South Auckland busses late due to congestion
This is not a surprise that South Auckland busses despite the New Network starting last year are chronically late.
From the NZ Herald:
Popular routes for getting from A to B by bus among Auckland’s most unreliable
Ever wondered how often your bus arrives on time? Now, we can tell you.
New figures from all 280 bus services around Auckland show the percentage of time each service arrives within five minutes of its scheduled departure time.
Auckland Transport say the figures are improving and hit an all-time-high of 96.36 per cent of buses running on time in January.
But broken-down data, obtained by the Green Party under the Official Information Act, shows the most unreliable bus services include the popular Inner Link and routes on a new network introduced in South Auckland three months ago.
Three out of 10 Inner Link buses turn up late, as do many South Auckland routes, according to the figures.
Of the 20 worst bus routes across the Super City, 11 are in South Auckland where Auckland Transport trumpeted a simpler network, more buses and better fares last October.
The Greens also said the data, for the period December 2015 to December 2016, showed the privately-run SkyBus to the airport turned up late almost one out of every five trips, or 18.3 per cent of the time.
A late bus is defined by Auckland Transport as a bus that leaves five or more minutes after the scheduled departure time. The information is collected from a GPS system in each bus.
Among the most punctual services are the 082 from Westgate to Te Atatu Peninsula and the 104 New Lynn/Avondale/New Windsor route at 98.35 per cent and 98.71 per cent respectively.
The Green’s transport spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, said most Aucklanders wanted to see better, more reliable and frequent public transport.
Genter said the new South Auckland network was a great initiative, but council should have put in bus lanes before they created more services, some of which were meant to be every 15 minutes but were only every 30 minutes.
Three bus services – Mangere to Botany, Mangere to Sylvia Park and Papakura to Otahuhu station – were meant to be the most reliable and frequent and should be the priority for improvement, Genter said.
An Auckland Transport spokesman said given the level of construction in the city, it was happy with the performance of public transport. Bus services were at the best ever levels of service and ahead of target.
He said the statistics alone do not portray the entire situation, saying the link services were better measured between the gap between services rather than against the scheduled departure time.
This “headway” measure showed a delivery of about 85 per cent, compared to punctuality at 70 per cent, said the spokesman, adding “this is not as high as we would like though”.
The spokesman said more work needed to be done on the number of bus priority lanes in the south and this work is continuing.
“Recently we introduced priority lanes for buses on Manukau Rd and Pah Rd,” he said.
The 31, 32 and 33 South Auckland busses were meant to be the Frequent Service routes (so minimum every 15 minutes, seven days a week) forming a spine between major centres in the South (as the rail network does). However, quirks such as industrial traffic coupled with the general level of traffic in the South means these busses become unreliable without support such as bus lanes.
The tweet below is a bot that runs in Twitter that shows the punctuality of the bus fleet in Auckland:
At Feb 03 08:12 I can see 819 buses with 59% on time pic.twitter.com/meDTYBb4xE
— tūreiti (@tuureiti) February 2, 2017
A note that the percentage figure has never gotten above 80% to date even in weekends.
So where are the bus lanes Auckland Transport?
Well they are coming just at a very glacial rate.
Plans are there, all subject to cash
Just after the Local Government Elections there was a rather large spiel in one of the Papakura Facebook community pages about the traffic on the Great South Road between Papakura and the Takanini Motorway Interchange no matter what day of the week it is.
Consequently I sent off a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) request to Auckland Transport on what they have in mind to help relieve the pressures on that section of the Great South Road.
Auckland Transport replied today with a pretty comprehensive response to the LGOIMA.
- They explained the issues in question one and what they would like to see done to relieve the pressures on the Great South Road
- Question two looked at the list of projects AT would like done but all subject to funding – the cash!
- Question three was on cycle lanes to which again AT would like a dedicated separated cycle-way facility on the Great South Road
- Question four was the real surprise in that bus lanes have been suggested for implementation in 2017 – subject to consultation
The LGOIMA can be also viewed here: LGOIMA on Great South Road
A big thanks to Auckland Transport for the comprehensive reply to the Great South Road issue. While it is always an issue of funding seeing that bus lanes are on the way next for the 33 Great South Road bus will bring more confidence and certainty for transit users between Papakura and Manukau City Centre. Enough so that even I would now use the 33 bus between Papakura to Manukau for a spot of shopping avoiding the mess that is the Southern Motorway in place of waiting for the Manukau rail South Link.
May is when the Great South Road bus lanes in Papakura and Takanini are due to be rolled out after consultation. If you believe in getting busses running more reliably thus lessening the effects of congestion then please get behind the new bus lanes rolling out for the 33 (and hopefully the 31 and 32) busses.