Auckland Transport drops the ball yet again
Piled up on the bus?
Train seems a tad full?
Did the bus come at all?
Well you wont be the only one having a large and rightful grumble.
From NZ Herald:
Extra buses brought in to help ease Auckland commuter chaos
By Amelia Wade. 9:22 AM Thursday Mar 17, 2016
Auckland Transport has asked every bus company in Auckland to help but only six were in a position to offer up buses. Yesterday many people were left stranded at stops for almost an hour as full buses drove past. When they finally got on, many were left with just standing room.
Efforts to cope with the increased demand have improved services today with minimal wait time at some of Auckland’s busiest bus stops.
Every available bus in Auckland was used to try to ease commuter chaos in the city this morning.
Waiting passengers were met with a long line of full buses on both of those routes over the past few days, with the network struggling to cope with demand.
And although by 8am this morning six full buses had passed by the bus stop at 215 Dominion Rd – the Auckland city end by Valley Rd – there were enough other buses arriving soon after that there was almost no extra wait time.
A man working for Auckland Transport was waiting at the Dominion Rd bus stop recording the number of full buses that passed and noting if customers were having to wait long for the next service.
At the Mt Eden Shops bus stop the wait time was also much less than previous days, as was the line of people waiting to get on a service.
At 8.30am a small group of passengers were left waiting for less than five minutes in Mt Eden when a packed bus was soon followed by two showing “Bus Full”.
However, two more buses with space soon arrived and picked up the few remaining passengers.
This was a pattern throughout the morning, with full buses being followed by extra services to pick up those that did not fit on.
Every March, patronage on public transport spikes as university students return and people opt to get to work on buses or trains because the weather is better.
Auckland Transport has asked every bus operator in Auckland to “provide all additional buses currently available”. A spokesman said NZ Bus, Ritchies, Party Bus, Bays, Howick and Eastern and Birkenhead Transport were able to help.
“All buses from all operators are currently in service.”
The current level of demand was expected to ease as patronage fell about 30 per cent in April, the spokesman said.
NZ Bus was approached by Auckland Transport last year about adding extra buses this March. Chief operating officer Shane McMahon said they don’t have any buses left in their depots during peak hours.
Director of the Party Bus Company Mark Markovina said they usually operate only on school bus routes but since the start of the month, after dropping students off, some of the company’s buses head into the CBD to pick up commuters and take them along the Northern Express Way.
However, most of the Party Bus fleet don’t have HOP machines so people are getting free rides. A regular commuter from Victoria Park to Smales Farm said he’s had free journeys home for the last two days and his bus has been full with others doing the same.
Auckland councillor George Wood also said the jammed buses meant commuters were losing faith in the public transport.
“It is a real wake-up call for Auckland Transport because if they want to increase patronage, they’ve got to make provisions for greater capacity. It seems at the moment they’re staggering along with using every bus they’ve got, having to go out and get other private companies to supplement their capacity. But that’s not what we want.”
Meanwhile, Howick and Eastern drivers who are part of the First Union will today be refusing to take cash or Hop card fares, meaning a free ride for some passengers. The action is part of an ongoing dispute over overtime and weekend rates at the East Auckland bus provider.
The term from Auckland Transport who have six years of this and to deal with it is called: Omnishambles!
And when combined with the below you wonder if Auckland Transport have the customer in mind (they don’t):
The full report can be seen below:
We always know Auckland Transport is slow with bus lanes and that underspend only amplifies that issue.
Wonder what the excuses will be this time?
Oh just this from Auckland Transport: “The current level of demand was expected to ease as patronage fell about 30 per cent in April, the spokesman said.“
Yep keep going Auckland Transport with the excuses.