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ARC’s new North Shore bus proposals

ARC’s new North Shore bus proposals - Public Input Sought

New routes and schedules for North Shore residents will allow bus services to dovetail into a region-wide transport network that includes road, rail and ferry developments.

"The opening of the first two stations of the North Shore Busway at Albany and Constellation Drive, timed for April 2004, paves the way for the first of the major changes and additions to bus services on the Shore," says Councillor Catherine Harland, Chair of the ARC's Passenger Transport Committee.

The proposals include the introduction of a 15-minute bus service frequency from Britomart Transport Centre to Massey University throughout the day as well as changes to, and additional services from Torbay and Long Bay, Browns Bay, Greenhithe, Mairangi Bay, Highbury shops and Glenfield shops.

The proposed 'Interim Busway' services have emerged from a review of feedback obtained through research and an extensive consultation programme conducted last year with North Shore and Hibiscus Coast residents.

"While initially only minor service changes were proposed to support the early opening of Albany and Constellation stations, public feedback and transport modelling revealed that a more substantial route review was needed," says Cr Harland. "It's therefore important that the public have a further opportunity to comment now that specific detailed planning has been undertaken."

"I want to encourage as many people as possible to have a close look at what is proposed and provide their comments," says Cr Harland. "Changes to services and additional services come at an on-going cost to regional ratepayers so we must consult the public at every step."

"Providing new busway stations and infrastructure without improved services does not make sense. It would be like building a whole herd of white elephants," says Cr Harland. "So it is important that residents and ratepayers understand that their long and loud calls for significantly improved public transport ultimately translate into added costs to support services. These are on-going, operational costs funded by regional rates - they do not come free."

ARC Transport Passenger Planner Anthony James says bus users are the real experts on whether new services work.

“We use computer models to test which are the most efficient routes and schedules, but ultimately we rely on the daily user to tell us how we can make it better.

“We want to hear from North Shore residents - current bus users and those who have yet to try - what they think about the proposed services – what’s good, what’s bad – so we can tailor them to fit their travel requirements.”

This consultation round will continue until August 15. Then further adjustments will be made to services before the ARC requests tenders for the supply of services from operators.

North Shore residents can call (09) 366 2000 extn 8121 for details of the proposed changes. They can offer their feedback by emailing mailto: mailto:interim_busway@arc.govt.nz or placing comments on the Interim North Shore Busway Forum on the Rideline website at http:// http://www.rideline.co.nz.

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