The next two months are expected to be the busiest in five years on Auckland’s roads and public transport services, but Auckland Transport (AT) will be working hard to get Aucklanders where they need to go, however they decide to travel.
More people use Auckland’s transport network from the middle of February until early April than any other time of year. During that period this year, AT anticipates there will be about two million trips each week on the city’s buses, trains and ferries.
“This is the highest public transport usage we’ve seen since before COVID-19,” says AT Group Manager Growth and Optimisation, Richard Harrison.
“Since then, Auckland’s population has grown by more than the size of Nelson, but AT has plans in place to respond to this increase in demand on our transport network.
“Our buses are fully staffed and we’ll be boosting the capacity of routes we know will be the busiest. This could be deploying bigger buses with more seats, or adding extra trips so that even if a bus is full, the next one won’t be far away.”
Passengers can see an indication of how busy their bus or train will be on the AT Mobile App or Passenger Information Displays at train stations and some bus stops, Mr Harrison says.
AT is also working with KiwiRail to ensure that, while the Rail Network Rebuild continues, train services will still operate on all lines.
“AT will be monitoring and reviewing the performance of the public transport system daily, allowing us to rapidly identify any pressure points and make optimisations where we can, – though this won’t always be possible with the resources we have available,” Mr Harrison says.
“Aucklanders can have confidence that we’ll be doing everything we can to keep them moving, but it will be busy and there are things we can all do to have a better commuting experience.”
He says the morning and mid-to-late afternoon is when the transport network is at its busiest and it could take longer to get around, so those who can might want to allow extra time to travel at these peak periods.
“We’re also asking people to move down the bus and use every seat when it is busy, to make sure there is enough room for everyone.”
Another tip for commuters is to explore the many different options they have to travel, which Mr Harrison says can be fast and enjoyable.
“We’re encouraging Aucklanders to mix their go and try different ways of getting around. That could be cycling, riding an e-scooter, taking a scenic ferry ride, catching the bus or train, or walking if the distance isn’t too far.
“There are so many ways to get around our city, and though these next couple of months will be busy, AT is committed to keeping Auckland moving,” Mr Harrison says.