March Madness begins in Auckland

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More bus and train services are likely to be added as people turn to public transport to evade packed city roads and motorways at the start of Auckland's craziest transport month.

New Zealand Transport Agency Auckland Highway Manager Brett Gliddon said traffic on the motorway network flowed well this morning, with travel demand and times typical of a normal Monday morning.

There were no incidents that caused any delays, he said.

"It's great to see that people are planning their journeys ahead by making use of our comprehensive travel information. This helps you make smarter choices and when and how you travel.

"By avoiding the busiest peaks and allowing plenty of time for your journey all road users can play their part in spreading the demand over the network and today is a great example of how everyone benefits from even small changes in travel behaviour," Gliddon said.

Traffic on main roads was heavier than normal this morning as school traffic joined the morning rush hour peak at the start of March madness.

A combination of Auckland University students starting their first semester alongside school students and weekday workers ignited the annual nightmare on the city's roads and public transport.

March traditionally has 8.5 million passenger trips across the public transport network, 30 per cent more than in February and April.

Transport bosses say they are pleased with how the morning commute went with no reported incidents and more people opting to use trains and buses instead of cars.

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AT has added 6500 extra spaces to buses and trains to deal with the madness, but passengers have been warned they may be forced to wait for transport because of full services.

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It appears people have heeded warnings with more people travelling on trains and buses than last week.

Continued below.

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A spokesman for Auckland Transport said key routes were monitored and wait times were generally good.

More people travelled on public transport than last week but it was likely more services would be added this month.

The road network generally coped well with no reported incidents, he said.

At 7am the New Zealand Transport Agency warned motorists to mind following distances as the traffic built in all the usual places on the motorway network.

It seems people may have heeded warnings about March madness with more people turning up to use the train to get into the city at Manurewa this morning.

AT metro operations manager Brendon Main also recommended commuters travel outside peak times where possible.

"We just ask people to show a little more patience as we move through March. It's the busiest month of the year," he said.

"Those who can travel outside the peak times, that could be a good idea."

Main said the boost in public transport capacity and services would go a long way towards meeting demand.

"We want to ensure that wait times are acceptable and, on some routes, better than last year."

Traffic congestion usually eases in April as students' timetables settle and workers take breaks during the Easter holidays.

Last March 1157 complaints were made about buses being late, full, overcrowded or not showing up.

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