Auckland Mayor Len Brown arrived at work in style this morning when he took a ride on the city's first double-decker bus.
The 86-seater vehicle, built to order in Malaysia for Ritchies Transport, took the mayor on a test run up and down the Northern Busway before dropping him off at the Town Hall.
Painted in Auckland Transport colours, it will begin carrying fare-paying passengers on the Northern Express service between Albany and Britomart on Monday.
Cruising comfortably along the busway, past slow-moving traffic on the adjacent motorway, Mr Brown said the bus would add another "string to the bow" of the Super City's public transport system.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member and veteran bus user, Jan O'Connor, was enthused about the comfort of her trip and the extra elevated views of the Waitemata Harbour from the upper deck of the 4.25-metre high vehicle.
She said the bus' extra capacity was needed given the difficulties commuters from Takapuna faced while trying to cram into existing busses once they reached the Akoranga Station.
Ritchies Managing Director Andrew Ritchie hopes to order another 15-20 double-decker buses once the pioneering vehicle proves it mettle.
But he was unable to say this morning whether anymore would arrive before the end of the year.
- APNZBy Matthew Dearnaley