Improvements To Ferry And Bus Networks Will Give Aucklanders More Options
Starting Monday 25 January, Auckland Transport (AT)’s Hobsonville ferry service will be getting two new AM sailings and two new PM sailings, while the West Harbour service will see new sailings in the morning, after-school and in the evening.
In addition, Northcote Point wharf will be re-opening to provide more options for customers in the area.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the additional ferry sailings.
“These extra services will make it easier and more convenient for people to get around Auckland by public transport,” he says.
“Increasing public transport options will help us meet our climate change goals by reducing carbon emissions and will reduce traffic congestion for people who do choose to drive.”
Stacey van der Putten, AT’s Group Manager Metro Services, agrees.
“Auckland is a region of 1.6 million people on the move, so we’re introducing more ferry sailings where they’re needed the most,” she says.
“When the Auckland Harbour Bridge was damaged last year, we saw an increase in customers using our ferry services and many of them have continued to use this option even after the bridge re-opened. By adding these services, we can provide more options for people who continue to choose to sail in and out of the CBD.”
Ferry patronage remains strong in Auckland with 4.1 million total trips in 2020. December 2020 saw the number of trips sit at 80 per cent of the previous year and it continues to increase. Pre-COVID, ferry patronage grew between three and five per cent annually.
In addition to the ferry changes, AT is making changes to a few of its bus routes to reach more people throughout the city. For example:
- Route 355 will connect Donegal Park to Botany and Manukau every 20 to 30 minutes all day until 7pm
- Route 171 is getting new Sunday services to connect to the New Lynn hub seven days a week
- Route 783 will receive extra evening services to connect the Eastern Bays until 10pm instead of 7pm
- Route 378 is being extended to connect more suburbs to Papakura Station and the town centre
- Route 983 will run to Hibiscus coast station every 15 minutes during peak times
These additions are part of wider changes to the network that support Auckland Council’s emergency budget. Other changes include the removal of some underused peak services or routes to better serve areas of the city in need of public transport relief.
“These improvements to our bus network are being made so we can better reach developing suburbs, as well as meet the needs of customers trying to get to where they are going later in the evening,” van der Putten says.
“All of these changes create a stronger multi-modal public transport system and a better, more connected network for us all.”
These changes follow AT’s completed roll-out of integrated fares meaning customers can transfer between buses, trains and ferries and pay just once for their entire journey when they tag on and off with their AT HOP card.
Tag on and off each bus, train or ferry as usual, and AT HOP fares will be automatically calculated for the entire journey, removing the cost of connecting bus and train trips in the same zone as the ferry.
A full list of 2020/2021 bus and ferry changes and improvements, the latest of which go into effect on Monday, can be seen here: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/service-announcements/202021-bus-and-ferry-changes-and-improvements/