Plans for an overhaul of central and eastern Auckland bus routes, with a new emphasis on feeder services to railway stations, are being unveiled today for public submissions.
Auckland Transport wants to reduce the number of routes across the two sectors by about 35 per cent - from 91 now to 59 in 2017 - but promises to make up for that by increasing the frequency of services on main roads to the CBD and for cross-town trips.
Frequent services, including from as far as Howick and Botany, will run at least every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm and passengers will be able to chop and change between routes for single fares over set distances under a new zonal scheme due to be introduced across the city by this time next year.
But that means residents of about 5500 households will have to walk further to bus stops, compared with those of 3100 homes who will gain new services along their streets.
They are being sent letters in a consultation exercise running until December 10.
The overall number of routes across the Super City is likely to be reduced from 256 to 182, subject to final decisions on the isthmus and eastern sectors, but Auckland Transport says passengers will gain a more "legible" hub-and-spokes network in return.
Half of the main-trunk eastern bus services from Howick and Botany will terminate at Panmure station, where passengers will be invited to transfer to trains running every 10 minutes to Britomart or to southern destinations, under single integrated fares covering both transport modes.
Similarly, passengers on some new Auckland isthmus services will be offered a choice of buses running either into the CBD or to their nearest railway station.
An example is a mooted new service through Royal Oak, from where passengers could either catch buses to downtown Auckland or to Ellerslie station.
Others, such as residents of Victoria Ave in Remuera and Kupe St in Orakei, will have less choice as they face losing bus services to the CBD in favour of shorter hops to Orakei station.
But Auckland Transport network manager Anthony Cross says that will mean less-convoluted trips for passengers from further away whose buses do not have to be diverted.
For more details of the changes, visit www.AT.govt.nz/NewNetwork