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.