Major improvements for central Auckland buses
28 March 2011
A new high frequency bus that runs along Queen St and to Wynyard Quarter is part of major improvements proposed for central Auckland buses.
Auckland Transport is also planning to introduce a new bus route similar to the LINK that will run every 15 minutes around suburbs surrounding the CBD.
The Outer Loop service would connect suburbs like Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, St Lukes and Wynyard Quarter. It is part of a range of major improvements proposed for Auckland CBD and inner suburbs bus network.
Other key improvements proposed:
Changing some of the LINK route to improve reliability
Creating a new inner city service that runs every five minutes between Karangahape Rd, Queen St, Britomart and Wynyard Quarter
Two new Western Bays bus routes that run through the CBD via Albert St instead of Queen St to improve journey times
NZ Bus to operate high quality buses, similar to the LINK, on the new Outer Loop and inner city service.
The improvements to make buses quicker and easier to use are expected to increase patronage in the area by about 10 per cent.
Auckland Transport begins a three week feedback period on the plans today. People can find out more and have their say at maxx.co.nz
Auckland Transport Public Transport Operations Manager Mark Lambert says the aim is to create more bus services like the LINK that are highly recognisable.
“People want to be able to easily understand where a bus goes and how often it goes.
“For example buses already run every five minutes during the day up Queen St to K Rd, but only regular users know that. A new inner city service will be created so people know there is a frequent, easy bus they can catch.
“The Outer Loop service will mean places like Unitec and St Lukes are connected with Mt Eden Village, Newmarket and the city centre by an easy, regular bus service.
“Currently popular services like the LINK can get delayed by traffic in Queen St and aren’t as reliable as what they could be. Other services travelling to Ponsonby, Westmere and Pt Chevalier take longer than they need to because of slow journeys up Queen St.
“Another key improvement is providing bus services for the rapidly developing Wynyard Quarter area. It would be served by the new inner city service, the Outer Loop and a service to Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Western Springs.”
NZ Bus Chief Commercial Officer Rachel Drew says “NZ Bus is working in partnership with Auckland Transport to design and introduce services that meet customers’ needs.
“One aspect of this will be introducing new high quality buses, similar to the LINK, on the new inner city and outer loop services. They will exceed Euro 5 emission standards, be wheelchair-accessible, air conditioned, and have more seated passenger capacity.”
Auckland Transport and NZ Bus are also investigating options for introducing the latest technology hybrid-electric buses to the Auckland CBD.
Proposed improvements include:
The LINK – To improve journey times the LINK route would run directly from Karangahape Rd across Grafton Bridge to Newmarket. It would then go directly from Parnell to the universities and midtown, with part of the route moved from Victoria to Wellesley St. This avoids traffic congestion on Queen and Victoria streets.
New Outer Loop service – Similar to the LINK, this 15 minute frequency service would connect suburbs surrounding the CBD. This would provide many more connections for people going between Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Dominion Rd, St Lukes,Unitec, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, College Hill and Wynyard Quarter. It will replace the LINK for journeys between Ponsonby, Britomart, Parnell and Newmarket.
New inner city service – Running every five minutes 7am to 7pm and every 10 minutes at other times. This service would link Karangahape Rd with Britomart via Queen Street with every alternate trip servicing Wynyard Quarter. This service would replace the City Circuit.
Better connections to Wynyard Quarter – The 010 bus, which comes from Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Western Springs and Pt Chevalier, would be extended to Wynyard Quarter. The area would also be well served by both the frequent inner city service and the Outer Loop.
New Western Bays routes – Areas not covered by the new Outer Loop (Freemans Bay, Richmond Rd, Westmere and the tip of Pt Chevalier) would be served by two new routes. To speed up trips they would run from Britomart via Albert St instead of Queen St.