Howick Youth Council disappointed in Eastern Busway deferral
The recent deferment in completing the Eastern Busway is disappointing and unacceptable for young people, says the Howick Youth Council.
Youth council co-chair Danica Loulié-Wijtenburg says that further delays would be inexplicable to most young people.
"The Eastern Busway is essential to improving transport for our community. When built, it will open opportunities across Auckland for public transport users and people using bicycles.
"Youth often choose to use public transport and active modes to get around their neighbourhoods and their city. They’ve told us they want it to get better now — not later.
"A student’s trip from Botany to uni in morning rush hour would normally take more than an hour, depending on how bad traffic is, with unreliable travel times.
"Once the busway is complete, alongside the City Rail Link, trips would reliably take less than 38 minutes in rush hour. That’s simply transformative," Loulié-Wijtenburg says.
The Howick Youth Council believes that the deferment is detrimental to Auckland’s aims for greater transport modeshift and emissions reductions — alongside urban housing goals that demand better transport.
The essential project phases of the AMETI project will introduce a separated busway that connects Panmure, Pakuranga, and Botany, plus East Auckland's first major grade-separated cycleway.
When completed, the project will help serve an area of 140,000 people who currently have no access to rapid transit. The area has a population size equivalent to Dunedin.
Loulié-Wijtenburg adds that the delay is adding to a prolonged planning phase of the project.
"Introducing priority for public transport and people using bicycles in this corridor has been in planning for over ten years — and this delay is just adding to that."
The 70 bus service, which is the primary service that will utilise the busway, is the highest performing frequent bus route in Auckland (excluding Northern Busway services) and demands greater reliability at all running times that a busway would provide.
Auckland Council has described the busway as the second most important transport project in the city, after the City Rail Link. When both completed, they will fit into the wider picture of an integrated, reliable, connective, and high-frequency network across Auckland with projects like the Airport to Botany route, Northwestern Busway, and more.