Continuing on with my series of post about simplifying the structure of Auckland’s bus network, I thought that after a couple of reasonably simple routes (Sandringham Road and New North Road), I thought I’d take on a really horrible challenge: the eastern isthmus area of Auckland. Why do I say “really horrible”? Well, this is what the existing route structure looks like (focusing on the area to the east of the motorway): As someone recently put it quite aptly, it looks like someone threw spaghetti at a map of Auckland and that became the route network. Apart from Ellerslie-Panmure Highway, Remuera Road and (to a lesser extent) Tamaki Drive, there aren’t many core bus routes here like you get on the other side of the isthmus (where you have a whole succession: Great North Road, New North Rd, Sandringham Rd, Dominion Rd etc. etc.) This lack of structure to the street network makes life much more difficult when it comes to putting together an effective bus network, but I guess on the other hand we have the advantage in this part of Auckland of a railway line running through the middle of the area we’re looking to serve. This is shown in the map below: So the green lines form our “Rapid Transit Network” (RTN). Add to that the major radial suburb to CBD routes that would form a good part of our “Quality Transit Network” (QTN), which largely travel along the three main routes I noted above: Ellerslie-Panmure Highway, Remuera Road and Tamaki Drive. This is shown in the map below: As per my previous diagram of how I think Auckland’s bus routes should generally work across the isthmus, there would be a number of cross-town routes of QTN standard that would supplement these radial routes to form something of a real network effect. The result would be this: Now there are some pretty big “holes” in there between routes, so for those areas we would need to apply the third tier of the system, the “Local Connector Network” (LCN). Now I must admit I’m really not sure of the best way to apply LCNs to the system: whether they should run in short loops, whether they should try to follow a straight line or whether higgeldy- piggeldy is OK. I have added in a few LCNs that I think could be useful in providing a service to the gaps in the above map. Generally they feed into railway stations or into the higher frequency QTN network: Putting it all together, and adding in some possible route number to make the system more easily understood, I think that this is a reasonably first crack at it. Note the new train station (which would require some alteration to the train tunnel in that location!) which I think is necessary to provide useful connections to the bus network in the area. This largely makes up for the fact that Meadowbank Station is pretty terribly located for connections to buses. A a bit of a disclaimer I must admit that I have never lived in this part of Auckland, and have only ever caught buses around here extremely occasionally – so I am by no means an expert and by no means do I think that I’ve necessarily got this 100% right. It’s an interesting start though, and sure is a lot easier to understand than the current map!