Leaky Bus Shelters: Wellington’s 20 Year Plan


We’re not the only bus commuters fed up with those leaky Adshel shelters.

Back in September, I blogged about how I was drenched while sitting in a shelter downtown waiting for a bus and by the time a bus arrived “I looked like a wet-soaked homeless trying to bludge a ride. “

So it’s good to see Greater Wellington Regional Council  looking at the issue, (although only because it’s forced to for financial reasons) . The  soaking of passengers is no doubt even worse in the capital’s harsher climate.

The Adshel deal is attractive to councils, because it saves the council thousands  while the company balances the provision of shelters with being able to reap the advertising spots.

In Wellington, the council has had to only install four or five bus shelters a year in suburban locations of greatest need in the city, while in five years  Adshel has rolled out 150.

Adshel has now virtually called  a halt to any new shelters with a council report saying that “unfortunately, the opportunity to leverage further off the Adshel contract has evaporated in the wake of significant resident opposition and the downturn in the economic climate. Neither does the GWRC have resources to increase their commitment to a higher number of bus shelter installations.”

But the report admits that in the long run, this is in commuters’ good.

“An advantage of the city allocating its own funding for bus shelters is that it has control over the attributes of the bus shelters. There has been some criticism of the Adshel shelters not providing adequate shelter for Wellington’s weather conditions.

“With a purpose-built shelter that makes no compromise for advertising, these shortcomings can be minimised. The disadvantage is, however, that the council must meet the full cost of the bus shelter and ongoing maintenance.”

The council estimates there are 400 shelters needed.

The council says it will take 20 years to fund completing bus shelters on all inbound bus stops city-wide. Quite frankly, that’s far too long. And while it makes business sense to not have to have the building of bus shelters on the council books, it’s surely part of building a decent public transport system.

Imagine is Auckland had to wait until McDonalds came through with the money for a new railway station to be built!

How on earth will you encourage public transport if passengers spend the next two decades getting drenched in a Wellington gale before the bus arrives?

A Wellington council committee meeting next week will consider the council rolling out shelters on 50 of the highest priority sites in the next two years, and then to continue installing shelters in conjunction with bus priority measures on the key bus routes, which is expected to take ten years.

The cost estimate is $250k per year, for the first two years, and then 10 shelters per year, for 10 years at $100k. Thereafter, to complete the rest of the network in the following ten years, at an estimated 25 shelters per year, at a cost of $250k per year.

So the rollout will take a couple of decades but the council says this will give the residents a chance to ensure the shelters meet their street environment.

Let’s urge the Auckland authorities also inspect the city’s bus shelters before winter sets in. They’re the leaking building issue no-one is talking about and addressing.




  1. joust says:

    Perhaps we’d get a station in Balmoral if McDonalds could build it. They seem so desperate to open a restaurant there. Not sure how it’d connect to the railway lines though!

  2. Kiwipom says:

    still trying to figure out why it costs $10,000 per bus shelter!!!! its only metal, glass and wood for the seating, plus concrete for the floor and labour to erect and they don’t take that long or shouldn’t anyway

  3. Al says:

    Lets be honest the Adshell shelters are really advertising hoardings masquerading as bus shelters … having used them for the last few years in Auckland I am still yet to see what they shelter you from.

    The wind ? No they leak like a sieve, only way to stay dry is by using an umbrella in the shelter and are open to all elements
    The sun ? No turn into glasshouse in summer good for a tanning session but not waiting for a bus ….

  4. Al says:

    sorry that should have been wind/rain …..


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