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Northern Express free this weekend

Auckland Transport are running a free weekend for Northern Express services this weekend.

NEX Free Weekend

An excellent initiative by AT. I hope it’s something that becomes a regular feature along with other parts of the PT network (oh and I like the graphic too, shame the footer floated over part of it).

20 comments to Northern Express free this weekend

  • Greg N

    Pity the Bus Dept at AT didn’t co-ordinate with the train Dept at AT – the trains are all off this weekend. Talk about left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

    Sigh, can’t AT do anything right – they make the NEX free, then make using it useless for most as the rest of the PT system is on a go-slow at the same time.

    • Well PT ops is siloed by mode at AT. Hard to see how that is a good idea especially as we have almost finished integrating ticketing across modes and are now pushing for integrated fares….? Performance follows organisation….

  • Greg N

    If you want to see the full image of the bus on the bridge unencumbered by logos and banners etc then click this link: http://at.govt.nz/imageresizer/media/337670/free-ride-nex6.jpg?w=1700&format=jpg

    Its a nice graphic image actually – showing the skyscrapers and buildings in the city made of things you could buy or eat while in Auckland (presumably shopping).

    • Yeah I pulled it out separately but wanted the text with it.

      • Greg N

        No problems, thats what I assumed you’d done.

        I notice though that the full image has the bridge actually “facing the wrong way” – the long southern “sloping down” part of the bridge is shown as being the northern side of the bridge.
        To be 100% true to the image, the CBD would have to be north and west of Northcote point on the North Shore – maybe a future fanatasy.

        I know its “artistic license” and all that, but all the same, if you look at the image and think something is odd about the picture and can’t place what it is – then thats probably what it is.

        • Steve D

          I think you’ll find that the real Sky Tower is also not made out of coffee cups.

          Seriously though, the northern section also has a long sloping up bit – it’s just that it’s over land. From the perspective in the image, it could easily be over Northcote Point (roughly Phil’s house) and just too high up to see the land underneath.

          The thing that I noticed is that the bus is on the wrong side of the road.

  • conan

    Wouldn’t this be great if it was ‘free with HOP card’ and they gave away HOP cards to those without them in the hope that for those using the buses as an experiment as they are free can return (obviously they’d need to top it up on line, but given the lack of retailers getting a HOP card into the hands of potential users is an important first step).

  • Hamish O

    What’s so special about the NEX or even RTN routes? Why don’t they make all PT free?

  • Greg N

    “I think you’ll find that the real Sky Tower is also not made out of coffee cups.”

    True, but the fake one is probably more useful than the real one is.

    ” the northern section also has a long sloping up bit”

    No it doesn’t – the northern approach launches off the Northcote point abutment as this part is quite a lot higher than the southern side does (which is nearly at sea level).
    So there is no “long sloping part on the northern side of the *bridge*. I’m not the the height different between southern and northern bridges but its easily 20+ meters.

    Go check a aerial photo of the bridge to see.
    Also note the “big up hill” part of the Northern approach you are describing is not part of the bridge proper (which goes over the harbour/sea).
    That northern part with the bend/curve in it is mostly over land so its technically not a bridge but a viaduct. (well actually 3 viaducts – the original 4 lane one built in the 1950′s and the other two being for the bridge clip ons on either side).

    Agreed bus is going the wrong way – suspect AT lifted the image from some American or left hand driving source and didn’t change the bus around.

    I think this image sums up current AT pretty well – it looks nice and flashy from afar, but is actually a disorganised mess heading the wrong way when up close.

    • Steve D

      Yes, I’m taking that off the imagery on Google maps. There’s about 200m of slope between where the northern edge hits the ground and the start of the arch. The bridge goes for quite a way above ground at Northcote: the deck only lands a few houses south of Alma Street. I think the bus in the poster is roughly about here (as in, where the Streetview car is). Well before the arch, but still over the water.

      I would assume the whole image was drawn especially for AT: and if it were a LHD bus, there’d be a door on the right hand side of the bus visible :-) I’m happy to give them artistic licence though – it’s supposed to be a bit whimsical and stylised. If you want a perfect reflection of reality, go get a camera (not that those don’t lie, as well).

  • Jennifer Ward

    This is an ideal way to get to Ponsonby Road for the Pride festival. Ponsonby Road will be closed to traffic from 4pm – hooray – and the parade starts at 7pm. Good to see the buses will still be running until 2.30am.

  • Seb

    AT actually ran the same free NEX buses promotion last year (the weekend before Christmas if I remember), so hopefully it will be a regular occurrence :)

  • Bevan

    I think the graphic looks awesome. It’s clearly abstract so I don’t think the criticisms apply. The bus isn’t ‘on the wrong side’, it takes up the whole width of the bridge… Good work AT.

  • Owen Thompson

    Any word about free trains for the proles in South Auckland?

    • Didn’t they have free trains for the Santa parade?

      • Owen Thompson

        You live on a different planet to me. Trains to Santa Parade are normal price.

        • Luke Christensen

          they were free last year for the Santa parade, but didn’t advertise it. Free travel now and again great way to get new people to try the service, and win long term customers. Best to wait until EMU’s to do it for the rail network.

    • Waspman

      You can ride the trains free most anytime so long as you don’t use Britomart or Newmarket, especially if you are a student, you’re immune from payment. Go the ratepayers bottomless pit of money. And the other plus is no need for fancy graphics, just simple old watching others do it and word of mouth.

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