North Shore commuters can expect a smoother ride home tonight after the chaos at Constellation bus station last night, says Auckland Transport.
"Hopefully we will see a marked improvement today," said AT's Stacey Van Der Putten, whose job it is to make the city's buses run on time.
AT is suspending 37 services on one of two Northern Express routes to the CBD to help free up capacity after gridlock and commuter chaos at its Constellation Drive bus station last evening.
There is enough capacity if we get the timing and efficiency through the station right ... we will get it right.
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Long bus queues formed at Constellation Drive and commuters reported long delays on the first day of a new bus network between North Shore and the CBD.
This afternoon, Van Der Putten told the Herald the station could not cope with three buses arriving every minute at Constellation Drive last night.
Part of the problem, she said, was a bunch of new bus drivers and buses arriving at the station faster than scheduled due to lighter school holiday traffic.
Making matters worse, buses were arriving at different angles at different platforms, some of which had to loop around the station.
"There is enough capacity if we get the timing and efficiency through the station right ... we will get it right," Van Der Putten said.
She said AT has a number of plans in place to improve efficiency for commuters.
They include suspending 37 of the 180 runs on the NX1 service that runs from Albany, Hibiscus Coast and Constellation Drive to Britomart to the city, and reorganising buses in the layover area to free up space.
The new NX2 Northern Express route from the North Shore to Auckland universities is not affected.
AT will also put in temporary traffic management at the station to direct bus drivers to the right stop.
"I think things will be a lot smoother this evening. There might be some minor delays but nothing like last night," Van Der Putten said.
Meanwhile, AT's technology solutions manager Chris Creighton has acknowledged modelling for the new network on the North Shore had been done but was not very effective.
He was responding to questioning from Mayor Phil Goff at a planning committee today, who after seeing a photo of 15 buses queued up and people waiting longer on Constellation Drive than it took for a bus trip itself, wanted assurances the problem would be sorted "short quick".
North Shore councillor Chris Darby said yesterday evening's holdups at Constellation Station appear to have been caused by new drivers not being entirely familiar with the correct platforms to stop at. This, combined with an imposter vehicle on the Busway caused considerable congestion.
Darby said the new North Shore network has been a long time coming, being the final new network rollout.
"When you increase bus services by a massive 44 per cent there was always going to a risk of hiccups. I have been assured we will not be staring at a Wellington scenario, with clear actions being taken today to avoid any repeat of Monday," said Darby, who chairs the planning committee that oversees transport issues.
"The late afternoon holdups at Constellation Station appear to have been caused by new drivers not being entirely familiar with the correct platforms to stop at. Combined with an imposter vehicle on the Busway considerable congestion resulted.
"The new North Shore network has been a long time coming, being the final new network rollout. When you increase bus services by a massive 44 per cent there was always going to a risk of hiccups. I have been assured we will not be staring at a Wellington scenario, with clear actions being taken today to avoid any repeat of Monday."
He said yesterday he took three bus trips on the North Shore by lunchtime and all were on time.
North Shore is the last area in Auckland to receive simpler and more frequent bus services as part of AT's New Network.
From Sunday, the number of North Shore routes had reduced from 78 to 55, but the number of weekday trips has increased from 2545 to 3672.