A tumultuous two weeks has seen a levelling off in public transport numbers across Auckland, largely due to the coronavirus.

New Zealand had eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 and there have been more than 170,000 cases worldwide and more than 6500 deaths.

Auckland Transport (AT) said there was no reason why people should stop using public transport due to the virus, comments reiterated by the mayor.

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Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said a number of precautions had been put in place by AT, including the installation of hand sanitiser stations.

"The latest advice from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport is that there is no reason at this stage to stop using public transport," he said.

"People should continue to follow all guidelines issued by the government.

"In particular, wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes and for the time being avoid normal greetings such as shaking hands."

Every day, slightly less than 400,000 trips were made on trains, buses and ferries across the Auckland network, AT spokesman Mark Hannan said.

In February, there was a four-point 7 per cent increase in public transport boarding as people returned to work and study.

The usually busy March period had seen numbers decline, however, due to a number of factors attributable to the virus outbreak.

Factors included bus driver strikes, major cancellations of events and international students being denied access to New Zealand.


"There are 12 per cent less tertiary students travelling after many foreign students were not able to take up their studies in Auckland this year," Hannan said.

What has AT put in place following the virus outbreak?

• Asking Aucklanders to follow the Ministry of Health's guidelines on self-isolation.

• Giving personal hand sanitisers to our frontline staff and reminding them that washing and drying hands is still the most effective means of practising good hygiene.

• Cleaning AT buses, trains and ferries on a regular basis and stepping up the cleaning of surfaces like handrails. We have also identified plans to carry out even more extensive cleaning of our buss es, trains, ferries and facilities if recommended by the Ministry of Health.

• Building 14 new public hand sanitiser stands to install at key locations across our transport network.* All toilets across our transport network are also being fitted with hand sanitiser dispensers.

• Making sure information and advice from the Ministry of Health on preventive measures are being supplied to our staff, operators and contractors. The frequency of these updates has increased since the first confirmed Covid-19 case in New Zealand was reported.

• Displaying Ministry of Health posters regarding Covid-19, as well as hand hygiene, in our offices, buses, trains, ferries and other facilities.

• Creating a Covid-19 section of our website, which we will continue to update with the latest information, and follow @akltransport for the latest updates on Twitter.