Surprise! Auckland Crosstown Bus Services Are Popular


We’ve often spoken here about the wish for more crosstown buses in a city that’s not easy to get from point A to B, if you don’t want to go via Symonds St or the inner city.

So it’s pleasing to see the latest ARTA figures show crosstown buses, like the excellent Urban Express ones, do work and gather customers.

Crosstown routes 008 and 009, operated by Urban Express, were redesigned in November 2007 with additional stops added in, to make them easier for customers to use and understand, as well as to improve service frequency and reliability.

Those simplified services and shopper-friendly routes have sparked healthy growth on the bus routes between New Lynn and Otahuhu, and New Lynn and Sylvia Park.

ARTA General Manager Customer Services Mark Lambert  reports patronage growth of 44% in the last two years. Although I haven’t seen overly crowded buses myself and no exact passenger numbers are released, the growth percentage figure which is what seems to drive ARTA thinking these days so that’s good news.

Mr Lambert said one of the key changes to the 009 route was to take it to popular shopping destination Sylvia Park.

Memo Westfield: Sylvia Park is actually PT friendly

“We’re aware that our customers don’t just want services that take them to and from work, they also want to be able to use public transport for leisure activities. “Both routes also travel via Dress- Smart in Onehunga, making them ideal for shoppers.  In the last two years Saturday patronage on the services has grown by 56%.”

The other good news is Mr Lambert reports patronage overall of Auckland of public transport is currently at its highest level for 25 years. May that long continue to grow.




  1. James Pole says:

    Now lets improve the 007 service! I seem to recall that that particular service receives the highest complaint rate of any route in the AKL region — this fact was mentioned in a ARTA business report last year if I recall. That is not at all surprising since I’ve noticed that these buses hardly keep to time at all for various reasons.

    To improve timing, ARTA should terminate the 007 at Pt Chev Shops (instead of Pt Chev Beach) and on the other end terminate it at Glen Innes (instead of St Heliers). And also remove the needless loop via Greenlane Hospital grounds and just stop outside the hospital.

  2. joust says:

    I’ve been a pretty regular user of the 009 bus it runs past my house and my now old workplace. So if I wasn’t driving I’d take the bus. After they redesigned the route it was a lot more convenient for me both for access to Sylvia Park or New Lynn and for getting to work in Penrose/Mt Wellington. The only problem was after the redesign there was a big stretch between Great South Road Penrose and Aranui Rd Mt Wellington with no stops I think it was actually a couple of kms.

    At the time I thought - worth a try - and emailed the city council about the problem suggesting they put in a few more intermediate stops. Plus the stretch missing stops runs through a residential area so makes sense really. A customer service person responded to my enquiry within the week saying stops would be installed the following week. I was thrilled. It was a really good example of people making decisions for something that wasn’t that hard, made sense so they made it happen. Cheers Auckland City.

    I still use the 009 in the weekends to go to Sylvia Park occasionally even though my current workplace isn’t on the route.


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