After advising concertgoers to drive to Elton John last month, AT has issued another stunning announcement, reports Sam Brooks.
On Friday, Auckland Transport took a break from tweeting about road closures and reminding people that train lines are not operating, to announce that they would like people to consider travelling at off-peak times. This tweet was accompanied by an image saying: “Keep Auckland moving this March! Travel off-peak where possible.”
As we head into March, please consider travelling off peak to avoid the busiest periods on our roads & public transport services. Buses, trains and Ferries will be busier & more services will have standing room only. For those who need to travel in peak, please allow extra time. pic.twitter.com/xpwXwe1L7r
— Auckland Transport (@AklTransport) February 24, 2023
It’s not a surprising announcement from the organisation that recommended, in since deleted comms, that ticketholders for Elton John’s Mt Smart Stadium concert consider driving rather than use the limited special buses made available for the concert.
March is the busiest time for Auckland’s transport system, as the city returns to study and work. Understandably, people need to travel at certain convenient times to make their scheduled classes or work hours, which often start at 9am and end at 5pm.
The phrase “travel off-peak where possible” translates loosely to “travel at a time that would be convenient to travel at if you have no obligations, commitments or preferences to be at a certain place at a certain time”.
The organisation also asked patrons to “please allow extra time” when travelling, which also translates loosely to “please do not expect to arrive at your destination at the time you would like to be at your destination” – a decidedly chill philosophy, but not necessarily a helpful piece of communication from an organisation whose purpose it is to get people from one place to another at a specific time.
Auckland Transport followed this tweet up on Sunday with a thread acknowledging that many Aucklanders cannot travel off-peak (such as those with jobs, school, appointments, or just general commitments) and that its “top priority” was putting on extra services for those who do need to travel at peak time (see above). It did not confirm whether that those extra services would be protected from cancellation, postponement or other disruptions that would lead to people eventually travelling at off-peak time anyway.
Luckily for Auckland Transport, there are many other options available for travelling around the city including private car, public car (taxi), someone else’s car (rideshare apps), private bike, private ebike, public bike, scooter, public scooter, electric scooter, skateboard, boat, jetski, rollerblades, rollerskates, horseback, carriage, and legs.
All of these are, as of this writing, available at both peak and off-peak times. Please allow extra time when travelling to accommodate for all the other people who are avoiding using Auckland Transport.