With transport planners always looking for efficiencies when it comes to moving people from A to B, it’s only fair that they apply the same logic to themselves.
So Auckland Transport staff are now catching a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to travel the 15 kilometres between two of their key sites – one in the CBD and the other at Henderson in the western suburbs.
“It’s a six month trial, to replace expensive pool cars with a timetabled mini-bus service,” said Bernard Pavlovich, CEO of Pavlovich Coachlines. “It makes a lot of sense.
“We won the tender to operate the service and decided to buy two Mercedes-Benz Sprinters for the job.
“We wanted to provide a quality service and the Sprinters are very competitively priced and are far superior when it comes to safety and ride.
“And we decided not to rent because we were confident that if the trial didn’t become permanent we could find other roles for the vehicles within our business.
“They could easily be swung into use for our tourism work, for instance.”
In operation for more than 70 years and still a family business, Pavlovich Coachlines has a fleet of more than 70 buses and coaches, operating out of bases in Auckland and Hamilton.
Starting with school transport and moving into coach hire, Pavlovich Coachlines has more recently become a major provider of public transport services.
“We hope that if this trial is successful, which we think it will be, that Auckland Transport will widen the service,” Bernard said.
“The Sprinters have outstanding passenger carrying capacity. The long wheelbase versions can seat 16 or 18 people, so they are very cost effective to buy per seat.”
Auckland Transport, with some 1,000 staff members and four key sites, could soon end up with its own transport system – all based around the seriously useful Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.