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City welcomes Northern Express

7 November 2005

City welcomes Northern Express

Auckland City welcomed new Northern Express bus services as they arrived in the city for the first time yesterday.

The new services, managed by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), aim to provide passengers with a direct bus connection between the North Shore and the Britomart Transport Centre.

"Auckland City's CBD bus lanes are ready for the increased bus numbers," says Councillor Richard Simpson, chairperson of the council's Transport and Urban Linkages Committee.

"Providing people with travel choice is the key to reducing Aucklanders' reliance on the private car.

"More direct services, improved travel times and good bus priorities around the CBD - it's all part of the mix to make bus travel a real and attractive option for people," says Mr Simpson.

"The increased bus services will take a bit of getting used to, but it's important we act to achieve our passenger transport goals."

The Northern Express services will operate 24 hours, seven days a week in each direction. Passengers can catch the services at the new stations at Albany and Constellation Drive for direct north and southbound travel.

Auckland City's CBD bus lanes have been operating since July. They begin at Fanshawe Street, then extend along Albert Street to ensure better access to the western area of the CBD. The lanes are an integral part of the Northern Busway.

The bus lanes also form part of the council's strategic rapid transit network plans for the city. Another key element is the current work to widen Fanshawe Street. Once complete, this will future-proof this northern gateway to the CBD by increasing capacity for buses.

The central transit corridor also contributes to these plans. Currently under detailed design, it will form an extension to the rapid transit network by increasing access to Newmarket and the eastern suburbs from the North Shore.

"Work is underway and progressing at pace to develop a passenger transport network that gives Aucklanders better choice and access to their city," says Mr Simpson.

"We will continue to develop the network with our regional partners to ensure people have a choice about leaving their cars at home more often."

ENDS

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