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Passenger service industry prompts bus lane review

Passenger service industry prompts bus lane review

Auckland City’s Transport Committee is currently reviewing the use of bus lanes by passenger transport services after being approached by the taxi industry and other small bus service operators.

Auckland City’s Transport Committee chairperson, Councillor Greg McKeown, maintains that the city’s bus lanes must still meet the purpose of increasing the efficiency of transporting people along arterial routes while maintaining safety.

“We need to ensure that we optimise the use of road space, especially along routes in high demand. A bus carrying 50 passengers along Dominion Road is taking between 40 and 50 cars off the road (using average car occupancy rates). A taxi with one passenger does not provide the same benefit,” says Mr McKeown.

“There are inherent safety issues with multiple users on bus lanes, so we need to give careful consideration before introducing further passenger transport services.”

Auckland City plans to continue implementing bus lanes to better utilise key arterial routes. Installation has begun on Sandringham and New North roads and planning has begun for bus lanes along Symonds and Albert streets as well as Khyber Pass.

“The bus lanes are working at the moment, with passengers feeling the benefits of them. We need to give careful consideration to allowing other vehicles to use them to ensure we do not lose these advantages,” says Mr McKeown.

“We welcome dialogue with the taxi industry on this issue. Minds are open to developing transport services, and key to that is improving the way we use existing road space.”

At present the council’s bylaw restricts bus lane use to vehicles with 13 seats or more. A report will be presented to the Transport Committee in April with recommendations on any changes to the bus lane usage and bylaw.

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