Waiheke Island is getting more bus services with the introduction of the new 501 route and the return of the 50B, starting 31 May 2020.
The 501 will connect the Kennedy Point Ferry Terminal, Jellicoe Parade, Wellington Road, Surfdale, Oneroa and Matiatia Ferry Terminal, 7 days a week.
Buses will run every 45 to 60 minutes, and more often at peak times. The first trip will be at 5:30am (6:25am on weekends and public holidays) and the last trip will be at 9:30pm.
“This is an exciting development for Waiheke, as it means there will finally be a public bus going to Kennedy Point,” says Cath Handley, Waiheke Local Board Chair.
“There’s a new bus stop near the Kennedy Point ferry terminal. It will feature a Ngati Paoa design and artwork by local Waiheke artist Sally Smith. More bus stops will be added later this year once locals have been consulted.”
The new stop also features an electronic passenger information display giving real time bus departure information.
“This is the next piece of Waiheke’s new public bus network to be implemented,” says Mark Lambert, AT’s Executive General Manager of Integrated Networks. “The bulk of the new network was delivered in October last year but works to upgrade the wharf and bus facilities at Kennedy Point prevented us from implementing the 501.
The wharf upgrade is nearing completion, freeing up space for the safe movement of buses and other traffic. A few small work items will continue over the next couple of months, but this will not impede the operation of the 501.”
Reinstatement of the 50B
The 50B will return 31 May, connecting Onetangi (Fourth Avenue), Ostend (Belgium Street), Surfdale, Oneroa and Matiatia Ferry Terminal 7 days a week.
Buses will run every 30 minutes from 7am until 7pm. The 50B will alternate with the 50A to provide a bus every 15 minutes along the main route across the island.
With the 501 serving Jellicoe Parade and Wellington Road, the 50A and 50B will not serve these roads as they have done previously.
“For those people wanting a quick transfer to the ferry at Matiatia, the 50A and 502 remain your best options. The 50B will be helpful for those people who want a bit more time,” says Lambert.
“More frequent buses will make it easier for passengers to physically distance.”
James Bailey from Waiheke Bus Company says, “We’ve worked really hard with AT to recruit new bus drivers from both Waiheke Island and further afield. We’re pleased we can get back to offering Waihekians the full bus service and we thank everyone for their patience.”
Electric Bus update
AT is progressing with Fullers360 and Waiheke Bus on the delivery of the island’s electric bus fleet, expecting first operations on the island by late 2020.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there has been significant disruption to the construction and delivery for these buses. Our expectation from the supply-chain is this fleet should be on the island in October.
Paper timetables will be available in early June from AT.govt.nz/Timetables and the Matiatia Ferry Terminal.