Media Release: 5 July 2011
New high quality buses, painted red, amber and green, will operate on the three LINK services. Meeting Euro 5+ emissions standards, they will be 90 per cent cleaner than most of the diesel buses currently operating on Queen St. They will also be wheelchair-accessible, air conditioned, and have more seated passenger capacity.
Buses to suburbs like Ponsonby, Herne Bay, Grey Lynn and Pt. Chevalier will also see changes, including services moving from Queen Street to Albert Street to speed up journeys.
The new services will begin on 21 August. The final routes follow consultation in April which received about 1200 submissions. After six months of operation Auckland Transport will review the new services and ask for feedback from passengers.
Auckland Transport Public Transport Operations Manager Mark Lambert says the success of the LINK will be built upon to create three highly recognisable bus services.
“People want to be able to easily understand where a bus goes and how often it runs. We expect that simplifying bus services in the area and creating more LINK routes will encourage more people on to public transport.
“Creating a single high quality bus service along Queen St and moving others to Albert St ties in with Auckland Council’s aim to make the city centre more pedestrian friendly.
“People will need to get used to changing the bus or the bus stop they use, or in some cases a short walk at one end of their journey. But overall the changes will be positive and should drive a one million increase in passenger journeys for this area during the next few years.”
NZ Bus CEO Zane Fulljames says the introduction of the new services clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to provide a step change in bus public transport provision in conjunction with its partners.
“They also show the benefits of an aligned focus on delivering high quality, safe, reliable and frequent services to customers.
“NZ Bus is investing $66m in 158 brand new Euro 5+ vehicles that will begin operating in Auckland during the next 18 months. The first batch is earmarked for these new services; the team is pretty excited about the progress being made.”
A campaign to inform passengers about the changes to bus routes in the CBD and Western Bays suburbs will begin in the lead up to their introduction on 21 August. The changes will be reviewed in six months to assess how well they have worked.
Full details of the new services will be available on the Maxx website towards the end of July.
The LINK will be renamed the Inner LINK and two changes will be made to its route, travelling via Albert St rather than Queen St, and direct from Ponsonby and Karangahape Rd to Auckland City Hospital and Newmarket via Grafton Bridge.
The City LINK will become the flagship city centre bus. The current City Circuit bus will be replaced. For the journey between Britomart and the universities, the Mt Eden Rd b.line will now depart every 10 minutes from the front of Britomart Station on Queen St.
The 004 and 006 will become part of the Outer LINK. The 005 will continue to run at peak time, over an extended route from Pt Chevalier beach to Britomart, via Albert St.
The 010 will be extended to provide a connection to Wynyard Quarter from Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Pt Chevalier.
A new 020 service, using Albert St through the CBD to Britomart, will replace parts of the 015, 017, 024-028, 034 and 035 services, running every 10 minutes at peak, every 20 minutes during the rest of weekdays and Saturdays and every 30 minutes evenings and Saturdays. It will come from Westmere via Garnet Rd, along Richmond Rd and from Ponsonby Rd to the CBD via Freemans Bay (Franklin Rd and Wellington Street).
A new 030, using Vincent and Albert Streets through the CBD to Britomart, will replace parts of the 034, 035 and 045 services. It will come from Pt Chevalier Rd, and use Great North Rd, then Williamson Ave, Ponsonby Rd to Karangahape Rd.
The 042-045 services will no longer operate, with journeys provided by the Outer LINK, 005, 010 and 030.