In the latest Auckland Transport board report there was a mention of the success being seen on the new Titirangi/Greenbay routes which were the first ones implemented using the principles of the New Network AT are rolling out across the city. They’ve since also rolled out the new network to the Hibiscus Coast and will roll out the network across all of South Auckland in October. After earlier consultation, AT implemented the network in August 2014 replacing 24 infrequent and complex routes with 9 simpler and more regular routes. They’ve now provided a little bit more information on the success.
The number of people using the revamped Green Bay, Titirangi area bus services has grown dramatically by 35 per cent in one year.
In August 2014, a new public transport network was introduced in Green Bay and the adjoining areas of Blockhouse Bay, Wood Bay, Tanekaha, Titirangi, Laingholm and Kaurilands.
“It was an ideal opportunity to try out new bus routes applying the principles of the New Network,” says Anthony Cross, Auckland Transport Public Transport Network Manager
“We felt at the time that it would also provide useful indicators about the New Network when it was eventually rolled out throughout Auckland. Now, after the first full year of implementation, we have an impressive 35 per cent increase in patronage,” an elated Mr Cross says.
He puts this down to replacing up to 24 routes running infrequently in a complex network, with 9 routes in a much simpler and more consistent service pattern. Some of these features are:
- Better integration of buses with train services at New Lynn, including the very popular 186 South Lynn Loop.
- Simpler, more consistent routes on clock face timetables (buses running at the same minutes past the hour eg. 10.25, 10:55, 11:25, 11:55 and so on).
- A new connection between Glen Eden train station and Titirangi.
- Improved bus services to Laingholm including an express bus service to Downtown Auckland for the first time.
- Retimetabling of western services operated by Go West for improved connections. About $350,000 was spent on this and service punctuality has jumped from 80% to 95%.
One of the most notable innovations was streamlining the bus service along Titirangi Road between Titirangi Village and New Lynn. Previously a large number of different and infrequent services connected the two centres and even used different stops opposite one another in Titirangi Village. This was replaced by a simple, consistent service pattern, running every 30 minutes for the entire span of service every day of the week (including weekends), direct from Titirangi Village to New Lynn.
Since its commencement, more services have been added to this network to cater for increased public demand.
The New Network costs a similar amount of money and uses about the same number of buses as the previous network but has delivered not only a much simpler and more customer-friendly network, it has done so without needing significant additional public funding. And, locals have voted for this much simpler and easier to understand model through patronage.
Mr Cross concludes “The Green Bay experience augurs well for the future. We look forward with great anticipation to the results from the Hibiscus Coast and getting on with the implementation of South Auckland, Pukekohe and Waiuku later this year.
AT also provided this graph showing how patronage had changed over time which while small overall is definitely positive.
As AT say, this bodes well for the future, especially when you also combine it with the results coming out of Houston which has also gone through the same time of bus network change – albeit all at once rather than spread over years like ours has been. Also since that post the trend of strong growth has continued.
Here’s what the new network in the area looks like – the notes are responding to the consultation feedback.