City-bound buses exceed expectations
City-bound buses exceed expectations, services set to triple!
Eastern suburbs residents have taken to Botany-CDB buses with such gusto, the Auckland Regional Council and Howick and Eastern Buses are launching seven new trips each way daily to meet demand.
Since commencing 3 daily off peak services direct from Botany Town Centre to Newmarket and the CBD back in April, patronage numbers have exceeded the projected forecast by 10%.
Utilising Transfund’s Kickstart Funding, 14 new services will provide residents in Botany, Dannemora, Meadowlands and Ti Rakau Drive with early morning and evening commuter trips to the city every 60 minutes; likewise, people travelling from the CBD to Botany for employment or shopping purposes also have the same increase in frequency.
ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chair Catherine Harland says that efficiently responding to patronage growth by adding further bus services is the best way to ensure passenger numbers continue to increase.
“Once people have established a routine incorporating a bus trip, it is essential that we monitor and respond to any increases in demand, before the buses reach full capacity. The surge in growth we’ve seen in the Botany area has triggered a significant rise in bus usage and our efforts are focused on responding to this by firstly starting new services, and now extending them. With the addition of 7 new departure times each way, locals now have a range of new travel options both entering and leaving the CBD.”
“Our aim is to provide a comprehensive bus network that enables passengers to get around quickly and easily.”
Howick and Eastern Buses Managing Director Bill Dalbeth also acknowledged the initial success of the Route 68 “Botany Direct” services, supporting the ARC’s promotion of the new services by offering free ride coupons to encourage trial.
“If our customers are telling us that there is a demand for more buses at specific times, we’ll do what we can to make those services viable,” says Mr Dalbeth. “The more people we can encourage to get on board and use the services, the more likely we’ll be able to sustain the buses over time. Free passes are a great way to get people thinking about leaving the car at home for the day.”
The new services are set to commence on Monday 14 October. Existing trips are shown in bold: To CBD: 7.00, 8.00, 9.00, 10.00, 11.00, 12 noon, 1.00, 2.00, 3.00, 4.00 From CBD: 8.30, 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 1.30, 2.30, 3.30, 4.30, 5.30