Monthly patronage climbed to 1248 in November last year, up from a low of 778 in June.
AT spokesperson Mark Hannan says there has been a positive response to the new campaign for the service.
There was a sustained decline in passenger numbers last year, after AT made changes to the service, including dropping on-call stops and introducing a larger bus.
AT says it is planning to engage with the community to improve the service.
“We are looking at the possibility of getting local people involved through a focus group and some form of community involvement.”
Public transport advocate Bevan Woodward says there is still room for improvement and AT need to be more creative in providing a service for a rural area.
“If it wasn’t for the sharp decline in passengers last year, numbers would be about 25 per cent higher and it could be serving more of the population,” Mr Woodward says. “I’m worried AT is going to cut the service back further.”
“I’m getting a lot of new people taking it up. We’ve had 14 passengers on the 16-seater bus recently and I don’t want to turn people away.”
Mr Ostling, a Snells Beach resident, started the service last year after buying a bus and getting approval from Auckland Council to use the bus lanes on the Northern Motorway. The bus runs from Snells Beach to the Auckland CBD.