Extra services to cope with peak transport demand
Auckland Transport is gearing up for the busiest time of the year on public transport.
Late February and March see an annual peak transport demand as tertiary students return for the academic year and fewer workers are on annual leave.
AT is putting on extra services on key routes to add to the additional capacity created by the New Network for bus services. The New Network across Auckland has simplified bus services and added more than 1700 additional trips a day in the past year.
Bus Services Manager Darek Koper says AT is now running 12,937 trips on a weekday compared to 11,200 this time last year.
"These extra trips will certainly help, we will also be running more extra large and double-decker buses on some key routes. We have recently added more double-decker bus services on Dominion, Mt Eden, Manukau and Remuera roads and other routes with 193 double deckers now in service.
"We have also identified some other routes which are going to be busier than normal and we will be using what we call 'banker buses' to help with capacity.
"The extra services introduced over the past three years mean we can cope with most of the capacity issues but some routes have grown faster than predicted so we will try to add some extra services where we can."
Mr Koper says, "Unfortunately there aren't many spare buses and we know that operators are struggling to recruit new drivers, so that will add to the pressure."
Recent bus service improvements include:
- Twelve additional trips for Onewa Road to address capacity issues
- A change to extra large buses for some school routes
- Addition of four double-decker trips to the Mt Eden 27T service
- Double deckers introduced on Remuera Road with banker buses redeployed to other routes
- Route 923/924 service change to extra large buses
- Adding extra large buses to route 83
- Rodney Local Board - the introduction of new Wellsford to Warkworth service
- Rodney Local Board - the introduction of new Helensville to Hibiscus Coast Station service
- Adding route 191 in the Blockhouse Bay, New Lynn and Rosebank area
Train capacity is expected to cope with the increased numbers travelling and additional ferry sailings have been added to the popular Hobsonville Point service.
Mr Koper says from today AT is doing daily monitoring to check capacity.
"We will be checking which routes may need more services and we will be moving buses around where we can to help with the demand".
"Unfortunately some buses will be full and passengers may have to wait for the next bus. On busy routes, if you can, travel outside the morning or afternoon peak. We apologise for any delays but we are doing our best to try to provide enough services."
Each school day Auckland Transport operates 12,937 bus trips or 82,422 a week that number drops to 12,489 a day or 80,043 a week during the school holidays.
On a weekday 120,000 people use Auckland's buses making 220,000 trips.