In an effort to improve access to public transport, reduce congestion and free up parking, Auckland Transport is seeking expressions of interest for a new ridesharing service. Called AT Metro Local, the service will allow customers to use a smartphone app to schedule or call an on-demand electric vehicle to take them to and from the Devonport Ferry Terminal and their destination.
North Shore suburb Devonport has been chosen for the trial because of its limited access to the city — accessible only by the ferry or along the heavily congested Lake Road.
The AT Metro Local scheme aims to encourage more people to use the ferry, which will reduce congestion on the roads, as well as opening up more parking spaces at the ferry terminal. The vehicles will operate within a 3km radius of the ferry terminal, primarily in the morning and afternoon peak.
Last year AT did a two-week trial of the service which showed that ferry passengers were enthusiastic about it and there is enough demand for it to work. Once the trial process has finished AT will announce the start date, expected to be mid-2018, and how much it will cost to use.
AT's Chief Transport Services Officer Mark Lambert says, "This trial will give customers more options to access the public transport network and attract new customers. The intent of the trial is to test how this type of service can improve access to public transport with a view to future potential roll-out to other hubs on the network. An added benefit is that it will use electric vehicles, which reinforces AT's sustainability programme."