COVID-19 update: Transport in Auckland under Alert Level 3

An update from Auckland Transport- Wednesday, 22nd April

The Government has announced that New Zealand will be moving to Alert Level 3 at 11:59 pm on 27 April 2020.

While at Alert Level 3, travel is allowed for the following essential personal movement in your area:

  • Accessing local services and businesses
  • Going to work and school
  • Low-risk recreation in local area
  • Extended bubble arrangements
  • Travelling to permitted gatherings

For more information of where and when you are permitted to travel go to: www.covid19.govt.nz

Public transport

Public transport will continue to be free while we are at Alert Level 3. Those travelling on public transport should avoid peak times unless it is necessary, such as going to work or school. This is to ensure that two metres of physical distancing between staff and customers can be maintained.

AT has taken numerous measures to help keep customers safe on our network and maintain effective and safe public transport services for our customers, these include:

  • Our AT Mobile app now indicates the available capacity that is on a bus or train service at any given time, so customers will know if two metre distancing will be achievable before they board. Bus drivers will move to only dropping customers off once a vehicle is at capacity.
  • We’re ensuring that all public transport is being cleaned regularly and we have enhanced our cleaning regime to include antimicrobial protection fogging of facilities and our fleet. See a video of some of our cleaning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAHT7gpQRI
  • Buses and trains are being spot checked, with touch surfaces being regularly cleaned.
  • 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 physical contact between customers and the bus drivers.
  • Customers who use a wheel chair or other mobility device or require driver assistance can still use the front door of buses. This also applies to vision impaired customers – we ask drivers to assist them through the front door.
  • Trains and ferries contracted by AT will continue to run to the same timetable as Alert Level 4. Train services will be operating according to an extended Sunday timetable, while bus services will change after Anzac weekend to largely operate according to weekday timetables. We will be actively monitoring our timetables while at Alert Level 3 and will make changes to timetables as needed. For timetable information download the AT Mobile app or go to: www.at.govt.nz
  • We are working with the Ministry of Education and schools on what school bus services during Alert Level 3 will be available and how we may best support them while ensuring that effective health and safety measures can be in place. Further information will be available in the next few days.
  • While wearing of masks is not mandatory on public transport, we recommend that customers use them if possible as an added precaution against the spread of COVID-19.
  • Our cleaners, mechanics and other essential staff have been using PPE as well as maintaining clear physical distancing rules ­— such as using the ‘bubble’ rule with our teams, strict hand-washing prior to and after completing tasks — and other measures as they go about their work on our vehicles, stations and facilities to minimise the risk of COVID-19 as much as possible.

While public transport will still be free during Alert Level 3, we strongly recommend that you register your AT HOP card to help with contact tracing should it be required.

This will also allow us to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand. We are working to make those changes as quickly as possible and suggest customers refer to the information on AT’s COVID-19 page and plan their journey ahead.

Be mindful that the Government’s advice continues to be that the best defence against COVID-19 is to limit our interactions with others.

Under Alert Level 3, Aucklanders must continue to stay within their household bubbles whenever they are not at work, at school, going to the supermarket, for medical reasons, or exercising.

Busier roads

Roads will become busier throughout Auckland during Alert Level 3 than they have been for the past four weeks. This is because:

  • Freight services will be returning to normal levels, so there will be more heavy vehicles on the road at all times of the day
  • Work on construction sites will start again under Alert Level 3. This means more construction vehicles on the road and temporary traffic management
  • More people using personal vehicles to get to work, if their business is allowed to operate

It’s important for Aucklanders to remain safe and be aware of other road users while walking, cycling or using personal vehicles for their essential movement. Take extra caution as you return to the road and always keep within the speed limit. Again, public transport is accessible at Alert Level 3 and can be used to avoid disruption on the road network.

Parking and outdoor activities

For now, parking in AT buildings and on-street will continue to be free and with no time restrictions in Auckland. However, we are currently reviewing this. We will provide more details at the appropriate time and plenty of notice will be given to Aucklanders. 

Leisure boating and activities on the water such as jet skiing are still not allowed under Alert Level 3.

If you are walking or cycling, make sure you continue to maintain a two-metre distance from other people and their ‘bubbles.’

Maintenance

Under Alert Level 3, we will be able to restart planned work such as resealing of roads and footpath repairs.

Our essential maintenance activities such as fixing potholes and clearing of blocked drains will also continue.

Construction sites

AT is preparing to reopen 169 construction sites. We have used the time in lockdown to work with our contractors and the wider industry to ensure the safest approach.

Each site has developed a Health and Safety Plan based on Ministry of Health Guidance and industry best practice:

  • At Alert Level 3, these measures include physical distancing, construction bubbles, compulsory PPE, hygiene practices on site entry and exit and separating teams into zones on our larger sites
  • Contractors will be required to submit return to work plans to AT to demonstrate a safe return

We know 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.

And remember, please travel only if necessary.

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, which includes up to date public transport timetables, is at: https://at.govt.nz/COVID-19