Students from Auckland's MacLeans College have spoken out about dangerous overcrowding on buses that principal Steve Hargreaves describes as like a scene from a Japanese train station.
"We need more buses, we have a roll of more than 2000, it is just not enough," says Angela Zhang, the editor of the school's online publication The Collegian.
The students' story echoes concerns by schools, parents and students across the city after moves by Auckland Transport to axe dedicated school buses and make school children catch regular public transport.
A story Zhang published this week by student Justin Hu raised issues about dangerous overcrowding, including "suffocating and claustrophobic" conditions from the reduction of five after-school buses to two at the Bucklands Beach school.
"(The bus situation) is utterly inconvenient and requires hundreds of students every day to battle their way onto public transport," student Fiona Yu said in the article.
Principal Steven Hargreaves described the scene of children running to catch a public bus after school as crazy, saying it reminded him of people being crammed onto trains in Japan.
His deputy, Madeline Thompson, said the school was no longer getting any response or traction from AT since a helpful liaison person who came and visited the school left their job.
An AT spokesman confirmed two routes were removed, saying public buses were seen as offering a suitable option for students travelling to the destinations these school buses previously served.
"We investigated the possibility of operating an additional bus on route 427, however were unable to implement this due to funding constraints," he said.
Auckland Council and the Government plan to invest $28 billion on transport in Auckland over the next 10 years, a fair chunk of which will go to AT to improve bus services.
Auckland Transport has defended a number of other issues raised through the Herald following a raft of complaints from the loss of school buses and other changes from the rollout of a new bus networks across the city.
Among the complaints are the loss of school buses to the cluster of public and private schools in Epsom, loss of school buses affecting students at Sacred Heart and Glendowie colleges, and the axing of a bus service used by the elderly to attend the Green Lane Clinical Centre.
Kohimarama mother Penny Tucker has described AT's planning and behaviour as "inconceivably inept ... a finely honed pinnacle of abject incompetence".
Diocesan School for Girls is organising a survey of other colleges in Epsom, which principal Heather McRae believes will show fewer students are catching the bus or have significantly disrupted times.
Several people have come forward to complain about the situation at the two Glendowie colleges, with Gillian Brown saying her young teenager daughter and friends felt unsafe when they were left stranded after football practice at Glen Innes.
An AT spokesman said buses did travel via a transport hub at Glen Innes for people to change services but there was always at least one security guard on duty from 2pm to the last trains.
The area of the Glen Innes station had 21 CCTV cameras and is well lit, he said.
Glen Innes resident Ailsa Martin-Buss said the cancellation of the 007 direct bus service to the Green Lane Clinical Centre meant the elderly now had to catch two buses and endure the difficulty of getting on and off buses.
The 86-year-old and her husband, both of whom use walking frames, forked out $40 each way to catch a taxi to the clinical centre last week because they did not want to change buses.
Selwyn Village Independent Residents' Committee chairman Russell Warren said many residents are angry and distressed at the loss of the 007 route.
The AT spokesman said changes had been made to the 007 bus route.
"Depending on where this person lives, maybe their best option is to take the train to Britomart from Panmure Station and then use the 321 Hospitals bus that leaves from right out outside the main entrance.
The 321 bus goes into the Greenlane Clinical Centre, saving 100-200m of walking compared to the 650 bus, the spokesman said.