New bus stop 700 steps too far

New bus stop 700 steps too far

Peter Evaroa sits down to discuss his disappointment around the bus route change, outside his flat on Rintoul Street.

When a man’s nearby bus route is changed there’s not many places he can get to while gripping a fine-polished walking cane.

Rintoul Street resident Peter Evaroa is “pee’d off” by the  proposed plan to change a bus route in Berhampore, to be implemented in July.

If approved in April, the route would bypass Rintoul and Lavaud Streets, and would instead run down Russell Terrace.

Bus stop route 22 currently sits directly outside Evaroa’s home, and would move 350 metres – changing its name to 29.

“I have osteoporosis, which affects my hips and back – I cannot make it all the way to the new bus stop,” he said.

Evaroa said he would have hitch a taxi to get into the CBD.

“I barely have enough money for a taxi, only a few dollars left a week!”

He believes the change is cutting off access for the elderly too. “There’s a lovely 70-year-old lady here and she loved her tours on the bus!

“She must walk much further now, and with a walker it will be very hard.

“It’s a huge difference for people with disabilities!” he said.

Evaroa said Rintoul Street was a very populous area, and a lot of people would suffer from the change.

“Imagine in winter, it’s pissing down and all these people will have to walk all the way to the bus stop on Russell Terrace,” he said.

The change would see two new bus stops installed on Russell Terrace at the expense of eight on-street parking spaces.

Residents were concerned that Russell Terrace was too narrow for bus stops. Douglas Campbell said, “cars are already having to stop and give way to each other”.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Chris Laidlaw said it had similar problems all over the city and fixing the issue was “the art of the impossible”.

“Without buses that can fly, we’re going to have to work with what we have. You have to take in all the factors. Some people like bus stops right outside their house, others don’t.

Laidlaw believed it would involve installing “thousands of bus stops” if they helped everyone.

“We’re equally upset that we can’t cater for everyone,” he said.

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