A bit of a Mangere day today. A story in the Aucklander last week discussed how poorly the area is served by public transport, particularly to one of the biggest local employment areas, the airport.
Sixteen bus services pass through Mangere Bridge every day yet none travels directly to the area’s biggest employer, Auckland Airport.
Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board is drawing Auckland Transport’s attention to the anomaly, along with other bus-related issues.
The board’s transport spokesperson, Lydia Sosene, explains that the two airports in the area employ about 12,000 people yet only 30 per cent of those workers live locally. She’d like to see numbers increase but says convoluted bus routes are hampering progress.
“There’s opportunities to up-skill and get jobs at the airport with programmes like Youth Connections, but public transport is the missing piece of the puzzle.”
The journey from Mangere Bridge to the airport, just 8km away, involves taking at least two different buses. It’s just as difficult to make the trip from Otahuhu.
“It’s ludicrous you can catch a single service to the airport from Botany but not from here. There is no direct connection from Otahuhu to the airport for residents, travellers,or people doing business.”
She says the area’s residents were especially reliant on public transport given their lower socio-economic makeup.
“We are a community with big challenges. Public transport has not served us well, yet it plays a key role.”
I don’t think anyone will argue that PT in the area is bad, just have a look at this map of the existing bus network.
With so many similar but different routes it sure is confusing and its not hard to see where the local boards complaints are coming from. What is interesting is the local board had recently written to to transport committee chairman Mike Lee about their concerns and a week before this article was printed they had a reply. That reply included an indication as to what the new bus network would be and is the first time we have seen it in detail as previously we had only seen the likely network for the isthmus and west.
The first map shows the frequent network that will have buses running at a minimum of one every 15 minutes for the vast majority of the day.
While the second image shows the secondary layer that will run at frequencies of at least once every 30 minutes. The rail network is in red, the frequent network is blue, while the secondary network is green)
It definitely seems like it is much easier to understand along with being much more frequent. There would of course be additional routes that operate at peak times and should really help to improve both connectivity and patronage. I realise there is a bit of a process to go though yet including a consultation period but really just wish we could start getting some of these new bus routes implemented.