An overnight bus trip ended up being the journey from hell
for passengers travelling from Wellington to Auckland this
morning. Photo NZ Herald
An overnight bus trip has turned into a night from hell
for 37 passengers on a Naked Bus trip from Wellington to
Auckland this morning.
They were forced to wait in the cold for two hours when their
bus was overwhelmed with fumes between Turangi and Taupo at
Eventually a Tranzit bus took them back to a BP petrol
station near Turangi, where they tried to sleep on the cold
floor for another hour until another Tranzit bus came to
resume the trip to Auckland.
Then the Tranzit bus blew a tyre at Tirau at about 7.30am and
they had another hour in the cold while the tyre was
The bus is finally due in Auckland at 12.30pm "barring
further incident" -- more than six and a half hours after it
was due at 5.50am.
Passenger Jonah Park, a postgraduate law student at Auckland
University, said many passengers were workers who would be
late to work today.
"There are mechanics and nurses and a lot of other people,"
"Quite a few passengers have been sending emails overnight
but there has been no contact, no replies. Naked Bus as a
company isn't taking care of the situation at all.
"Many of us here are saying we won't travel Naked Bus again.
Mechanical failures and things like that are one thing, but
having no respect for passengers, that's kind of appalling."
Naked Bus owner Hamish Nuttall told the Herald the company
was now contacting all passengers to apologise and offer them
a full refund plus a free trip in the future.
"Last night, the overnight service from Wellington to
Auckland had a mechanical failure which meant that the bus
had to be replaced. As it was at night, it took some time to
find a replacement vehicle which had to be sourced from
Palmerston North," he said.
"Unfortunately the replacement vehicle then suffered a flat
tyre. This delayed the service further.
"Naked Bus takes reliability extremely seriously. We have a
preventive maintenance programme in place, and we monitor all
mechanical issues. It is extremely unfortunate that one
service suffered two unconnected but serious issues.
"We would also like to thank the driver, who has been
complimented on his handling of the situation by passengers."
Naked BusThe cut-rate bus company, founded by Mr Nuttall in
2006, has had a succession of problems. A driver was sacked
last year after allegedly refusing to stop to let a young
woman go to the toilet, forcing her to urinate on the bus. In
April another Wellington to Auckland bus ran out of fuel in
Cambridge because the driver had slept in that morning.
Mr Park said he paid the full price of $20.50 for his ticket
last night. Although some others had paid as little as $12,
he said the series of mishaps had been costly in lost working
hours and other costs.
"A lot of us had to buy coffee and eat meals and things like
that just to keep ourselves warm," he said.
"Having said that, there are some real cool people on the
bus. The driver was not at fault."
By Simon Collins of the New Zealand Herald