NZ bus bridge allows taxis

Auckland’s major bus-only bridge will now be shared with taxis as part of a 12-month trial

A key arterial bridge that was restricted to buses, motorbikes and bikes and pedestrians during the day has now been opened to taxis in Auckland.

Taxis have been given access to Grafton Bridge on a trial basis to make it easier for people to get to the nearby Auckland City Hospital and Starship Children’s Hospital.

Auckland Transport network operations and safety manager Randhir Karma says the purpose of the trial is to see if adding taxis affects other users of the bridge.

"We will be reporting back on driver behaviour, bus travel times and intersection queuing every three months," he says.

Auckland Transport will carry out CCTV monitoring of Grafton Bridge throughout the trial.

"The bridge is a major link to the hospitals and allowing taxis to use it at all hours should improve access for patients and visitors," Karma says.

The existing bus lanes operate 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, at other times the bridge is open to general traffic.

"We will be converting the existing bus lanes to bus and taxi lanes and the signs and road markings will be updated."

There are strict rules regarding taxis using the bridge, including no overtaking of cyclists and taxis must give bikes space when following them.

Taxis are not allowed to pick-up or drop-off passengers, u-turns are banned and taxi drivers cannot use the bridge during restricted times while not in service.

Auckland Transport is using video cameras to enforce the rules during the year-long trial, which came into effect last month.

A final decision on what kind of vehicles can use the bridge during restricted hours will be made in August next year.

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