From Sunday 31 August 2008, bus users in the Flat Bush, Botany, Dannemora, Meadowlands and Mission Heights areas will benefit from more direct and convenient bus services, as bus route 68 is replaced by new routes 680 and 681.
The Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s General Manager, Customer Services, Mark Lambert says, “We believe these changes will mean overall more convenient bus services for residents in these areas. The introduction of the new bus routes 680 and 681 – which will be operated by Howick and Eastern Buses Ltd – will mean a more direct trip to Botany Town Centre and other key destinations for many current users of route 68.
“The new bus route 680 will be serving the North Park/Meadowlands area and route 681 will serve the Flat Bush/Mission Heights area, which is one of the fastest growing areas in Auckland and expected to reach 40,000 new residents in the next 12 years. This is the first public transport service to Mission Heights. This ensures that everyone in these areas can make the most of public transport.
“From Monday to Friday at peak commuting times, there will be buses every 10 minutes between Botany Town Centre and Britomart, compared to 15 minutes now. On Saturdays buses will travel between Botany Town Centre and Britomart every 30 minutes, and on Sundays there will now be direct buses between Botany Town Centre and Britomart without the need to change at Pakuranga.”
Mr Lambert says, “Route 681 bus users travelling to Britomart will now have to transfer at Botany Town Centre outside peak commuting times. However, route 681 services will be conveniently timed to make it easy for these passengers to transfer to a Britomart-bound route 680 service at Botany Town Centre.”
The new timetable is also expected to improve the reliability of the bus services.
Route 680 and 681 bus users will also be travelling in style, thanks to six brand new buses that have been purchased by Howick and Eastern Buses Ltd and will be dedicated to these two new bus routes.
Portions of Chapel Rd and Whitford Rd (between Meadowlands Shopping Centre and the northern end of Kilkenny Dr, and between Botany Town Centre and the southern end of Kilkenny Dr) will no longer be directly served by route 680 or 681.
Current bus users and the local community were consulted on these changes in March 2008 and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“The proposed changes form a part of a larger review of bus services across the Auckland region to make the bus network easier to understand and use. Of course, as with any change of service some people may be disadvantaged, however, overall the changes offer greater coverage and frequency.
“We are currently asking for feedback on proposed changes to improve local Botany/Howick bus services and Manukau crosstown services. A booklet outlining these proposed changes will be included with the next edition of Manukau Matters and will be delivered to letterboxes across Manukau in the last week of August. The booklet will also be available from Manukau libraries,” Mr Lambert says.
For more information about the new bus routes 680 and 681, and about bus services in Flat Bush, Botany, Dannemora, Meadowlands and Mission Heights call MAXX on (09) 366 6400 or visit www.maxx.co.nz