Dominion Rd is one of the city’s busiest and most important bus routes accounting for almost 3 million trips annually. At peak times it already sees many more people on buses than in cars – Auckland Transport saying 23% more. The future of Dominion Rd is for light rail. However, while that’s very much needed, one of the causalities of the push for it has been any improvements to the bus lanes to improve transport in the interim. Planned improvements had been on the cusp of happening many times in the past, only to be delayed again and again. In some ways it was understandable to put the last lot of plans on hold, AT had hoped to be putting rails in the ground by now. But after it quickly became clear that the debate over light rail wasn’t going to be a fast one, AT should have got on bus lane improvements.
It looks like Auckland Transport are finally going to do that, announcing yesterday that they’ll starting soon.
Early next year Auckland Transport (AT) will extend the lanes to make them continuous between Horopito Street and Mt Albert Road. They will also operate for an extra hour in the mornings and evenings. The city-bound bus lane will be open from 7am to 10am and south-bound lane from 4pm to 7pm. Bus lanes can be used by buses, bikes, motorbikes and mopeds during the restriction times.
These improvements will help ease congestion in peak hours allowing fast and frequent bus services, making public transport an attractive option. The main cause of congestion is private vehicles with one occupant.
At the same time that the bus lanes are extended, AT will move some bus stops to comply better with the standard 400 metres between stops. All bus stops not covered by verandas will have shelters put in. There will also be some changes to pedestrian crossings so people can cross Dominion Road to more easily access bus stops.
“These changes will help with traffic flow for all road users. Buses will have a dedicated lane during the weekday peak hours so they won’t have to move in and out of traffic,” says David Nelson, AT’s Group Manager Major Projects.
“We are currently working with businesses and local boards to create a parking and retail strategy that will promote business, increase foot traffic and encourage the use of public transport.”
AT has provided information to property owners and occupants directly affected by these upcoming works. Prior to the works commencing AT will send out information to the entire stretch of Dominion Road between Horopito Street and Mt Albert Road and install road signage.
Extended bus lanes that operate for longer and with better stop spacing, finally. It’s fantastic that it’s happening but really should have been done years ago.
If you want to know more about what’s planned, including just what stops are planned to be added or removed, there are details on ATs website. The various sections that will see changes are shown below.