Bus passengers who travel across the harbour bridge will soon be riding in style. Auckland Transport and its operator Ritchies Transport are introducing another 15 double-deckers to the popular Northern Express service.
Auckland Transport’s Bus Services Manager, Brendon Main, welcomes the added capacity and comfort. “We are heading into the busiest time of the year with students heading back so it’s great to be able to offer more large and stylish buses.”
The new buses can carry about 100 passengers, whereas conventional buses carry fewer than 70.
USB ports and great views
Ritchies Managing Director Andrew Ritchie says the new additions to his company’s fleet were built in China. “These are top-of-the-line buses and they’ve been built with passenger safety and comfort in mind. They’ve got more seats, USB chargers and provide great views, especially when crossing the bridge.”
Last year there were 3.8 million trips on the busway and the additional double-deckers will increase capacity by at least 15 per cent.
Important investment in public transport
The new buses are being introduced by three of the main operators in Auckland – NZ Bus (23 buses), Howick & Eastern (15 buses), as well as the 15 from Ritchies. There are already three double-deckers being operated in Auckland by Ritchies.
Mr Main says the increase in public transport patronage looks set to continue and the investment in the new fleet by these three companies reinforces that confidence.
“Roads are limited so this is a good way to make the most of the space. Double-deckers, along with increased frequency and reliability on buses and trains, are key to reducing the city’s number one problem, congestion.”