Travelling into the city is expected to be around 30 minutes quicker during off-peak when Auckland Transport rolls out its New Network on the Hibiscus Coast in October.
As well, more double-decker buses will be on the Northern Express from January, increasing capacity by approximately 25% between Albany and Britomart.
Hibiscus Coast will be the first area of Auckland to get a simplified and more frequent bus network. Northern Express services will operate between the coast and the city at least every 30 minutes seven days a week, and every 15 minutes at peak times.
“This will be a game-changer for passengers on both local and city bound services,” says Auckland Transport’s Bus Services Manager Brendon Main.
The changes include an extension of the Northern Express to Silverdale and a resulting increase in the frequency of services between Albany and Britomart.
Changes on the local Hibiscus Coast network include more services particularly on the weekends, a bus every half hour between Orewa and Manly, a new link for Millwater, a trial service for Arkles Bay and a trial to connect with the Gulf Harbour Ferry.
Mr Main says in response to public feedback, Auckland Transport has reconfigured the multiple bus routes that currently travel to the North Shore and Britomart. There will be streamlined direct feeder services connecting to the Northern Express at the planned Hibiscus Coast Station.
This station will operate as a ‘pulse’ network where buses are scheduled to arrive together and then all depart at the same time. Mr Main say this arrangement will allow passengers to transfer to other services with a shorter waiting time between connections. The station is planned at the existing park and ride and will have up to 500 parking spaces.
“All these changes will mean improvements for the thousands of passengers travelling into the city and take into account the added demand from housing developments in the area,” he says.
“We want to provide a simple and easy to understand public transport network, that not only helps people move about more efficiently but also encourages them to try public transport.”
Consultation on the New Network for the Hibiscus Coast was carried out this time last year, 874 submissions were received, and 71% either supported or strongly supported the New Network. As a result of the consultsatio changes have been made to 10 of the 11 proposed routes.
New timetables will be available closer to launch of the new services.