NZ bus use surge

More people are using bus services and other forms of public transport than ever before in Auckland

The number of people using buses has increased by 8 per cent in Auckland over the last year.

Auckland Transport general manager Mark Lambert says growth on bus services is attributed to increased services and frequency and improving travel times from new bus priority lanes.

"More improvements are planned for later this year, along with the introduction of double decker buses on a number of routes," he says.

"We have seen a significant improvement in service punctuality being achieved by bus operators through new timetables."

"New bus network designs will also be introduced from later this year."

Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy says it has been a busy year, with increased services across bus and rail – with the gradual replacement of the diesel trains with new electric models.

"We’re moving to speed up the roll-out of the electric trains because we know Aucklanders want the extra capacity and the improved service that they provide."

 Auckland Transport is aiming to have a full electric network by the end of July except for the link between Papakura and Pukekohe which will continue to use diesel trains.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the figures are good news and showed that public transport was becoming more effective.

 "At this rate, Auckland will meet the Government's threshold for financial support for the City Rail Link early in 2017, three years earlier than projected," he says.

"Growth in public transport has been accelerating since late 2013."

The growth is put down to greater service frequency introduced over the last few years.

Annual public transport patronage now exceeds 78 million boardings, an increase of 10 per cent in Auckland. Last month alone, there were 8.4 million boardings, a jump of more than one million on March last year.

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