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New North Shore and Hibiscus Coast bus services

5 July 2005

New North Shore and Hibiscus Coast bus services take off

North Shore and Hibiscus Coast bus commuters today got a significant boost to the number of bus services that get them around the North Shore and to and from Auckland city.

These new changes, planned and funded by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, are another step forward in providing the bus services that will support the Northern Busway, scheduled for completion in late 2007.

To celebrate today’s milestone, ARTA held a ‘bus stop party’ at the Takapuna bus station from 7.30am to 8.30am. Passengers using Takapuna stops to get to Auckland city or around the North Shore received an early morning pick-me-up with free coffee, Cadbury brunch bars and other goodies.

“We want to celebrate the first stage of this project by giving something back to the people who use the service. We recognise that change can be unsettling and we want to thank people for their support,” says Alan Thompson, Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

North Shore City Mayor George Wood and Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard, as partners in the Northern Busway project, also joined in the festivities along with Transit, local business people, community leaders, residents and commuters.

“These new bus services have become a reality through a comprehensive process that involved reviewing all services and routes, consulting with the public, analysing feedback and awarding contracts to the best service provider. The outcome is more services and better frequencies,” says Mr Thompson.

Mr Thompson says that as a result there will be 40% more services during the morning and evening peak, and 28% more services across the whole North Shore and Hibiscus Coast network overall.

“In real terms, this means that there are now 3,300 extra seats every weekday morning and 475 additional trips each day,” he says.

Some North Shore bus users will also see changes to some of their operators. Bus operators Stagecoach, Ritchies and Birkenhead Transport share the ten contracts, which are detailed below:

Devonport/Bayswater Change of operator – from Stagecoach to Ritchies on Bayswater, Stanley Bay and Cheltenham services Dual operators on services between Devonport and Takapuna Bayswater services have a new route structure, new timetables and change of CBD drop-off point (Civic Centre). Peak express services will be every 20 minutes to Auckland city Increased frequency of Takapuna to Devonport service during weekday peak to 15 minutes and weekends to 30 minutes Devonport to Bayswater service has been withdrawn Pupuke Loop now has a single operator (Ritchies), and is now a 7 day service with extended hours of operation – 7:00am-7:30pm

Hibiscus Coast Flyer services will now be called express services Route structures and route numbers have been rationalised to make them easier to understand Some services will now meet the Gulf Harbour ferry Improved frequency on weekend and in particular on Sundays

East Coast Road and Beach Road Flyer services will now be called express services and will be more frequent and direct Some routes discontinued through rationalisation but route changes to 839, 875 and 879 offer alternatives. 961 is discontinued but users can transfer onto 962 Increased frequency of the peak period service from Castor Bay Introduced services in the Torbay Heights area which was not previously served

Sunnynook and Unsworth Rationalised the route structure so that users have the same route for the entire week (Sunnynook 845, Unsworth 905). All 845 and 905 services will now terminate at Takapuna and passengers will be able to transfer if they sish to travel to Auckland Expresses are now more frequent Greenhithe route has been altered to travel via Unsworth and Constellation Station. It also has new operator (Ritchies).

Albany Six new services introduced including Northern Express service which will operate between Britomart and Albany Station every 15 minutes Albany to Glenfield via Wairau Park Albany Loop – Albany, Massey University, NHIE, Mairangi Bay, Browns Bay Long Bay to Massey University Albany to Auckland Express via Wairau Road Albany to Constellation Station via Rosedale Road Increased frequency on Albany to Takapuna including a weekend service Increased frequency on Highbury to Albany service to half hourly until 5:30pm on weekdays and introduced new and improved weekend services

Beach Haven New services from Northcote Point and Chatswood to Birkenhead wharf introduced. Services from Beach Haven wharf and Chatswood to Auckland University introduced to provide a combined 15 minute frequency from 6:30 to 9:00. Birkenhead Request Bus discontinued due to poor patronage Beach Haven to Albany service discontinued – passengers will be able to catch any bus to Highbury and transfer onto Highbury to Albany service.

Bayview Bayview to Takapuna services between 9am and 4pm will now travel via North Shore Hospital All services now operated by one operator – Birkenhead Transport Bayview to Newmarket discontinued but users can transfer at Onewa Road onto Beach Haven to Newmarket service which has had its frequency increased

Windy Ridge Introduced later weekday evening services, better frequency and operating hours on the weekends on Windy Ridge to Takapuna services Removed services from Easton Park Parade – Windy Ridge residents can now use the 952 service via Coronation Road which is a longer trip but has an improved frequency Coronation Road passengers now have new operator (Stagecoach) Glenfield to Auckland University service discontinued – passengers can transfer at Onewa Road onto University services that will operate every 15 minutes between 6:30am and 9am

Hillcrest and Marlborough Change of operator (Stagecoach to Ritchies) Have rationalised route structure to make service more legible for users – 5 routes rather than the current 22.
Highbury to Browns Bay services (routes 553-557) have been rationalised to two routes (555 and 556) and will only travel as far as Constellation Station. Passengers wishing to travel to Browns Bay will need to transfer onto the Albany Loop service. Have increased Saturday frequency and introduced Sunday services Increased frequency and operating hours of Glenfield to Takapuna service during the week and on the weekend

Information ‘roadshows’ have been held over the last few weeks in shopping centres across the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast, the last of these will be held later in the month for students at Massey University and AUT. Residents and public transport users have also received updated timetables at their local stops and in their mailboxes. Further information is available by phoning MAXX on 366 6400 or by going to www.maxx.co.nz. People can also look out for advertisements in their local papers and on the radio.

ENDS

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