Living in Herne Bay, I catch either the 004 or 005 bus into town each morning, and again either the 004 of 005 bus home again in the evening. There’s not much difference between the two routes, except that the 005 extends all the way to Westmere, whereas the 004 route terminates at Herne Bay. Here’s how the two routes compare on a map:Most of the Jervois Road buses are 005s, except for a few 004 services at peak hour. This is shown in the timetable below (with the 004s highlighted in red):

The question I have is “why on earth do we bother with the 004 route?” Going from the 004’s terminus on to Westmere only adds another three minutes to its travelling time, which means another 6 minutes for a bus doing that round trip. Not a huge different I would think. Furthermore, as well as the benefits of simplifying the route structure of bus services in this corner of Auckland, my experience in catching Jervois Road buses over the past year and a bit is that the 005s are far more popular than the 004s. So there could be some significant patronage gains by extending the route through to Westmere all the time.

Personally, I’d like the 005 bus to be extended all the way through to Pt Chevalier, and have its resources combined with those of the 045, but I guess eliminating the 004 would be a small step in the right direction.

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  1. Is this one of these philosophical questions – to which one could reply “What is the point of anything”?

    The real answer is that ARTA has never really been able to get it’s collective head around changing the status quo.
    Also are both these routes contracted?

  2. I think they are probably not commercial services, as even during peak hour there are not commonly standees.

    To clarify, I am not wanting the 004 services removed, I just think they should as 005s.

  3. Look at the timetable and it tells you why.

    004 arrival at terminus 0715 depart at 0715.

    To run to Westmere would require a 20 minute delay on the return from Herne Bay or another bus!

  4. Certainly the whole timetable would need adjusting, and it might require an extra bus. However seeing so many jam packed 005 buses and so many pretty empty 004 buses tells me something needs to change.

  5. The answer is it is proabably a hangover from some historical nuance, things seem very resistant to change in public transport routing even if the raison d’etre is long gone. You have the same thing here in Melbourne where many routes stop running just after 3pm on a Saturday, even though Saturday trading hours haven’t ended at 3pm since the early 80s!

    I can’t confirm but I’m pretty sure this is due to the fact the old trolley bus wires used to end at Herne Bay. So presumably they ran a diesel service in parallel out a little further… so the 004 is the old trolley route while the 005 is the old diesel route.

    Looks like they are still running two routes due to an infrastructural limitation that hasn’t existed since 1978!

  6. Nick R is correct that the trams/trolley buses did terminate at the intersection of Jervois and Herne Bay Rds, this is why there is the large turning circle there. Following replacement with buses they also used to terminate there until the mid to late 90s when the route changed and some of the buses went down West End Rd to Westmere.

  7. Probably some removal of duplicating services (with the 035 I think) could also happen if you extended all the 004s to Westmere. That way you wouldn’t necessarily need to dedicate more resources to the area, just better use the resources currently dedicated.

  8. With a timetable revision using the same resources you would probably see an increase in patronage. The 005 takes 16 mins longer on a return trip than the 004, which means that we can turn three 004s into two 005s.
    Like if you dropped the ten return 004s a day and replaced them with only seven new 005s you’d probably pick up patronage through making it easier overall and by extending some of the early morning runs to Cox Bay.

    I agree maybe chopping the 035 back to the termination point of the 005 could be a good idea, redistribute those resources to the new 005 or even join the two routes to make a loop (shhhh! don’t say the L word).

    Hell while we are at it dropping the 017 completely would be a good idea, using the resources to increase the frequency om the 005 and the 015 which it currently duplicates. Once an intergrated fare structure is in place there are a heap of low hanging fruit like these to be pruned.

    Actually I see looking at the Central Guide there is a very similar situation with the 024 and 025. At peak times they seem to terminate the route 850m short (the 024, stopping at West Lynn) of where it stops interpeak (the 025, stopping at Grey Lynn). I wonder of the point of that is to avoid peak hour traffic congestion on Great North Rd?

  9. Nick, the 017 only runs at weekends/evening – effectively putting together both the 015 and the 005 route into one. It’s a bit annoying as it takes a lot longer, although going via K Road and Queen street can be handy. So it doesn’t really duplicate the other buses, just complicates things.

    I dunno how necessary the 015 really is… the only part of its route that isn’t well served by other buses is Howe Street and Wellington Street. Both streets are not too far from other routes (either K Road or Victoria Street).

  10. Hmmm, sounds messy and confusing. Time to get the slate-cleaner out by the sounds of things.

    Another thing I noticed is that the Point Chev peninsula proper is only serviced by the two crosstown routes. You’d have to walk over 2.5km in some cases to get to Great North Rd to get a bus to nto the CBD (which is only 5-6km away). In a system where transfers are all but impossible, that means they have an extremely limited bus service.

    According to the census maps that is 2,800 housholds that are in the fairly unique position of having two crosstown routes on their doorstep but no radial route to the city!

    Maybe extending the 004/005s along Meola Rd would be a good idea then.

  11. The 045 route runs from the tip of the Pt Chev peninsula right into the CBD. However, extending the 005 to Pt Chev still makes good sense I think, as the 045 along Great North Road is duplicated by a million West Auckland buses, so therefore only really exclusively serves a tiny portion of Auckland.

  12. Ah, right you are… If you look at the central area guide the lines actually suggest the route crosses over the motorway and terminates at Mt Albert (if like me you are foolish enough just to follow the blue line and not to read the numbers properly that is).

  13. Bear in mind 005 services turn into the 035 from Westmere (and vice versa), so anything you do with 005 will affect 035. Alternatively turning the bus around at the Westmere shops might be an issue, but then they could always use the roundabout. But I agree, time this was looked at. Also the 005 from town should make use of the Albert St bus lane up to Wellesley, rather than getting stuck in traffic on Hobson.

  14. Cam, definitely agree on going via Albert Street rather than Hobson Street. Occasionally bus drivers use their initiative and do that anyway. But not often enough!

  15. Ok so if the two routes are effectively one why don’t they simply make them one looping route?
    And Hobson St? Why??

  16. When I first moved to Auckland in about 91/92 the 045 ran all the way from Three Kings to Pt Chev.

    I agree with others – ARTA needs to rewrite the routes in this area – clean slate time!

  17. Yes Jarbury – extend the 005 to Pt Chevalier and you could axe the 045 and the 004. Use the extra buses to increase frequencies along the new Pt Chev to town (via westmere) route.

    So when will Campaign for better transport start lobbying for this?

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