We have regularly been critical of Auckland Transport’s failure to implement any new bus lanes since their inception. The creation of Auckland Transport should have been an excellent opportunity for creation of new bus lanes, with the coordination of bus services and roads put in the hands of one body, instead of being divided between Regional and City councils. However the lack of integration between transport modes has sadly been a defining feature of Auckland Transport. While Auckland Transport has been great at moving forward large scale projects like the City Rail Link and EMU’s, small scale projects that can deliver quick benefits seem to have become caught up in a bureaucracy where engineers interested in moving vehicles not people have the final say.
As to the reason why we should implement bus lanes, the best people to ask are clearly Auckland Transport. On the page of their website that talk about fines for people who illegally drive in bus lanes there is this very persuasive piece.
While the Congestion Free Network provides for a large network of busways throughout the region an expanded bus lane network is essential to provide short term benefits, and will always provide a long term solution along many urban corridors. To be fair there are some good projects in the pipeline, such as the South-Eastern busway from Panmure to Pakuranga and the Dominion Road upgrade. However once again these are large scale and quite expensive road rebuilding projects. However across the city we could get huge benefits just from paint and an occasional kerb realignment.
So to help Auckland Transport along we thought it would be great if people suggest little areas where cheap and easy bus lanes could make a noticeable difference to their journey. Many of the existing lanes seem to have short gaps that delay buses unnecessarily, and of course many major frequent routes have no priority whatsoever. We have a few ideas up our sleeve but will let readers have a say first, and then can have a more detailed looks at some of the best areas for improvement.