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ARTA responds to busway service feedback

Joint ARTA and North Shore City Council Media Release

13 March 2008

ARTA responds to busway service feedback

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) today announced record busway patronage figures for the popular Northern Express service running along the newly opened Northern Busway and record numbers for feeder services on the North Shore for the month of February.

The Authority also announced fine-tuning of services running along the busway following a month of operations. The busway was officially opened on 2 February this year.

ARTA's Chief Executive, Fergus Gammie, says, "Early busway patronage figures show February 2008 was a record month for the popular Northern Express service, which carried 82,373 passengers, which is 66% ahead of last year and 38% ahead of the 2008 forecast. Albany and Constellation Station feeder services on the North Shore were 40% ahead of 2007 figures, these are very pleasing results".

"Following just over a month of operation of services feeding into and running on the busway, ARTA will also be undertaking some fine-tuning. Any major service improvement on the scale of the Northern Busway, can expect to be fine-tuned and forms a key part of ARTA's customer responsiveness.

"From the opening of the busway ARTA staff have been out on the ground daily observing patronage and usage, we have had independent research conducted, we have worked with our partners the North Shore City Council, in particular the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and we have listened to feedback from the most important people, our commuters. Taking all of that into consideration, we are now focused on fine-tuning the service to even better meet requirements.

North Shore Mayor, Andrew Williams says he is pleased to see ARTA working so proactively to respond to bus users' feedback.

"There was always going to be a period of fine-tuning to make sure we provide the best possible public transport service to our residents. We will continue working very closely with ARTA to make sure the Northern Busway system caters to the transport needs of people across North Shore City."

"It's wonderful to see so many people already embracing the Northern Busway, and the expanded bus services which have seen a 66% increase in February 2008 bus patronage compared with February 2007.

I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength as we introduce this world class bus and integrated public transport system", says Mr. Williams.

Mr Gammie says service changes will be as follows:

From 7 April 2008, bus routes 555 and 858 will travel via North Shore Hospital between 9am to 3pm from Monday to Sunday. The 858 service will no longer travel via Akoranga station

East Coast Bays residents will be able to commute the easy way to Newmarket with the reinstatement of the peak 963 service and a new peak 964 service, which starts from Browns Bay and enters the Busway at Smales Farm and also serves Akoranga Station.

To reduce travel time for East Coast Bays commuters, the 839 service will no longer travel via Akoranga station, offering a fast and more direct connection to the Auckland CBD.

For Castor Bay and Milford residents, the peak 822 service direct to mid-town via Takapuna will also be reinstated which will assist in the provision of a direct core service between Takapuna and Auckland.

To provide Sunnynook residents with a better connection to Milford, the 843 service will travel via Sunset, Juniper and Sunnynook Roads rather than via Sunset and East Coast Roads.

The 863x, 873x and 874x express bus services will pick-up and drop off passengers at Akoranga station rather than drive straight through onto the busway.

There will also be two additional evening 945 bus services for Glenfield and Takapuna residents.

Mr Gammie says, "The use of the reinstated 822 service and other services will be closely monitored over coming months by ARTA and its bus operators to ensure the service is providing the most effective use of public money".

Information on these changes to North Shore bus services will be available on www.maxx.co.nz or by calling MAXX on (09) 366 6400 on 25 March. Over the coming weeks, North Shore residents should also look out for more information in the North Shore Times and for a service changes information flyer and new timetables on buses to and from the North Shore.

ENDS


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