Public transport keeps Aucklanders moving

Buses and ferries kept Aucklanders moving this morning (Monday, 21 September 2020) as motorists struggled with the reduced traffic lanes on the Harbour Bridge.

Auckland Transport (AT) says Northern Express buses were running close to time and took advantage of the dedicated busway and bus or transit lanes.

AT's Chief Executive Shane Ellison says, on the busway at 7am, the trip from Albany to the city took around 30 minutes. In a car, the same journey was 90 minutes. He says going northbound there were no delays.

"Our joint operations centre with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has been monitoring traffic 24/7 and adjusting traffic signals in real time. We're looking at making some changes to give buses priority at pinch points like the top of Onewa Rd at Birkenhead.

"There were no capacity issues or long waits at busway stations or ferry terminals this morning, there were seats available on buses and ferries.

"It's great to see the public's faith in public transport. We've seen a lot of familiar faces return to public transport this morning after driving during the COVID crisis, early reports suggest passengers numbers were up 20 to 30 per cent on last Monday."

The Birkenhead and Devonport ferries were particularly well used up more than 30 per cent. "We realise that not everybody is able to use public transport but for those who did, or made the switch out of their cars, it was the way to go."

Bus priority lane to North Shore on SH1 before the bridge

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are implementing a bus priority system that will be implemented before evening peak traffic on State Highway 1 northbound to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The priority lane is to reduce congestion for buses to the North Shore and provide more reliable journeys for customers.

This bus priority system will allow buses to access the SH1 northbound on-ramp at Fanshawe Street via a new priority lane, allowing buses to bypass the queuing traffic.

This priority lane onto the motorway will then merge with the general state highway traffic.

AT suggests customers consider traveling on public transport during off-peak hours, which will also allow them to take advantage of a 30 per cent discount. Customers are advised to plan their journey with the AT Mobile app, which now also displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any given time, or use the journey planner on our website.

AT also reminds customers that a face covering must be worn while on public transport, register your AT HOP card and scan the on-board QR code with the Ministry of Health's COVID Tracer app.

"Many people and businesses don't have a lot of choice about how and when they travel, so we appreciate everyone's ongoing patience and understanding during the disruption," says Mr Ellison.

Find out more on our Auckland Harbour Bridge page or visit Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency’s website for traffic updates or media releases.