INDEPENDENT NEWS

COVID-19: Auckland Transport Update

Published: Wed 25 Mar 2020 02:05 PM
The Government has announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 4 tonight at 11.59pm, Wednesday, 25 March 2020.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it’s vitally important to adhere to the government’s guidelines for using public transport during the COVID-19 Level 4 Alert.
“This is the first time in our history that we have had to restrict movement in this way, but it is absolutely necessary that we do so to stop the spread of COVID-19 cases in our communities,” he says.
“We all need to follow the rules, stay at home, self-isolate and maintain physical distancing if necessary, and only use public transport if necessary to travel to essential work or access essential services.
“The more effective our self-isolation and physical distancing the sooner we can emerge from this crisis and restore normality.”
Alert Level 4 means:In alignment with new national policy while at Alert Level 4, all public transport (bus, trains and ferries) contracted by AT will be free.From 11.59pm tonight, public transport services will only be available for those working in essential services, for medical reasons, to access essential services including get to the supermarket, and to move essential goods. For details on what is considered an essential service visit https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/While travel will be free people should continue to tag on and off using their AT HOP card. This will allow Auckland Transport to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand.Essential workers may be asked, while travelling, to show who they work for. Where practical people should carry some form of identification showing who they are, who they work for, and their job (e.g. a business card, letter from their employer, or other work ID).People must continue to use the rear door to get on and off the bus. This is to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible by minimising the physical contact between customers and the bus drivers.From early Thursday morning, trains, buses and ferries contracted by AT will also run to a reduced timetable. Details are available at https://at.govt.nz/COVID-19Bus services will largely operate according to weekend timetables. Some services will be removed (Such as school buses and Skybus) while services to key medical centres will retain regular or more frequent services.Train services – Train services will be operating according to the Sunday timetable.Ferry services – The Birkenhead, Bayswater, Stanley Bay and Gulf Harbour services will not operate while we are at Alert Level 4. Remaining services will operate to a reduced schedule.
Note: some key ferry services such as those to Waiheke and Devonport are not contracted or managed by AT. However, Fullers 360 have advised that they will also be providing free travel to Waiheke and Devonport.
These timetables will be maintained until the Government announces a reduction of the COVID-19 Alert Level or advises otherwise.We will be monitoring these services and changes may continue to be made to timetables. We are working to do this as quickly as possible and suggest you refer to the information on our website at https://at.govt.nz/COVID-19 and plan your journey ahead.All AT construction sites are being made safe and secure by our contractors and will be closed from 11.59pm tonight. These sites will be regularly monitored for health and safety. Only work related to maintaining essential services and critical infrastructure and to address immediate and short-term safety issues (e.g. emergency maintenance work) will be undertaken by Auckland Transport until the alert level is reduced by the Government.Traffic volumes are expected to be relatively light due to the number of businesses closing and people staying indoors. Therefore, traffic signalling will be managed to give priority access to hospitals and other essential services.AT is currently working through how it will manage both on and off street parking (paid and unpaid) over this period. However, our focus will be on ensuring free flowing access for emergency and other essential traffic. A further update on this will be provided separately.
This is a challenging time for us all. We ask that people be understanding and patient of everyone else who is in the same situation until this global issue can be brought under control.
Remember that the best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s special COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/
Auckland Transport’s COVID-19 page is at: https://at.govt.nz/COVID-19

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