Wellington's public transport system continues to cause mayhem

A Wellington Labour MP says the city's bus services are so poorly run they should go back to being run by council.

Paul Eagle received hundreds of complaints from his south Wellington community and commuters are getting back in their cars, saying they've had enough.

In just five months, there have been more than 2000 bus services cancelled, more than 8000 late-running services and 6000 cases of buses being operated that are too small for the route.

Mayor Justin Lester says there's a shortage of 40 bus drivers. Commuter Dave Armstrong calls it a 'bustastrophe'.

"I used to be a heavy bus user but if I have to be on time I think twice about using the buses," said Armstrong.

"It's worse than ever before, I have to wait half an hour, 45 minutes to get a bus sometimes," said another commuter.

"There might be one no-show, that's 15 mins, oh, there might be one cancellation, so we allow one hour for a trip that would normally take 30 minutes," said commuter Liz.

Eagle said it is time to pull the contract from NZ Bus.

"My call is let's take those buses off NZ Bus, the regional council with the city's help can run them, so that means employing the drivers directly on decent wages, with decent conditions," he said.

He says the city council ran the buses for nearly 100 years without the problems we're seeing now.

The Regional Council told Newshub it has no response to Paul Eagle's suggestion, but it's fined NZ Bus for 17,000 bus trips not delivered to contract.

It's also requiring NZ Bus to appoint a new manager in Wellington to lift performance and meet contractual requirements.

It's not just the buses, there are on-going problems with trains too. 

"Due doesn't mean due with the railway anymore, it's a joke.  The website is useless. It still says it's leaving Khandallah and it's been doing that for 45 minutes," said one commuter.

Lester says it's disappointing Wellingtonians relying on public transport don't have a reliable service and that it's not up to scratch. 

He describes 17,000 fines being issued to NZ Bus as absurd, and suggests it might be time for the government to step in.