Cold, wet, and upset: Students stranded amid storm at city bus stop
• May 10, 2023
Students fight to secure a spot on the NX2 – the last one to show up for over two hours. PHOTO: Sophie Watson.
Swarms of students were left waiting in the rain for the Northern Express during Auckland’s state of emergency on Tuesday.
One group huddled together outside AUT’s city campus, waiting more than two hours without shelter for the usually frequent bus service.
University of Auckland student Meera said there were at least “three buses-worth” of people waiting for the NX2.
“The longer we wait, the more people show up.”
Meera was one of many students relying on the bus to get home.
“There’s no other way… this is my only way home.”
She said the sea of umbrellas “looked like a building” at one point.
UOA students Sam and Jean had been waiting for an hour and a half with no bus in sight.
“We got a notification from the civil defence essentially saying that flooding is expected and to head home if you need… and we’ve been waiting here ever since.”
Despite the Auckland Transport app saying there would be a bus every ten minutes, only two showed up between 1 pm and 3 pm.
Sam said several double-decker buses both on and off service had passed – just not the one they needed.
“It seems like every single bus except the NX is fine.”
Amongst the crowd, confusion turned to frustration as a Northern Express bus sat at the top of Wellesley Street, empty and unmoving.
Jean said delays like this don’t look good for Auckland Transport.
“There have already been cancellations all morning, so it’s kinda bad, aye?”
He also noted that the empty buses that passed could have been repurposed.
Sam added safety was also an issue for the pair, as both the rain and traffic swelled.
“If the weather kicks up, there will be more flooding with increased traffic and then no one will get home.”
He expressed concern about the lack of shelter for students waiting at the stop.
“You could put an undercover thing here at least; it’s not that hard.”
The rain peaked at 32.2mm at 12pm, far surpassing the forecast of 0.5mm.
Students catching the NX2 were not the only affected members of Auckland’s bustling CBD.
Queues snaked around Britomart’s Commercial Bay as city-goers waited for the other Northern Line bus, the NX1.
Auckland Transport has not issued a statement about the Northern Line delays.
Watch: TWN editor Nic George walks the length of one bus queue in Auckland's CBD
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