Auckland Transport is preparing for commuter chaos tomorrow because of bus cancellations on many of the city's busiest routes.

Industrial action meant nearly 60 services were cancelled yesterday and the bus drivers' union predicts even more will be cancelled tomorrow.

The NZ Bus routes will not resume until Christmas unless a pay dispute can be resolved.

That is worrying people who depend on public transport, especially disabled and elderly bus users.


That includes Te Atatū man Reece Palmer, who has lost sight in one eye and has an important operation booked early Tuesday morning at Greenlane Clinical Centre. The 650 bus service he usually uses to get to the clinic has been cancelled.

"There might be another way to get there but it's just going to be an absolute nightmare because I have to be there by 7.30am," Palmer said.

"I'm not sure how it's going to work."

If he could not make it, his operation would be delayed until after Christmas, which he said would reduce the chance of success. He could not afford the taxi fare of up to $65 to Greenlane.

"If I lose my sight because of this damn strike there will be hell to pay," he said.

He has diabetes, which has led to deteriorating eyesight. He lost sight in one eye after complications from an earlier procedure in 2017.

Auckland Transport apologised to customers who had been inconvenienced by the industrial dispute, and said it was pointing customers to alternative services. Staff at key sites on Monday would advise affected commuters.

A spokesman said it had secured another company to run the 321 bus service that runs between Auckland Hospital, Middlemore Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre - although that would not help Palmer.


Major Auckland bus service cancelled from tomorrow due to strike
Thousands of Auckland commuters disrupted as 800 bus drivers strike
Bus company managers alleged to drive towards employees on strike, company sternly denies accusations
'I am spitting tacks over this': Auckland bus strike disrupts students sitting exams, father outraged

The Tramways Union and FIRST Union rejected an offer of a 2 per cent pay rise on Friday, saying that they want poor working conditions such as their stop-start shift patterns to be addressed.

Their 800 drivers have been taking part in a partial strike for a week, which involved not collecting fares or running the electronic ticketing system.

The unions also refused to end the partial strike, saying members need to vote on it and that was not possible until Tuesday.

In response, NZ Bus suspended drivers who were not taking fares and cancelled its bus services.

NZ Bus is the main bus company in Auckland and the cancellations included some of the busiest routes in the city on Dominion, Sandringham, Mt Eden and Manukau Rds.

Nearly 60 services were cancelled yesterday, and more are likely to be cancelled tomorrow when the suspension of 800 drivers will have a greater impact on overall staff numbers.

The parties are going into mediation tomorrow. The strike is scheduled for two weeks, but the disruption could end as early as Tuesday if the parties can reach an agreement.

A full list of affected services will be available on AT's website, Facebook and Twitter.

Bus services operated by other companies would continue as scheduled, as will train and ferry services.

Bus routes cancelled (until further notice):
City Link, Inner Link, Outer Link, Tāmaki Link, 14T, 14W, 18, 20, 22A, 22N, 22R, 24B, 24R, 24W, 25B, 25L, 27T, 27W, 27H, 30, 68, 75, 82, 101, 105, 106, 110, 122, 125, 125X, 128, 129, 162, 252, 253, 221X, 223X, 243X, 248X, 295, 321, 650, 670, 751, 755, 762, 774, 775, 781, 801, 802, 806, 807, 814, 842, 843, 871, 923, and 924.