Controversial posters removed from bus stops

By Amelia Wade

The Northern Motorway is busy coming into the city but quiet heading North in the early morning traffic chaos on the North Shore. 26 July 2007 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Janna Dixon NZH 14
The Northern Motorway is busy coming into the city but quiet heading North in the early morning traffic chaos on the North Shore. 26 July 2007 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Janna Dixon NZH 14

Campaigners for better buses say they've been told to take down their posters from bus stops because they're in breach of a bylaw.

However, Auckland Transport says it's welcomed the campaign and only asked that the posters not be put in stops because they covered important information like timetables.

This month, Generation Zero launched the Better Bus Campiagn to create a means of making a complaint to Auckland Transport via their website to encourage commuters to log their experience "if their buses suck".

The campaign was launched to coincide with "March Madness" - when patronage on the public transport network is at its heaviest.

Since the form was launched, it's received about 100 submissions a day, mostly from commuters using the Metro service and the Northern Express buses, said spokesman Leroy Beckett.

"A lot of people complain about their buses on social media but they didn't have a direct way to make a complaint," he told the Herald.

The form asks users to log their bus route and stop, the time of day and what the problem was.

Generation Zero will use the data to determine the worst buses in the city and ask Auckland Transport to take action.

To support the campaign, 100 posters were made up and put in bus stops.

However, Generation Zero was invited to a meeting with the agency yesterday informed the posters broke a bylaw and asked for them to be removed from bus stops.

Auckland Transport's bus services manager Brendon Main said they welcomed the campaign and were interested in reviewing their data at its completion at the end of the month so they could improve their services.

Mr Main said he was "surprised and disappointed" at Generation Zero's response to the meeting as he felt it was "very positive".

"The posters were covering customer information and we've got a responsibility to make sure everyone is treated fairly and equally. It's nothing personal."

Mr Leroy said there was "a lot of good stuff" happening to the bus network this year with the roll out of more streamlined services and aligned fares.

However, the aim of this project was to show that there needs to be more action taken in the short term to solve problems, Mr Beckett said.

"We have made great strides over the past few years, increasing the public transport budget, getting the City Rail Link from fantasy to reality, and building infrastructure for people on bikes.

"But watching multiple buses go past when you're just trying to get to work can make it seem like nothing has changed," he said.

"We were told that our posters, which call for users to complain about the bus delays this time of year, had broken bylaws and would be taken down" Mr Beckett said.

COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR BUS at genzero.org.nz/bus

- NZ Herald

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