In the latest Auckland Transport board report there was a mention of the success being seen on the new Titirangi/Greenbay routes which were the first ones implemented using the principles of the New Network AT are rolling out across the city. They’ve since also rolled out the new network to the Hibiscus Coast and will roll out the network across all of South Auckland in October. After earlier consultation, AT implemented the network in August 2014 replacing 24 infrequent and complex routes with 9 simpler and more regular routes. They’ve now provided a little bit more information on the success.

The number of people using the revamped Green Bay, Titirangi area bus services has grown dramatically by 35 per cent in one year.

In August 2014, a new public transport network was introduced in Green Bay and the adjoining areas of Blockhouse Bay, Wood Bay, Tanekaha, Titirangi, Laingholm and Kaurilands.

“It was an ideal opportunity to try out new bus routes applying the principles of the New Network,” says Anthony Cross, Auckland Transport Public Transport Network Manager

“We felt at the time that it would also provide useful indicators about the New Network when it was eventually rolled out throughout Auckland. Now, after the first full year of implementation, we have an impressive 35 per cent increase in patronage,” an elated Mr Cross says.

He puts this down to replacing up to 24 routes running infrequently in a complex network, with 9 routes in a much simpler and more consistent service pattern. Some of these features are:

  • Better integration of buses with train services at New Lynn, including the very popular 186 South Lynn Loop.
  • Simpler, more consistent routes on clock face timetables (buses running at the same minutes past the hour eg. 10.25, 10:55, 11:25, 11:55 and so on).
  • A new connection between Glen Eden train station and Titirangi.
  • Improved bus services to Laingholm including an express bus service to Downtown Auckland for the first time.
  • Retimetabling of western services operated by Go West for improved connections. About $350,000 was spent on this and service punctuality has jumped from 80% to 95%.

One of the most notable innovations was streamlining the bus service along Titirangi Road between Titirangi Village and New Lynn. Previously a large number of different and infrequent services connected the two centres and even used different stops opposite one another in Titirangi Village. This was replaced by a simple, consistent service pattern, running every 30 minutes for the entire span of service every day of the week (including weekends), direct from Titirangi Village to New Lynn.

Since its commencement, more services have been added to this network to cater for increased public demand.

The New Network costs a similar amount of money and uses about the same number of buses as the previous network but has delivered not only a much simpler and more customer-friendly network, it has done so without needing significant additional public funding. And, locals have voted for this much simpler and easier to understand model through patronage.

Mr Cross concludes “The Green Bay experience augurs well for the future. We look forward with great anticipation to the results from the Hibiscus Coast and getting on with the implementation of South Auckland, Pukekohe and Waiuku later this year.

AT also provided this graph showing how patronage had changed over time which while small overall is definitely positive.

Titirangi-Greenbay Services

As AT say, this bodes well for the future, especially when you also combine it with the results coming out of Houston which has also gone through the same time of bus network change – albeit all at once rather than spread over years like ours has been. Also since that post the trend of strong growth has continued.

Here’s what the new network in the area looks like – the notes are responding to the consultation feedback.

New Network Consultation Map - Titirangi-Greenbay

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  1. Greenbay and Titirangi new network didn’t really feel very new-network-like, with the horrid 2-hour frequency 171. Plus the 153/154 are actually being re-consulted on in the New West Auckland Network.

    1. To be fair that is the point of the new network. Not using up much resources on rambling rural routes that will never get many passengers because so few people live on them, so that there are more resources to use on the busy corridors where there are a lot of people and where you get good gains for your investment.

  2. New Networks should all be good. In the meantime they need to increase frequency/capacity on other routes especially for March Madness.
    Article in the Herald today interviewing people who had 3 full buses pass them before being able to get on a bus. That is completely unacceptable! For those inner portions of those routes they should during peak times have some buses start part way along the route.

    1. A lot of the people watching full buses go past should be walking.

      My bus trip is 40-50 minutes or so. If you’re within 40-50 minutes walk to work, Shanks Pony my friend

      1. Shanks pony is good exercise, but people should ideally have the choice of walking vs bus/train that actually has space for you to get on.

      2. Um no. If a bus is supposed to take 20 minutes and a walk is supposed to take 50 minutes, then the logical thing to do is take the bus. Even if a few full ones drive by.

        Or pretend Auckland is actually a somewhat liveable city. Then you could ride your bike to work, which is almost definitely much faster than taking the bus, and this entire discussion is moot.

      3. Who wants to walk 40-50 minutes on their way to work?! Followed by Who wants to walk 40-50 minutes on their way to work IN THE RAIN?!
        General rule of PT is that people will walk about 10 minutes at each end of their journey but that is about it.

  3. Perhaps I’m mis-reading the graph, but I presume the dotted blue line is the “growth rate” and the red line is the actual monthly patronage. If so, the dotted blue line suggests the growth rate from Sep-2014 to Sep-2015 (35% p.a.) exactly matches the growth rate from Feb-2014 to Aug-2014 (35% p.a.). The blue/red lines show the first month of the new network grew by the same amount as the last month of the old network, then fell back, before a big surge in patronage in Jan-2015 (from 35,000 to 50,000 or 35%), but has since stagnated. We really need to see the data from the preceding 10 months (i.e 16 months before and 16 months after), to know whether patronage was really growing at 35% before the new network (as the chart appears to show), or if it was just fluctuating around 30,000 to 35,000. Then we’d have a better understanding as to what impact the new network had on patronage growth.

    1. It looks to me like the dotted trend line has been drawn to fit the whole data. If you look only at the solid blue “pre-new network” data, the trend line is higher than all but one data point and doesn’t reflect an average of the solid blue line.

      I agree that an old and a new trend line would help clarify things as well as more preceding data.

  4. Crossing over into the subject of today’s other post somewhat – the feedback on this consultation (in the link, p4) included 39% saying the new network would lead to them use PT less. Just goes to show that fear of the unknown tends to prevail in consultations, while people are quick to embrace a new better offering once it is built.

    To AT – well done. Speaking as a local, this new network stuff is great.

    1. That’s because for large sections of the Waitakeres’ the bus has been cut altogether. So they have cut buses to Oratia, Waitarua, Forrest Hill Road so presumably those areas responded they would use it less.
      They’ve been left without a PT option. While I’m sure it’s cost effective to only serivce the urban communities. Parts of Europe and Scotland take a different approach believing they have a responsibility to all their comunities by providing demand responsive buses to rural communities especially, elderly, disabled, youths. With no footpaths either rural communities are left isolated.

      1. Hi Penny. Please don’t take this as trite or disrespectful. If PT and a walkable neighbourhood is important, then living closer to town is the solution. I’m not talking about million dollar Ponsonby – Glen Eden, Hendo, New Lynn, Ranui have what you seem to be looking for. But please don’t expect urban amenities to go with a bush lifestyle block. It’s just not financially viable. I don’t think the U.K. / European examples you reference are directly relevant. I grew up in very rural UK (my Cumbrian secondary school had the largest catchment zone in England). My village had one local market-day bus a week, and one long distance coach per day (we were on a state highway). That’s just rural reality. The services you refer to often serve a much more nodal settlement pattern than we have in suburban Auckland (villages, rather than spreading bush exurbia), or operate on a dial-a-ride basis at extremely low frequency. They’re also typically very heavily subsidised. The needs and issues they address are very different from fringe suburban lifestyles. I think individuals have to take some responsibility for where they live.

    1. This map is horrible. Which route is there when I turn up at the bus stop? Which do I need to plan ahead to catch?

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