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.”

Half Moon Bay P&R shuttle route

And here are the shuttle times – for some reason there is no shuttle to the earlier sailings or the midday ones.

Half Moon Bay P&R shuttle timetable

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.

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  1. Like you mentioned, it would make more sense to use the car park as a park and ride for buses along Pakuranga Road, especially in anticipation for the New Network. Hurry up and have bus lanes painted on it already!

  2. Damm! I exactly have to go the other way. I live on the north shore but work in Howick. So would be perfect if they also provide it the other way around

  3. A shuttle to the 07:15 or 07:30 would be better for work commuters as those are the two that you can take to get you to work before 09:00 (if you work further than a 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal).

    1. There’s no point in that, for the early boats there is plenty of parking near the ferry, it’s only the later ones where there is an issue.

      BTW, there is no 7:15 ferry

  4. I wonder from how far afield the park-and-riders are coming?
    Begs the question, would it be feasible for the bus to provide a pick-up service around the catchment-area and collect patronage directly from local bus-stops, rather than have everyone drive to a random assembly-point? That way folk could leave their cars @ home.

    1. When I lived in the area, recently arrived back from 15 years in London, I looked into catching the bus from the stop near my house (a 2 min walk). I wanted to PT as much as possible. But the route was 40 minutes (as opposed to a 10 min drive), and arrived 20 mins earlier than the ferry was scheduled to depart, so if I was to catch the 07:15 ferry, it meant a 06:15 bus, to arrive at work by 08:45. In the end it was a lot of effort for little payout, so I followed the majority & just drove. Stopping to pick people up just makes the journey longer, unless they can leap on while the bus roars past!

  5. I don’t understand this. Isn’t it already possible to catch the bus from that parking lot to the ferry terminal? Or is the regular bus network so poor we need a special shuttle?

    Reminds me of Birkenhead. There’s both buses and ferries at the ferry terminal, just not at the same time. Oops.

  6. The reason people are not transferring at panmure is the cost. It is more expensive when cost are combined. Also people have to timed the train timetable right so there is minimal waiting between transfer.

    1. Not at all, trains are every ten minutes, it’s turn up and go. (I’m actually writing this post on an Eastern line train)

      I don’t see the point of this service at all, itd be better directed at Panmure station.

        1. If you get on a bus all the way to Brito from Highland Park, HMB, Pakuranga etc, it’ll be three zones under integrated fares. This is the same as transferring onto a train at Panmure, because transfers won’t be penalised.

  7. I know I’ve suffered the wrath for suggesting park n ride in the past but I see merit in them if they, for example, give access to our train stations for those who do not live very close, particularly if in the form of a parking building, which conserves land. In fact that seems a reasonable use for a parking building.

    1. Most people here have no opposition to park and ride. For example, I personally oppose the enormous subsidies that we give to the park and ride buildings.

  8. The East is appalling served by public transport. There’s 200,000+ people east of the Tamaki river who deserve better.

    AMETI is stupidly limited in its objective, a 50km bus lane from Pak plaza to Panmure in 10 years? Pointless, that’s also the least congested section of the route at present.

    There is much more value in a bus lane from bottom of Bucklands Beach Rd to Pak Plaza. That’s the section with delays.

      1. Its all well and good putting in bus lanes but without high frequency buses going down them then its pointless. It will still not be attractive enough to use, frequency is key.

    1. Additional delay by sadly confused local powers that think a car flyover it what’s needed…. but fully agree, bus lanes at least to Highland Park and frequent all day service; people will soon discover the faster option; would boom like the Northern Busway.

      Also that additional $1Billion being wasted on East/West could more than solve PT from Howick, Pakuranga, Botany to Manukau and Panmure, and Half Moon Bay. It is in part a governance failure; the local elected representatives fail to push for real solutions, believing their own hunches and prejudices are better than the experts.

    2. Might find the figure is a bit smaller – there were 142,700 people living in the Howick local board area as of June 2015.

  9. 25 mins for the shuttle. Add a couple mins to park and get to the pickup point and it’s barely faster than walking to the ferry. Certainly for anyone north of Lloyd Ellesmere just walk.

        1. At present it’s free but it won’t be later in the year. I still think the shuttle would be good as a jitney/minibus service around the horrendous unwalkable street layout around HMB, Eastern Beach, Bucklands etc, before going to the ferry. The car park would be good as a PnR for the Pakuranga Road bus.

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