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Bus lanes begin work today on key CBD streets

27 June 2005

Bus lanes begin work today on key CBD streets

Four years’ work to make bus passengers a priority in the CBD culminates today with bus lanes introduced on sections of Mayoral Drive, Albert, Sturdee and Vincent streets.

The new lanes benefit passengers on western buses with a faster trip out of the city each weeknight, and get passengers on North Shore buses through the CBD more efficiently.

They are the result of a four-year collaboration with regional transport partners, and support the Northern Busway, and new bus services being introduced on 3 July by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).

“For the first time in the CBD we are saying that 40 people on a bus should have priority over one person travelling in a car,” says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the council’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

“The bus lanes mean less capacity for cars – particularly on Albert Street, which has been prioritised for passenger transport in line with the council’s central area access strategy.

“If people have to bring a car to the CBD, they need to plan their journey. Hobson Street has been prioritised for cars.”

The new bus lanes operate Monday to Friday between the hours of 6am and 10am, and 3pm and 7pm, reflecting traffic volumes.

“To be successful, bus lanes need to meet the demands of the area as well as those of passengers,” says Mr Simpson.

“It’s important we remain flexible with clearways and bus lane operating hours to continue attracting more people onto buses.

“The extended clearways and bus lane hours reflect traffic volumes in this area of the CBD at these times.

“With the average car occupancy 1.1 people in peak traffic times, every person on a bus is one less car on the road.”

Some traffic signals and movements along the route also change today to support the new bus lanes, such as removing the right hand turn from Albert Street into both Swanson and Wyndham streets.

Pedestrian and motorist safety has also been top of mind in making these changes. For example, the footpath opposite the District Court has been widened to 1.6m, to benefit pedestrians.

ENDS

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