It’s interesting to see that people are still ignoring the signs that say Grafton Bridge is for buses only. A NZ Herald article explores the issue further:
Lucrative bus lane
New bus-only lanes on Grafton Bridge have helped swell Auckland City Council coffers by $1.7 million since they were introduced in December.
More than 11,000 drivers have been stung for using the bridge between 7am and 7pm, when both lanes of the central city bridge are reserved for buses.
A senior councillor admitted the signs alerting motorists to the change were inadequate.
“The signage needed to be upgraded, without doubt,” said transport committee chairman Ken Baguley.
“I’ve suggested to officers that, with the benefit of hindsight, you’re not alerted to the fact that it’s a bus lane very well.”
I’m surprised the number is that low actually. The one time I caught a bus across Grafton Bridge, on my way to the opening of the Newmarket train station, there was someone on the bridge taking photos of cars travelling across it when they shouldn’t have. In the mere time it took the bus to cross the bridge I saw three or four cars travelling across it in the opposite direction. A cool $600 of revenue in just a couple of minutes.
While obviously it’s important for the signs to be clear, I think that the high number of people crossing the bridge in their cars does show a bit of contempt for public transport amongst car drivers in Auckland. Hopefully the $150 fine is useful ‘education’ for them. I also wonder whether the hours of operation for the route being bus only (7am-7pm Monday-Friday) confuse some people into thinking that it’s OK to cross when it isn’t.
From another perspective, it’s quite a useful source of funding for council. Maybe once we have the Super-City operational we’ll see that funding going back into public transport services.