The loss of the express bus routes 152x, 171x and 172x from New Lynn and the west into the city has made many commuters travel times significantly longer.
Waitakere Local Board member Ken Turner has gone into bat for the hapless public transport users. But it is an uphill battle, as he feels that communications from AT are less than transparent. His personal view is that “I doubt that we were ever going to get the shuttle buses in the first place.”
“AT did engage with the local board over the past couple of years about the removal of the New Lynn to City express bus, offering to use the savings to fund shuttle buses right out to our coastal communities thus extending the public transport ‘reach’. I apologise for voting for this, without informing myself of the full consequences. I was won over by the prospect of extending our bus coverage. AT is now not able to deliver on its shuttle bus promise because the savings are needed to offset reduced revenue, maybe I should have foreseen this possibility. Also never needing to use public transport myself I had no understanding of the impact the removal of the 152x, 171x and 172x would have on people using this bus service to the city. I was quickly put straight by the irate commuters who wrote to me,” Says Ken.
Former express bus user, Sandra Moorhead, said “I used to be a user of the 151X from Glen Eden. It used to go via Kelston straight to the city, then they changed all the express buses to go via New Lynn which added a lot of time to the journey. Now they’ve scrapped them completely. Public transport takes me almost two hours to get to work on Fanshawe Street. I’ve given up and am leaving Auckland permanently on Friday.”