Auckland Transport is putting on more services to meet passenger demand during March.
Group Manager AT Metro Operations, Brendon Main says in the morning peak there will be 56 more city bound bus trips each morning compared to March last year. That’s 5% more capacity overall for bus services and an increase of up to 34% on some corridors. “We know the number of public transport passengers peaks in March as students head back to their studies, schools are in term and lower numbers of people are on leave. It’s known as 'March Madness' and since March last year we’ve worked hard to get more services on some of our busiest routes.”
Mr Main says last March some peak time trips were crowded and these are the services being targeted with extra buses this year.
“We will have more than six and a half thousand extra spaces on buses and trains, this will go a long way towards meeting demand.”
Bus capacity has increased by close to 5400 spaces and timetable changes for trains from 12 March will mean an additional 1200 spaces are available in the morning peak.
Mr Main says double decker buses are also coming to Birkenhead to help with the demand.
From next Monday, 27 February, four double decker buses will commence services on routes between Beach Haven, Glenfield and the central city providing much needed additional capacity along Onewa Road.
New routes for double decker services are 970, 973, 973B, 974 and 974B between Beach Haven and the CBD and the section of routes 950 and 955 between Glenfield Mall and the CBD.
Mr Main says public transport will be busy but Auckland Transport and its service providers will be closely watching the situation. “You might not always get on the first service but we want to ensure wait times are acceptable and, on some routes, better than last year.”
The timetable change due on 12 March adds 1,194 spaces inbound during the morning peak. This additional capacity is split between the Eastern Line (796 spaces) and Southern Line (398 spaces).