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PT starting to be seen for more than just peak trips?

This post is a bit late as I’m busy working though last week’s competition post so we can announce a winner soon.

For the first time ever this weekend we will have trains running all through the night – although only hourly and only in one direction (away from the city). These night trains are on top of additional services to help make it easier for people to get to and from Christmas in the Park and¬†coincides with a time when many people are also often out for events like work Christmas functions. It’s an interesting move by Auckland Transport and one I hadn’t expected them to even consider, at least not until the new electric trains are up and running. Is it perhaps a glimpse at what we might expect to see in the future?

Get all of the details about extra trains and buses from here.

Below is an example of the outbound western line timetable showing the services all though the night and also showing some a frequency between 10 and 11 that is better than what we have during the peak at the moment.

Christmas in the park special timetable

It’s also worth pointing out that there is a complete liquor ban at Christmas in the Park this year so best to leave the beer or wine at home if you plan on attending.

This is not to be confused with an article in the herald yesterday about extra trains and buses being trialled to coincide with the introduction of new alcohol laws which will require bars to close at 4am.

More trains and buses will be running in Auckland when new drinking laws begin next week.

The special early trains on Saturday and Sunday are a trial to coincide with the sweeping changes the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act will bring from December 18.

Auckland Transport says bus services will also run all night on the Northern Busway – but a final decision on whether they are permanent will depend on demand.

Thousands of revellers are expected in the central city on December 20, the last Friday before Christmas and the first after the changes come into effect.

Several sources within the hospitality industry have told the Herald they are concerned about transport options available for what is considered the busiest night of the year.

From next Wednesday, all on-licence premises will have to be closed by 4am and there will be a lower tolerance for intoxicated patrons. If drunks are found to be in bars, the licensee faces a $5000 fine.

The details in the herald article aren’t clear but AT have provided me with this info explaining what extra services are being run.

The normal Niterider services will operate overnight on the 20/21 December as they do every weekend:

In addition we will be operating special early trains on both the Saturday and Sunday morning from Britomart.

  • 5.03 am on the western line
  • 5.11am on the eastern and southern line to Manukau
  • 5.36am southern line to Papakura.

Bus services on the Northern Busway will operate all night.

I so wonder how many people will actually use the services however I think it is good that AT are at least trialling this. It hopefully bodes well for the future where PT is seen as a real option for a wide range of trips, not just about getting people to the CBD at peak times.

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