Auckland’s city centre is already starting to see the impacts of the early works for the City Rail Link but in coming months that will step up a gear. In preparation AT have already advertising about the next phase of works and the changes that will occur. They say the advertising is designed to:

  • Raise awareness of traffic delays in the central city that are likely to happen once the build begins
  • To get motorists to reconsider their transport options into the city, to consider; public transport, walking, cycling, carpooling or other options
  • To inform bus users of changes to bus stops in the central city that are moving as a result of CRL early construction.

Of the next round of changes, one of the first to be seen will be the closure of the underpass from Britomart to QE2 Square at the end of this month. The tunnel is being fully removed as part of the CRL works which will see the area outside of Britomart is being turned into a public space.

The biggest change will prior to works will be the change in bus stops for many services – this follows a raft of changes late last year prior to the enabling works starting. The routes/bus stops will change on April 17 and AT have done a better job this time in communicating these changes. For all routes affected there is a brief description of the changes for each of the routes impacted but more importantly they’ve created some maps to show this more clearly.

The first map shows how inbound buses will travel l to their destinations in the city while the second map shows the routes of they will take to get out of the city. As you can see, all services that currently use lower Queen St (outside Britomart) will be shifted.


CRL Bus changes map arrival


CRL Bus changes map departure

The 020 and 005

CRL Bus changes map 020

991 & 992

CRL Bus changes map 991-992

They’ve even created an interactive map which allows you to select a stop and a service using that stop, the map will then highlight where the bus stop has moved to by way of a green pin.

CRL Bus changes interactive map

With all of the changes happening both in the city and coming up on the New Network it seems like a useful tool for AT to have.

As mentioned we’ve already started to see the impact from the works that are happening. In the latest AT board report they note that they’ve set up a Tactical Response Team come up with an operations plan to deliver interventions to improve how the network is managed.

City Centre Tactical Operations Plan

With the level of new development and new transport projects occurring in the City Centre a co-ordinated approach to the management of the roading network is required. Development of a Tactical Operations Plan is underway, which will provide a framework for the operation of the network including construction planning, incident management, traffic management and customer communications. Over the last month two teams have become operational – the tactical response team and the working group. The working group is a proactive planning team from across AT and the NZ Transport Agency looking at upcoming projects, developments and events on the network to plan interventions in advance and manage travel demand in the city centre.

The tactical response team manage daily operations in the city centre, responding to traffic delays and issues and has additional support from two SCATS (Sydney Co-ordinated Adaptive Traffic System) intersection control operators providing 7am-7pm coverage. Travel times and traffic delays are monitored in the city centre on six key routes: Quay Street, Customs Street, Victoria Street, Wellesley Street, Queen Street and Hobson/Nelson Street. During February traffic entering the city increased from the January holiday period. Delays have been experienced particularly at Quay Street (3 minutes in the evening peak and 1-2 minutes across the whole day) and Customs Street (increase of 1-2 minutes across the day). With the works at Victoria Street delays have increased with average speed being as low as 12.5 km/h however, interventions by the Tactical Response Team have increased these speeds by up to 25 percent.

I hope they’re also ensuring that to achieve improvements in the road network, that they aren’t doing so by compromising pedestrians through things like longer waits for pedestrian phases.

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  1. Delighted the 020 is to be using Queen not Albert. Just need those buslanes to be continuous and not 1. Only on part of Queen St, and 2. Intermittent even where they are coming (disappearing at intersections). How about removing the right hand turns at Quenn and Vic; simplifying the movements and speeding the cycles for all users, and continuing the bus lane, by removing the right turn lane?

  2. With all the changes around Britomart, I hope AT are also going to make some big and easy to follow wayfinding signs to find the location of your starting bus stop based on route/area served.

  3. Would it be possible for Auckland to eventually just have one massive station instead? Or just one street which every bus serves? I would find this every confusing if I was living in the city.

    1. Would there be an appropriate street that can be closed off to cars and made bus only? Then all routes could be fed through the same street. However it would need to a pretty big street and well connected to handle the numbers of buses during peak times

    2. While I agree they are rather hodge-podge at the moment, I think Auckland is a bit big for a single central bus station as there would be a huge number of buses on one street.

      As far as I can tell the new network will have four main bus corridors – Albert, Symonds, Wellersley and Fanshawe/Customs. The key will be well designed interchange stops between these four routes.

    3. No, we have far too many buses to serve a single station. What we will have instead is a system where every route transfers with every other route across about 6 stations in the CBD. That way buses can also cover the glaring holes not perfectly covered by rail (yet).

  4. I wonder how much consideration is given to people transferring between buses. Many transfers will require walking a few blocks so they had better not fudge the pedestrian light phasing on the intersections in between.

    What I find surprising is the NEX being banished to Lower Albert Street. Given it’s such a key route I’d expect it to stop somewhere closer to the other services.

  5. Great time to make the far left lanes of Customs Street bus-only now. C’mon AT, this is your chance!

  6. This really does highlight how poorly thought out is Auckland s major PT delivery system is! The entire system is alien, no one central departure/terminating location, rather a dart board is used to locate buses somewhere/anywhere they can park in a huge area, where the passenger who wants to traverse Auckland will have to use a map and start exploring to find their next bus. This is a disgrace and was even before any road works..

  7. My experience as someone who uses western buses is that Albert St pick up drop off is not working well.

    Is there any reason why Albert Street between Victoria and Wellesley cant be made bus only?

    1. Yep. This stop absolutely sucks big time. Hence why I now catch 224’s whenever I can. Unfortunately AT don’t deem west auckland important enough to keep the 224 service going after 8pm. Western buses are officially the most inconvenient to catch in the CBD. The complete mess that this bit of albert street turns into in afternoon peak is a disgrace. Minor crashes happening all the time too.

      1. Would it? I’d have thought that bus lanes are tactics used to implement the strategy of keeping people on buses moving in the CBD so that at least someone is moving?

      2. So redistributing temporal priority is tactics but redistributing spatial priority is strategy? Interesting distinction. Not one I understand.

        I doubt the tactical team self censors their actions because they are too strategic.

  8. I would have thought a better path for the 020 route would be to revert to it original route when the train station was on Beach Road. That is it should continue along Karangahape Road and travel up and down the length of Queen Street now that there are bus lanes in Queen St. It could use the Gore / Fort /Commence block to turn around. This will save two right turns on the inward journey and I suspect a lot of time. Also if it exit the city via Queen St it will be far more useful than being on Hobson Street.

    I really don’t see the point of 685X continuing to go up Queen St, as this only does it in the morning not the afternoon. Surely it would be better to truncate it near Britomart, so that it can special back somewhere else as quickly as possible to provide extra capacity where needed.

    1. Interesting thought on the 020; that would sort of make it the City Link too, infact why not run it to Wynyard, up the frequency to City Link levels, and merge the services?

      Or if that means too much service on the outer part of the route then alternate short and long run versions?

      Either way complete those bus lanes on Queen, and remove the right hand turns at Vic and Wellesley.

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