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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Transport is promising extra capacity on buses and trains for the busiest time of the year as Aucklanders head back to work and study.

Last year public transport patronage totalled 103.2 million passenger boardings – annual growth of eight per cent.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “With the annual surge in demand for public transport as students return to university it’s critical that Auckland Transport provides extra capacity on the network.

“I’m pleased to see that Auckland Transport has added an extra 5000 seats on buses at peak times and is rolling out extra train cars to accommodate demand.”

Group Manager Metro Services Stacey van der Putten says AT is in a good position to cope with the rise in demand. “We have put the extra seats on the 15 busiest routes services including on Onewa and Dominion Roads and the 70 which runs from Botany to Britomart.

“And we’re extending the very popular NX2 service. This is great news for people on the Hibiscus Coast, there will be nine services to the city each weekday morning and eight return services to Hibiscus Coast Station in the afternoon peak. As well we’re adding late-night options to get people home with new services at 11.30 and midnight all the way to Hibiscus Coast Station.

“The first of our new trains have arrived from Spain and we are rolling those out with more six car trains during the busy periods. We will have 1200 extra seats in the morning peak and the same in the afternoon.”

Auckland Transport has a few additional buses to help out over the next few weeks.

“This means when we see a problem we may be able to slot in extra services to help. However, there may be times when customers may not be able to get on the first bus on our high-frequency routes but we aim to keep the wait time to a minimum. Please respect our drivers, they’re doing their best to make sure you get to your destination on time. People may have to stand on some services so please make room for other passengers.”

Stacey van der Putten says all public transport will be busy but Auckland Transport and its operators will do their best to manage the demand.

She says while the good weather continues biking, scootering and walking are great options and people should also look at whether they can travel outside the very busy peak periods.