ARTA have notified quite a few changes to bus routes throughout Auckland. The changes are to the following routes:
Urban Express 104 and 105, Ritchies 945X, Metrolink 200, Metrolink 530, Metrolink 506, Metrolink 006, North Star 873, North Star 952, North Star 964, North Star 963, Go West 102 and 107 and Route 13F, 36F 98F.
Looking through the individual changes for each route (click the above link for details), they are generally routes which operate just a few times a day, but have more typical and frequent alternatives. Now while I’m not really a fan of cutting public transport services on principle, I am of the opinion that the current system of bus routes throughout Auckland is incredibly overly-complex, and what we really need are higher frequencies along a more simplified route structure. Most of Auckland’s more successful bus routes fit into that category – of offering a pretty direct services along a major corridor that runs at good frequencies throughout the day, particularly at peak hour.
So I guess I do kind of see where ARTA are coming from in rationalising the bus system in this manner. However, I do kind of feel as though for each service that is ‘rationalised’ we should get an additional service elsewhere in the system. With bus patronage growing, we shouldn’t be reducing the number of services in Auckland, but rather reallocating resources from where they’re not needed to where they’re more needed. In recent months it seems like it has been “cut cut cut” and we haven’t seen the expansion of services on routes that need such expansion.
So come on ARTA, give us some good news to go with the bad.