Bus lane surge for Auckland

40 kilometres of additional bus lanes will be added to the Auckland road network over two years

A programme to improve travel times and reliability for public transport to support Auckland’s bus network is progressing well.

Auckland Transport bus services manager Brendon Main says the bus priority programme, which includes bus and transit lanes and traffic light phasing will create a more efficient bus service for public transport users. 

"We are on target to add about 15 kilometres of bus lanes to key bus routes by June 2015, with another 25 kilometres planned in the next two financial years," he says.

"We've had a great start to the year with the completion of a new city bound bus lane on Symonds Street in February, a new link in the Fanshawe Street city bound bus lane at the Market Place and Fanshawe Street intersection.

"We have also added an inbound bus lane on Dominion Road (between Richardson Road and Denbigh Avenue) and other bus efficiency improvements on Ellerslie Main Highway, Onewa Road and Bolton Street in Blockhouse Bay."

These measures have added 3.3 kilometres to the network with further bus lane expansions planned to be underway by the end of March for Khyber Pass, Wellesley Street, Victoria Street, and Park Road in Parnell.

Main says the bus priority programme will relieve congestion and bottle-necks by providing a clear demarcation on the road between public transport and other vehicles.

 "These incremental and cost effective improvements will benefit the whole network by managing competing interests for road space during peak times," Main says.

 "A predictable and reliable public transport network with improved travel times is a real incentive for people to get out of their cars and on to public transport."

Buses account for about 2.5 per cent of vehicles in the Auckland city centre, but carry nearly a third of commuters into the city.

 "They are key to using our road space more efficiently, providing more capacity and getting people to where they want to go faster," Main says.

Travel savings of two minutes have been gained for peak morning commuters on Symonds Street, an improvement of 50 per cent on last year.

Public transport patronage is at all-time high in Auckland, so this investment in bus lanes has come at a crucial time.

"Public transport patronage totalled 77 million passenger boardings for the 12 months to February 2015, an annual increase of 9.5 per cent," Main says.

Monitoring of the recently extended Fanshawe Street bus lane will start soon and Auckland Transport are optimistic about the benefits for the thousands of bus passengers who use the service along this busy roadway.

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