Councillors Chris Darby and Richard Hills
Better bus services coming to the North Shore next month
North Shore will have a new bus network from 30 September, which will be simpler and better connected with more buses coming more often.
The new network being implemented by Auckland Transport includes a second Northern Express, the NX2, which will take customers from Northern Busway stations to Wellesley St and the city centre universities every 5 minutes at peak-times, and every 10-15 minutes at other times.
Connections to local destinations will also be improved. There will be better access to North Shore Hospital, a service linking Albany Station and Corinthian Drive, and Beach Haven residents can look forward to getting to Glenfield using a single bus, via Kaipātiki Road.
North Shore Ward Councillor Chris Darby sees this is a turning point for bus services in the North Shore, “We’re looking at the horizon of the biggest step-change in bus access for Shore residents.
“We’re pushing go on improved services to universities and North Shore Hospital, a new cross-Shore link, frequent ferry feeder buses and much better connections from neighbourhoods to town centres and the busway.”
Fellow councillor Richard Hills says the popularity of local bus services is on the rise, “In the past three years, the monthly seat capacity of the three major North Shore routes (Onewa, Takapuna to the city centre, and the Northern Busway) has increased by 460,000 seats.
“This new network will respond by increasing services even more, with a 45 per cent total increase – that’s huge! This is a big win for people who face challenges of full buses, or want a direct service from Beach Haven to Glenfield and Takapuna.”
Cr Darby agrees, “Not only will users receive better services, but they’ll do so in next-level comfort, travelling on brand-spanking new buses. The wave of bus users is getting larger by the day as Shore residents swap congested car travel for frequent and reliable bus access. With the new network rollout, this wave will become even more popular.”
Auckland Transport’s Network Development Manager, Anthony Cross, says, “The existing North Shore network can be confusing. Some services do different things at weekends or off-peak and depending on when people travel, they may have to take different services from different stops to reach the same destination.
“The New Network is more straightforward. We’ve designed frequent, more direct bus services that connect to busway stations and shopping centres, where you can easily transfer between services to access more destinations than ever before.
“To make these improvements we’ve had to reduce the number of routes that run all the way into the city centre, so for some journeys, a transfer will be required. But the increased frequency and connectivity of the new network will give many people reduced waiting times and increased flexibility.
“We’re also running out of suitable space for buses in the city centre, so we need a more efficient bus network. A higher proportion of the services that come into the city centre will use double-deckers and the Northern Busway.”
North Shore households will receive a brochure detailing the changes in early September, and there will be a series of public information events. Korean, Chinese, and accessible versions of the brochure will be available from the AT website.
Consultation regarding the North Shore New Network took place in 2015, and 2279 responses were received which contributed to the final network design.
A few AT school buses will have route changes from Term 4. AT will provide affected schools with detailed information.
Warkworth will also get a new bus network and Hibiscus Coast bus timetables will change from 30 September 2018.
Visit at.govt.nz for more information.