New transit lanes are set to open in Shakespeare Rd and Constellation Drive, giving bus users and car poolers a faster trip during peak hours.
But drivers are being warned to be aware of the transit lane rules, or risk a $150 fine.
Transit lanes are traffic lanes reserved for buses, other vehicles with three or more occupants, bicycles, motorbikes and taxis during peak hours. At other times the lanes revert to normal use.
The new westbound transit lane in Shakespeare Rd will operate during the morning peak, while Constellation Drive will have an eastbound transit lane for the afternoon peak, in addition to the existing westbound lane.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want to see fewer people travelling alone in their cars, and more choosing to catch the bus or car pool,Ã¢â‚¬Â North Shore CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s transport strategy and planning group manager, Archer Davis, says.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Giving car poolers and bus users a special lane so they can avoid peak hour traffic queues makes these much better options for a faster trip.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Transit lanes are an effective way of moving more people rather than more cars, and will be a major factor in the operation of the Northern Busway, as buses will be able to move quickly around city streets and on to the Busway road and stations.
They are part of a range of public transport improvements being made in the lead-up to the opening of the Northern Busway in early 2008, which also include improved suburban bus stations and bus advance lanes at key intersections.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We already have transit lanes operating eastbound on Onewa Rd and westbound on Constellation Drive in the morning peak,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr Davis says.
Projects planned for this year include transit lanes on Akoranga Dr, Forrest Hill Rd, and East Coast Rd, as well as an extension to the existing Onewa Rd transit lane, to connect with the upgraded Onewa Rd interchange being built by Transit New Zealand.
Mr Davis says as more transit lanes are rolled out across the North Shore, motorists needed to be aware of transit lane rules.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You are not allowed to drive in the transit lane during hours of operation unless you are in a bus or taxi, in a vehicle with three or more people, cycling or on a motorbike. If you arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, you can be fined $150.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is no parking at all in transit lanes during hours of operation. You can only be in the lane for up to 60m if you need to turn left into a side road, or if you have just turned out of a side road.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our transit officers will be handing out warnings to drivers who break the rules in the first few weeks of operation of the new lanes. After this, we will be handing out $150 fines.Ã¢â‚¬Â