North Shore commuters will get a preview of the Northern Busway this week when selected buses start trial runs on New Zealand’s first bus-dedicated roadway.
Transit New Zealand and the Auckland Regional Council say trial runs for selected Northern Express buses start on Thursday.
These buses will be city-bound on the almost completed busway between Constellation Dr and Esmonde Rd in prepation for the its opening on February 3, 2008.
A two-way trial is expected from about mid-January
Transit says the trial will enable up to 400 bus drivers to familiarise themselves with the busway before the three new stations on Sunnynook, Smales Farm and Akoranga open.
During the trial runs, Transit, North Shore City Council and others involved in the project will put the finishing touches on extensive landscaping and do final safety inspections and tests on the electronic passenger information systems.
The council is finishing up the new busway stations, including furnishings, and installing cycle lockers and testing the customer information system.
Buses will not stop at the new stations for pick-up or drop-off until the busway formally opens.
Passengers should use Albany and Constellation stations for their regular bus stops.
Only the non-stop bus service will use the busway instead of the motorway shoulder.
Transit advises motorists that on the evening before the trial starts, the Esmonde Rd bus lane will revert to a normal traffic lane.
Motorists should look for their destination on the overhead gantry to make sure they are in the correct lane.
New traffic lights will also be operating at the signalised intersection of Akoranga Dr and Esmonde Rd to enable buses to access Akoranga station.
The $300 million busway is the country’s first two-way road exclusively for buses.
It links the North Shore and the Auckland central business district.
Buses will run about every three minutes at peak times.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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