Wrapped in distinctive local art the bus is an essential part of the COVID-19 response in Wellington’s Hutt Valley and is the result of a collaboration between Metlink, Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust, Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs, and Te Awakairangi Health Network.
Mana Newlands CEO Craig Chin said the company was proud to play a small part in keeping the community safe.
“Public transport is all about people serving people and we are passionate about making transport more accessible for everyone, so it’s a logical extension that where we can chip-in to support a great initiative making vaccinations more accessible we’ll do so,” Craig said.
Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher said the Delta Buster is a timely addition to the fight against COVID-19, building on the free travel to and from vaccinations that Metlink already has in place across the entire region.
“We want to make getting a COVID-19 vaccination as easy as possible for people across the region. Since Monday 20 September, passengers have been able to hop on board any of our Metlink bus and trains for free as they head to and from their vaccination appointments.
“We’re now proud to offer up our support for this targeted effort in the Hutt Valley. The Metlink team have been working with the health providers and local artist John Kingi to make sure this bus stands out as it makes its way around the community,” Scott said.
Teresea Olsen, General Manager Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust said the Delta Buster will help raise the profile of vaccinations with whānau in the Hutt Valley.
“We know that it’s hard for some whānau to get around and make appointments so we want to take the leg work out for them with this mobile based service. Having a uniquely Hutt styled bus should help give us visibility in the community and encourage more people to get vaccinated,” Teresa said.
Hutt Valley residents can call 0800 926 257 to find out where and when the Delta Buster will be in operation.
Metlink is also offering free return trips on its bus and train services in Wellington to all passengers travelling on the day of their vaccination appointment who can show their booking confirmation and date either on paper or their devices. Passengers unable to use buses or trains are encouraged to contact Metlink directly on 0800 801 700 to arrange community transport to and from their vaccination centre.