Auckland’s Northern Busway celebrated its first birthday over the weekend. But you wouldn’t know it. Other than a piece in the North Shore Times talking about free rides on the 1st of February, there has been scarcely a murmur in the press.
Why not? The Busway has been an overwhelming success. So overwhelming in fact that even before it formally opened it was so busy that the North Shore City Council was cap in hand begging ARTA for more money to expand it.
The NZ Herald has recently done a whole series on Auckland successes. I should think that the Northern Busway would merit star billing. Instead, it editorialises about the Waterview Tunnel, repeating the misleading figures that Minister Joyce put out last week regarding its cost. (Not that I am any fan of the tunnel, but it sure adds to the uncertainty that our new government is fomenting, which I’ve posted about before.)
Probably the most shocking thing to me is that North Shore City Council itself has not even bothered to put out a press release. Neither have any of the other partners in the venture. This despite them all pitching in to pay for the party they threw.
I for one applaud the whole project and would urge our governments, local and central, to get on with building the next phase of expansion. I see that they have wisely allowed the airport shuttles to use the Busway. This is great news for tourist and local alike. If the New Zealand Transport Agency would just see fit to complete the rail link to the airport, Auckland would rank among the better served tourism destinations.
Our very own Keith Locke was present for the birthday festivities. I wish I had been there with him.