Almost twice as many North Shore residents have taken ferries into Auckland city in a bid to avoid excruciating traffic delays across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Auckland Transport figures showed more than 4000 passengers travelled on ferries into and out of the city yesterday.
That was almost double the more than 2000 using ferries a week earlier.
It came after strong winds blew a truck into one of the harbour bridge's metal support struts on Saturday, causing massive traffic delays with engineers advising it could take weeks to fix the damage
The biggest passenger surges came from Devonport and Birkenhead. Almost 1500 passengers rode the ferry to and from Devonport yesterday, up 106 per cent on a week earlier.
Birkenhead passenger numbers leapt 284 per cent compared to a week earlier to about 500 people.
The Bayswater ferry was up 121 per cent to about 400.
About 6000 people also crossed the bridge on public buses between 7am and 9am yesterday morning. That was 5-10 per cent higher than last week, AT said.
Early reports indicated even more passengers jumped on buses this morning with numbers up about 10-15 per cent compared to last week.
However, with buses operating at only 50 per cent capacity, there was still room for many more passengers, AT said.
"The buses are there, they're frequent and there are seats available," the agency said.
"As you know one bus can carry around 80 people compared to on average 1.2 in a car. So if we want to ease congestion and move more people, more quickly, public transport is the way to go."
"We even have some capacity at park and rides."
There was heavy congestion on the motorway network again this morning with queues forming early on State Highway 1 to the bridge, AT and the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said.
"By 6am citybound traffic on State Highway 1 was queuing from Tristram Avenue," the agencies said.
"Many motorists also chose to avoid the bridge by going via the Western Ring Route (SH18/SWH16 and SH20)."
Traffic data showed 24-hour southbound traffic across the bridge was 16,500 vehicles - or 60 per cent less than at the same time last year. Northbound traffic was down 39 per cent.
On Upper Harbour Drive (SH18) southbound traffic was up 39 per cent and northbound was up 9 per cent.
Waka Kotahi advised motorists to check real time traffic data on its journey planner at: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/auckland/traffic-dashboard.
"Our advice remains to consider working from home if possible," it said.
"For those who must travel we encourage you to leave your cars at home and use public transport. We also advise motorists to use the Western Ring Route, via SH20, SH16 and SH18 as an alternative to SH1 and the bridge," NZTA senior journey manager Neil Walker said.
"The priority lane for buses from Fanshawe St in the city and along the northbound motorway will be in place again today for the evening peak to help buses bypass queuing traffic."
The Curran St on-ramp will remain closed today to allow the bus priority lane to operate.
"We have prioritised the buses but acknowledge the Curran St closure caused congestion when it was introduced yesterday. We have taken steps to improve signage and move the closure point back to Sarsfield St."