators, down from the record breaking 3572 services cancelled in June.
Even though the timetable for NZ Bus is yet to be re-jigged, the operator cancelled 47 fewer services between the start and end of July.
"This is due to our ongoing work with NZ Bus to stabilise services and comes ahead of timetable changes that are designed to bring even more certainly to passengers in the coming months," Gallacher said.