The new frequent service Hibiscus Coast bus network is already up and running, the first in fact to be rolled out in Auckland, several years ahead of everyone else.
The other project occurring, also a first, is the Whangaparaoa Road ‘dynamic laning’ trial. This will see the latest LED lighting technology employed to improve the morning and evening peaks from Red Beach lights to the Hibiscus Coast Highway. It’ll provide three lanes at peak times and outside these peak hours will revert to normal operation.
There’ll be no disruptive widening work, instead utilising the existing space within the road corridor.
At Gulf Harbour a new ferry contract will soon be put out to tender. It will result in a significant increase in the number of daily sailings, as well as improvements to boats. This service is already a huge success. It will lift to another level when daily sailings match Pine Harbour in Beachlands (15 return sailings to Auckland per day).
The benefit to motorists from public transport improvements is that cars are taken off local roads. This is already occurring with latest AT traffic counts showing traffic numbers on the Coast remaining virtually static over the last three years. Possibly because of the worsening tail on the Northern Motorway, people are also leaving earlier, thereby spreading out peak time departures (which is just as well as AT traffic modelling shows that despite planned improvements, motorway congestion right across Auckland will not improve as the population increases and feeds into the same constrained motorway corridors).
There’s even progress of a sort on Penlink. It’s firmly entrenched in all future planning documents (albeit too far out).