Right now Auckland Transport is in the process of implementing the New Network (NN). The NN is already operational in the south, and is being readied for implementation in other sub-regions as per the following timetable:

You can view the latest networks for each sub-region by clicking on the links provided at the beginning of this post. For those who don’t know, I should disclose that I was part of the consultant team who worked with AT to develop the original NN way back in 2012-2014. The original network we developed is illustrated below.

The original network shown above has subsequently evolved in response to several rounds of stakeholder engagement and public consultation. This included engagement with existing operators, consultation with local boards, and — finally — consultation with the general public. Moreover, as time has progressed, more detailed information has come to light, such as the land use outcomes associated with Unitary Plan and the NZ Transport Agency’s plans for developing highways and busways. All useful information that can inform the design of the public transport network, albeit information that has been somewhat slow to extract.

The NN has also had to dovetail with other projects AT has underway. I’m not aware of any other city in Australia or New Zealand that are attempting to change so much about their PT system in so little time. In the 15-20 year period starting with the opening of Britomart, Auckland will have developed a Rapid Transit Network connecting to every sub-region almost from scratch; redesigned the ticketing system and fare structure; implemented a new public transport contracting model; and drastically re-structured its services. Somewhat understandably, the desire to coordinate implementation of the NN with these other projects has delayed implementation beyond the initial (indicative) 2016 timeline.

So as we stand on the threshold of implementing the NN, one may wonder what comes next? The answer, in my opinion, is that the NN will be a constant, ongoing project for at least the next 5-10 years.

There are several reasons for this. The first is simply that all aspects of the NN won’t work perfectly right from the beginning, and they should be changed as further information comes to light. In terms of demand, some routes will experience too much while others will see too little. That’s a reason to reallocate resources. In terms of schedules, some timetables will have too much time while others will have too little. The struggle for reliability is ever-present.

Public transport nirvana won’t happen over-night, but it will happen. If we keep working on it. Maybe. But aside from continuous refinement of the underlying network structure, what else might change? The answer to this is both nothing and almost everything. When I say nothing, I am referring to the underlying principles of frequency and connectivity on which the NN was built, and which will allow us to run a more efficient public transport network. These principles are sound and should not change as we go forward. Instead, they should be strengthened and embedded more deeply into our PT network. Every time AT increase frequency, we should be asking whether we can remove duplication.

On the other hand, much about Auckland’s public transport network will continue to change. Let’s list just a few of the major projects that Auckland Transport and others will be working to implement over the next 5-10 years:

  • City Rail Link
  • Northern Busway extension, including new Rosedale station
  • Extension of electrified services to Pukekohe, and new stations
  • LRT on Dominion Road and Queen Street
  • North-western Busway

When you line up all these projects, you start to realise that there isn’t many corners of our fair city where the public transport will not change fairly dramatically in the next few years. So we will need to get used to PT network changes happening on a fairly regular basis. Of course none of them should be as large as the NN itself, but nor should we delude ourselves that it will end with the NN. The NN is arguably close to the start of Auckland’s journey to PT salvation.

Indeed, such complacency with regards to continuous improvement of Auckland’s PT network is arguably a contributing factor to the situation we are in today. As an aside, I understand the following meme is popular among some of the folk that have long-lorded over Auckland.

Aside from the persistent and ongoing issues with the allocation of resources and reliability, there is one other potential meteor that seems likely to pass fairly close in the near future, and which threatens to destroy the heart of Auckland’s PT network. That is, Auckland has very limited bus capacity in the city centre, in terms of corridors, stop, and terminal capacity. I think it’s fair to say bus capacity in Auckland’s city centre has been neglected for decades, and is now being rapidly squeezed in all directions. The risk is that the meteor of bus volumes brings about a never-ending buspocalypse that in turn suppresses patronage and exacerbates congestion.

Put simply, the volume of buses that need to be accommodated in the city centre is rather high already, and it’s growing. And it’s not just about the corridor capacity: Buses need to stop, terminate, and/or turn-around. In fact, I’d suggest that corridor capacity is almost the least of our concerns, we can always splash around a bit more green paint, e.g. on Wellesley Street. Stop and terminal capacity is more problematic, simply because there’s not much space. LRT will help, but it is something that won’t happen super-fast and nor will it be a panacea when it is up-and-running. Meanwhile construction works associated with the CRL and the Council’s (excellent) place-making initiatives look likely to exacerbate the problems caused by our historical reluctance to address bus terminal issues.

Whether we encounter bus apolocalypse depends on whether AT are successful at changing the way we currently operate buses and manage streets so as to make them more efficient. The NN as it currently stands seem likely to result in higher bus volumes downtown than originally planned. Indeed, changes made during consultation — for potentially good reasons that I explain below — have had the effect of throwing more buses into the city centre, specifically:

  • Removing through-routing — the original NN proposed through-routing bus services between Takapuna–Onehunga, Glen Innes–Mt Albert, and Glen Innes–New Lynn. I understand all three though-routes have been dropped. This both increases bus volumes in the city, and requires more passengers to transfer, which increases dwell-times.
  • Retaining duplicative routes — In some cases, services have been added or retained that duplicate other services, even if they perhaps remove the need for passengers to connect. The most notable is the Outer Link, but there are also a number of peak services that have snuck their way back into the network. In terms of capacity, the latter are particularly problematic, because they directly increase peak bus volumes (by definition).
  • Removing cross-towns — the original NN arguably contained five frequent crosstown services in the Isthmus, specifically: Mt Albert — Glen Innes, Takapuna — Onehunga, New Lynn — Glen Innes, Pt Chevalier — Ellerslie, and Mt Albert — Pakuranga. The proposed NN now contains only one, or arguably two if you include the Outer Link. Going from five to two cross-towns will increase the number of buses terminating in the city centre, and increase the need for passengers to connect between services there.

This should not be construed as criticism of the changes made by AT. Indeed, the changes arguably reflect positively on AT’s desire to respond constructively with feedback. It’s also entirely possible that the changes will increase patronage and/or efficiency in the short term, even if they exacerbate issues with city centre bus capacity in the medium to long term.

But *if* buspocalypse does arise, *then* what should we do about it?

The good news is that AT are aware of the risk of buspoalypse, and have started considering how to mitigate the chance it occurs. Some of their current thinking has been documented in the “Bus Reference Case” report that was published last year, and which was written by my colleagues at MRCagney. While somewhat technical, the report does make for interesting reading, as it provides an indication of the sorts of volumes we might expect and sketches out some possible responses. And when I say response, I am talking about one that considers not just infrastructure, but also other related aspects, such as services, vehicles, and ticketing.

The report notes, for example, that after the CRL the following actions could be taken to reduce bus volumes in the city centre:

  • Re-direct the New North Road (Route 22) service to Newmarket. This would possibly allow AT to drop the infrequent but direct rail service operating between the west and Newmarket, and increase rail services on the main Western line.
  • Eliminate expresses from the West, including Blockhouse Bay to City (Route 195), Green Bay to City (Route 209), Glen Eden Express (Route 151x), and Titirangi Expresses (Routes 171x and 172x). Instead, these routes would terminate at the Avondale, New Lynn, and Glen Eden rail stations.
  • Expand service from the Northwest, specifically Routes 110 and 125x (WEX upon completion of the North western busway); and
  • Eliminate expresses from the Southeast, including Mangere to City (Route 309x) and Papakura to City (Route 360x).

As well as changes to the network itself, the report investigates the potential demand for bus infrastructure in the city centre, especially with regards to bus termini and stop infrastructure around Wynyard, Wellesely, the Universities and Britomart. It’ll be interesting to see what the detailed designs for these areas look like, and whether they avoid off-street interchanges and termini. Naturally on-street would be more cost-efficient, but it does place increased demands placed on city centre streets. Balancing this demand with other place and movement needs will be tricky.

Either way, when we say “city centre bus infrastructure”, it’s fairly clear we are not simply talking about a lick of green paint. If we want to get buses off the streets in the city centre, while maintaining accessibility and growing patronage, then we need to think about where they go. And we may need to spend some money along the way.

In terms of the last point, it’s interesting to compare Auckland with our comrades across the ditch. Both Brisbane and Perth have some serious bus infrastructure in their central city. King George Square station, for example, opened a few years ago and is nicer than most metro stops.

Meanwhile in Perth, construction of the long-planned underground bus station (BusPort) in the city centre was completed in July 2016.

Over here in Amsterdam, they’ve been busy elevating their buses away from the street level so as to improve amenity around central station, while maintaining connections to other transport modes. Impressive stuff, and things that have long been in the works.

None of this is to say that Auckland will neessarily need bus infrastructure of the same scale as the above cities. With a more brutal network structure and more efficient operations, it’s certainly possible we could get by with less hard infrastructure than these cities have achieved. However, these cities do provide a good lesson for Auckland in terms of developing long-term plans for acommodating buses in the city centre. That is something Auckland hasn’t yet managed to achieve, even if it looks like the wheels are starting to turn.

It’s promising that Phil Goff’s election platform and subsequent noises have emphasized the important role for buses, both now and in the future. Getting Auckland’s buses working well will definitely require a level of technical and political leadership that perhaps has been lacking in the past. It may also require that we step on the toes of landowners in the city centre, who arguably have ruled Auckland’s roost for far too long.

What do you think? And if you were AT, and if there was an issue with city centre bus infrastructure capacity, then what would you do? I’d be particularly keen to hear about people’s ideas for the NN as it currently stands, and how it could be adapted so as to reduce bus volumes in the city centre. Which routes would you cut, and why?

And/or what are your ideas for how to improve bus infrastructure in the city centre? Ideas big and small are welcome. If we succeed with our plans for the city centre and public transport more generally, then it’s possible we’ll need some of these infrastructure and service initiatives sooner than we think. I think that’s a good problem to have.

P.s. Feel free to also comment on the proposal to relocate long-distance buses to Manukau and Albany. Grrr. That’s an issue I hope to cover in a future post.

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  1. The 360X can disappear (was put there after pressure) as the Southern Line gets there much faster than that bus ever could on the Southern Motorway.

    As for inter city busses terminating at Manukau and Albany:
    Preference is for an inter city hub at Britomart where the trains and ferries are however,

    If AT are going to be insistent on bunging the inter city at the Manukau Bus Station (again delayed in opening again until 2018) and Albany then we best make advantage of it especially with Transform Manukau via Panuku.

    Call me an opportunist but might as well tap the opportunities placing the inter city terminals in the two largest Metropolitan Centres like hotels, tourism infrastructure and expanding the hospitality scene in both places. At least when the bus way or LRT is complete from Manukau to the Airport it will be a straight run for inter city passengers wanting to connect with either the airport or inter city services.

    1. Or cut and cover under Symonds St for vehicles, and buses on top. Either won’t happen in my lifetime 😉

        1. “surface traffic will always congest”… absolutely correct, so it’s pretty futile to expect it won’t if you build a monorail instead of bus lanes!

    2. Cut and cover tunnel down Symonds St – hmmmm. You do know about the two underground tunnels that the university have crossing directly under Symonds St, don’t you? And the motorway off-ramp, also just below the surface? So, probably not going to work, ever…

      1. Well, if it really worked out, lowering the street level of Wellesley under Symonds would not be much of an extra expense. I did forget about those tunnels, but perhaps an underground bus route could go under them.

      2. Remembering, as noted in a post on transportblog, the university tunnels have never had many users so the loss of them would not really be noticed.

  2. Whatever they do they need to have good connections with bus and ferry terminals. However, in light of limited funding I would like to see LR on Sandringham and Dominion Road as well as AMETI developed first. For me it is a nice to have rather than a must have.
    If manukau becomes a long distance bus station as well then a bus way or LR to airport is required. Plus better busway around Manukau is also required. As well as some Hotel near there. How about a Hotel combined bus station? Perhaps it will delay the manukau bus station- which is not good

  3. I am not at all impressed with the idea of relocating the long-distance buses to Manukau. (This is the first I’ve heard about Albany – are they planning to have buses from the north terminate there?) The terminal was a condition of Sky City’s consent so I’m disappointed AT is letting them just offload that responsibility. Arriving outside the city isn’t user-friendly for visitors, and while I’m all in favour of transfers as a network principle for intra-city trips, the last thing I want on a Sunday evening after a long-distance bus ride is to take two off-peak services home instead of one. Plus the frequencies from Manukau still leave something to be desired.

    1. SkyCity is actually on the record saying that they have no plans to amend their condition of consent requiring them to keep the bus terminal. So we may end up with a laughable condition whereby AT shifts intercity coaches to Manukau, and SkyCity retains an empty bus terminal to comply with their consent condition.

      1. Huh, I thought it was Sky City pushing the idea as part of their expansion. If they’re not trying to get rid of the terminal, the Manukau proposal is even more ridiculous than I thought.

    2. Reading between the lines AT must have decided they want to kill off long distance bus travel. I can’t think of any other reason to terminate it at Manukau.

      1. Perhaps they think long-distance bus travel is already dead? Which is such a short-sighted mentality when you think about our strategic objectives for the city centre.

        If we want more people to live in the city centre, and we want fewer of them to own cars, then we need to ensure there are decent options for getting out of town. The natural environment of NZ is one of the things that makes Auckland such a nice city to live in.

        And long-distance buses are a key part of this equation, which is why I used them regularly when I lived in the city. Twas a great way to get up north to Warkworth and Whangarei etc.

        1. Judging by how full the dozen long distance buses that I caught last year were it’s far from dead.

    3. Hamilton to Whangarei by bus: Hamilton – Manukau – Auckland – Albany – Whangarei. Hmmm, Try doing that in the evening or weekend and you’re really screwed…

  4. How can Sky City back out of providing the transport infrastructure that they promised when they were given consent to build the convention centre? I thought that was a major part of allowing them to build it!

  5. I think existing users will really bitch about loosing their express buses, but it may be necessary. I suspect the 309x is one of the last favourite to be dropped – would be too slow the alternative? Though I think earlier morning expresses INTO the city could be kept, but not back out in afternoon, shouldn’t be too much congestion and they super quick on the fairly empty motorways etc.

    1. The 390x is really only needed as the connection to the train is unreliable and the Onehunga line frequency is not great. I know for the 5 years I used the old 305 / 305x the bus would always beat the train until after 7:30am

  6. Fantastic post, Stu – lots to think about. I don’t have a huge amount to add to what you’ve said, but I think it’s important to recognise that we have three levers to pull:
    1. Bus infrastructure
    2. Network structure
    3. Service characteristics – eg all-door boarding.

  7. Make Wellesley and Customs Sts bus only streets both ways – have buses terminate and start on one of these streets and park up there as well – near to CRL stations and covering both mid and downtown as well as the main tertiary area. Possibly linear bus stations.You have not mentioned parking up areas for buses and 18 -24 hr amenities for drivers. Do not get rid of express buses as some stop and start in areas where trains are not nearby so the quickness of the train is defeated by the additional time getting to and from train stations. Ie 309X stops in back of Mangere Bridge, picks up from top of Queen and K Rd, not Britomart and the additional time and inconvenience to catch sometimes infrequent shuttle buses to and from the stations is longer than the saved time of going by train. A lot of AT theories look good on paper but really do not fit the reality of peoples lives. Especially people who live in the outer suburbs and work some distance from their possibly low paid and long hours job in the CBD.
    The InterCity main station has to be in the city centre – who wants to be moving luggage around more stations than necessary often at non peak times, when bus and train connections are infrequent.

    1. Surely the CRL means we can remove some express buses from our west? I.e. those that cross the rail line on their way into the city?

    1. Te Atatu is a definite priority, followed by Lincoln. Ridiculous that this wasn’t done as part of the WRR, now they have to redo part of what they just spent millions upgrading.

      1. And the big looser for any NW busway now is going to be the cycleway as NZTA have built out into the harbour as far as the reserve allows. And housing of course. We’ll need to remove more houses.

        1. The vast property acquisition required makes me question whether the NW busway is economically feasible. There are a lot of house that border the northern side of the motorway in Royal Heights and West Harbour. And the commercial land is right up against the motorway on both sides between Lincoln and Te Atatu.

        2. Sorry, you don’t get to opt out of providing overdue infrastructure because it eventually got too hard or expensive when you’ve had decades to actually build it. Maybe tell that to the people campaigning for the rail line to the Shore who already have their busway.

        3. The solution is elevated LRT along the centre of the motorway corridor. That skirts the problems and provides a very long term solution including carbon emissions.

          With this in mind, and the fact that NZTA have built/are building bus shoulder lanes along SH16, the progression would be to utilise these shoulder lanes and provide interchanges, such as at Te Atatu, Lincoln Rd and Westgate, until ridership justifies the LRT option.

        4. The campaign for Rail to the Shore is based on quickly increasing ridership and NZTA’s plans to eventually build another harbour crossing. To simply allow NZTA to build another road crossing without strongly advocating for a high capacity transit line (and rail makes sense here) would be silly.

        5. I understand NZTA’s motivation, but maybe the Shore should have to wait until everyone else catches up before they get any more rapid transit infrastructure. It’s bad enough that they already get discounted travel for events and long weekends and other parts of Auckland don’t.

        6. The LRT would only need to be elevated on some narrow sections as well, otherwise it can sit at grade in the median.

  8. The “peasant wagon” meme is unfortunately not a joke, and has variations. I remember a couple of years ago that a nominally pro-PT but passionately pro-cycling local board member (now a Chair – yes, you know who I mean) referred to the bus as a “loser cruiser” in my earshot. I felt personally affronted that by implication, I am a “loser”. She will never again get my vote unless she can seriously redeem herself. What makes people so anti-bus?

    1. I’m conflicted about that councillor. Her overall aims are laudable, but the policies she supports don’t actually help achieve them at all.

    2. Very amusing! Although I hadn’t heard the peasant wagon meme sorry, and I am currently very supportive of busses, I can think of reasons why a reasonable person might not like busses.
      1. Busses pay little or no heed to cyclists. When cycling on a bus route they consistently overtake, give minimal room, and then pull in when they have reached 50% of their length. double grrr.
      2. Busses are very loud. The reverberations around britomart are actively unpleasant. Where are the EV busses? 8-)!
      3. the seats are designed for children.
      4. Busses emit moy, moy N2O2 and CO2. OK, less than a SOV if loaded. fair enough, but this is very load dependent. A near empty after hours bus, no so good. Either way, walking or cycling near a bus is really not healthy.
      5. The PT transport system as whole is improving but if where you want to go is not where PT goes, then oh well. And you can’t take your bike to be more flexible.
      6. and last but not least, the busses still don’t cope with peak loads on many routes.

      1. None of the above makes me a “loser” just because I actively choose public transport over the car (or cycling) – and because mostly buses are the mode that I need.

  9. Regarding improvements in the CBD, I’d say wayfinding. The last time I took the bus across the CBD, I had to transfer on a bus at a non-descript bus stop on a little side street of Customs Street. That would have been quite a challenge to find without a smart phone.

    The lack of through routing is very obvious if you’re coming from the North Shore. Right now you usually have to transfer at Britomart, and you lose a lot of time in both the transfer and the associated detour. How much time would a more direct route via Wellesley Street save? And I’m wondering if there’s a case for a similar cross-town to Kingsland, perhaps via Great North Road and Bond Street. At least until we finish digging the CRL.

    And the west of the CBD is similarly stranded. If you’re standing at the central police station, getting on any train would be hideously time-consuming. So we’re not getting rid of those parallel bus routes yet.

    1. The NEX 2 and several others will go via Wellesley in the new network, I don’t agree with the routing to the university, or using Victoria which was better in the original, but that’s another story:



      WRT the central police station, it’s only about 100m from the Aotea Station entrance. I think we need to be careful to distinguish between *current* issues and post-CRL issues.

      1. Yes, that’s what I said, this is a *current* issue. Eventually a lot of these problems go away because you can just transfer at Aotea station. But that’s still over 5 years away, until then we have to deal with it.

        1. Apologies, on a second read I see that. The next 5 years are going to be terrible. The CBD is basically cut in half by the trenching going on and AT aren’t going to run buses down a route that has to change every few weeks for site changes (fair enough too). All of the problems with the existing network are going to get worse during this time, but I think AT could do much more to minimise this.

    2. I would say you shouldn’t need way finding. There should be one or two places where you can catch a bus to/from anywhere. Having buses terminate in a million and one different places makes transferring almost impossible.

  10. Firstly: Long Distance buses should go into the city. I can’t think of many examples internationally where this doesn’t happen. The city centre is where all the transport connections are and where most of the accommodation in Auckland is.
    By all means have some long distance services to Manukau from frequent close cities (looking at you Hamilton) however these would need to be coordinated with the other services by the same company into the city (on the same ticket).
    So how it would work is services to say Tauranga, Taupo, Wellington etc would still go to the city centre. Every 2nd service from Hamilton would terminate at Manukau but timed so that there would be a seemless transfer onto one of the other services heading into the city. The reason for Hamilton service example is that a lot of people from Hamilton will be going to the airport and are more likely to be going to other parts of Auckland (since it is relatively close by). They can then use the rail network or local buses etc if they aren’t going into the city centre on the long distance bus.

    IF, and it’s a bit IF it is decided to move from Sky City then the council really should be getting Sky City to pony up so that they no longer have that on their resource consent ($5m sounds about right) since it is valuble land they will get many productive years use out of.

    Of course all of this wouldn’t be such an issue if we had proper inter-city rail services (Hamilton and Tauranga to start with, Rotorua would be great and Wellington really should have a daily service – even if it is the tourist train. Whangarei should also get a twice daily service to allow for people to attend a meeting and return).

    Now on to the NN (or rather the future).
    Busopocalypse would be reduced/removed if we had a HR service to the North Shore through to Albany.
    As is one plan option it would come through Wynyard (station) then up to Aotea (station beneath and at 90deg to existing platform location) and continue through under the University. Ideally from there it would come out at Parnell and connect with the Eastern Line (there are other options as I think Patrick has advocated).
    I’m thinking now would be best to go full underground on this line (would mean the NEX would remain in place for buses or maybe LR) so can take a different route to the NEX (either a route through Takapuna and roughly underneath East Coast Road, or through Northcote, Glenfield, Rosedale and through to Albany with a Takapuna spur from Northcote that I guess could potentially eventually be extended through the Bays as per the other option).
    Rail to the airport would also remove those Airbuses from the city centre.
    The issue I have with the proposed NW busway as that it will add to the number of buses in the city centre. Since this is being built from scratch I don’t see why they don’t just build it as either a HR or LR line. If it was built as a LR line then should be built in a way that buses can also use it (ie enough width and space for them to be off the lines at stops) part of the reason for this is that buses are often used overseas at certain times of the day/certain days each year when maintenance is being done etc

    1. The 14 daily inter-regional services from Hamilton to Auckland originate from Wellington, Palmerston North, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Napier, Hastings, Gisborne, and Tauranga. There is only 5 services the originates from Hamilton daily – 1 being the the 7am Hamilton to Auckland which becomes the 12.30pm long distance service to Taupo, Napier and Hastings. The other 4 services are the Hamilton to Auckland Airport and Auckland city expresses, which by passes Manukau City.

      I agree with most of the comments, that Auckland needs a centralised inner city bus/coach terminal for suburban, regional, inter-regional and long distance services. Britomart is the logical choice. Failing that, keep Skycity as Auckland’s inter-regional and long distance coach terminal, like what Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch has. AT proposal to terminate inter-regional and long distance services at Manukau and Albany is the dumbest concept and it should never have been made public.

      1. Thanks for the stats Kris; that’s interesting to know.

        In terms of inter-city buses, I agree that terminating buses at Albany and/or Manukau is not a good option. It’s not called the “city centre” for nothing.

        Auckland’s upper-class colonial snobbery sometimes makes me laugh out loud. It’s like everyone has a right to the city, unless you a bus passenger — and then you have to commute from Timbuktu. You don’t see that attitude in Europe, even in cities where there are much more developed rail networks.

        1. Stu – the services from Hamilton to Auckland are InterCity Coachlines services only and does not include Great Sights scenic coach services from Rotoura that do not stop in Hamilton and Great Sights and Gary Line Auckland city coach sightseeing tours that also use SkyCity Coach terminal.

        2. From the perspective of London their main bus terminal(s) aren’t quite in the city centre, but then again they have the luxury of the tube system in close proximity – could we try to leverage of the service improvements from the CRL. I agree it would be foolish to move the terminals to Manukau or Albany (it reminds me of having to catch intercity buses in Laos and Cambodia!), keep them as a stop by all means, but are there other centrally located areas which could work well as a bus terminal if the constraints in the CBD cant be resolved? For example, could you develop an (underground) intercity interchange around the Mt Eden rail station in conjunction with the CRL works? This would still allow people to get to the city centre in a few minutes by rail as well as providing connections to the south, west and east (and eventually north). This wouldn’t be vastly different from how most European Cities operate.

    2. I think the reason for the NW being a busway rather than LR is so that it can be built in stages. The first stage would be Te Atatu to Westgate, then utilising the existing bus lanes along the causeway and travelling on Great North Rd.

      As for passenger trains to Whangarei, it’s not even worth considering, it is a long and winding route, I think something ridiculous like four hours, someone with more knowledge of old passenger schedules might be able to correct me. Better to focus on Hamilton and Tauranga, which are much more realistic.

    1. “Isn’t the new network designed so buses feed RTN’s? Shouldn’t that result in less buses in the city?”

      Yes, but the population of the inner suburbs is set to double in 30 years.

    2. yes, holding other factors constant, then feeding the RTN should result in less buses in the city centre.

      Problem is other factors aren’t constant. Population keeps growing, as does PT patronage. Reality is that there’s going to be lots of demand for bus travel no matter how much/fast we built LRT,

  11. Everyone keeps talking about the people who will arrive at Manukau after a long trip and then have to catch another service or two to get home. What about the poor people who would have to get out to Manukau to catch an intercity service outbound?? You’ve got major services leaving Skycity at 7am-7:30am. How on earth do they expect people to get to Manukau that early in the morning when using public transport? Especially if they’re coming from West Auckland or the North Shore. It just wouldn’t happen. AT couldn’t care less, and they certainly ain’t going to make sure there are services to get you to Manukau that early from other parts of Auckland.

    1. +1, it’s like they are begrudgingly providing a station because they think it is something they have to do rather than providing a good service because it has obvious benefits to users.

    2. I totally agree with Serano comments.

      I received an email from AT about the proposal and was told it wasn’t AT idea but Auckland Council idea. So who’s dumb idea was it – AT or Auckland Council?

    3. Actually most of cities we’ve travelled through the inter-city bus terminals were outside CBD. But just – only 2-4 metro stops from the city central (10-20 minutes). There has been a few with a 30-60 minutes trip (Buenos Aires, Amman) – but that’s exceptions… So based purely on that, mid-city CBD is not a great place for it, but also Manukau is way too far (40 minutes by train plus add waiting & transfer time).

        1. It’s been a while back (2010), but what it might’ve been is that we were told to disembark at another terminal further away from the city, as it took too long for the buses to get to the city centre, and metro was way faster.

      1. oh yes there’s definitely plenty of long distance bus terminals that are on the edge of the city centre. But 30-40 minutes from the city?

        Also worth keeping in mind that places like Buenos Aires are significantly larger than Auckland. I’m trying to think of a city that is Auckland’s size which has long-distance buses out in the wops?

  12. Why don’t we turn Queen’s Wharf (remove that slug building and those other ‘historical’ building) into Auckland Bus Terminus? This would make Britomart the Transport Central Hub of Auckland with Ferry, Train, Bus and Queen Street Light Rail.

    Also other choice is the Old Strand. IF, big IF, they are going to build the new stadium there, why not also build the bus terminus there?

    1. The Strand is not a good location for an inter-regional and long distance bus/coach terminal, as Kiwirail Scenic is finding for the Northern Explorer train service because is a long way from hotels. etc. With SkyCity there are 10 accommodation providers ranging from hostels to hotels with 6-9 minute walk from SkyCity Coach terminal.

      The Strand would probably okay for suburban and regional services.

    2. I thought Queens Wharf was supposed to be a public place people could WALK around. Sadly it has become more and more a road and even has a taxi rank on it now.

      1. I saw on the weekend they’re even building state houses down there now… Anyway, it’s definitely not a place for buses.

  13. I though that long-distance terminus at Manukau Bus Station was only during peak hours? I am 100% for a Manukau Terminus during peak, as it would be way faster and economical to transfer to the train than suffer the long congestion on the southern motorway. Train takes around 40-45mins from Manukau to Britomart, while driving will take over an hour and thats without any crashes.

    Non-peak hours though should have a terminus in the CBD, as well as a Manukau stop.

    1. No, it’d be all hours.

      And to be honest, trying to split the terminus by time of day would be a nightmare in terms of legibility.

      If the train is indeed faster, then why not stop in the city and Manukau and let people choose where they disembark?

      1. Here’s a radical idea – why not actually have long distance passenger trains taking people into the city, rather than long distance buses? I’d take one if I could.

        1. I think that you would still end up with both, but I completely agree that we need a passenger rail network yesterday.

    2. I don’t think many of the people who have posted here actually use long distance bus services. It would be a HUGE disincentive to shift the termini to the outer reaches of Auckland, and I confidently predict a significant patronage loss if that happens. Watch this space . . .

      1. Yeah, I can’t imagine Intercity would be very happy with this, having their biggest hub moved to an inconvenient location. I wonder as a significant tourism operator how strong their lobbying power is.

  14. I would have thought an LRT running from Botany Town Centre along Te Irirangi Drive to Manukau City would be fairly easy to implement?
    The only difficult part would be linking it to Manukau Station.

  15. For the last few weeks Fanshawe street has been reduced by 3 lanes (of course they closed the bus lane 200m before it’s needed) – the “civic”-bound buses are temporarily using Beaumont and Victoria Streets. Just like what AT said will happen during the New Network changes, without even consulting on these changes, or wanting to hear a bar from people what they thought…. Well my fears have been realised. The transfer from the Beaumont St bus stop to Fanshawe street (eg. coming from Hillcrest and wanting to go to Britomart) means 4 traffic lights to cross, which took me 8 minutes just to walk 150m. And further, once the bus got to Victoria St, the congestion on Victoria Street is horrendous!.. so if this is going to be the “new” way of getting into the city, AT really has some hard work to do to make it work for people who choose to use public transport. Oh and they plonked two containers “site offices” outside 37 Halsey Street to further help creating more congestion for mainly bus users… seriously, AT, why do you let the so called “street management” contractors ruin public transport so much?

    1. Re Fanshawe St. I could not believe it when Halsey St, closed for months from Fanshawe into Wynyard was finally rebuilt, resealed and then in just a few short weeks was dug up again. Is someone at Auckland Council taking the piss? As well as utterly stuffing all traffic flows inward bound who is footing the bill for this?

      1. My thoughts exactly. I was so frustrated when I saw that! A lot of these kind of things happen and I now just assume someone screwed up royally at our expense.

  16. What comes next? Fare rises that what. “Public transport nirvana won’t happen over-night, but it will happen. If we keep working on it. Maybe”. Quite right but when the accountants take over and decide that PT must be more user pays it gets that much more unattractive. The more AT seem to want to improve things, the more they take big steps backwards at the same time!

    1. AT are putting their prices up at the end of the month, it is always easier to make those that pay to pay more while there are still so many not paying anything at all.

      1. But AT pretend the fare evasion on rail is some insignificant 7% or similar. Was that number focus grouped? Nothing to see here!

        1. Someone must have decided 7% was a palatable figure so stuck with it, if only the real figure was known and released. The figure is probably even higher than 7% on main peak services, off peak those not paying would out number those that do (often by many times).

        2. Over the whole network over a full day probably, there is possibly more but AT don’t want anyone to know that the honesty system is a major failure so no one gathers the actual figures.

        3. Ted you, and you alone, have decided that fare dodging on the rail network is a scandal, or at least some kind of massive issue. But is it really? Surely even you must accept that at some point the costs of ensuring not one rider has not paid outweigh the benefit of their fare, or them no longer being on a train? Gating every station and peopling trains and stations with security staff is an expensive business, and one that can only happen at the expense of other services or investments. I for one would rather have more frequent trains and share my ride with a few fare dodgers, than a poorer service and the certainty that everyone has paid (except those over 65, of course).

          However it is likely that fare dodgers are also causing other problems such as being disruptive or vandalising trains, so yes it is something to try to minimise, (although remember PT is public service so moving these people elsewhere in society doesn’t really solve the bigger picture, and certainly having them driving is potentially a greater cause for concern… but that’s a wider issue) the point is that AT have a responsibility to find the right balance on this issue and it is very unlikely that the balance falls at zero free-riders.

          AT are gating more high volume stations, which is surely the most effective route to minimisation, could this be happening faster? Of course, but so could everything else we want on the PT networks and indeed in the whole city, like more trains, and AMETI, and lower fares, and longer span of services, and LRT, and an Airport RTN, and motherhood and apple-pie…. Money, dude; it ain’t limitless. Everything in this field is a trade-off.

        4. Nick as a fare paying passenger (I’m not so what do I care, the $100 odd per year in my rates doesn’t go down if free loaders stop riding the trains) what percentage of free loaders do you find palatable before you start looking at why you pay every time when others never pay?

          Patrick I have never said that all stations need to be gated but it is a matter of strategic gating, if you can manage to gate either the boarding or arriving station of the bulk of fare evaders the numbers should drop. There will always be the one station evaders as it is not practical to gate all the small suburban stations.

        5. Ted, a free rider costs you and ratepayers nothing. No train is especially put on for them, it is going anyway. Why such bitterness? Is it about status? You’re riding free and want to feel special about that so resent others that achieve the same outcome on their own initiative? Also strategic gating is happening, that is public declared AT policy, and it turns out that’s what you want; official AT policy, so what’s with the endless ranting on this issue accusing AT of conspiracy?

        6. Patrick the free riders do indirectly cost both the ratepayers and paying passengers as they are not paying their share of the running cost. As I can count on my finger on one hand how many times I’ve used the train in the last decade I couldn’t care less if no one pays as long as I don’t get lumped with the costs through my rates. Fare evasion on buses is starting to increase as bus drivers don’t care either now that it is not the companies money as it was in the past.

          Nick those numbers depend if you count the business man that gets off to tag on at Remurea, Orakei or Grafton etc are fare evaders or paying passengers.

        7. Bigted – who are these business people who are tagging on at Remuera or Orakei but travelling from further out and how do you know this is actually happening? I travel through one or other of these stations daily and I have never seen a business person jump out of the train tag on and then jump back on again.

        8. No Ted. Free riders add absolutely no direct cost to the system expect in attempts to police them. Which is what you are bleating for. The train is going anyway, a few more bodies requires infinitesimal additional electrons to move the beast. It can even be argued that moving the poor like this is a social good, anyway, and certainly no less of one than moving those over 65 around for free, many of whom may have more than enough resources to pay their own way. Give it a rest.

        9. Well from what I understand from the literature in the order of 5% is the sweet spot. If you aim for less than that you end up spending far more on fare enforcement systems than you recover from extra revenue. For example, a team of two full time ticket inspectors would cost around $3,000 a week. To recover their cost they would not only have to catch an extra thousand or so fare evaders a week, those fare evaders would subsequently have to start paying for tickets. Just catching them doesn’t recover the money you spend on catching them.

          You seem to be missing or ignoring two key points. Firstly, fare evaders don’t cost anything when we are talking about single figure percentages. There is zero cost associated with them being on the train, and zero revenue generated by them being kicked off the train. They literally cost nothing.

          Sure, if we had 50% fare evasion and evaders were literally crowding off fare paying passengers then ok, but we don’t and they don’t.

          The second thing is whether fare evaders represent lost revenue. You seem to be assuming they do. But next time you get all angry under the collar look at the people you are judging. Are they going to just start paying if you completely force them to… or are they going to simply stop catching trains? I would hazard that a fair proportion don’t pay because they don’t have any money, while more than a fair proportion are just young kids who take advantage to get around for fun.

          So when we are at single figure percentages on fare evasion, the evaders are neither a cost when they don’t pay, nor are they extra revenue if you prevented them from boarding without paying. Just how much taxpayer money do you want to pour down the drain on this quixotic crusade?

        10. AT only move over 65 for free during the PM peak as the government pays their full fare during off peak, not only actual over 65 but until mid last year they also paid AT for every paper supergold ticket produced by freeloaders that tried using them to board trains or spent the time to run thousands off to run the ticket machines out paper to get their free ride.

          Trains don’t run for free, someone is paying for them to operate and if you want 15 minute off peak services either those that do pay will be required to pay more or the rate subsidy will increase.

        11. And those paper tickets no longer exist and you now need a special authorised hop to use supergold, so what’s your point?

          I also don’t get your second point. Could you please explain how kicking freeloaders off trains makes 15 minute off peak services cheaper to run, or how doing that creates more revenue? Or maybe you could explain the mechanism by which a fare evader makes the operational cost of a train different than if they weren’t there.

          The cost of 15 minute headways, and the subsidy and ticket price, will be exactly the same whether there are 7% of fare evaders on board, or whether you stop those 7% from getting on in the first place. If you disagree, please explain what I have missed.

        12. Correct supergold paper tickets no longer exist (for good reasons), the point was being made to Patrick who said over 65 are carried for free but they are not.

          It is not about kicking free loaders off it is about making everyone pay their share.

        13. Bigted – how do you know so much about the so called ‘real numbers’ of fare evaders, when as you say above you hardly ever catch the train?

        14. I’m a taxpayer and a public transport user. Even under the assumption that a serious crackdown on fare evasion would be revenue-positive, I am more than happy to pay a bit extra to avoid the hassle of dealing with gates at every station and fare enforcement agents on every train.

          My idea of a good society is one where we don’t have to deal with enormous heaps of time-wasting bullshit foisted on us by strict adherence to the letter of every rule in the enormous rulebook. Perhaps you get excited about petty bureaucratic procedures, but I certainly don’t!

        15. But how will you make them pay? The fare evaders I occasionally see out west are school kids who hop on the train for a couple of stops instead of walking home. They don’t have money and certainly won’t start buying tickets if pressed.

          If you stop them from getting on without paying they’re not going to start paying, they’re going to stop getting on.

    2. Yeah biggest wallet drain short of my mortgage is paying two monthly passes, which will go up to $420 (2x$210) next month. Just when I was hoping they would put it down a bit.

      My HOP card cracked and I have to wait “48 hours” to get my Monthly pass back, meanwhile paying on-top of it, what a garbage system. I miss snapper/purple hop, after switching from GoRider I had the same purple HOP card the whole time until AT HOP came out, and I could top-up instantly from anywhere with NFC, now I have a stack of a dozen worthless cards thanks to auto topup drama and random malfunctions.

      Never had any issues with Purple HOP the whole time I used it, apart from of course only being able to use it on NZBus buses. Yet with AT HOP I seem to have problems every few weeks.

      1. I agree they should have stuck with Snapper. The advantage of privately owned businesses is that they tend to bother listening to their customers.
        I couldn’t believe it when AT told me they cancelled my HOP card because the terms and conditions said they could, not because of any good reason, and they wanted $10 for another. No private business would survive with that attitude.

        1. They could just make Thales undertake the customer relations side of things if it is a private business running things that is what’s needed. I guess I’ve never had any problems with my HOP card in the four years I’ve had it though.

      2. I still have my original Hop card and have literally never had a problem with it*. I think it’s awsome actually, way better than the other one I’ve used a lot (Myki in Melbourne).

        *Well once the card reader wasn’t working one morning at one station, but it was fixed by the next day.

        1. You’ve never got a new credit card then? Or you were lucky enough to remember to change your auto topup?

        2. That’s not a problem with the card though is it, it’s AT’s appalling customer service. From what I know Thales had the better card for a number or reasons and AT have just not given one shit about card users since it was implemented.

        3. AT only wanted to use their card as they are in control and they are the ones that keep the missing millions that disappear into the system.

  17. What comes next is definitely getting the bus priority measures sorted for at least the key routes. As is the new network relies more on transfers having the buses turning up at regular intervals is key. As far as I can see hardly anything is being done to get this organised now. And nothing is going to alienate users more than lack of reliability and missing the local connector buses that generally run at 30 mins (or worse) frequencies.

    1. After a Sunday fun trip yesterday on the new Southern network with the kids & wife I definitely found it more reliable & easier to plan/figure out new routes. Still had to hyper schedule though as let down by infrequent train schedule & connecting with existing central bus network (still hourly). Worst complain is inconsistent or not working aircon. Hottest part of day and one bus had it turned off (or it didn’t work), with no windows to open…was some sort of torture, luckily a short trip. Some of the other new ones I notice the “new” smell is overwhelmingly toxic and makes you almost sick. Another bus had “bus stopping” permanently stuck on with accompanied weird ringing sound.

  18. Re duplication of routes, I’m also concerned at the amount of scarce resources being tipped into a Ponsonby-Newmarket link, when point-to-point patronage on that sector isn’t so high. Under the NN, there are
    (a) The Inner Link (frequent)
    (b) The NX3 (30 min weekdays offpeak)
    (c) The N93 from Highbury (or whatever it becomes in the NN, also 30 min weekdays offpeak)

    My preference would be to make the NX3 frequent (say every 15 min, 7 days a week) and to terminate the Inner Link in the Great North Road/Vinegar Lane area. Then anyone going from Ponsonby to the city can still catch the Inner Link, while anyone going to K Road or Newmarket would take the NX3 or N93, all still at frequent service levels. This also avoids the current complications with the Inner Link, which are that at the Newmarket end there’s confusion for many as to “which” Inner Link to take. Fewer Inner Link buses would be needed, these could be applied instead to the NX3 to bulk out the frequency.

    And while we’re at it, do we really need so many buses going from Newmarket to the city via Parnell?
    (a) The Inner Link
    (b) The Outer Link
    (c) Route 30

    ALL of the above are frequent routes, and while it’s good for the people of Parnell, there must surely be an equity issue here in terms of the level of service they’ve been provided,. compared with other parts of the region.

    1. That’s just a factor of all the routes from the isthmus converging on a few main roads into the CBD.

      But I kinda agree, personally I would just drop the NX3 and N93 and people can transfer at Victoria Park or Midtown to the Inner Link or various other routes.

      By the way route 30 doesn’t go to Parnell, it goes up Khyber Pass to Newton then down Symonds St. And the outer link goes to the university and midtown, while the inner link goes to downtown. Without driving a bus up Lower Domain Drive there is no other way to do that except have them share Parnell Rd.

      1. The stupid thing is, the route of the N93 / NX3 is really slow, in the evening it gets stuck in the queue at the Curran Street on-ramp. I don’t really get the point of these routes. Especially now there’s no fare penalty anymore for transferring at Britomart.

        The duplication of the NX3 / N93 route is of course brought by us by the Northcote Point residents, by blocking the Onewa Road station.

      2. Thats great but the NX2 isn’t going past Auckland Hospital. Fix that and thr NEX3 can go away as far as I’m concerned.

        1. You’d have to transfer onto another bus on Symonds Street, which I think isn’t too bad.

          But I agree, it would be better if that bus went via Wellesley Street, the Grafton Bridge, and maybe to Newmarket station. It’s such a PITA right now to get anywhere past Britomart if you’re coming from the North Shore.

    1. Driverless cars will be great for delivering people to and from Train/Busway stations. And if course, driverless PT will make it much cheaper to run and therefore we can run a lot more service for the same cost.

      1. Hmm but big problem with that is you will need to pay someone else to keep things orderly on the service, presently the driver assumes that role on a bus – well… usually. Auckland is full of troublemakers who want to blast loud music or tap passengers on the heads with squeegees (yes, this happened).

    2. Not sure how you figure that buses and trains will die out, there is no way that we can put twice as many cars as currently into our CBD to meet current demand and then twice as many again to meet growth.

      1. Exactly, driverless “cars” i.e. single occupancy vehicles, means more of the same congestion and more vehicles on the road, as you won’t need a drivers license, to be capable of driving or of age to drive (i.e. too old or under 16). Also not having to drive will entice more people to make more trips than they otherwise would, as they won’t have to bother with the stress of operating the vehicle.

        We will still need alternatives like trains and buses to mitigate congestion.

    1. Stu mentioned this: “LRT will help, but it is something that won’t happen super-fast and nor will it be a panacea when it is up-and-running. ”

      I agree with the first part, but maybe not with the second. LRT on Dominion and through Onehunga and Mangere to the airport could replace maybe 40 or 50 buses an hour once it’s in place. So that’s either a reduction of 80-100 buses across the whole peak, or more likely it allows much more capacity to be added to dozens of extra routes from all over. That could actually be a panacea for a decade or two at least.

      1. maybe! Don’t ever forget Paris: Surface transport begets demand for surface transport.

        That is, let’s say we install LRT, and it successfully replaces all the Dom Rd buses and results in a patronage boost. How much of that patronage growth is going to be for connecting services to other destinations?

        1. Well it’s all the Dom Rd buses, plus a chunk of those on Sandringham and Mt Eden Rd from the southern end of the catchment, plus maybe half on Manukau Rd for all the stuff out of Onehunga and Mangere that no longer runs.

          So thats maybe fifty buses an hour taken care of, which you can allocate to growth on basically any routes running into the city with a bit of shuffling around.

          The business case for LRT isn’t based on fixing dominion road, so much as what taking dominion road buses out of the system lets you do elsewhere. For example, 30 less Domininon Road buses an hour on Wellesley/Victoria St is 30 more you could run from the north shore.

        2. Nic, I’m not questioning the 50 buses per hour. Great. Yippee.

          I’m simply suggesting that if LRT succeeds from a patronage perspective, then it will stimulate additional demand for other bus routes. Imagine people using LRT to access city and then connecting to bus to Northshore etc.And background growth on top.

          The big risk I see is all the place-making initiatives that are constraining space all over the shop, and for which the footprints tend to expand rather than shrink over time (NB: Not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but something to plan for). These make me skeptical of suggestions that we can avoid decent bus infrastructure in the city centre in the medium to long term, because they tend to assume other demands on the road network (e.g. from pedestrians, bicycles, or driverless vehicles) don’t increase in that time.

          If these risks manifest then I think we will wish that had developed long term plan for developing decent bus infrastructure in the city centre, rather than trying to muddle along with make-shift solutions, such as all these split stops and moving long distance buses out of the city centre.

        3. Sure, I agree it all creates demand for more PT.

          But nobody is proposing we avoid decent bus infrastructure. If I’m not mistaken the plan is still to turn Wellesley St into a bus only busway for several blocks, to turn fanshawe St into a busway, to build new bus stations at the university and wynyard, and various smaller changes. But would building LRT be an alternative to an extra underground bus station, yes I think so.

        4. I beg to differ on two counts:
          1. I think there’s many people are trying to avoid the need for decent bus infrastructure; and
          2. Plans are all well and good, but we’ve going round and round with such plans for about 10-20 years. End result? Nada. The litmus test will be if the plans for Wellesley Street, for example, make it through without being watered down.

          Call me cynical perhaps?

        5. Sure we have a horrible history of grand plans that come to nothing, but what makes you think a grand plan for a big underground bus station would be any different in that regard?

          Quite frankly if we can’t pull off something like Wellesley st that amounts to paint, kerbs and paving, what hope do we have for a bus terminal that would cost 3 or $400m dollars and take a couple of years to build (or LRT for that matter)?

  19. We are now going to be paying the price for scaling back the integrated bus terminal under Britomart. Though don’t now much about it’s details, could still have been an issue with bus congestion/access into the city. Maybe the way forward is to have cars increasingly banned in central areas as bus only (+ ped & cycle) routes are gradually phased in. Once they are electric will be much more pleasant too. Here is a silly idea: Turn the whole of Skycity’s car parking (1,960 parks) into a bus terminal. Good location for it probably with access to North & West sides.

    1. I agree with scaling back SOV use. We do have a significant amount of road infrastructure in the CBD that is very inefficiently allocated. This should be the starting point. Regarding terminal capacity, what about city fringe locations. Stabling buses at, say, Quay park and running them on high quality exclusive corridors in and out of town could be a cost effective option. Or use some of the Port land.

    2. I know we should be really discussing interim/pre-CRL/light rail measures, but thinking about a “Busport” space, I see on Google the perfect spot: A low value Wilson car park bordering Hobson/Nelson/Wyndham St & Bradnor Ln. This land surely could be used as a bus interchange (with layup) building. Intercity included. Could go up and underground. Not too big or fancy perhaps but would be in easy reach of the northern buses, future LRT, pretty much all other buses could pass through it going down & up the the huge Nelson & Hobson St. A lot of the buses could pass via Britomart (but not having to terminate there of course). It would be pretty close walk from ferries, Wynyard Qtr & the city center/Aotea CRL station itself. This makes use of the bypass roads, keeping the bulk of bus saturation on Nelson, Hobson & Fanshawe. Buses coming down Symonds St can hang a left at Wellesley (future bus only route) & down Nelson.

  20. Surely the cheapest/quickest/simplest is:
    1. 2 minute train frequency
    2. hyper-frequent buses to train stations
    3. very very few buses to town

    no need for weird tunnels in town or redesigning constrained sites

    1. That doesn’t eliminate the need for buses though. You have the north and north west, eastern and western bays at least

      1. Surely every bus in the “NW catchment” could go to the closest train station? I.e. titirangi->new lynn and so forth

        1. Eh? Titirangi isn’t in thenorthwest, and the titirangi buses will indeed stop at New Lynn. Northwest is the place along the northwest motorway: Westgate, Royal Heights, Te Atatu etc.

        2. Yes buses more as feeders to the RTN is an over-arching strategy. But there are three complicating issues here:
          1. sometimes bus routes near rail lines do pick up important catchments and destinations not near stations, like parts of Great South Rd, so have their own purpose along the route as much as at the end of the route.
          2. people are generally resistant to losing a service they are in the habit of using and will submit vigorously to keep ‘their’ bus, even if the transfer would be quicker and better; they just aren’t used to it.
          3. there has to be trains with capacity all day and night, including at the peak of the peak, on the RTN to take high volumes of transfers at say New Lynn and Panmure; more frequent and longer trains. Is rail planning keen for waves of extra customers; are they planning for them, is there budget and capacity for this at scale?

          All roads lead to finding additional funding sources for the RTN expansion that is clearly required and required quicker than is currently planned.

    2. can do that to an extent. But still going to have a lot of buses — at least if you want to grow patronage.

      What you outline could work, if you don’t mind about destroying patronage.

    3. Well if you look at the New Network that’s more or less already the plan. Apart from the North and Northwestern corridors which don’t have rail, basically all routes that go anywhere near a train station have been reconfigured to feed into rail.

      What’s left are only buses from the isthmus suburbs, where you’d have to go quite far sideways to get to rail and/or force a whole lot of transfers at the worst place on the rail network (i.e right in the centre and stop or two from town).

  21. Hi there, Well I am reading this story 6 months later and nearly a month after the New Network started for West Auckland. I am a female commuter who works outside peak hours, with afternoon starts and late night finishes. So actually too late to use the trains, but not buses.
    I now have to transfer bus in Henderson since the New Network started.
    Also, there are not many people at night in the area, so it seems very isolated.
    On Sunday and public holidays, my work times don’t work at all with the New Network.
    I am considering renting a carpark now, so that things are more convenient and safer with the loss of one single bus that connects to my area of West Auckland.
    Others using the late night buses I have spoken to have also complained.
    So, I am sorry that while it’s supposed to make things more convenient for users, for some the opposite has happened and I am sure there will be others spurred to use cars rather than public transport.

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