While we wait for Auckland Transport and Central Government to get cracking with Airport rail (see: Airport Light Rail Case Study Contained Errors Prompting Review? Back to Heavy Rail?) South Auckland is currently served by a lacklustre airport bus service that runs every thirty minutes and likes to have a trundle through everywhere. Known as the Airporter 380 bus it connects both Onehunga and Manukau (both served by rail lines) to the Airport via Papatoetoe and Mangere Town Centre. The 380 in combination with the Southern or Eastern Line to Papatoetoe is the cheaper and often faster transit connection to the Airport than the privately owned Sky Bus that trundles through the Isthmus to the Airport.
I think we can make the 380 somewhat better using existing resources by splitting the service into two with one part extended to Botany (thus your interim Botany Line) with services every 15 minutes all day, seven days a week. The split service would be express services meaning limited stops with other local services picking up local passengers along the express route.
The 380 (and other routes) maps
Splitting the 380
For the Manukau side I would run the 38 (changes to 38 as it becomes a frequent service which are only two digits in AT’s timetables (so consistency)) from Botany Metropolitan Centre down Te Irirangi Drive through to Manukau City Centre (stopping at the Manukau Bus Station) before heading to Papatoetoe Station and finally out to the Airport before returning back the same way to Botany. The stops would be limited to:
- Botany Metropolitan Centre
- Te Irirangi intersecting with:
- Smales Drive
- Accent Drive
- Ormiston Road
- Dawson Road
- Manukau City Centre
- Papatoetoe Station
- Airport Terminals
The 313 and rerouted 368/369 take up the local services element especially down Carruth Road that would also link Papatoetoe up with Wiri. The 368/369 would become Connector Services (every 30mins) that detour to Papatoetoe from Cavendish Drive down Lambie Road, Carruth Road and St George Street. Given the 368/369 double up on that detail it means you in reality get services every 15 minutes rather than the standard 30mins.
From the Airport to Onehunga the Airporter would change from 380 to 39 and run the following:
- Airport Terminals
- Mangere Town Centre
Mangere Bridge and the Airport industrial complex would be covered by an altered 313 service that loops through the complex where the 380 would have run.
Splitting the 380 into the 38 and 39, expanding it to Botany and making it a limited stop service every 15 minutes while having the 313 and 368/369 pick up the local services along the ex-380 route detangles local connections from the Airport express connections. These quick wins (plus some bus lanes down State Highway 20B) give us interim measures until the Botany Line is built in the 380’s place.
What do you think?
UPDATE: Thanks to Andrew on the suggestion the 380 and 381 be changed to 38 and 39 to remain consistent with the Auckland Transport bus numbering system. A double digit route signals a frequent service of at least every 15 minutes.
Existing 380 timetable