Keeping Aucklanders moving in March Keeping Aucklanders moving in March

Date: 26 February 2023

AT thanks customers for their patience and asks them to plan ahead, as roads and public transport services continue to get busier heading into March.

The beginning of March is the time of year when we see a very congested road network and busier public transport services. The reasons for this include school and university students returning to their normal study routines for the year, as well as workers coming back from summer breaks. All these factors combine to create pressure on Auckland’s transport network.

Richard Harrison, AT’s Manager of Metro Optimisation, thanks Aucklanders for their continued patience as AT continues to work closely with bus operators to address the shortage of bus drivers.

“We have made steady progress in this space and we’re now at a shortfall of 393 drivers, compared with more than 500 before Christmas. Howick and Eastern added 34 new drivers in the last two weeks and are now at their full requirement of bus drivers. Waiheke Bus Company added three new drivers last week and Go Bus have been able to reduce the number of drivers required.

“Getting Aucklanders where they need to go is our priority and we will be redirecting the largest buses to routes with the highest demand – like the Northern Express and route 27 services.

“We are now seeing around 80 per cent of pre-COVID patronage levels on our buses and we are currently running around 85 per cent of our bus services, with up to five per cent suspended and up to 10 per cent cancelled daily. As more drivers come online, we expect to see these cancellations reduce further.”

Auckland’s ferry patronage is now sitting at around 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels on weekdays and up to 120 per cent of pre-COVID levels on weekends.

Mr Harrison says the shortfall in ferry crew remains at 36 crew members.

“The challenge at Fullers is deckhands and skippers, and it may take some time to recruit extra skippers because of the substantial training requirements.”

During March there will be pinch points at peak travel times, so AT encourages those who have flexibility at work to consider travelling outside peak if possible. This is when there are more likely to be seats on buses, trains and ferries.

For those who do need to travel during the peak, please allow extra time for your journey and check AT’s Journey Planner to see if there are alternate routes.

AT also reminds customers that access to Karekare, Piha, Te Henga Bethells Beach, Muriwai, Anawhata, Huia, Little Huia and Whatipū are compromised and to avoid travelling to these areas.