On Friday Mayor Phil Goff released his proposed budget for the 2022/23 financial year and the headline feature of it is a $1 billion climate action package.

An ambitious $1 billion climate action package to reduce carbon emissions and deliver more buses, ferries, cycling and walking and urban tree canopy is the signature policy in Mayor Phil Goff’s proposal for Auckland Council’s Annual Budget 2022/23, released today, 1 December 2021.

It is proposed to be funded by a Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) that will raise around $574 million over 10 years, ringfenced for direct climate action in Tāmaki Makaurau. Funds raised through the CATR will be leveraged to seek to unlock a further $471 million through central government co-funding and other sources.

“Long after COVID-19 ceases to be a major threat to us, there will be the ongoing crisis caused by climate change. We can’t afford to put off any longer the action needed to avoid a climate disaster,” Mayor Goff says.

“Auckland Council voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019, and we have already committed an extra $15 million a year to climate action through our Recovery Budget. We’re not starting from scratch, but we also know that we are not doing enough. A recent progress report on our Climate Action Plan states that Auckland’s emissions are not remotely tracking in line with our target to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

“The Climate Action Targeted Rate adds weight, meaning and mana to our Climate Emergency declaration and will guarantee direct and ringfenced funding to cut our emissions up until 2032, including a more than half-billion-dollar boost to deliver new and frequent bus services across the region.

“This would mean 170,000 more Aucklanders – 10 per cent of the population – not previously well served by public transport would live within 500 metres of a frequent bus route.

“Encouraging a shift to public transport is the most effective way of reducing transport emissions, which make up more than 40 per cent of our city’s emissions profile,” says Mayor Goff.

The new funding would also provide:

  • $122 million to progress decarbonisation of the ferry fleet, which accounts for 21 per cent of Auckland’s emissions from public transport
  • $228 million for walking and cycling
  • $13.3 million for urban ngahere, māra kai (food gardens) and tiny forests.

When I first saw the announcement, I was a little sceptical for a couple of reasons.

At this point in time every council investment should be climate focused and so setting this up as a targeted rate gives the impression that normal rates can be used for projects that will contribute to making climate change worse. Goff and the council claim the targeted rate is more transparent and means the funding can’t be used for anything else which I suspect they see as being easier to over the line with Aucklanders – surveys show most people support more being done to address climate change – but I also worry it may make it easier for a future mayor and council to remove and given what this rate is funding, that could have significant consequences.

The proposal relies on the assumption of a significant amount of funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF). Given the existing pressures on the NLTF this seems somewhat optimistic.

I was also concerned that this was a case of introducing a new targeted rate and shifting existing funding programmes into it rather than actually being new funding. Thankfully, after seeing the details it appears this is not the case and what this fund will be used for is in addition to what is in existing budgets.

Below is some of what this funding covers but there is more detail here.

Bus

The new bus network that was delivered mainly between 2016 and 2018 was one of the biggest improvements to buses we’ve seen. And it worked too with bus usage rising about 25% from about 60 million annual trips at the end of 2016, having been at that level for about 18 months, to 75 million trips just over three years later when COVID hit.

But the changes were always only meant to be the first step in the evolution of the bus network with further improvements coming as funding allowed and to tie into major infrastructure such as the City Rail Link. Making public transport more useful is also going to be a key pre-requisite of road pricing.

Auckland Transport surveys say that frequency and coverage are the two biggest barriers for Aucklanders to use public transport and this funding will definitely help in addressing those issues.

The plan will see $627 million for Auckland Transport to deliver service improvements to over 50 routes with at least 10 routes or parts of routes being upgraded to frequent status. This is on top of significant service improvements that is already funded in the Regional Land Transport Programme. They say this will add about 170,000 people and 140,000 jobs to being within 500m of the Rapid and Frequent network.

I really like that they’re rolling this out as a package of improvements rather than fighting for funding for each and every route separately. It feels very similar by what was proposed by Nick back in September.

I won’t list them all but the new frequent routes are listed below. Also, just as a confirmation, AT class a frequent service as being at least every 15 minutes 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.

  • NX1 north of Albany
  • 15 along West Coast Rd and Henderson Valley Rd
  • 17 along Titirangi Rd and Atkinson Rd
  • 37 Highbrook, Ōtara (Preston Rd), Puhinui Interchange (connects with trains and Airport Link), Roscommon Rd, Clendon, Manurewa
  • 39 (currently 361)
  • 40 Drury West- to complement new train station
  • 41 Drury South – to complement new train station
  • 67 (currently 670)
  • 74 (currently 743)
  • 76 (currently 762)

This map shows all the changes

Click to access Auckland-Council-Budget-CATR-network-map.pdf

My main concern with all this is that more isn’t being done to deliver bus priority on most of these routes so these services can run efficiently and reliably.

Ferry

Ferries currently account for a disproportionate amount of public transport emissions (21% of the emissions for 6% of the passengers). Furthermore, a third of the existing fleet needs replacing in the next 3-5 years.

The proposal is for $122 million to fund 6-7 low emissions ferries along with charging infrastructure and upgrades to wharves.

I wonder if this suggests AT are moving ferries to a similar model to trains with them owning the vehicles and then contracting out the operations.

Walking and Cycling

On top of the existing cycling programme, which includes making around 60km of existing cycleways safer as well as many other projects, around $144 million is to deliver at least 18km of cycle infrastructure.

My two concerns here are.

  1. At an average of $8m per km, we need AT to find ways of delivering this stuff cheaper. They manged to deliver Project Wave for the equivalent of about $500k per km so we know they can do it. I worry the $8m figure is to pay to move kerbs and services so as to not touching on-street carparking.
  2. What is being done to ensure these projects actually get delivered. AT has a poor record of delivery in this space and the council need to be putting more pressure on for delivery.

In addition to the cycleways, around $84 million is to fund improvements to about 35km of footpaths and other improvements for one of their priority areas.

Urban Ngahere

The plan is invest $13.3 million over 10 years on planting nearly 15,000 trees in the urban area with the focus being on the local board areas with the lowest tree canopy cover. There are a few other tree planting proposals.

The local boards with the lowest canopy cover that are part of the Urban Ngahere proposal are:

  • Mangere – Otahuhu (8%)
  • Otara-Papatoetoe (10%)
  • Maungakiekie – Tamaki (12%)
  • Manurewa (13%)
  • Papakura (14%)
  • Henderson – Massey (15%)

They say these new trees will be within parks, playgrounds and road reserves and I do hope the latter makes up a significant proportion of that total.

It would be good if the council’s planners could put as much effort into stopping existing trees being cut down as they are into trying to stop houses being built.

Overall there looks to be some really good things in this package but the question I keep coming back to is, “will Auckland Transport be able to deliver it?”

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113 comments

  1. $144 million for 18km of cycle infrastructure? Something is very wrong here. For $226 million Wellington is getting 147 km of bike infrastructure.

    1. AT sees cycle lane projects as urban redevelopment funds, look at Grey Lynn, K’Rd etc. Can’t just add some concrete sleepers and signage, the entire street frontage must be dug up

      1. Even doing that should not cost 8 million dollars per KM? This insane amounts of money that won’t really change the network. The worst part is there it’s not even the most expensive bike infrastructure being built, with the Whau at $17.5 per KM. But there is no money to build the on road paths that AT planned. This is madness.

        If bike lanes cost this much, they can it do more bus stuff and plant more trees.

        1. If we take the K’Rd cycle way approach , we must not forget the disruption to business due to very long construction. We also need some smarter and more efficient way to deliver urban cycle paths.
          More than just the $8M/km

        2. Surely they could do it all in steps. Step one being one of those road-painting trucks driving round and making out with paint where the cycle track needs to be. Step two being a bunch of those plastic flexi-bollards being fixed into place. Step three laying recycled rubber ridges to demarcate the cycle lane further.

          Get all that in place long before any concrete curbing is done, and done at far less cost. You could start next week and get those first three steps complete by the end of summer.

        3. IH. K road is terrible example of bikes lanes, or great example of AT buring money.

          Divider blocks could be built off site, then bolted on make to separated lanes.

        4. Maybe they should be much clearer about what they are doing – tell the community they are fixing underground services, upgrading water works and just so happen to leave a bike lane on top. So much of the costs has little to do with the Cycle infrastructure but it is allowed to seem like anything that supports riding a bike is a massive imposition.

        5. God, it is so laughable and depressing how pathetically slow the roll out of dedicated cycle lanes is…..Years of nothing followed by years of a handful of km’s.
          That article on Milan last week…..waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

        6. Auckland $ 8 m / km
          Wellington $ 1.5 m / km
          Milan (750 km for EUR 250 m = $ 417 m) $550 k per km

          AT is excruciatingly bad.

        7. Calling K road a cycleway project is like calling the southern motorway widening a cycling project.

          Replacing / upgrading underground services, regrading / replacing the entire road surface, widening high quality sidewalks. It was a whole street renewal.

        8. “Maybe they should be much clearer about what they are doing – tell the community they are fixing underground services, upgrading water works and just so happen to leave a bike lane on top. So much of the costs has little to do with the Cycle infrastructure but it is allowed to seem like anything that supports riding a bike is a massive imposition.”

          The problem is that they usually DO say that quite clearly.

          And then the Herald does a headline “Controversial 30m dollar cycleway proposed for [Suburb]”. People – particularly if they already are somewhat biased – remember headlines, not details.

        9. “Calling K road a cycleway project is like calling the southern motorway widening a cycling project.”

          Actually, the latest Southern Motorway announcement did exactly that. Headlining and focussing on a bikeway and some minor PT improvements in a ginormous lane-addition project. Waka Kotahi have no shame in their greenwashing.

          https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2111/S00366/pump-up-your-tyres-and-top-up-your-at-hop-card-epa-gives-the-tick-for-improved-transport-choices-in-south-auckland.htm

      1. In Truth we were never going to do any such thing.
        Media had fun whacking the straw man pinata as planned.

  2. “We can’t afford to put off any longer the action needed to avoid a climate disaster,” Mayor Goff says.
    Rarely do we get admissions like this – we’ve done nothing, but we can’t afford to continue to do nothing.” Either Auckland has turned the corner, or a new inexperienced speech writer has come on board.

  3. I’d see the investment in wholesale removing of parking from any route important enough to be designated a route number as being the highest priority.

    Until the conversation is had and resolved, we will continue to see expensive infrastructure fixes (moving kerbs and services), slower than needed bus services and a piece by piece fight to save every carpark.

    This is a policy change that requires politicians to show up and support the staff who are trying to deliver change, rather spending to solve what is a simple but seemingly difficult conversation.

    It doesn’t even need to be permanent, it could be trialled along each corridor to see the effects and then consulted on, if required.

    If you drive to a mall, you park and then walk to the destination, why are urban shops located on a road any different?

  4. If Phil was really keen on climate action, this should have been done sooner when he won the re-election rather than leaving it at the end of the term. I think he left it too late.

  5. Council could and should be doing this stuff anyway if they would just put rates up each year. But they’re too scared to. Instead they do it this way so it looks like they’re being responsive.

  6. The improvements to the bus routes are really welcome but another thing required is vastly improved walking and cycling safety and amenity to get to the bus stops. We’re seeing AT worsening it in some places.

    And these streets need street trees as a standard addition, requiring space.

    From what I’m seeing – on example of many is the Te Atatu Rd consultation that was due yesterday – AT’s designers are still being prevented from reallocating road space to provide the protected cycling required unless the model shows that the traffic flow will be fine. The principles of Vision Zero are still being ignored. And it’s a barren streetscape, so there should be space being given to trees, even if they need to use planters until there’s money to plant the trees.

    Who in governance is going to get their teeth into the details and flick the switch to require responsible design?

  7. The ferry one seems totally off to me. The cost of decarbonising the fleet should be borne by the users in terms of higher fares, in the same way we have petrol taxes and (Goff Indicates is coming) a congestion tax for road users. It is a ridiculous and enormous subsidy to the very well off of the likes of Devonport lawyers and bankers who predominantly use this service.

    1. It’s not just about Devonport! Let’s NOT go down the road of pricing public transport according to an almost certainly erroneous perception of the demographic that will use the service. And let’s NOT make it harder for any demographic at all to use public transport by raising fares.

      1. But they could use a bus (i.e. they have a choice). Ferries are an extremely expensive proposition and we learn are massive carbon emitters, yet we’re asking all ratepayers to heavily subsidise a very small set of users who have alternative public transport options (unlike the rest of us).

        1. Yet the Devonport ferry probably breaks even and receives no ratepayer support because it (and Waiheke) are the two remaining public transport services which lie outside PTOM, and remain solely the preserve of Fullers. Which in my book (and in the opinion of many users, particularly Waiheke users) is a huge negative as there is no public control over those services.

          AT claim ferry passengers generally cover around 80% of operating costs, compared with around 50% for buses and somewhere around 25% for trains. Sure, the recovery level is distorted by the profitable Devonport and Waiheke routes, and many ferry routes come nowhere near 80% farebox recovery, but many bus routes also receive very significant support from the ratepayer and taxpayer. It’s certainly not just ferries that are “expensive”.

          If in our zeal to divest ourselves of those pesky middle class ferry commuters whose patronage is not worthwhile, we get them onto two connecting buses (yeah, right) then what’s the impact of that? Yes, they can travel to Akoranga – and then change buses there for the city, for a total journey time of 55 min plus transfer – say an hour total at peak periods. Compare that with the ferry, which takes about 12 min: I cannot see how that’s an attractive drawcard to get people onto public transport. I’d also question whether 40 people travelling 60 min on a bus might not use more diesel per person than 400 people on a 12-minute ferry trip. But even that’s the wrong question to be asking: we need to compare electric buses with electric ferries, ‘cos that’s where we’ll be in a few years from now.

          The logical conclusion to be reached from what you’re saying is that we should abandon the ferries altogether. If you don’t decarbonise them, then they’ll have to go, anyway, so it’s a stark choice IMO: replace them with electric ferries or close them all down.

        2. David, I am forced to take two buses into the city from the North Shore and it takes about the same time as you say it does from Devonport, Bayswater etc. But I don’t have a choice, it’s buses only. If those fortunate enough have the option of taking a ferry ride instead and get there in 12 minutes then maybe by getting those users to pay more to electrify them through the farebox (which you note is already heavily subsidised compared to buses) seems reasonable. And bearing in mind congestion taxes will hopefully ensure that public transport is a competitive option vs the car. But if people aren’t willing to pay up for the additional pollution they are emitting by using such a quick and pleasant commuter service (and instead are expecting to be massively subsidised by other ratepayers) then the conclusion is yes, ferries should be abandoned in favour of a decent bus service.

        3. “which you note is already heavily subsidised compared to buses”

          You have misinterpreted David’s comment. Ferries are less heavily subsidised than buses.

        4. I find your (ACB’s) approach to public transport provision rather disturbing, to be honest. If the more-expensive-to-run-but-quick-and-passenger-friendly parts of the PT network were charged out to the passenger at a higher cost than the others, then we’d be seriously raising train fares on the basis of poor farebox recovery and speed and efficiency. Hardly the way that we’d attract vast amounts more custom from car users.

          I also find the prejudice against providing quality transport to middle class users rather disturbing. We need ALL sectors of the community to be weaned off car use, not just poor people, and the idea of penalising middle class communities with over-the-top fares is absolutely abhorrent.

          In my view, the PT system’s fare structure should be mode-neutral – that is, no ferry surcharges, and a consistent charging structure throughout the region. We’re almost there, but for the ferry surcharge and the huge anomaly that is Waiheke, where the fares are astronomical compared with other ferry fares. I’ve suggested this “mode neutrality” over a number of years, but have been shot down for it on a regular basis by people claiming that because ferries are expensive to operate, we shouldn’t encourage their use by making them cheaper. Whaaaat? DISCOURAGE people from using ferries because they might use them too much and we might need to run more ferries as a consequence? What a disaster that would be. Not. On that logic we’d try to stop people from using the trains too.

        5. Hmm. Waiheke doesn’t have (A) any subsidy, or (B) any alternative public transport option. But it does have (C) a wharf tax on each trip and (D) more bloody helicopters than ferries. I hope some of this new tax is spent on bringing Waiheke into the PTOM and that it means that Waiheke ferries are also replaced by electric boats.

        6. I stand corrected on farebox recovery for ferries. However my point is that ferries are a convenient and a pleasant way to commute to the CBD for those fortunate enough to be close to such a service compared to bus. However they are a far more expensive (and apparently polluting) option than other modes which are also available. Most of Aucklanders do not have this option at all. It therefore seems entirely reasonable to me that ferry commuters should bear the majority of the cost of reducing the emissions from more polluting ferries since they are the ones who largely benefit from their use (assuming congestion from private vehicle use is appropriately taxed as indicated by Goff). Anyway, I also find a disturbing view within this website and comments that money is not much of a consideration, particularly when it comes from broader taxpayer and ratepayer purse.

  8. Urban Ngahere is one of those corporate doublethink moments.

    Whilst we are tearing apart existing suburban areas in the name of housing intensification with multiple apartments where once stood a house with trees and gardens, that greenery is being laid to waste because there simply isn’t the room to go beyond small pot plants. Land is money, land wasted on trees and greenery is counter to profit.

    Auckland Council who actively promote this policy is no different to any other organisation, it’s about publishing lofty empty values but with no intent to realise them.

    1. The Kohimarama Forest is surrounded by single houses that could and should be converted to apartment blocks, allowing the forest and other worthwhile pieces of biodiversity to remain as lungs for the city.

      There’s nothing sacred about the existing suburban form that requires it to be kept. It is simply a legacy of unsustainable, illogical and inequitable urban planning which has required the city to keep sprawling.

      1. So what do want, houses or trees? We are definitely not getting both!

        From the intensive redevelopments I’m seeing, it concrete, lots of concrete plaster and steel. Greenery, no!

        The suburban tree canopy is on borrowed time.

        1. Small footprint, 3 to 7 storey apartment buildings leave loads of space for trees. The problem is that Council have been allowing one and two storey infill with driveways covering most of the rest of the land, even in THAB zones, when they could’ve said no. Even Council’s template designs waste land on carparking which should be garden and trees instead.

        2. Money for urban forest is doomed to be frittered away too. If you use that $13m to buy a regional park we can at least see something for our money.

        3. Exactly. Most new higher density developments have minimal trees and landscaping.
          Visionary planning would enable higher density development with smaller building footprints, at least 50% landscaped surface area, and minimum requirements around tree planting.
          Unfortunately you can’t have it both ways as the housing in such developments would typically be more expensive, unless the state was building it (the only way forward which the majority of neoliberal freemarketers on this website cannot accept).

        4. But wait, if higher density development with smaller building footprints is a good idea, why would actually allowing this be a bad thing? (I take it that neoliberal is bad?)

        5. Unfortunately you can’t have it both ways as the housing in such developments would typically be more expensive, unless the state was building it

          That would be more expensive for the state as well. Meaning less homes would be built for the same amount of money state money.

          Zen, if you feel so strongly about the way that the government should try implement housing, then you should write a post and ask GA to publish it.

          In the mean time, if we want more housing, generally the first step should be to make it easier for people to build housing.

        6. Roeland- because it doesn’t stack up financially, as I alluded to.
          Generally the most (typically) feasible form of denser development is three storeys with high levels of site coverage ( at least 50-60%), so squat stuff. That’s why we see so much of it, even in the THAB zone.
          50% building coverage and 4-5 storey building height has two issues – firstly the yield is often insufficient, secondly a building height of 4-5 storeys is outside the sweet spot in terms of building costs.
          Maybe problem solved if you go to 6 storeys+ but then that can create other issues in terms of dominance and shading etc.
          The problem is still coming back to a broken market model, developers are having to create over cramped development in order to make it stack up.
          And yes I personally think neoliberalism and the associated notion of trying to deregulate our way out of many problems is hugely problematic. I find it ironic that many of the commentators here who also advocate for massive public investment in public transport, walking and cycling as being the only solution in those areas (which I agree with) somehow can’t put two and two together and realise that, just as in those areas of urban life, massive public investment is also needed in housing.
          I find this very odd indeed, as many of the Euro cities that are poster cities for this website have done just that, and not ‘bought’ the neoliberal notion that deregulating ad nauseum will either address housingvaffordsbility or create better urban form.

        7. For Jack – but the state has generally very permissive zoning in Auckland, and the ability to create new urban plans under the Urban Development Act. I say let Kainga Ora get on with using those tools and building 2-3x more per annum than they are currently building, including more affordable (not just social) housing.

        8. And while we are at it, and since this post is about climate change, a massive state led apartment building programme (think of the program of the 1930s) could drive the building sector towards much greater uptake of CLT construction and high Energy efficiency ratings. Things which the market generally seems unwilling or unable to do.

        9. 2-3x what they do now is also still a drop in the bucket.

          The situation is so far gone it’s going to push me out of the city soon.

          (That time of the year student flat hunting again and makes me realise all that is wrong with our housing)

          KO would need to be building orders of magnitude more than the do. And soak up masses of building capacity. Clearly falling short of that, the alternative is to let “poor quality” private builds sweep the city. Being that they are built to a building code now, they can the the shittiest examples of build form and still be better than the vast majority of existing housing stock.

          Don’t really care about the backyard I never use when I have to clean mould off the walls every couple weeks.

      2. Exactly. Keep the trees and the green spaces, by building taller. Doesn’t even need to be that tall…

        How about 14 units on a 600 m2 section in place of a single house. Designed to leave more green space than there would have been with an old-style backyard subdivision.
        https://www.ockham.co.nz/koa-flats/?locale=en

        Sold out no time of course…

        1. And they can do that because they are doing basement parking, which frees up more landscaped area – but this comes at a cost, and in ths case means 1-2 bedroom apartments priced at well over 800-900k.
          Which is fine, up to a point, but is not fine if you want affordable housing.

  9. In Auckland there are 1000s of km of roadsides and 1000s of hectares of parks, gardens, sports fields. Many council and Waka Kotahi workers use ride on mowers, leaf blowers and weed eaters. They are spraying 100s of thousands of liters of glysphate poison alongside creeks, around just about every tree on council parks, beside paths, on roundabouts, anywhere. The user instructions say PPE must be worn but the workers don’t. Often to kill 1 weed they also spray neighbouring native plants that die.
    The Parks spending budget is the 2nd or 3rd biggest of Auckland, $billions. If the council and WK could switch to planting low lying plants and more trees then there would be less need to use poison and small polluting motors. Workers would get more satisfaction in their work. Council would spend less on cutting and poisoning and reduce emissions.
    In NZ there are 1000s of our native plants that are at risk. There is plenty of room for another million plants. Auckland city is very low lying and many people are concerned about climate warming, sea level rise and loss of species.

  10. There are many parks that only have grass which needs to be mown. These parks are very under utilised. Parts of these parks could be converted into Urban Ngahere. This would offset the trees lost due to intensifaction.

    1. Wayne +1000.

      Absolute no brainer really. Most parks are totally under utilised. Leaving aside all the positive environmental benefits the operational costs of not having to mow these large lifeless voids would be massive.

      1. Yes agreed, there are some huge parks which are mostly just mowed grass.
        Council is way behind the eight ball on planting out these large swathes.

    2. Basque Park in Newton is a perfect example. Rows of Nikau marooned in swathes of mowed grass on a steep hard-to-access bank. Not only crazy from a climate/sustainability perspective (presumably they use a diesel weed eater to do the mowing) but it also looks really weird, Nikau belong in a bush setting.

      1. And presumably you know the appalling history of how there was once a gorgeous community garden there but arrogance removed it?

  11. A big call to make… but i think the AT Parking Strategy review is one of the most important policy documents to set the tone for the next decade.

    The amount of urban form we hand over to free vehicle storage is incredible. Trying to make better PT and cycling options is like giving cake to those that already have cake ( the driver’s cake being free or stupidly cheap parking).

    Although politically unpopular; the massive subsidy given to the motorist to park their private assets on public land needs to stop. If these negative externalities aren’t priced to achieve modal shift.

    We haven’t got a snowball’s chance on a piece of hot tarmac to drive real change.

  12. It all seems nice in theory. Remember however that while we are not looking, the council has let Helitranz expand their heliport in Rosedale and issued consents for dozens of private heliports on Waiheke Island and some in Herne Bay. This seems to differ from their climate mission statements.

      1. Yes. Is there a higher carbon transport method than helicopters. Council say they can’t do anything about it because they can’t take climate change into account when processing consent applications due to some peculiar ruling in the Environment Court. Yet they also refuse to change their permissive policies for helipads.

  13. Thanks Matt – where did you get the interactive map from? Did you create this yourself or is it on Council’s website?

  14. A lot of time and money has being spent on public transport and cycling although before I get jumped on by half a zillion commentators more has being spent on improving things for the car. I see an improvement in bus patronage after the new network was introduced (15 Million per annum). Goff on RNZ has just said another 15 million trips per annum from this initiative. Is this realistic comparing the changes between the introduction of the new network and what is proposed here. Some people will never use a bus no matter how good the service is. I wonder what else could be done as I am not confident that this will be a game changing. Also the political worm is turning maybe we will have a less friendly Council and Govt in the future. Higher fuel prices and lower economic activity might improve the situation and that might happen too. The return of overseas students, more immigrants and tourists might improve passenger numbers but not lessen congestion or emissions.

    1. Agree. There are many who will never use a bus or train. Some people don’t want to be close to others.
      But the new CRL will be a game changer with the fancy new stations.
      The CBD will be even more attractive.

    2. We have spent a pittance on PT and cycling and seen massive gains from it. Spending on PT infrastructure is less than 10% of transport infrastructure spending in the last 60 years. Spending on cycleways is less than 1%. Please stop perpetuating the myth that we have spent lots.

      People currently use public transport for less than 5% of journeys. About 95% of people will catch a bus if it is substantially more attractive than a car. We literally do not even need to think about the 5% of people who point blank refuse to use buses, so little is their impact on the transport network.

      I am guessing that Goff is saying that the RLTP and CATR changes will see 15 million trips. That seems pretty reasonable given that one of the changes is creating a northwest busway. It’s important to remember that the ‘new network’ added very little service, it just optimised the existing services.

      If we want to do more, then we need to start wholesale removing on street car parking and flush medians to install bus and cycle lanes.

      1. “Spending on cycleways is less than 1%. Please stop perpetuating the myth that we have spent lots.”

        Yes, but we re-announce cycle spending about 5-10 times before we do it, and then see about 5 times as many media articles about it than for the latest motorwayganza, the so really, it’s a perceived 20% cycleway budget at least, mate.

      2. Also, consider these two headlines:

        – $20 million cycleway project
        – $2 billion motorway extension

        What people read:

        – [big pile of money] cycleway project
        – [big pile of money] motorway extension

        It kind of sounds the same, despite the factor 100 difference. It is not as intuitively obvious as, for example, a difference between $10 and $1,000.

      3. The amount of money that has being spent is a lot. Are we getting enough people to shift from cars to public transport or cycling to justify the spend. I am becoming despondent seems to me we aren’t. Every day I see empty trains busses ferries and cycle lanes and an endless stream of cars, and double cabs. I think we are loosing the battle. Covid other casualty is public transport. The loss of overseas students, New immigrants and tourists has slashed numbers meanwhile most punters have reverted to the car or were not using public transport or cycling anyway. New immigrants have got the message and have joined them. You have made the argument that even more must be spent to provide better services and inferstructure. However many posts point out that money for cycleways and bus ways is used to widen roads. Again we are loosing the battle because some who should be allies are actually our enemies. Its inevitable that an unfriendly Govt and Council will be elected. I expect public transport frequencies will be slashed and new cycleways will be cut back. Investment in electrifying ferries and buses is important because they won’t be producing as much emissions even if they are running near empty. Preservation of existing bus and cycling routes is also important because they will provide the starting blocks for the next battle when conditions become more favourable. Meanwhile consult your timetable and study safe cycling routes you are probably going to need it over the next few years.

        1. Royce, it seems like you are agreeing with me? Investment in PT and cycling hasn’t had much impact because we still have a transport network built to favour driving over everything else.

  15. This would be a good idea if people could afford to buy essential items right now, at the moment, the cost of buying essential items are inflating at a cost that people cannot afford and leaving them with less and less savings, unless the living wage and the minimum wage increases. $1.10 per week for some might not seem much for some but is a lot for some.

  16. Shows what $1 billion doesn’t get you! Do we really expect to halve our emissions with a few bus improvements and 18km of cycle lanes?
    The only way to get there would be through policy changes such as changing significant amount of road space from parking to cycling / bus. Without those changes they could throw $100 billion at it and still not get there.

    1. Nobody is expecting to halve emissions. There is always some grand ambition to cut emissions by some percentage, N years from now, with N always being larger than 5.

      50%, and 7 years in this case. I’m sure there will be another goal by 2035 or 2040.

  17. Unless AT begins consulting and designing/constructing on many of the projects they have sitting and waiting (looking at you connected communities, – RLTP has 7-8 roads listed) increasing mode share to public transport and cycling will just be wishes. The main arterial roads in auckland are the ones that need the overhaul.

    1. It’s kind of mind boggling that in the 2 years since the start of connected communities, AT have only consulted on 2 corridors and one was almost a carbon copy of their design from 2016.

  18. Does anyone know what the updated connector route frequencies are looking like? 10-15 min frequent still seems like a good goal for as many routes as possible, but I’m conscious that the number of 60-min (freq) routes that being bumped up to 30 are still fairly significant in this package; especially in the east. Even 60 to 30, or, 30 to 20 are quite significant for the usability of a bus service.

    1. Relatively speaking yes. This is analogous to how painted bike lanes may increase bike mode share from 0.2% to 1%, a 5-fold increase. Sounds big but it is still not meaningful compared to the car mode share.

      I’m always curious about what you get if you work backwards. 50% reduction in emissions. That probably more or less requires 50% less driving (we will not be able to get that many EVs by 2030). Are we just going to cut people’s mobility? How many extra trips would need to be taken up by PT?

      1. A lot can be achieved by cutting sprawl and regenerating the existing built environment, with intensification. In this way, average trip distance can be reduced through multiple pathways: safety encouraging modeshift; proximity creating shorter trip distances; shorter trip distances encouraging modeshift; modeshift encouraging shorter trip distances; modeshift creating safety improvements; safety improvements encouraging modeshift; modeshift enabling the dropping of chauffeuring, etc etc. Putting the $21 b public money that would go into sprawl into regeneration of our existing infrastructure would be utterly transformational.

        And research from Oxford University shows that e-bikes can cut emissions by 50% alone… with the places that can achieve the most emissions being rural and suburban places. So Auckland’s got all the low hanging fruit.

        What we need is this: A CEO who is prepared to stop every project coming out of AT and say: WTF is this? Go back and make it VZ and climate ready. Now. And who is prepared to look at every incident response, every decision about priorities and signals and operations, and do the same.

        It’s all easy, cheap stuff. It’s just that it’s not been happening.

        1. Yes, bicycles and e-bikes are possibly as close as a silver bullet as it gets in transport. However we’re not even on track to have a usable network 100 years from now. If AT would want a major mode shift by 2030 they would have been frantically building by now.

          I think it is more a case of “we have to start doing this stuff now so our emissions can stop rising, and hopefully by 2030 they are back at the current level”.

  19. Very little comment has been made so far on the bus changes that are proposed, but they’re really significant for a number of reasons, not least the need to decarbonise transport. Remember that most of these new routes will presumably be run with electric buses as we are almost at the point where no new diesel powered buses may be bought. NZ Bus recently announced the purchase of 150-plus electric buses as an example.

    One really notable improvement is the addition of three new frequent routes in deep South Auckland – 40, 41 and 42. In days gone by, routes serving new subdivisions would be lucky to get hourly or at most half-hourly services (think Millwater etc). Here we have AT offering 15-minute headway services on three brand new routes in developing areas right from the outset. That’s a serious commitment and should be acknowledged as such. The expectation must be that routes to other developing areas will also get the same consideration.

    One route which Matt’s piece missed commenting on is the Constellation-Westgate-Henderson Route 120, which will become Route 12 and “frequent”. While this has been long foreshadowed, it will be very significant to have that sector of the network more frequently served. There’s a vast difference between a 30-min frequency and a 15-min frequency when it comes to attracting patrons. I use the buses regularly over pretty much the entire region, and there’s a huge psychological advantage in having “frequent” services available.

    Also not mentioned is the WX1 service to Westgate along the motorway. Again, this has been long foreshadowed, but Goff’s plan specifically includes it. I note that Route 650 appears from the map to have also been given its anticipated upgrade to frequent (presumably becoming the 65) but is not mentioned specifically as pat of the package – presumably it is in the “business-as-usual” proposals for the coming year.

    We also know that long-term, AT plans to increase “frequent” services to 10-min headway during 7am to 7pm hours – this should also be strongly encouraged during future years’ planning processes.

    People are right to be cynical about much of what AT does and doesn’t do. However, on this occasion, while there are obviously minor quibbles about the details, they do seem to have got the expansion of the bus network broadly right. But this can only be the first step – there are many, many more improvements which will have to be made in future years in order to meet with ambitious long-term patronage targets that Council has set for AT.

    1. Yes, you’re right that these bus changes are good and that frequent bus routes make heaps of difference to people who use public transport for more than just the commute to work, and who go all over the city, making transfers frequently.

      Indeed, it is the most promising piece of work I’ve seen yet.

      1. +1, credit where credit is due; this is a great move. I’d love to see it extended to be a 10 year plan with some prioritisation and packaging. I.e. disentangling all of the routes around Browns Bay and Long Bay.

        1. They did at least get some new network, the area to the west around Birkenhead and Glenfield will still have essentially the same network as 10 years ago. There is exactly one big area of high density zoning over there, it is in Northcote which just happens to be not within walking distance of any frequent service. I don’t know why the council keeps shooting itself in the foot like that.

          (and no Smales Farm does not have a pedestrian bridge over the motorway, in case someone asks)

          But yes, the glass is three quarters full so to speak.

        2. The ten-year plan is the RPTP, which is due to be redrafted in 2022, I believe (normally every three years). That will give the detail you want in almost painfully thorough detail.

        3. @David, the RPTP is the funded stuff. I want to see them build a plan for the network, with prioritisation, then use that to inform what they ask to get funded

        4. +1 great idea. Having a clear plan of what’s unfunded that needs funding also indirectly gives resources to local advocates of what exactly to lobby lower-level local board politicians for. Example being the Rodney Local Board-funded trials of new bus routes from a couple years ago.

        5. Adding to that thought; AT’s City Centre Bus Plan document could serve as a good model of what the org should be strategically communicating for every part of Auckland (north/south/east/west/isthmus). In other words, clearly identifying the challenges ahead and then laying out what the approach to the PT network will be locally in the next 5-10 years, so that the public and decisionmakers can understand the medium-term progress happening in their part of the city. RPTP does so at a regional level but it has a statutory role that its format is currently more suited for.

    2. I didn’t comment on the 120 becoming the 12, the 650 becoming the 65, or the WX1, 13 and 14 or other changes because they’re funded as part of existing funding packages and are happening regardless of what happens with this package.

    3. “One route which Matt’s piece missed commenting on is the Constellation-Westgate-Henderson Route 120, which will become Route 12 and “frequent”. While this has been long foreshadowed, it will be very significant to have that sector of the network more frequently served.”

      Interested to see how popular this will be, particularly once the NW “busway” is up and running. From a birds-eye view, this looks a good (eventual) RTN link between the western and northern equivalents.

  20. Here’s a question for you Aucklanders. In a recent Monocle magazine (July / Aug 2021), they have once more rated cities worldwide for their “liveability”, in which Auckland once more scores very highly. You are all very lucky to live there it seems – although I’m a bit wary on some of their statistics that may have influenced the judges decision.
    On the ratings table, have a look at the following:
    #1 Copenhagen – with 78 public parks
    #2 Zurich – with 72 public parks
    #3 Helsinki – with 907 public parks
    #4 Stockholm – with 455 public parks…
    #8 Auckland – with ‘about 4,000’ public parks
    #12 Vancouver – with 240 public parks

    Is it just me, or does it look like someone has lied about the number of “public parks” in Auckland? Are there really ten times more parks than Stockholm? Or 51 times more parks than Copenhagen?

    1. That may be a matter of how “parks” are defined. Council may – with no bad faith at all – have given them a “parks” list that includes the 30sqm “pocket park” area with a bench at your local intersection. Global rankings are difficult to really compare unless someone really puts time into reconciling such things.

      1. And that tiny pocket park may be a lovely spot, very valuable for the local suburb. But it’s still hard to properly compare with, say, the Auckland Domain.

        1. And other cities often have streets with glorious trees and benches, and bike lanes along rivers and canals, and ends of streets converted into mini squares, with trees, but wouldn’t count those as parks…

    2. I would imagine ‘Auckland’ is being considered as the Auckland Council area? This is a huge area, encompassing both the entire metropolitan area as well as plenty of hinterland. It’s pretty unique for the entire metro area to be one local government. So that would be my guess as to why the number is so high…

  21. Are you able to provide the source of the region-wide map with the proposed services? Is this somewhere on AT’s website?

    The map shows a bus route as RLTP-funded while AT has directly told me that the funding for the route is uncertain, so it’s be nice to use as rebuttal evidence…

    1. It came from the council. I’d recommend checking the detail list in the proposal as that has routes funded by the RLTP and this fund separately

  22. The bus companies cannot find enough drivers to fill the current schedule,presuming there is an expectation ,that immigration will fill the gap. If the frequency is increase,then surely the maximum use of the asset,(expensive electric bus and hard to procure driver),has to be a priority. Hopefully this is being pointed out to all concerned,fairly pointless, increasing the frequency, when all is caught up in the general traffic. Bus lanes,bus priority, is low hanging fruit,no loss of general traffic flow,just roadside parking gone. All achieved with political will,sandblaster,paint truck and signage. The last three parts are ready to go now,just waiting on the first part

    1. Actually you’ll find that the government is trying move all those small business owners, employees or those who are struggling to find jobs to fill the bus driver roles, not immigrants.

      Also the whole purpose of improving the transport system here is to make transport more accessible than before and make it less time consuming, that’s whole point of why we need more bus lanes in the city to prioritise them instead of creating more general congested traffic lanes for any road user.

  23. Great to see frequent route 12 finally coming to fruition.

    The next step needs to be motorway bus shoulder lanes and bus stations between Westgate to Constellation. #12 takes a heavily congested route through Greenhithe, Upper Harbour Drive and Sunset Road to Constellation. A journey which could take 20 minutes with priority bus shoulder lanes can take an hour in stop-start traffic.

  24. Goff’s Climate Package is simply wrong.

    The lack of a holistic and strategic approach in NZ by central government is extremely problematic.

    Almost all of this $1bn package is aimed at transport.

    Yet vehicle users remain heavily subsidised (& we wonder why our cities sprawl (apart from carbon issues)):
    a) no congestion toll
    b) ratepayer cross subsidy
    c) underpriced parking
    d) no air pollution levy
    e) underpayment towards crash costs
    f) taxpayers subsidising road users through direct Crown grants to the national transport fund

    Yet here we are again with the ratepayers being lumped with a cost that they are not directly responsible for.

    Until such time as all the internalities and externalities are paid by road users they should be paying the full cost of the transport component of this $1bn package. It should be funded by a regional fuel tax increase not via the ratepayer.

    1. Yep agree. The best way to decrease emissions is to increase the cost of driving. It should at least cover its costs!
      But they don’t want to as it isn’t popular so the subsidies keep coming. Apparently even rates increases are more politically acceptable than fuel tax increases.

  25. Areas along the East Coast Bayes such as Murrays Bay, Rothesay Bay, Browns Bay, Northcross, Fairview Heights, Waiake, Torbay and Long Bay have been long underserved by public transport for far too long now and have had to take car because of the covenince those who need to get work, shopping, beach, dining, activities. Along with adding additional routes along the long rugged hill climb that most people along that area have to endure to get to their nearest bus stop, along with it endure long physical pain from those aching legs of about 20 min – 30 min walk which they really need to invest in building more bus stops.

    861 needs a revised route, needs to be more of a better route from Long Bay to Albany instead of a long detour around Torbay and Glamorgan. What they should do is go through Kate Sheppards Ave, Caversham Drive, Fitzwilliam Drive, Awaruku Road, Glenvar Road and terminate at Te Oneroa Way.

    856 needs to be revised, It should be going into Fairview heights since there’s no service currently which runs through there, it should go through that new part of Medallion Drive, Fairview Drive, Hornbill Drive, Rising Parade, Lonely Track Road, then back on current route and should become a “Frequent Services” and become route “85”. Along with it hand over the route to NZ Bus to operate.

    878 needs a massive adjustment, in the Torbay – Browns Bay area, Glamorgan drive the turn right onto Deep Creek Road once onto Beach Road go to Ridge Road, Orchard Road, Oban Road, Valley Road. In the Pinehill-Rosedale area, should go through Greville Road, Hugh Green Drive, Apollo Drive, Arrenway Drive, Triton Drive, Rosedale Road, Albany Highway, Oteha Valley Road, Oteha Valley Road Extension, Dairy Flat Highway, Albany Expressway, Coliseum Drive, Don Mckinnon Drive, Civic Cresent, Don Mckinnon Drive, Munroe Lane, Elliot Rose Ave and terminate into Albany Station. Once start shift to Browns Bay, should start off at platform C.

    865 needs to be revised, we need a direct service from Browns Bay which go throughs Wairau (work, activities, and shopping) and Rosedale (work) area, once it’s on Oaktree Ave, it should turn onto Weetman Drive, East Coast Road, Rosedale Road, Apollo Drive, Arrenway Drive, Triton Drive, Rosedale Road, Bush Road, Albany Highway, Wairau Road, Shakespeare Road, Smales Farm, Shakespeare Road, North Shore Hospital Drive, Shea Terrace, Taharoto Road, Anzac Street and Terminate at Takapuna and should be deemed as “Frequent Services” and become route “86”.

    83 needs an adjustment, once its on Browns Bay Road it should follow through towards East Coast Road and then onto Constellation Drive.

    864 route should go from Clyde Road, Bute Road, Beach Road, Glencoe Road, Sartors Ave, East Coast Road, Ponderosa Drive, Fernhill Way, in future should go on Hooten Place once its connected with Kerekin Drive and Spencer Road but ignore for now, Medallion Drive, McClymonts Road, Elliot Rose Ave, Albany Bus Station, Elliot Rose Ave, Munroe Lane, Don Mckinnon Drive, Civic Cresent, Don Mckinnon Drive, Coliseum Drive, Albany Expressway and terminate at Massey University.

    Also needs to be one more route serving Rothesay Bay – Murrays Bay area and Northcross-Waiake area, I’m going number it as 868 just for fun lol, so it would start from Massey University on Albany Expressway, Coliseum Drive, Don Mckinnon Drive, Civic Cresent, Don Mckinnon Drive, Munroe Lane, Elliot Rose Ave, Albany Station, Elliot Rose Ave, McClymonts Road, Medallion Drive, Fernhill Way, Fields Parade, Oteha Valley Road, East Coast Road, Glanmorgan Drive, Cranston Street, Topless Drive Ealgeson Street, Nor E Drive, Acacia Road, Finchley Road, Alexander Ave, Deep Creek Road, Mizpah Road, Beach Road, Bute Road, Clyde Road, Browns Bay Road, Hyde Road, Miri Road, Korotaha Terrace, Beulah Ave, Garadice Road, Braemar Road, Beach Road, Lyons Ave, Saddleback Rise, Sunrise Ave, Beach Road, Ramsgate Terrace, Maxwelton Drive, East Coast Road, Constellation Drive, Parkway Drive and Terminate at Constellation Drive and once start shift to Browns Bay, should start off at platform C and would run as “Local Services”.

    Also, out of topic, I feel like they’re some routes in the North Shore which shouldn’t even be operating at all and are runned by NZ Bus, the routes which I am suggesting is the 801, 805, 806 and 842. They should definitely get rid of these money draining routes and instead operate on the 856 route as an alternative. 805 should be scrapped, For the 806 it should just merge to become the 807 and should left onto Flagstaff Terrace and follow along 807 route. 842 it should be scrapped and should have the 82 running up East Coast Road, Sunset Road and terminate at Constellation Station. Along with it have the 907 start at Mairangi Bay shops instead of at bus stop 3141.

    Hope these revised or improved routes get taken into consideration and hope to see better connections in future!

    1. ” endure long physical pain from those aching legs of about 20 min – 30 min walk”

      I;m sorry but unless they are elderly or disabled, how lazy do we expect people to be not to walk a total of 20-30 minutes on their trip to work?

      1. Try carrying a really heavy bag over your back or even holding brief case over step hill slops that you have to ascend up and down every 5 days a week. No wonder why we have people not wanting to take public transport cause its not close enough to their houses.

      1. The 801 and the 842 are huge waste of use of a route given we already have buses which pretty much get you to a to b.

        For the 801, it is pretty pointless to have them operating, since you’ve already got the 814 going into Takapuna and Akoranga Station. It happens to also cover to Hauraki area along with it which happen to be with in the 10 mins radius for anyone to walk to the nearest bus stop available to them.

        As for the 842, it only starts from Crown Hill after the shops and terminates at Smales Farm and the terminates before the shops on the way back, not even a long enough route and duration of it too short to even call it a route. It can’t even capture enough passengers each day of the week, let alone does it go through enough a single town centre or any sort which is suppose of operating bus routes. You shouldn’t have to be taking a secondary bus route to get to your destination and this route is exactly what it’s creating, the main purpose should be getting people to A to B within a reasonable timeframe so we can finally get people choosing PT over cars.

        1. Ah yes, lol, that would be 941/942. Overall, yes, the network is a bit odd. This is not totally surprising if you look at the street grid. But still some areas (around Northcote for instance) are more weird than others.

          A long time ago someone on this blog lamented the experience of catching bus 922 to Takapuna in the old days (it is like a safari tour on the back streets of Hillcrest). You’ll be happy to know you can still have this experience, but the bus number changed to 923. I wonder what went on when this route got negotiated.

          Maybe there’s also just not that much resources allocated to it.

          If you look at scale, you have 4 routes on Sandringham Road Dominion Road, Mount Eden Road and Manukau Road within 4 km. That is sort of analogous to having 5 lines within 5km, on Glenfield Road, Target Road, Forrest Hill Road, East Coast Road and Beach Road. If you thought the bus service on the isthmus isn’t particularly good compared to other areas, this should give you some perspective.

          You could argue this is because there is less population on the North Shore, however those bus lines on the isthmus have been there already for a long time so I don’t think that argument holds.

          (also the role of the NX is different, it is more similar to that of the trains across the harbour. Note that 2 rail lines are more or less duplicated by bus lines along Great South Road and New North Road)

        2. 922 is only a minor number change, only one rerouting change which is no service to Takapuna because yes it is like a safari tour where you get bored of all of the non active animals to stare out into the distance and be enthused enough to go on the tour. May as well get a refund on top of it. Though the 923 is bit waste of a route and should be rerouted toward Birkenhead instead to the CBD since we’ve already got enough buses along the Onewa area. Thanks for mentioning it too, great to be at your service!

          As to your “Ah yes, lol, that would be 941/942. Overall, yes, the network is a bit odd. This is not totally surprising if you look at the street grid” claims about it looking like street grid journey for 941, its actually you’ll find more direct way and efficient way of creating journeys. Also it happens to gain a lot more passengers since its more convenient, accessible, time efficient. As for 942 it should completely be scrapped since its time consuming route, not very productive route since it goes in Birkdale and Beach Haven in which we already have the 941 in that very same area. Plus no one from Northcote or Akoranga is going to need to bus to reach Birkdale or Beach Haven cause no one goes there for anything.

          “If you look at scale, you have 4 routes on Sandringham Road Dominion Road, Mount Eden Road and Manukau Road within 4 km. That is sort of analogous to having 5 lines within 5km, on Glenfield Road, Target Road, Forrest Hill Road, East Coast Road and Beach Road. If you thought the bus service on the isthmus isn’t particularly good compared to other areas, this should give you some perspective.

          You could argue this is because there is less population on the North Shore, however those bus lines on the isthmus have been there already for a long time so I don’t think that argument holds. ”

          Your basis on that theory is really wrong, the average person living along those nearby streets, which you have identified would have a 10 min radius and 500m radius walking distance to walk to their nearest bus stop which is not too bad of a walking distance along with not much steep hill slops. Also you’ll find those bus routes very convenient since its goes direct into towns and into the CBD, not to mention main roads of Auckland that is needed for transportation to service through the whole city so transport is fast and less longer in terms of distance of driving.

          Glenfield Road, Target Road, Forrest Hill Road, East Coast Road and Beach Road practically don’t have any sort of bus lane or not much T2 or T3 lanes since they don’t get vast amounts of traffic which go through. As for car traffic they rather take the faster route which is go through the motorway instead since its more direct way of getting to places and higher speed limit which saves time and not only it’s a really good argument to state given stating the efficiency of travel length and time which is very important.

          Also with your claim “(also the role of the NX is different, it is more similar to that of the trains across the harbour. Note that 2 rail lines are more or less duplicated by bus lines along Great South Road and New North Road)”

          As for this one, NX doesn’t have any coinciding with another route at all, its just NX 1 & 2, nothing else other than them, what there to prove? Along with how there’s any bus routes along Great South Road and New North Road, in fact there’s none at all! No bus route which goes all the way up towards the CBD.

  26. I’ve also noticed that the The Dairy Flat, Silverdale, Millwater, Orewa, Whangaparaoa is quite underserved in that region too!

    The 998 route is a huge waste of tax payers money since it basically runs on the very same route as the 982 and needs to be scrapped! Instead they should be doing is making the 982 “Frequent Services” and should be the 97.

    The 984 should be replaced with 989. Though the 989 route does need to be revised, once it turn onto W Hoe Heights, it should turn left onto Ambassador Glade, Savoy Road, W Hoe Heights, Sunnyheights Road, Celestial Crescent, W Hoe Heights, Maire Road, Harvest Ave, Boocock Crescent, Flavell Drive, Grand Drive, Grovenor Drive, Lakeside Drive, Kath Hopper Drive, Tauranga Place, Kath Hopper Drive, Lakeside Drive, Maygrove Drive, Riverside Road, Centreway Road and terminate at Moana Ave.

    985 needs to be revised, once on Sliverdale Parkway, it should turn onto Bonair Crescent, Old Mill Road, Colonial Drive, Croix Green, Kingfisher Road, Ridgedale Road, Timberland Drive and Millwater Drive.

    Once the 986 reaches Hibiscus Coast Station, it should continue on to Silverdale shopping centre with the rest of the routes and go along Silverdale Parkway and Millwater Parkway, once at Millwater shops it should do a loop around Laura Jane Drive, Walter Crescent, Butler Stoney Crescent, Desmond Road, Kettlewell Drive, back on Millwater Drive and once back in Millwater shops terminate there.

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