Today Auckland Transport their biggest consultation yet for the new bus network covering both Central and East Auckland. Being the largest consultation it will also run the longest with submissions open till 10 December. The previous consultations have been for South Auckland, West Auckland, Hibiscus Coast – which rolls out in a few weeks, Pukekohe/Waiuku and most recently the North Shore. Like with the rest of the New Network the focus goes is on getting more out of our existing bus resource by creating a simpler, connected network that has greater frequency.

Central Auckland

Central Auckland already has some of the best bus services in the region thanks to much of the area originally being designed around trams. The New Network turns up the dial on buses in the central area really showing what a frequent connected network looks like. To put things in comparison, the confirmed or consulted on networks for the North, South, East and West have two or four frequent routes (running at least every 15 minutes, 7am-7pm, 7 days a week) whereas the central area has 15 including a few frequent crosstown routes. This is shown below.

Central Proposed New Bus Network

I’m not an expert on the bus routes in Central Auckland but a few things that are immediately noticeable:

  • There are a number of frequent crosstown routes. This will make it much easier to get locations on the other side of the city without having to go through the CBD.
  • The Outer Link – now the Crosstown 4 – has been cut open runs between the Mt Albert and Onehunga via the city.
  • I know Patrick will be happy his 020 route no longer takes odd detours around Freemans Bay so will be much more direct.
  • The 32 route appears to be an extension to one in the Southern Network and so would go from Mangere to Glen Innes via Otahuhu, Sylvia Park and Panmure.
  • Like the other new network maps, this one is considerably more legible, the current map is shown below.

Central Existing Bus Network

One big issue is how the new network will move around the central city. Over the coming years the whole area is going to be in a state of flux thanks to the construction of the City Rail Link however AT have included this map in the consultation.

Central Proposed New Bus Network - CBD

The biggest alarm bell to me the retention of buses eastbound on Victoria St. That’s because previous studies all pointed to Wellesley St being a dedicated bus corridor with Victoria St largely turned into a Linear Park. My understanding of the reason for the change is that it’s a compromise after the University strongly objected to having buses use the ramp between Wellesley St and Symonds St thereby going past their new building. I get the impression they care more about being able to show off pretty pictures to compete against other universities overseas rather than how their students actually get to their campus.

I guess one thing is that if AT build light rail it would address a lot of the problem as would get many buses off that Wellesley St route.

Victoria St Linear Park

The maps below show just how much the networks will change. For Central Auckland it is Sundays that will get a massive boost.

Central Bus Network - change

East Auckland

In East Auckland the changes are a little less dramatic and the focus of the frequent services is on trips between Panmure and Botany or Howick. What is also harder to see is that some of the routes south of Botany aren’t shown much as they were consulted on as part of the Southern Network. There are a few things that spring to mind when looking at this map.

  • There is no frequent service between Botany and Manukau.
  • I wonder if the person/people who decided on where to locate Flat Bush ever thought about how buses would run (I doubt it)

East Auckland Proposed New Bus Network

Here’s the existing map.

East Auckland Existing Bus Network

Here’s the map of the changes which also happens to show parts of the network from other areas e.g. South Auckland.

East Auckland New Bus Network changes

There are quite a few open days that will happen in both Central and East Auckland so if you’re interested make sure you check them out.

Lastly related to the new network, recently I got to have a quick look at the first double decker bus that Howick & Eastern have purchased to run one some of these routes – NZ Bus are buying some for a few of their routes too. It was pure coincidence as I noticed it parked up on my way home. These new ones are quite nice both inside and out and it will be good to see them out on the network.

H&E Double Decker
Double Deckers soon to be running in East Auckland
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123 comments

  1. Hmmm, I’m actually not too surprised about buses being sent one way along Victoria and Wellesley Streets (as it has already been happening for a while now with New North and Sandringham routes), and at least Uni students using Dominion Rd buses will no longer have to go all the way down to the St James to catch their bus. I do wonder what this means for the linear park though.

    On a more selfish note, i’ll be somewhat sad to see the 011 from St Lukes to Onehunga go but since we’d already had a preview of the Central consultation several months ago on this very blog, I’d already come to terms with that.

    1. Oh, I also just noticed that Manukau Rd buses through route to Mt Albert via Ponsonby, Herne Bay and Pt Chev instead of the Remuera buses doing that. Interesting.

      1. yes it’s an interesting idea which seems reasonable. Provides a direct connection between Auckland’s inner western suburbs and Newmarket/Epsom etc, which would seem useful for work/school/retail trips etc.

        1. Yes, I saw on the consultation page that the rationale for Crosstown 4 is to keep the busiest part of the Outer Link as one continuous route which makes sense.

    1. Not true Geoff:
      Mt Albert to Orakei by train via the city: 2 zones
      Mt Albert to Orakei by bus via the city: 2 zones
      Mt Albert to Orakei by crosstown bus: 1 zone

      So its the same with bus and train, except there is an effective subsidy by taking a slower crosstown bus route that doesn’t go via town.

      1. 3 zones Nick. AT have previously confirmed every zone boundary crossing counts.

        The crosstown route in my example looks to be about the same distance/time. The point is, fares between two locations should be the same on all services that link those two locations. Really, they should just do away with the CBD zone. It’s small and unnecessary, and acts essentially as a fee for entering the CBD rather than as a practical zone.

        1. Two zones – you’re confusing zones (new fare system) with stages (current/outgoing system). The fare is the sum of the different zones you travel through, not the number of zone boundaries you cross.

          Isthmus Zone then CBD zone then Isthmus zone again is two different zones.

        2. It’s the number of zones Geoff, not number of borders you cross. Going in and out of the same zone only counts as one zone.

          Also I’ve just had someone suggest that unless you actually tag on or off at a station within a zone, the system won’t be able to count it. That makes sense as the card doesn’t know what trains you are riding, only where you tag on and where you tag off.

          That would suggest that a rail trip where you transfer at Britomart without leaving the station won’t count the city zone. So that means Mt Albert to Orakei by rail via the city would be a one zone fare, same as the crosstown bus.

          I disagree that travelling between two points should always cost the same, I think there is a good case for it to be more expensive if you choose to take a route or mode that uses up more resources or is expensive to deliver. I do think crosstown and local routes should be cheaper than the radial trunks.

          You don’t seem to get the point of the city zone at all. The point is to intentionally add another zone to trips to the city, to makes other trips not going to the city cheaper. If you didn’t have the city zone (which makes almost all trips to the city a a fare of two or more zones) then the single zone fare would have to be higher to avoid losing money on all the trips from the isthmus to downtown. That means your local suburban bus up to the shops would need to cost the same as commuting from Onehunga to downtown.

          The city zone keeps local trips cheap. If you want a the basic one zone fare to cost $4.50 instead of $3 then removing the city zone is the way to achieve that.

  2. If buses continue running via Victoria Street then Bowen Ave and Waterloo Quadrant will need bus lanes along their length, this is a point of major hold ups as it’s usually completely congested with SOVs heading towards the motorway. I recall someone saying a while back that AT were’t bothering as buses would be removed from there, with that not happening it would seem to me that AT should now be revisiting that. In fact, I can only see it getting worse i the short with the CRL works as people will head east to get onto the motorway and try and avoid the Western side of the city.

  3. Anyone know if there is a way to check travel times on the new routes?

    I’m in Royal Oak and it looks like most of the existing 3-something-something buses will be replaced by the Crosstown-4. The route into the CBD is quite different between Newmarket and the CBD.

    I would like to work out if it would be noticeably slower to stay on the Crosstown-4 through Parnell or would I be better to change at New Market and jump onto another bus into the CBD via Khyber Pass or the train to Britomart.

    On another note: Queen St. will look a bit different without no buses other than the City Link.

    1. There’s currently only the City Link using Queen Street and the AirBus which isn’t shown on the matt above and will continue to run on Q Street.

        1. haha d’oh yes I wasn’t even thinking about Queen Street up there! With the buses gone from there that area will need some serious road reduction it’s currently 6 lanes wide.

          1. This is a HUGE place quality win. So long as AT quickly get out there and widen the footpaths, or at least throw some planters down and rent the space to the nearby hospo biz. They may want to just do something cheap and temporary as this is bang on the LRT route. But what a great resource!

    2. Russell, in answer to your original question, I did a search on the AT the journey planner for routes between bus stop 7203 277 Broadway Newmarket and Civic since that is probably the best way to try and attempt to work out journey times for your particular route at the moment. To my surprise it appears that the Outer Link (the Crosstown 4 will replace the Outer Link between Newmarket and Civic) at 805am is currently scheduled to take only 20 minutes between 277 and the Civic whereas the 302 at 8:06am takes 24 minutes.

      (I also checked google maps which gave a time of 12 minutes for the Outer Link and 25 for the 302 but this to me seems a little too optimistic!)

      These journey times may vary somewhat due to time of day but during peak at least it seems that the Crosstown 4 route via Parnell may actually work out being slightly faster than the current route. Of course someone else might be able to confirm whether or not this time for the Outer Link is actually realistic.

      1. (Comment continued as post a bit too long)

        I also tried to work out how long it will take buses going via the hospital to get between Newmarket and the Civic as no buses will go the entire length of Khyber Pass once the New Network is in force. These seem to work out to be around 20 minutes (if one does two separate searches for Newmarket and the top of Wellesley and then top of wellesley to Civic) so about the same as going via Parnell.

        Hope that helps!

  4. I still don’t understand why so many of these buses go down Wellesley street which means it is a good 10 minute walk to get to down-town. We are spending 2 billion dollars to fix this issue for train users, why is it considered acceptable for bus users? Couldn’t they all go down Albert street or something?

    1. But Albert Street is getting *dug up* in the next years. This will be the New Network for now – after the CRL is finished (at least in the downtown area, i.e. in 2-3 years), they can look at those routes again. But no use telling people “route X will go along Z” and then next year say “Haha, fooled you – we didn’t tell you about the tunnel works!”

        1. What’s “permanent”? This New Network route plan is not cast in stone for forever. Not even for 10 years. Sure, we won’t do a major everything-again-overhaul like we’re currently doing. But major works being completed in the City Centre like the CRL (or even more so, CRL actually opening for trains) will be more than enough cause to revamp the (City Centre) network once more.

          So I would treat the inner city stuff as something for the next 2-4 years at most. “Permanent” enough not to explain it to the average punter as “temporary” – but we will see it change again.

        2. [Whoops, this text below should have been a separate comment]

          Somewhat sceptical of some cross-town routes (Like Crosstown 5) not being frequent routes. That means you can’t depend on the specific “product” (i.e. any routes called “crosstown”) to have a consistent quality.

    2. Wellesley links through to the universities, midtown/Aotea, nelson quarter and the Wynyard Quarter. You can’t make each bus route go everywhere, if you take it to Britomart you miss Aotea, if you run down Albert you miss the universities and Wynyard, etc.

      It’s a connective grid network, which lets people connect between the main corridors to get around. So yes, that means if your bus runs on Wellesley and you want to go to Britomart you would have to swap to a Symonds St bus, a Queen St bus, an Albert St bus or a Fanshawe St bus, depending on what was best.

      1. If they went straight through the centre of town (as the CRL will do) then on to wynyard then it would only be a short walk to almost anywhere. Maybe some covered escalators up the hill for uni students.

        1. Sure, but Albert St is already full with Albert St buses, you can’t put everything on one street! Also Albert to University isn’t exactly a short stroll (says he who did it every day for three years!).

    3. There is also a lot of people living around Wellesley Street West and Cook Street. And a lot of new development going on, eg. SugarTree. They currently have pretty poor access to public transport.

  5. And what is the obsession with putting so many buses down Symonds Street? Can it really handle so many buses? Why can’t some go via Ian McKinnon Drive / Upper Queen Street?
    Not a problem of course if they do go with trams, but as I understand it they are still a maybe.

    1. The obsession with Symonds St is that the universities drive a huge amount of patronage. Also Symonds St has permanent bus lanes and bus stops that can handle five or six buses at a time.

  6. Sadly there are people like myself who lose access to one of our two routes. The Meadowbank/St Johns area has always been relatively low on service, with the 625 into the city, and the 007 which runs for short hours (only until 6 on a Sunday). The 007 (now crosstown 6) has been diverted. This means that in order for me to travel anywhere, I need to go into the city first. That isn’t exactly the best way to encourage people to rely on the bus network

    1. Thats not quite true that you have to go to the city first. this new network is a connective network. So you get a direct bus to the city, but you can also connect at Glen Innes, Remuera or Newmarket to an number of frequent crosstowns. The key difference is that all the links will now run frequently.

      The entire 007 is basically still there between the 70 and the Crosstown 6 (or the 77 if you are headed to St Heliers). The one difference is you’ll have to swap between frequent buses at Ascot Ave (or Glen Innes).

      So you’re almost useless 007 that runs every 1 hour and 15 minutes (!) on a Sunday and doesn’t go past 6pm, will soon be replaced by a grid of routes running every fifteen minutes through until at least 7pm, 7 days a week.

      That’s the trade off, is it better for you to have one direct bus that comes every 75 minutes and stops early in the evening, or to have to take two buses that come every fifteen minutes but you have to make an extra connection in between.

      Personally I would take the worst case scenario of 15 minutes for the first bus plus 15 minutes to transfer, over 75 minutes for the first bus… especially if it means service can run later seven days a week. Some people don’t like transferring sure, but if its that kind of trade off then maybe its not so bad.

  7. It looks good. Really good, for the most part.

    My only major concern with the central city is whether these routes and intersections are going to be able to handle the volume, without further signal priority, permanent lanes, and work on traffic management. I think some of these streets may need to be bus-only, or have two general traffic lanes reduced to one (ie., Symonds having two bus lanes and one general traffic lane).

    1. Wasn’t the idea that the new network would run with about as many buses as before, just a lot more efficiently? So no, the network along won’t suddenly mean *lots* more buses on most streets, just more frequent and somewhat better routed – not that I am opposing the idea of better PT priority. The concentration on these high frequency routes will make the case for such priority better.

      1. Yes, the same number of buses, on a lesser number of streets. And because the routes are simpler, they should be able to run higher frequency.

        All of which doesn’t count the current trend for higher patronage, or the likely impact of the success of a reorganised system.

        1. I don’t get the whole, “same amount of buses” idea, surely more buses can be added especially as many don’t continue into the “bus congested” areas anymore. But I guess that’s a money thing, but surely with the increased demand…

  8. Interesting. My place in northern Mt Albert seems to have PT service options second to none except for the City Centre [Pats self on back for choosing area].

    1. Yes, well done Max!. It looks really good for you and for all of the Auckland isthmus. I am in Devonport (half your distance from Britomart) but I get not one frequent service and AT are even talking about reneging on their promise of integrated fares.

      I must say though that AT looks to have done a great job with the new network design for central Auckland, and it’s something they need to repeat all over urban Auckland. Instead, the difference between the quality and cost of services for central Auckland compared to the rest of Auckland is more than it ought to be..Ideally all of urban Auckland would be within walking distance (500m) of a frequent service, not just central Auckland. Under the proposed new network, only about 30% of North Shore residents will have access to a frequent service (and about the same for West and South Auckland) but for central Auckland it now looks more like 70-80%.

      To be honest I’m not sure how to start changing AT’s central Auckland preference, which seems so deeply ingrained. I’m heartened that AT is coming up with so many good public transport ideas (new train lines and stations, light metro rail, grid-based frequent bus services, new cycle lanes) but there is a real and pressing need to extend these initiatives across the whole city.

      1. David it isn’t preference or bias, it’s density. Density of employment and density of habitation; that’s where there’ll always be richer PT service levels. It’s simple; lavish PT service requires quantity of uptake, or it just can’t be justified.

        And of course it’s a virtuous circle; more means more. Higher densities and better service each stimulate the other.

        1. Also, it’s location, location, location. You live on the end of a long peninsula. Ignoring the fact that you DO have plentiful ferry service, and thus a wonderful way to get over the water to the main hub of the city, you DONT have through traffic.

          Because the downside of my own location in North Mt Albert is that I have half of West Auckland motoring into the city only 500m away from my house. Including Great North Road, there’s 16 (!) traffic lanes in the Point Chevalier town centre area. You have 2 lanes of Lake Road. Swings and roundabouts – I think I can at least get some good PT for the downside of my corner of town serving as a major thorughfare for everyone*.

          *And I don’t begrudge that to them, I’d just prefer more of them were in buses (including on busways) and in trains.

      2. 450,000 people live on the isthmus area of Auckland (the old Auckland City), about 200,000 live on the North Shore. If we all get our fair share then the isthmus should have at least twice as much bus service as the shore does.

        Oh and FYI Devonport is actually a small, low population place. The peninsula has 19,000 residents including Bayswater, Belmont and Hauraki Corner. That’s less than 10% of the North Shore and a mere 1.3% of Auckland.

        I’m not saying it is insignificant, nor that it’s not worthy of public transport, but it is only one of 80 such neighbourhoods in Auckland. Naturally everyone thinks their own suburb is important, and it is, everyone lives in one. But the fact your 1.3% slice of Auckland gets three ferry routes with timed feeder buses, including every 15 minutes at peak times, is nothing to be laughed at.

  9. I like the look of the Crosstown replacements for the Outer Link. I never thought I’d see a bus route that links Kingsland with Grey Lynn. The areas are in fairly close proximity to each other, but have always been difficult to link via public transport. The same goes for Kingsland and Dominion Road.

      1. Yep – good to see. I have to wonder how feasible buses on Walters Rd will be though. It doesn’t really seem suited to them, and that turn into Sandringham is very tight (made moreso by the location of the out-bound bus stop forcing buses to turn from the outside lane). If this route is to happen, would part of the walkway/art installation need to be gouged in order to soften this turn? https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-36.8733329,174.7432954,59m/data=!3m1!1e3

  10. Am i reading the map correctly that all Dominion Rd buses will use View Rd rather than the current View Rd and Flyover options?

    1. I noticed that too, and while the apparent removal of the Flyover is vexing in terms of losing the time saving it offers to skip what can be a very choked up View Rd and Mt Eden Rd (which could do with some bus lane enforcement), I’m more concerned that the outbound services now take Victoria St>Bowen Ave>Waterloo Quadrant, as this can easily take 10-15 minutes to get onto Symonds St as is such a frustrating time-waster (having previously lived in Kingsland, that stretch was the bane of my life heading home). And is Bowen even able to accommodate a bus lane (happy for those more informed to chime in on this, I’m no engineer.)?

      1. Bowen Ave has parking down one side, so could easily have that removed for a bus lane. If the council was really serious they’d simply make it bus only, cars can take the Kitchener St route to Waterloo instead and Bowen Ave could be left for buses.

        This would also have the positive effect of reconnecting the two parts of Albert Park which are cut off from one another by Bowen Ave, making it bus only would make it significantly easier to cross, and allow the parking to be removed down one side allowing wider footpaths

        1. BBC, if they were to implement your suggestions that I suspect the bottleneck problem would greatly improve. And the re-connection of that stranded bit of Albert Park hopefully would have a good flow on effect to Chancery and the soon to be re-vamped Freyberg Square.

      2. I’m more concerned that anyone who gets the bus to cnr Queen/Wellesley street then has to know to get a return bus they get it from cnr Queen/Victoria street. Shouldn’t they be making it easier to use, not harder? I think they are doing whatever is easiest and cheapest for AT, not what is best for bus users.

        1. Sandringham and New North Rd buses have actually already been doing the split since early 2013, I guess it must not have caused any major issues if they’ve decided to keep it for the New Network. However, I do tend to agree with you, it’d be far better and simpler to keep a bus route on the same street.

  11. What sort of livery are these Crosstown buses to use? If the destination sign is the only thing that’ll set them apart, things could get very confusing.

    1. Can’t speak for the 55, but yes on the 22. There certainly are capacity issues – by the time the current 220-series buses get to Kingsland, they’re typically sailing past full. The trains still stop at Kingsland, but squishing on can take some effort.

      Plus they serve very different areas of the central city. The Western Line isn’t much good for going to Midtown or K Rd with any sort of urgency, compared to the bus.

      From what I hear, the thinking is that the 22 will go to Newmarket once the CRL is finished: since the rail will now be going straight into the central city rather than via Newmarket. Effectively the rail and bus routes will swap.

  12. That’s a very old photo on which the Victoria St montage is based. The National Bank has been ANZ for a number of years now and Countdown is missing.

  13. Man this was more radical than I was expecting (for around Mt Wellington etc anyway)… those trains are going to be busy. For me, apart from a new bus line thundering past our house in a tiny little one way loop to Sylvia Park (525 line), it works for us and our children heaps better. A quick look seems like this route is the smallest one on the map? The current 502, 512 type bus is hopeless and most people we know around here don’t like it as it makes it way slowly around every street into town and back through Ellerslie etc, twice any many stops needed close to here and duplicating the train from Ellerslie. The new 521 links just to Ellerslie and covers new roads instead which is great.

    If I was being selfish I’d prefer the 525 to loop wider down Bailey, Penrose then back up Ruawai Rd (like the current 502 etc), as the Commissariat Rd stop near Bailey is so close to us anyway and previously the buses just missed our section of road nicely! 😉 Of course that would duplicate the Crosstown 7 and a busy RH turn on and off Penrose Rd and be less reliable and slower. The 7 route also means linking to Penrose train station is now possible with a small walk.

    1. Kupe Street loop (well more of a back and forth) to Orakei train station is also tiny – not sure how it pulls it’s going to pull its weight! Presuming some of these will only operate in limited time slots?

    2. Probably the shortest one would be the 297 trial route between Newmarket and Auckland Museum. Will be interesting to see how that fares.

  14. The 020 bus was actually quite useful for people in Freeman’s Bay, allowing access to the city, Ponsonby and Grey Lynn at regular intervals (20 mins).

    The new routes offer one bus at local frequency that only goes to the city and only travels in 1 direction in a loop…

    1. But not useful for the bulk of the passengers unable to get an 020X, it adds at least 10 mins to the trip. Do submit on making your feeder service better though.

  15. Looks like they’re cutting out the bus service to Whitford, Beachlands & Maraetai? Sounds bizarre, given that there is substantial greenfield residential development happening in Beachlands and about to kick off in Whitford

  16. I was also thinking how the North Shore buses would connect to this network. Currently they are splitting up in three branches: Britomart, Wellesley Street, and Ponsonby. Maybe, with the right network in the CBD one of these can be eliminated.

    Suppose there is a frequent service along the dotted line ‘under investigation’ between Wellesley Street and Wynyard Quarter. Then people coming from the North Shore can disembark at Victoria Park and transfer to these services. So the need for that middle branch is eliminated. It would make going to eg. Civic Square a bit slower, but we could have double the frequency.

  17. Crosstown 5 looks like the kind of thing I’ve been waiting 10 years for; but I assume it’ll be a minibus, what with the Stokes Ave/Mt Eden Road issue?

    1. Yes, it looks brilliant.

      As for a minibus? I assume it’ll be an armoured personnel carrier with mounted heavy machine guns, or perhaps a tank, if it’s going to have any chance of making right turns out of Valley Road onto Mount Eden Road in the PM peak, or right turns out of Walters Road onto Sandringham Road in the AM peak. It’s also going to be fun going over all the speedbumps in front of Eden Park in a bus…

  18. Indeed Matt I am very pleased that the meandering OTTO is being upgraded to its express version; 105, but disappointed that it remains at 20min freq.

    Wonder though about the wisdom of the stop on the north side of Hoptoun viaduct, especially if AT foolishly neglect to build a station entrance at Beresford St, wouldn’t it be better on south side to connect with both Auckland Girls Grammar, and those five big apartment buildings? Perhaps they are thinking of BECA staff….? Nothin’ else there.

    1. However, even though it is longer, there is a good case for the 105 to take K and Pitt instead of Hopetoun. While I observe very few people boarding or alighting at the stops on the current 020’s Freeman’s Bay dogsleg, much bigger numbers use the K Rd stop. And of course this would make for perfect stop on Pitt at the Beresford Sq K Rd Station entrance, were such a thing to happen as it should….

      AT must have the HOP numbers for these stops…?

    2. I’ve always thought a south side stop on Hopetoun would be good for the 020- the local Freemans Bay residents could walk up to it. Would be faster than the bus up there…

  19. I don’t see any actual bus stops in that lovely CGI rendering of Victoria Street after it has been turned into a park. Does this mean buses will just stop in the single lane (letting other vehicles bank up behind) or are they planning to add some? Given the current congestion at ‘rush hour’ I’d suggest the proposed layout as pictured is unworkable.
    ‘Unworkable’ as in the result will be chaos and carmageddon, resulting in howls to the media, resulting in a backdown by council – not result as in car drivers will take an alternate route or switch to PT.
    And why does that rendered image show pedestrians strolling down the cycleway? That is the cycle path isn’t it? They do have a cycleway planned don’t they? Or is that dual carriageway to be shared by cyclists as well? That will be fun for the uphill runs. Motorist rage ahoy!

    1. Linear Park was designed in the knowledge that buses would all be on Wellesley St. University subsequently threw toys out of cot; it seems they want to turn Vic east, Bowen, etc into a peak hour bus park for some reason. And not get the Linear Park connecting their campus to the western waterfront. Go figure.

      1. Wellesley St is only one end of the UoA campus, and it’s 10-15 minutes’ walk from there to law school. (And almost the same from Queen St or Britomart, with added hills.) Sounds like the uni didn’t want all buses to suddenly disappear from the northern end of campus, and if you have a look at the bus stops on Symonds St by Waterloo Quadrant, you’d see why.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean they all have to go on Bowen Ave and Victoria St. They could use Anzac Ave like the current Mt Eden buses, but my point is it’s rational for the uni not to want to make students’ lives more difficult by only having bus stops on one edge of campus.

    2. To address your concerns a flat elevated cycleway bridge can be built from Albert St to Bowen Ave. I wonder what paving colour to use, some kind of pink or purple might be nice perhaps

    1. Yes, I’m really liking proposed route 123 – Greenland via Alice Springs, Jakarta, Rangoon, Lhasa, Ulan Bator, Krasnoyarsk and Murmansk.

      Much more direct than the current way to Greenland, which involves picking a bus marked “Takapuna” that happens to detour via Greenland from time to time.

        1. It’ll start out on the frequent-ish network, which has annual frequency. But I understand the plan is for it to be upgraded to the frequent-esque network by 2077, which means it will run quarterly (except if that falls on a Sunday or public holiday).

        1. Te Irirangi has very little stuff fronting it, few crossings, limited access from side streets and no bus stops. It’s one step away from running the bus on the motorway.

          1. Yes but it’s a centre route with a lot of business on one side and easy access to residential on the other. Think busway vs local bus. Limited stops. Frequent.

          2. I guess I’m probably looking to far into the future rather than thinking about what infra exists now. 🙂

          3. Yeah, New Network is about sorting out the existing base network, not future developments and new bus lanes.

    2. Hey, I have been using these frequent transport network routes on Manukau Road and Greenlane West for the last 2 years to argue for less-than-District-Plan-required car parking at those new apartments. It worked, we got consent for the parking “shortfall” – so good to see it will actually happen 😉

        1. I know, I know, seeking praise and stuff. But it’s so frustrating at times – can’t talk about all the cool projects I am doing at work, cause client confidentiality. Can’t talk about (much of) the stuff I am doing in advocacy, because given things in confidence. And then you guys break something I wasn’t even sure whether I was allowed to talk about yet. Jealous at times 😉

    1. I no longer live in Auckland but used to work in that area, under the new network I would have struggled to get to work given the frequent bus service along great south rd has also gone.

  20. I see the hospitals bus now named 321 continues to use Grafton Rd, turning right from Park Rd onto Grafton Rd is a complete nightmare during the peak because of all the cars backed up past Auckland City Hospital, unless they plan to allow right turns from the bus lane I think that bus should be rerouted via Symonds Street else it’s quicker to disembark and switch to Symonds Street buses at the hospital and vice versa when coming from Britomart – skip the inner leg and swap at ACH.

    1. And I’m guessing from the thin line it’s not going to run on the weekends still. What is the purpose of that route? I’ve been using the 299 and walking up to Mercy as it’s more reliable and frequent.

      1. What do you think of the 299 service frequencies? Personally, I think the 299 needs to be 5-10 minute frequency between 7:30am-9am in the mornings going into the city, and 3pm-6pm coming away from the city. There is an ever increasing number of school students who use the 299 service to get to and from school everyday and buses are getting very full by the time the 299 hits Empire Road in peak times.

    2. The hospital route could go. I did intend to use it once to visit someone in Mercy and then found it doesn’t run at the weekend! Which I find ludicrous; hospitals are a seven day a week operation (no pun intended).

  21. Regarding what is the typical or likely outcome post consultation & tender etc: Do we end up with the frequency and hours of operation as they are suggesting?

    1. From what I’ve seen with the HC network, mostly but not exactly. Amuses me how they now mention on their hours of operation pdf that services may start and finish an hour earlier/later on a Sunday. More useless buts and maybes, there should be two sets of timetables, one for weekdays and one for weekends, over-complicating it with Friday or Saturday serviices only generates a mess.

  22. I think the high frequency dominion road buses should loop around Richardson Road, May Road, Denbigh Ave, Dominion Road. That way passengers going to blockhouse bay can take the 009 which is also high frequency off Richardson Road. The bus will have to loop around anyway so it should just remain in service during that time.

  23. is it possible to compare the old and the new on maps which are identical behind?
    The old (exisitng maps are shown with more street names showing so appear busier than a direct comparison.

  24. I notice the new crosstown bus routes are straighter which makes them more attractive (or at least, more feasible) as rail feeders – particularly 7 & 9. But some of those routes are near impassable at peak times, I hope bus lanes are also part of the mix.

    A downside with the feeder philosophy is the return journey where you have to change from a more frequent service to a less frequent one, potentially resulting in a long transit time. Unless the feeder services are actually going to wait for arrivals…?

      1. Agree, I think the proposed new high-frequency crosstown routes look very useful indeed. Crosstown 7 in particular is a route that I’ve often wished for: A direct, high frequency link from Pt Chev and Mt Albert to the Onehunga, Penrose and Sylvia Park areas. That connects a lot of useful places. Mt Albert road can get rather congested at times, so I also hope that bus lanes come with the new network.

  25. Complete removal of upper khyber pass rd services means less PT usage for me… No more trips to newmarket on my lunch break… Also colleagues at work now have to make 3 transfers instead of a direct trip, they have told me they will drive instead if that is the final product.

    Also the two routes I use a lot have either gotten worse or less frequent.

    Also I find their article about how close it is to Moari or Asian communities a bit offensive, what has race got to do with public transport?

    The operating hours also make no mention of the rail operating hours, which makes it hard to determine if the rail connection you are transferring to will still be in operation.

    Patiki/Rosebank Rd industrial area loosing weekend services is a big fail also. Many employees work there on the weekend and make use of the 222 bus.

    1. > Complete removal of upper khyber pass rd services means less PT usage for me

      I think they’re missing a crosstown. There should be a “Crosstown 4 1/2” running along Newton Road and Khyber Pass. As it is, there’s no link to the west from Newton, and only via rail to the west, which isn’t particularly convenient for a short trip, given how far out of your way you need to go – and down a huge slope.

      This could be as simple as sending all or some of the NX3s via that route instead of K Rd (which would still have the Inner Link doing that job). Or the 106 could be transformed from the current useless loop into a bidirectional crosstown: Britomart – Fanshawe St – Franklin Rd – Wellington St – Howe St – Newton Rd – Khyber Pass – Grafton – Newmarket.

      I think this could be transformative for the area, along with some pedestrian upgrades. The CRL is supposed to make the area effectively an extension of the central city, so it needs supporting bus transport as well. It’s already fairly dense, but unfortunately Newton Rd and Khyber Pass are fairly car-blighted areas, and the motorways make walking not quite a good enough link to Ponsonby and Newmarket.

      1. What you’ve got there is the endless love of the massive mway severance. Getting a bus through Newton Rd looks extremely unappealing. The separation of Grey Lynn and Kingsland/Newton still resists repair, crosstown 5 not withstanding.

        1. Unappealing maybe but as someone who had to walk from ponsonby to grafton on a daily basis (40 mins) due to lack of a direct bus I can definitely see the need. The only bus that ever makes it onto newton road, is the te atatu/massey niterider… 😛

          But surely they can route a bus through newton rd, maybe with just 1 or 2 stops? I guess it would require a lot of changes, one that springs to mind is a no right turn onto queen st when traveling northbound during peak as that kills the right-lane completely with people waiting for the right-turn phase.

          1. Would a one way loop bus route (even if not that frequently) work from say Grafton Station, Mountain Rd, Clive Rd, Edwin St , Harold St, left into Enfield St, right onto Mt Eden Rd (or from Clive onto Normandy, L Boston, R Mt Eden, so have the traffic lights). Left onto New North Rd, …it’s at this point I see what a traffic sewer it is trying to get across onto our beloved Ian Mckinnon Dr and back onto Newton road and have room for a bus stop or two. Can’t we get across here it seems? lol worse than I thought…..so only option maybe swinging around Bond St, Gt North Rd and back onto Newton….doubling up other lines and hardly room for bus stops and all these right turns….ahhhh OK reverse the whole loop instead. South down Ian Mckinnon, Left onto Minnie, Virginia Ave E, Charlotte St, Mt Edem Rd, Boston, Normandy, Clive,Mountain Rd, L Khyber Pass up to Newton Rd.
            http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-XdtGscG/0/XL/i-XdtGscG-XL.jpg

  26. Wow! I Am overjoyed by this!! It’s as if somebody has been listening to my posts (complaints) and has created the Crosstown 5 Service between my home (grey lynn) and my work (newmarket). Even though I can drive quickly and cheaply, I’ll probably take the bus just because it’s there. I may even sell my commuter-sedan and buy a weekend sports car!!

  27. Proposed upgraded frequency for the East Auckland routes (Botany and Howick to Panmure) will hopefully make long cold (winter) or sunburning stinking hot (summer) mostly unsheltered waits with bugger all seating at Botany much shorter – I really hope whoever designed (or signed off) the Botany “Interchange” as it is now was suitably sacked for incompetence long ago.

    The designer(s) for the Panmure Interchange also need their heads read too. After all the work on building the rail overbridge there, why wasn’t it possible to have the bus stops for the buses travelling towards the CBD actually on the (left) side of the road they travel on? Instead of requiring that they cross the right hand lanes (with no traffic light priority either) over to the station then back across 5 lanes to travel onwards? The Station itself could also have been mostly under the bridge and sheltered instead of in a basically open trench too, and travellers wouldn’t have had to try to cross the main road or the bus lanes there either. I notice too, that AT are only now extending the shelter so one can get from the station to the Eastbound stops without going out into the rain…

    It seems from the New Network maps that frequency between Manukau and Botany isn’t increased – and the current through route Howick to Manukau will mow require a transfer at Botany. While I appreciate that transfers make more sense in terms of network efficiency etc, they can still be bloody unpleasant – I still don’t think that I should need my umbrella to shelter myself while I’m actually sitting inside a bus shelter! Personally I think that the Adshel bus shelters are utterly useless (having experienced them in both Auckland and Wellington) .

    1. jingyang said: “After all the work on building the rail overbridge there, why wasn’t it possible to have the bus stops for the buses travelling towards the CBD actually on the (left) side of the road they travel on?”

      The Panmure interchange is designed to link into the future busway which will have it’s own dedicated carriageway on the northern side of Lagoon Drive. This solves the problem on the eastern end of the interchange (though some buses will continue down Queens Rd) but the western side will definitely still have the issues you describe.

      1. I hope they do increase the frequency of Botany to Manukau,since Manukau is the major intercity bus stop and airport bus connection for the East. Looking at the present services you could be forgiven for thinking that no one in the East catches planes after 8pm…

        1. Many routes don’t run late enough, especially on the hibiscus coast network, for some reason AT think the further away u live the earlier the bus should end, but its the reverse, as you have to travel longer and possibly make a transfer. Also how the local routes in HC mostly finish earlier than the latest NEX bus to HC is humorous, what? everyone who travels late is going to live near HC station or a park and rider? Lol… riiight… Just using this as an example, however noticing many routes even in the city are ending too early. Link buses for example should run to at least 12, not 11-11:30.

  28. The Inner Link is to change along Fanshawe and Beaumont Streets. Beaumont Street is an absolute horror story come 5p.m. Surely it should be routed along Halsey; not great at rush hour but far better than Beaumont.

  29. I have just made the following submission to AT about a few concerns I have about changes to Dominion Road services, and crosstown 4. Does anyone have any insights about my concerns, especially relating to Dominion Road? I really cant understand what the advantages of their plan are; in terms of either connectivity, catchment, or service quality.

    Firstly, I am very concerned about the changes to the Dominion Road service (26 and 27):

    The proposed frequency at both peak (3-5 min) and all day (8 min) is lower than the current level of service (2-3 minutes and 5 mins respectively). Given services are currently overcrowded, and patronage continues to grow solidly, this would be a bad move. This situation will be exacerbated by the proposed improvements to bus priority on Dominion Road (many of which really need to be implemented asap, even if light rail is planned for the medium term).

    It is even more concerning that all buses are planned to run via View Road. The vast majority of Dominion Road travellers catch the bus before the View/Dominion Intersection, and are proposed to all detour 5 minutes for a minority. Rather than discontinuing popular ‘flyover’ services, all Dominion Road services should run via Ian McKinnon Drive, or at least Great North road – a 5 to 8 minute saving on a 15 to 25 minute journey is huge in terms of preference of catching the bus: often the difference between the service being competitive with driving or not – which is critical for this congested corridor. All residents who live in the View Road area can easily walk to either Dominion or Mt Eden roads -the distance between two being shorter than at any other point along the Dominion/Mt Eden corridor. After all, the width of this corridor was originally designed such that every house was within walking distance of a tram stop.

    This route is one of the busiest in Auckland in terms of patronage, with a high proportion of users who could easily choose to travel by other means if the service quality is reduced. As bus mode share along the congested Dominion road at peak times is currently over 50%, getting this wrong could have adverse affects on traffic in the area.

    Currently peak Dominion Road services are severely affected by the minority who drive. Routing the service via Ian McKinnon, and fast-tracking some improvements to bus priority (particularly ‘filling the gaps’ between sections of bus lanes, running bus lanes through intersections and slightly increasing their hours of operation), will free up resources to run this route at the suggested higher frequency.

    Secondly, I liked the original proposal to run route 25 all the way to New Lynn. Having a hub at each end of this busy route will provide great connectivity; allowing West Aucklanders and Dominion Road residentsto take full advantage of easy transfers due to the high frequency. It was also ensure more consistent rider-ship along the route, rather than running near empty buses near the suburban end every 5-8 minutes.

    Thirdly, although I support splitting the Outer Link, the proposed ‘Crosstown 4’ is not really a crosstown route:-
    -The vast majority of users will use it to travel to the city, given how directly it runs there from Onehunga and Point Chevalier
    -It runs very indirectly from Onehunga to Point Chevalier
    -It isn’t really designed for travellers to transfer between it and radial routes (unlike other crosstown routes).
    It would be the black sheep of the cross-town routes for this reason, and its high frequency, opening it to false perception by the public; who would assume it to be less direct into the city, and less frequent than it actually is. I do support that is is a single route running through the city, but beleive it would be clearer if it wasn’t labelled a ‘crosstown’ route

    1. Do you mean the 25 & 26 service & I note in the Additional Information that “More peak services from Mt Albert Rd” (I wonder if that is additional to the 3-5 mins already listed)?

      1. yes, and I think there is a distinction to be made between the peak two hour period versus the peak hour period.

        I think AT are proposing 3-5 minutes for the “peak” 5-6 hours of the day, and all-day 8min. Whereas the 2-3 min frequency you quote seems to be just for the peak AM/PM hour. Hence it’s quite possible AT are proposing the same/higher peak frequency than currently.

        One other thing to remember: Sometimes capacity issues are best resolved by running higher capacity vehicles, rather than higher frequency. In this case it may be that the best solution is not higher frequency but instead increased vehicle capacity.

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