One of the biggest changes in Auckland’s bus and train operations us under way in South Auckland with the launch of the New Network for South Auckland.
The New Network is a simpler, more integrated network that will completely change the way people travel.
The first trip of the day was the 380 Airporter bus scheduled at 4.40am, from Manukau to Onehunga. It is one of 39 new bus routes across South Auckland, Pukekohe and Waiuku.
“A change of this scale has not been seen in Auckland before,” says Auckland Transport Group Manager AT Metro Operations, Brendon Main.
“It has been a massive effort. Along with new bus routes and bus timetables, there are two new bus companies operating in the south.”
“While we are anticipating that everything will run smoothly in the next few days, we do expect there will be some teething problems and customers will need extra care.
“It will take time for customers to familiarise themselves with their new journeys. We are asking for their patience, to plan ahead and give themselves enough time to make their journeys,” says Mr Main.
A key feature of the changes is the introduction of three frequent bus routes which also made their first journeys today. These buses will operate on key routes at least every 15 minutes, 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
“This is a first for South Auckland. It has never had this level of service on these routes, especially on the weekends. Across the region there will be a more consistent pattern of frequency through the day and in the weekends, benefits that will please our customers.” says Mr Main.
“We have been working towards today for some time now. Informing customers, working with the bus companies, having our staff on the street and our call centre ready to answer queries.
AT ambassadors and staff are at key bus stops and interchanges helping people with their new journeys.
Informing customers of the changes and getting them ready for day one has meant a busy few months for Auckland Transport. The public campaign included delivering the information pack and bus timetables to 119,000 letterboxes, 20 information events helping customers plan their journeys and posters at about 500 bus stops reaching 93% of passenger boardings.
Implementation of the New Network for other areas of Auckland will follow in phases.
Some key facts about the Southern New Network
- 39 routes, simplified from 52
- Annual total km = approx. 8,950,000 kilometres: to the moon and back 11 and a half times per year; or around the world 224 times every year
- 26,767 in-service km and 1,198 in-service hours each weekday
- 20,220 in-service km and 844 in-service hours each Saturday
- 19,167 in-service km and 789 in-service hours each Sunday
- Over 300 new or relocated bus stops
- 1,292 bus stops in use within South Auckland on 30 October
- 104 stops closing for all services
- 79 stops closing for public services but remain for school services