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Monday’s bus strike – PT alternatives

So unless there’s a miraculous fix to the ongoing labour dispute between NZ Bus and its drivers, it seems as though all NZ Bus services will not run this coming Monday and every subsequent Monday for the next eight weeks. That means no buses at all – including school buses – if your service is operated by any of the following:

  • Metrolink
  • GoWest
  • Waka Pacific
  • North Star
  • Link (City, Inner or Outer)

All up NZ Bus services account for just over half of all public transport journeys in Auckland, which I guess gives us the opportunity to look at things from a “glass half full” approach and note that half of Auckland’s public transport will still be running. So by part of Auckland, here’s a bit of advice about how you can still catch public transport:

North:

Ritchies and Birkenhead Transport buses will still be operating, as will the ferries. Birkenhead buses serve the Onewa Road catchment, both to Beachhaven and up Glenfield Road. If you’re on the western side of the North Shore perhaps try to get to somewhere on a route operated by Birkenhead Transport. The 966 bus travels via Ponsonby to Newmarket – a useful replacement for some Inner Link journeys.

Ritchies operate the Northern Express, which will still run. They also operate a number of other routes to areas like Northcote, Bayswater and  a number of other routes around Albany. The park and ride stations at Albany and Constellation are likely to be pretty packed so perhaps look at finding a different route operated by Ritchies and parking on a street somewhere along its course.

Ferries operate from Devonport, Stanley Bay, Bayswater, Northcote Point and Birkenhead Point.

West:

Two main options out here: a Ritchies bus from places like Henderson and further to the northwest – or catch the train. Ritchies buses from the west also run along Great North Road between Pt Chevalier and the city centre, which makes them a good option for people in the western part of the isthmus trying to get to work/uni.

If you’re catching the train, expect it to be pretty busy. Western Line trains only run once every 15 minutes at peak times, but this service level also runs for most of the time during the day (aside from a few hours around midday). Urban Express also run services from Green Bay and Blockhouse Bay along Blockhouse Bay Road and then Great North Road into the city – another good option for people in the western part of the isthmus.

Isthmus:

Options here are relatively limited in many places outside the catchment of the rail system, but some replacement buses will be operating along Dominion and Sandringham Road (check with Auckland Transport for confirmation about times over the next day or two). Otherwise try to perhaps get to the Great South Road or Great North Road corridors where you can benefit from Ritchies or Howick and Eastern Buses coming from the far southeast or far west areas. Some Howick and Eastern express buses pass through the Eastern Suburbs although I’m not sure whether they stop there.

South/Southeast:

Rail for the south and Howick and Eastern in the southeast are you two main options here. The 380 bus between the Airport and Manukau, via Papatoetoe train station, is generally frequent and reliable and could be useful in getting you to the rail network. Otherwise it’s fairly lean pickings unfortunately.

I’ll probably be walking. Further ideas are most welcome!

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