The Government has announced that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 1. This means Auckland Transport services are largely returning to normal operations.
The Government has advised the general rule for Alert Level 1 is that COVID-19 is contained in New Zealand but still uncontrolled overseas. This means that it is still important for Aucklanders to be prepared and to be vigilant. If someone is feeling sick, they should stay home. They should not go to work or school and do not socialise if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.
Though Alert Level 1 means public transport can return to normal capacity levels due to physical distancing requirements being removed, the Government is asking everyone to keep track of where they have been and who they have seen to assist with quick contact tracing should a new case appear.
To help with this recommendation, AT customers using a registered AT HOP card are able take note of their travel history on public transport by checking their transaction history on the AT Mobile app or on our website at AT.govt.nz/myat
The Government is also asking everyone to continue with public health measures that were encouraged under all Alert Levels such as washing your hands frequently, coughing into your elbow and avoiding touching your face as much as possible.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the move to Alert Level 1.
“It’s great to see a sense of normality returning to the city as businesses and facilities reopen and more people start using public transport,” he says.
“The challenge now will be to get our economy restarted and support local businesses to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.”
Customers will go back to front-door boarding on buses under Alert Level 1. There are no longer physical distancing requirements, so all stickers displaying limited capacity numbers as well as signs that told customers where they could or couldn’t sit will be removed. Please bear with us as it will take a few days for us to remove all of the signage from our busses, trains and ferries.
AT is continuing to ensure that all public transport is being cleaned throughout its daily service. Buses and trains are being spot checked, with surfaces being sanitised, and we have enhanced our cleaning regime to include antimicrobial protection fogging (spraying) of facilities and our fleet.
AT is continuing to encourage Aucklanders to consider travelling outside of usual peak hours (7-9am and 3-6.30pm) where possible and for businesses to continue offering flexible working arrangements. This will help reduce peak congestion and continues to build on some of the progress made during the various Alert Levels in helping make sure everyone can get to where they need to go quickly and safely.
To help encourage off-peak travel, AT will continue to offer a 30 per cent discount on AT HOP fares for adults who travel by bus or train on weekdays after 9am and before 3pm for the rest of June. The discount also applies after 6.30pm, until the end of service, Monday to Friday only.
For now, we will continue to only accept AT HOP card payments on vehicles as this will help us to support contact tracing requirements should they become necessary. If customers need assistance in obtaining or loading an AT HOP card, they can visit a customer service centre or call 09 355 3553.
AT Mobile and HOP cards
Now with public transport returning to normal services and capacity levels, we have continued to improve our AT Mobile app to help Aucklanders plan their trips and get around the city efficiently.
Our live occupancy feature, which displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any given time so customers will know how busy it will be before they board, now also appears under the journey planner area of the app. We have also added the ability to check the status of a train line in the app so customers can now know the information before they even head out the door.
Because contact tracing will still be needed if there are any new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, we strongly recommend that customers register their AT HOP card. Those who do not already have an AT HOP card can find a retailer online.
Customer service centres
Most AT customer service centres at public transport hubs have re-opened with some changes at Manukau Train Station and New Lynn. Botany will remain temporarily closed.
Manukau Train Station’s service centre will remain temporarily closed and we encourage customers to use the many self-service options available such as auto top-up, top-up machines at stations, online top-up and top-up within our AT Mobile app. Customers can also easily access the main customer service centre in the nearby Manukau Bus Station, which is just a one-minute walk away.
Our customer service centre at New Lynn will re-open in one location only (prior to lockdown we had two booths). Customers will still be able to access the same services they’ve been able to pre-lockdown and, again, we encourage the use of our many self-service options.
Active modes and keeping safe
Almost half of all Aucklanders (47 per cent) are walking more than they did pre-lockdown with 14 per cent cycling more often.
With that in mind, we expect to continue to see more people walking or cycling as a transport choice to get to work, school or for local shopping trips when we move into Alert Level 1. We are also reminding people to look out for vulnerable road users when they travel. More than ever people are using their road space to walk or use a bike, and as a team of 1.4-million Aucklanders we can all play a role in keeping everyone safe.
For more information on walking and cycling visit at.govt.nz/cycling-walking
AT projects will now follow Alert Level 1 requirements, which means the need for physical distancing has been removed and the focus will be on hygiene, contact tracing and ensuring workers stay at home if sick.
The public will see little change under Alert Level 1 other than some construction areas potentially expanding to use areas previously set aside for physical distancing. Project timelines remain under review.
We know these past few months have been unusual and stressful times for everyone. We want to say thank you to all front-line workers who have kept the city moving during each of the Alert Levels, as well as Aucklanders for their understanding and patience. We ask that everyone continues to be kind to each other as the city, and the country, begins this new normal.
The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s special COVID-19 website.
Auckland Transport’s COVID-19 page is at at.govt.nz/COVID-19
For any other queries, the Auckland Transport call centre is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 09 355 3553.