Hobson Street bus lane extensions Hobson Street bus lane extensions

We are proposing changes to Hobson Street in the city centre.

Project status: Open for public feedback until 21 May 2023

Project zone: Central

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Brief project overview

To improve bus travel times and reliability, we are proposing to extend the existing bus lane on Hobson Street in the city centre. This proposal will create a continuous bus lane along Hobson Street, from Fanshawe Street to the motorway onramps.

See detailed information and design plans.

A map showing the existing bus lane on Hobson Street, between Victoria Street West and Cook Street. Proposed extensions to the bus lane are shown, stretching from Fanshawe Street to Union Street. A proposed raised pedestrian crossing is shown at the intersection of Hobson Street and Union Street. 

Why we are extending the Hobson Street bus lanes

  • AT and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are working in partnership to deliver a range of important short- and long-term bus improvements for people living in Northwest Auckland. These changes, including dedicated bus lanes along the North-western Motorway (SH16), will more than double the number of people within a 45-minute bus journey of the city centre.
  • To ensure that people using these bus services can get into and out of the city centre quickly and easily, we are proposing to extend the bus lanes on Hobson Street.
  • The bus lanes will improve bus travel times and reliability (buses are more likely to be on time) making buses a more attractive travel option. Improved reliability also reduces bus operating costs as fewer buses are required on standby.
  • We need to improve public transport to make it an attractive transport option for more people. This is because: 
    • Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland has limited space and increasing levels of congestion. Public transport uses less space. For example, it takes 4 traffic lanes, but only one bus lane, to transport 8,000 people per hour along a route.
    • Providing more road capacity is expensive, can take a long time, and is disruptive to peoples' lives. For example, it might require property purchases and construction activities.
    • Travel by private motor vehicles has significant environmental impacts, such as carbon emissions. 43% of Auckland's carbon emissions come from private vehicle travel. Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan sets the goal of halving Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Detailed project information

View the proposed design plans for this project.

Download design plans (PDF 4 MB)

Fanshawe Street to Victoria Street

  • Extending the existing bus lane on Hobson Street to create a continuous bus lane operating 24/7 from Fanshawe Street to Cook Street. The current bus lane is Victoria Street to Cook Street.

    This is not the kerbside lane as bus layovers already occupy this lane. The bus lane will occupy the next lane in.
  • Remove one of the 2 right turn lanes on Hobson Street at the Victoria Street intersection. The narrow kerbside traffic lane width creates safety issues for buses, especially double decker buses, due to the close proximity to the tree at the intersection.
  • Remove 2 on-street car parks and relocate one of the mobility spaces located just before Kingston Street. We will provide 2 replacement mobility spaces. One will be on the west side of Hobson Street (outside Wilson's Parking building) and one will be immediately around the corner on Kingston Street.
  • Changes to the bus layovers occupying the kerbside lane just north of Fanshawe Street. One will be moved 30m north and one will be extended from 65m to 74m. 
  • Minor kerb adjustments between Swanson Street and Wyndham Street to accommodate the bus stops and layovers.

Cook Street to Pitt Street

  • A bus lane will replace the existing clearway on the eastern side of Hobson Street, between Cook Street and Pitt Street. The bus lane will operate 2.30pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday. These are the same hours as the existing clearway.
  • There are no changes to the clearway or the paid parking on the western side of this section of Hobson Street.
  • The current clearway on the eastern side provides a dedicated left turn lane for vehicles turning into Pitt Street. If the bus lane is implemented, left-turning vehicles will only be able to enter the bus lane 50m before the Pitt Street intersection.
  • Install a raised pedestrian crossing across the left-turn slip lane from Hobson Street into Pitt Street.

Benefits and impacts of the proposal

  • Better use of space
    A bus lane can transport up to around 8,000 people per hour, while a traffic lane can only transport up to around 2,000 people per hour.
  • Bus reliability
    Buses will run more reliably. This will make planning a bus journey easier and reduce bus operating costs.
  • Bus trips benefitted
    Up to 38 buses per hour in the afternoon peak (by November 2023).
  • Impact on general traffic
    There will be little impact on travel times for most general traffic.

    However, vehicles turning left into Pitt Street will have to queue in the straight-through general traffic lane. This may increase travel time. Vehicles will be able to enter the bus lane to turn left 50m from the Pitt Street intersection.

    Vehicles may be able to save some travel time by using other routes to access Pitt Street.
  • If we do nothing
    Congestion is likely to increase over time as Auckland's population grows. This will cause further delays.
  • Construction
    If the project proceeds to construction:
    • The changes mainly involve line markings, isolated minor kerb realignments, and potential minor tree pruning to create clearance for double decker buses.
    • Works will have limited impact on traffic flow or property access along the route.
    • Works will take around 4 to 6 weeks. Work on each section will only take 2 to 3 weeks.
    • Funding for this project is part of the Transport Choices package included within the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
    • An objective of CERF funded projects is to help people in communities across the country get to where they need to go safely and efficiently.
    • These bus lanes will help lower transport emissions in the city centre. Lowering emissions will create fairer, safer, and healthier environments for people to live, work and play across the country.

Have your say

We want you to tell us:

  • About any exceptional impacts of the proposal.
    These are major impacts that the proposal could have on people, businesses, or organisations.
  • Your suggested changes to the proposal.
    For example, how we could reduce the project's impacts, or create more benefits from the project.

Please note: Due to the importance of improving public transport and the significant benefits this project will bring to a large number of people, we will only consider cancelling the project if public feedback raises exceptional impacts that we are currently unaware of.

Give your feedback

Public feedback closes on Sunday, 21 May 2023.

If you have difficulty completing the form, you can call us on (09) 355 3553, and our contact centre staff will transfer you to the project team who will fill in the feedback form with you over the phone. Please ensure you tell the contact centre you are calling in relation to the Hobson Street Bus Lanes Project.

If you want to talk to us

Phone: (09) 355 3553

Email: projects@AT.govt.nz 

What happens next

  • We will consider your feedback and use it to help decide the best way forward.
  • We'll prepare a report that outlines our final decisions and any changes to the proposal. If you provide your contact details, we'll notify you when the report is available.