Auckland Transport started a unique park & ride and shuttle today in East Auckland. It’s something we first learned about in the board report last month. Auckland Transport will use the parking in Lloyd Elsmore Park for commuter parking with a shuttle to the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal for users to connect to ferries.
In a first for Auckland, a local park is being used as a park and ride to service public transport in the eastern suburbs.
The free park and ride at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga will have a shuttle bus running to and from Half Moon Bay Marina on weekdays. The six month trial begins on Monday (21 March), providing a safe and convenient place for people to park for the day.
AT is providing the service at the request of the Howick Local Board in an attempt to mitigate a lack of parking at the marina.
There will be two trips in the morning and three trips in the afternoon to meet the 8:15am and 10:15am departing ferries and the 5:45pm, 6:20pm and 7:05pm arriving ferries.
Howick Local Board Chairman David Collings says it will provides people living in Pakuranga, Howick and surrounding suburbs with a great option for getting into the city.
“This initiative provides additional parking for ferry users, but simply at a different location. Ideally long term I’d like to see commuters consider walking, cycling or even car-pooling to the ferry.”
“Driving into the city centre from this part of Auckland is time-consuming and costly by the time you take into account car parking. Catching a ferry is a great way to travel and with AT providing this park and ride, it makes it even easier,” he says.
The park and ride is a point-to-point service with no stops along the way and is dedicated which means it will wait for ferries if required. It is free of charge until Zonal Fares are introduced in late July. Trip durations are expected to be 10-20 minutes depending on traffic conditions.
Mark Lambert, General Manager at AT Metro, says the service adds to the numerous successful park and ride services around the city.
“The park and rides at bus, train and ferry interchanges have proved incredibly popular especially the Northern Express. This trial is a slightly novel approach in that we are providing a shuttle service to a ferry terminal.”
And here are the shuttle times – for some reason there is no shuttle to the earlier sailings or the midday ones.
Regular readers will likely be aware that we’re not a huge fan of park & ride as they can be very expensive and not deliver all that much patronage. But I think the idea of using infrastructure that may have otherwise been sitting idle is a good one – although that changes again when it requires a dedicated shuttle to operate. In many ways it’s good that AT are at least trying stuff.
In saying that the situation also highlights one absurdity with the East Auckland situation. Pakuranga Rd at this point is a 6 lane road plus median – there are no bus or bike lanes. As part of AMETI, Auckland Transport have suggested putting bus lanes on Pakuranga Rd as far as Highland Park. If they did that it would probably be faster to catch a bus to Panmure and then transfer to a train than it would to catch a bus to the ferry and then ferry to town.