Commuters catching the bus to the city from are likely to be greeted by a man in an orange jacket before getting on their desired bus.
John Brown, supervisor from Birkenhead Transport, looks after passengers catching the bus from lower Onewa Road, one of the busiest commuter routes on Auckland’s North Shore.
Because of the increased numbers of commuters to the city, Brown was placed at the bus stop to control passenger numbers, allow buses to drive past without stopping if they were too full and ensure buses with space stop.
“Sometimes they [people] are across the road and I stop the bus, so they can get on. I tend to stand half out in the road, so they [buses] can’t drive past.”
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Brown has been in the role for six months and has established relationships with many of the regular commuters, making sure that they are able to catch their desired bus.
However, student Billy Lewis said the buses were still too full: “It’s quite a headache – not what you need in the morning.
“I think it’s absolutely atrocious. The fact that you have to wait for at least four buses to go past before you can get on one.”
Birkenhead Transport bus driver Steven Donald said having Brown “takes the pressure off.”
“It means we have happier passengers, and John makes sure everyone gets to where they want to be, on time,” said Donald.
Brown said the traffic was getting worse. “We’re getting to the stage where every day is nose-to-tail. But, if people can see that it’s still moving and if I can just get one person on the bus, they are happy.”
Birkenhead Transport Limited was contacted but did not comment.