Metlink unveils plan to improve workforce conditions with new driver toilets

Posted: 20 February 2024 | | No comments yet

Metlink’s introduction of purpose-built toilets at key Wellington bus stops highlights a commitment to enhancing the wellbeing and working conditions of bus drivers.

Metlink unveils plan to improve workforce conditions with new driver toilets

Credit: Metlink

In order to enhance the working conditions and wellbeing of bus drivers, Metlink has announced plans to install purpose-built toilets at key bus stops across Wellington. The update on the new facilities will be presented to Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee on 22 February 2024, showcasing a significant step towards prioritising the needs of the workforce.

By June 2024, seven stops across Wellington will feature the new driver toilets, including:

  • Stop 4128/5128 at the Mairangi/Wilton terminus
  • Stop 4947 at the Highbury terminus
  • Stop 7338 at the Lyall Bay terminus
  • Stop 6937 at the Houghton Bay terminus
  • Stop 5332 at the Karori Park terminus
  • Stop 7241 on Darlington Road, Miramar.

Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair, Thomas Nash, emphasised Metlink’s commitment to advocating for the welfare of its drivers. “All bus drivers are entitled to the basics as they go about their workday, least of all an accessible toilet that’s pleasant to use,” said Nash.

Acknowledging the persistent issue surrounding the availability and standard of existing driver-only toilets, Nash expressed satisfaction in the steps taken to address the problem. “We’ll be working closely with our operators to ensure these new facilities are serviced on a regular basis to meet the needs of our drivers,” he added.

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The initiative is part of a broader effort by the council to proactively improve driver pay and conditions, aligning with a move towards greater public control and ownership of public transport, which will be part of the 2024 Long Term Plan consultation.

The update follows extensive consultation with bus operators on the design of the new facilities and collaboration with Wellington City Council to transfer ownership of existing driver-only toilets to Greater Wellington at no cost.

Currently, existing driver-only toilets are owned and maintained by Metlink, with cleaning and consumables provided by operators. This initiative signals a concerted effort to elevate the standards of working conditions for bus drivers, recognising their essential role in the transportation network and the community at large.

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