Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

More services ahead of "March Madness"

Auckland Transport is putting on more services to meet passenger demand during March. 

Group Manager AT Metro Operations, Brendon Main says in the morning peak there will be 56 more city bound bus trips each morning compared to March last year. That’s 5% more capacity overall for bus services and an increase of up to 34% on some corridors. “We know the number of public transport passengers peaks in March as students head back to their studies, schools are in term and lower numbers of people are on leave. It’s known as “March Madness” and since March last year we’ve worked hard to get more services on some of our busiest routes.” 

Mr Main says last March some peak time trips were crowded and these are the services being targeted with extra buses this year. 

“We will have more than six and a half thousand extra spaces on buses and trains, this will go a long way towards meeting demand.” 

Bus capacity has increased by close to 5400 spaces and timetable changes for trains from 12 March will mean an additional 1200 spaces are available in the morning peak. 

Mr Main says double-decker buses are also coming to Birkenhead to help with the demand. 

From next Monday, 27 February, four double-decker buses will commence services on routes between Beach Haven, Glenfield and the central city providing much needed additional capacity along Onewa Road. 

New routes for double-decker services are 970, 973, 973B, 974 and 974B between Beach Haven and the CBD and the section of routes 950 and 955 between Glenfield Mall and the CBD. 

Mr Main says public transport will be busy but Auckland Transport and its service providers will be closely watching the situation. “You might not always get on the first service but we want to ensure wait times are acceptable and, on some routes, better than last year.” 

Additional bus services

Capacity (places; seats + standing) of services provided
Corridor Operator March 2016 AM
peak inbound daily
Additional spaces
added for 2017
Additional percentage
added for 2017
Count of additional trips
Implemented by
Rapid NEX Ritchies 4,161 1,257 30.2% 8 (43) January 2017
Frequent Mt Eden Rd NZ Bus 2,797 919 32.9% 5 (44) September 2016
Frequent Manukau Rd NZ Bus 1,689 244 14.4% 5 (28) October 2016
Frequent Great North Rd - Isthmus NZ Bus 1,470 195 13.3% 3 (24) November 2016
Frequent New North Rd NZ Bus 2,390 195 8.2% 3 (40) November 2016
Frequent Sandringham Rd NZ Bus 3,154 260 8.2% 4 (46) November 2016
Frequent Dominion Rd NZ Bus 4,271 780 18.3% 12 (63) November 2016
Frequent Remuera Rd NZ Bus 1,320 195 14.8% 3 (22) November 2016
Frequent Tamaki Dr / Eastern Bays NZ Bus 1,277 130 10.2%  2 (22) November 2016
Frequent East Coast Road NZ Bus 408 65 15.9% 1 (7) November 2016
Frequent 881 (Torbay to Newmarket) NZ Bus 1,277 434 34.0% 4 (16) November 2016
Frequent Onewa Rd Birkenhead 3,418 629 18.4% 6 (49) January 2017

Additional Rail Services

 The timetable change due on 12 March adds 1,194 spaces inbound during the morning peak. This additional capacity is split between the Eastern Line (796 spaces) and Southern Line (398 spaces).

Additional Ferry Services

Most routes have sufficient capacity now to cope with anticipated patronage demand, even given the significant growth experienced over the past year.

A new timetable started for Gulf Harbour in October which added approximately 150 inbound spaces in the morning. We have worked with the operator of the West Harbour services to provide additional backup vessels; which has the potential to add more than 40 seats in the morning.  Reallocating vessels on the Hobsonville run will add an additional 52 seats inbound and vessel reallocation options for the Half Moon Bay service are also available to increase capacity.

Read more about public transport services