Friday, February 23, 2024

Travel advice during city’s busiest time

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Auckland Transport’s Richard Harrison is providing commuters with advice about how to get around the city in the coming months. Photo supplied

The next two months are expected to be the busiest in the past five years on Auckland’s roads and public transport network.

Auckland Transport (AT) says more people are moving around the city from mid-February to early April than at any other time.

During that period in 2024, the organisation anticipates there will be about two million trips each week on Auckland’s buses, trains and ferries.

“This is the highest public transport usage we’ve seen since before Covid-19,” says AT group manager growth and optimisation Richard Harrison.

“Since then, Auckland’s population has grown by more than the size of Nelson, but AT has plans in place to respond to this increase in demand on our transport network. 

“Our buses are fully staffed and we’ll be boosting the capacity of routes we know will be the busiest.

“This could be deploying bigger buses with more seats, or adding extra trips so even if a bus is full, the next one won’t be far away.” 

Passengers can see how busy their bus or train will be on the AT mobile app or on passenger information displays at train stations and some bus stops, Harrison says.

The organisation is working with KiwiRail to ensure train services will still operate on all lines while the rail network rebuild continues.

“AT will be monitoring and reviewing the performance of the public transport system daily, allowing us to rapidly identify any pressure points and make optimisations where we can, though this won’t always be possible with the resources we have available,” Harrison says.

“Aucklanders can have confidence we’ll be doing everything we can to keep them moving, but it will be busy and there are things we can all do to have a better commuting experience.” 

He says mornings and mid-to-late afternoons is when the transport network is at its busiest.

It could take longer to get around then, so people may want to allow extra time to travel at peak periods. 

“We’re also asking people to move down the bus and use every seat when it’s busy, to make sure there’s enough room for everyone.”

Another tip for commuters is to explore various travel options, which Harrison says can be fast and enjoyable.

“We’re encouraging Aucklanders to try different ways of getting around.

“That could be cycling, riding an e-scooter, taking a scenic ferry ride, catching the bus or train, or walking if the distance isn’t too far.

“There are so many ways to get around our city, and though these next couple of months will be busy, AT is committed to keeping Auckland moving.”

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