The other day I noticed that the Central New Network Map now due to be rolled out second quarter next year had been updated
Some changes I have noticed
- Instead of having greyed out Northwest services the map has a line called West. I like this change as these buses do stop on Great North Road so are usable.
- The crosstown buses have renamed to 6** numbers. I kinda liked the Crosstown names but they may be hard to integrate text wise with the real-time boards. I also wonder if just keeping them 0** numbers like many are currently would have just been easier as less change as well as a little different from radial routes.
- Crosstown 9 now the 680 has been reduced from Frequent Transit Network Level of Service to Connector Transit Network Level of Service meaning another crosstown route has been cut back.
The original proposed Central New Network was so good. It really has been sad seeing it piece by piece being watered down and the principles behind it abandoned. Even small things such as consistent numbering with the 2 digit routes mean frequent and 3 digit routes mean connector/local are being abandoned which we are seeing with the 380 not becoming the 38 when its frequency is increased in December. I seriously urge the Government, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to work together to make sure the Central New Network rolls out right including but not limited to
- Fixing the Outer Link by returning it to the more efficient route structure of Crosstown 4 but keeping the successful Outer Link branding.
- Bringing back Crosstown 5.
- Returning the 650 and 680 to Frequent Level of Service as originally consulted making them the 65 and 68.
- Funding the necessary bus priority to make the New Network work better. This isn’t just more money to increase km of kerbside lanes which, to be honest, provide the least benefits, but being smarter with priority with bus advances at intersections, priority to better assist right turns or smarter signals. It even includes cheap simple actions such as increasing lane operation times or upgrading T2s/T3s to Bus Lanes. These upgrades will also save money in the long run as they reduce operational costs.
- Providing the necessary budget to fully roll out the frequencies especially outside of peak.
While not as glamorous as Light Rail or Electric Trains these changes could make a massive difference to public transport users.