Back in May Auckland Transport and NZ Bus launched double deckers on Mt Eden Rd in a bid to improve the capacity by 15% on what is one of Auckland’s busier bus routes.
At the time I said I was concerned that wouldn’t be enough and that the double deckers were likely to encourage even more people to demand and we continue to see reports of full buses leaving behind. In their latest board meeting they said they were seeing good growth on the corridor.
Now a good little piece of news from Auckland Transport with them announcing they’ll be increasing the number of services on Mt Eden Rd at the end of the month.
From Monday 26 September, the changes below will be made to 274 and 277 bus services:
- 7am to 9am buses will depart every 5 minutes or sooner between Mt Eden shops and the City
- 3.30pm to 6pm buses will depart from the City to Mt Eden every 5 minutes or sooner
A quick calculation shows that between 8am and 9am the number of buses that arrive at Britomart increases by a whopping 44%, going from 18 to 26 buses. It’s good to see Auckland Transport responding and putting more services on. Perhaps what this also shows is that improving services and especially adding double deckers not only helps improve conditions for existing users but encourages a lot more people to use them too, a case of induced demand if you will.
This is of course not the first time we’ve seen this happen with PT in Auckland and it won’t be the last. I sometimes think it happens simply because officials can’t conceive or at least dare to hope that patronage will grow so fast.
Of course to really make sure those buses work and do so efficiently it will be vital that AT improve the bus lanes along Mt Eden Rd, increasing both the length of the lanes and the length of time they operate for. They also need to ensure that the buses are operated efficiently so that we don’t have the situation where there are no buses for ten minutes then four turn up all at once.