Let’s Reroute the Busses: Biffa Gives a Lesson on Why You Use Bus Lanes – Right Auckland Transport?

Bus lanes are your friends


Anyone watching the bus lanes saga here on the blog (see: UPDATE: The Case of the On-again, Off-again, and On-Again Great South Road Bus Lanes and Papakura Local Board Meeting Agenda June 2018: Transport Updates Including Park and Rides, And Bus Lanes) knows Auckland and Auckland Transport can struggle with bus lanes. None-the-less after concerted efforts they are on their way.

Today my Cities Skylines counterpart Biffa gives us a transport lesson on what happens when bus lanes are used and when they are not used. That is when they are used traffic flows well and people are moving and when the bus lanes are not used – well here comes the chaos – as Biffa found out.

Setting down transit routes initially in your city is one thing, doing the whole rerouting or New Network (Auckland Transport did with South Auckland then forgot with the rest of Auckland) is another matter entirely as Biffa shows and I have experienced in my own cities.

For me New Networks usually come about when the City hits a certain size and I start rolling out the Metro system – that is Trams and Subways (or Elevated Rail) (heavy rail is built often ahead of urban development forming transit spines to which busses feed into – same with Monorail). Bus lines get too congested so I go to trams or subways to move more people around more efficiently (135 passengers on a bendy bus to 400 on a tram and 800 on a subway train). So bus rerouting is common place even for an Urban Geographer.


Moving bus stations as Biffa did is something I avoid in the planning stages as moving the station messes the system up entirely. Where Biffa got caught was he placed the station right next to the road that had everything else running on it. Bus Stations generate a tonne load of traffic and pedestrian movements so congestion can be very common. For me I always set the bus station back from the main road and use the NEx busway roads, and the vanilla one ways roads to provide access to the offset station. The busway access point stops cars and trucks entering leaving the roads clear for busses and service vehicles. If I am building a full-blown interchange then that gets incorporated into the design and of course urban development over and around the station is a must!

Transit Orientated Development?


That is one example of a bus station being built offset from the main road with urban development around it giving us a Transit Orientated Development (the pink roads seen are pedestrian malls while the red are busways). The offset means the main road seen to the right is free of conflicting bus movements while the urban development encourages MAXIMUM patronage to the bus station (that also has (since the shot was taken) trams running around the station and heavy rail behind those two tall apartment buildings (500 metres away).


Transit lanes are a must!


In the end reworking the bus system in a City is perfectly normal in Cities Skylines and real life cities. Having proper infrastructure set up like transit lanes and setting the stations back off the main road also avoid expensive refits as well.


Lessons learnt!