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Northern Busway saved from HOVs

Over the last couple of years there have been some worrying rumours circling around that high-occupancy vehicles would be allowed on the Northern Busway. This leads right back to the original resource consenting process, which allowed up to a set number of these vehicles to be allowed on the busway. In fact, if you look at the Constellation Bus station layout, you can see where these vehicles would have joined the busway: Over the few years that the busway has been open, it would seem as though its ridership has exceeded expectations. You can see that in some of the numbers surrounding increased bus use over the harbour bridge during that time: Figures from Auckland Transport’s key performance indicators noted that in December last year the number of people catching the bus across the Harbour Bridge was even higher:

With around 40% of people coming into town at peak times over the Harbour Bridge now being on the bus, it seemed pretty crazy to think that we might start compromising the quality and effectiveness of what is obviously a pretty wildly successful busway.

Reading through the agenda of next week’s Auckland Council Transport Committee meeting, it seems that this message has finally got through: Interestingly, NZTA’s decision about the Northern Busway has been online (page 41), hidden within the vast number of documents relating to the additional harbour crossing project, for a few months now. As well as including most of the paragraph above (which is just copied over from the NZTA report), this was also noted: This is very good news really, that it seems the busway is safe from being compromised by private vehicles until the time of a future harbour crossing. Which, as I noted the other day, is unlikely to be justifiable any time soon.

12 comments to Northern Busway saved from HOVs

  • Matt L

    Yes this is good news but perhaps more telling might be that they under estimated the demand for the busway, something that is a common theme with PT projects with another recent project, the Onehunga line which seems well ahead of its projections. I wonder if the government are using the same system to project passenger numbers for the CRL?

  • rtc

    All PT projects seem to outperform their modelled patrongage, it’s time NZ adopted modern means to evaluate projects, something that won’t happen until we have a government who is actually interested in fair comparisons.

  • George D

    “All PT projects seem to outperform their modelled patrongage”

    That would be an interesting project, actually. Compare all the projections of the last few years against usage, for both PT and roading.

  • Tranpsort Modeller

    Actually current Busway patronage is fairly consistent with the modelled patronage forecasts conducted in 2001.

  • rtc

    Why does NZTA state that it is significantly above then?

    • Tranpsort Modeller

      It isn’t “significantly above” either of the 2001 studies that I have seen.
      Buts lots of studies were done, which forecasts they refer too.

      The Auckland Transport KPI indicators are a whole other story, but there is no way we can base success on December patronage.

      In terms of HOV’s this is a huge win for the Busway, except that the Onewa merge issue is directly related to Victoria Park which opens early 2012. So it’s not over by a long shot.

      • My interpretation of NZTA’s report is that they’re saying the Onewa merge issue can’t be resolved until there’s another crossing.

        • Tranpsort Modeller

          I read it that the additional harbour crossing is one of the reasons that the study would be revisited.

          But if Vic Park resolves the Onewa Merge by allowing the 5 harbour bridge lanes to be fully untilised, would that not also be a catalyst for the study to be revisited.

          Anyway I don’t support HOV’s on the Busway, that just gives more space on the motorway for cars.

  • If the people in private vehicles are going the same way as the buses then they can catch the bus too thankyou very much.

    I always think HOV lanes wherever they are implemented are canaries in the coal mines. If you have HOV lanes your city has underlying structural problems that need addressing.

  • Cam

    Tranport modeller – Perhaps you could provide a link to one of these studies so that we could see what you are talking about?

    • Tranpsort Modeller

      Cam – I have read copies of the reports during my personal research, but they are not online. Someone from Auckland Transport would need to provide them.

  • Cam

    The old pre busway buslane still runs along the shoulder of most of the Northern Motorway. Could not this be turned into a T2/T3 lane?

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