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“Improved Bus Services for West Auckland”

“Improved Bus Services for West Auckland”

May 22, 2001

The ARC has announced improved West Auckland bus services, initiated as a partnership between ARC and Transfund through the Government’s Patronage Funding “kick-start” scheme and in direct response to public demand for increased services.

Beginning May 28 services operated by Ritchies Coachlines Ltd on the 133 and 058 routes in the Massey and Upper Harbour area will be increased and extended. The 133 service between New Lynn and Takapuna will be doubled in frequency to run every hour, and 058 trips will be increased and extended from Colwill Rd (Massey East) to Westgate Shopping Centre. These changes will improve access to employment in the Wairau Valley and Westgate areas, provide more frequent links between local and sub-regional centres (New Lynn, Henderson, Westgate, Greenhithe and Takapuna) for employment and shopping, improve services for new housing developments and will fit with the services for the planned North Shore Busway.

Ritchies Coachlines will use low-floor wheelchair accessible buses on all trips on the 133 route.

The additional services have been provided with subsidy from ARC assisted by central Government’s Patronage Funding kick-start programme. This subsidy will continue for 2 years while the service gets established.

Les Paterson, chairman of the ARC Transport Committee sees continued government support as vital to the goal of an integrated public transport system for the region. He applauds the Government’s innovative funding. “Without the additional support through kick-start funding it would have been difficult to put on the extra services. There may be commercial justification for operators to increase services in peak times but using kick-start funding allows us also to add extra off-peak services and to try services on new routes.”

Kick-start funding has also been used to add extra buses on major routes in peak times where demand has been high, and to increase all-day and weekend service levels on a number of routes.

Another recent improvement for public transport users is www.rideline.co.nz, a website launched last month that allows people to plan their trips on the Internet - also made possible using the government’s kick-start funding scheme. The website supports the high demand for information experienced by the well-established Rideline telephone service.

Other innovative services have been trialed by the ARC and have now become part of Auckland’s public transport network. These include The LINK City Loop, the Urban Express St Lukes to Newmarket service and the Bayswater ferry service. These initiatives represent ARC’s continuing work, making incremental improvements to the region’s public transport services while working towards a fully integrated transport system serving the whole region.

- END -

For further information please call: Les Paterson, transport Committee Chairman ARC, phone 09 366 2000 x7111 or Barry Mein, Transport Director phone 09 366 2000 x8061

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