Ms Parkinson said the community council has been in talks with Metlink and the Greater Wellington Regional Council over the past year to introduce public transport to the east and west edges of Tawa – and the on-demand trial “is a very good start”.
She says large areas of Tawa are currently not served by bus lines for a variety of reasons, including the layout of the streets which makes it difficult to establish economically viable roads. “We have great commuter train service that runs through downtown, but it’s a long walk to the western and eastern hills of Tawa. Grenada North currently lacks public transport.
Ms Parkinson says the trial, which begins early next year, will offer people an alternative to walking or driving. “Obviously, it is in all of our interests to reduce the need for people to travel by car. “
On-demand public transport uses technology similar to carpooling, using an app to receive reservations, accept payments, and schedule pickup and drop-off.
Metlink says that in addition to better connections to rail services, it will also give passengers better access to major social and business destinations in Tawa and Porirua. The trial will use wheelchair accessible vehicles, giving people with reduced mobility a cost-effective option for local travel.
The trial will be made possible through Metlink’s partnership with international technology platform Via and existing bus operator Mana Coach Services.