MAXX – Auckland Transport

The data used for the MAXX journey planning software comes from a GIS server hosted by the Auckland Regional Council (now Auckland Council). Standard transport data on a range of transport modes is included. There is no separate GIS layer for walking and therefore it is assumed to be using the road network.

The MAXX journey planning website provides a high-quality user experience. The extended help option enables users to select valid location names from a list for their desired OD points. Advanced options also allow users to specify what routes/locations they do, or do not, want to use or travel through.

Many community points of interest are included such as banks, common retail chains (eg Dick Smith, Subway and Liquorland), education and healthcare facilities, as well as all streets. This feature is useful as it provides flexibility to users when entering their OD locations. This is because it is simpler for a user to remember 'BNZ Ponsonby' or ‘Northcote College’ than it is to know the physical street addresses of landmarks.

The MAXX website also includes school access and timetables, and although this information is not included in the journey planning service, it is beneficial for it to be provided on the same website. Users have confidence they can visit the MAXX website for all public transport information in the Auckland region. The MAXX website provides ample information and methods in presenting a planned journey; it also provides options based on time, cost or convenience so users can choose which route best fits their needs.

Public discussion forums are a useful feature of the MAXX website. These forums facilitate peer-to-peer discussion for MAXX users regarding how to use the website and public transport in Auckland. The forums allow users to post or answer questions and also allow for unofficial communication about any issues or suggested improvement.

The MAXX website has a high level of user accessibility, with options such as the extended help option mentioned previously. It also provides three font size options and a text only version of the whole site for use with computer interaction tools for those with impairments.

Despite the MAXX service providing many advanced features, there are a number of omitted services. Transport operators have buses that will accommodate wheelchairs, but users are unable to specify the use of only these vehicles when planning a journey. This presents a particular problem for those with mobility impairments as the journey planner cannot be used to find a journey with appropriate facilities.