Proposed changes to West Auckland bus services Proposed changes to West Auckland bus services

Proposal status: consultation closed 5 June 2022

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We're proposing improvements in your area

Auckland Transport (AT) is proposing to transform the bus network in West Auckland so you can use buses to travel to more places more often. The changes we’re proposing aim to create more reliable and frequent bus services.

Proposed changes:

  • A new Western Express (WX1) bus service to provide more frequent services on the Northwestern Motorway
  • Local routes connecting with motorway services at new bus interchanges at Te Atatū, Lincoln Rd and Westgate
  • Increasing the all-day frequency of route 131 and renumbering it route 13 for easier local trips and connecting to the new bus interchanges at Te Atatū and trains and Henderson
  • Increasing the all-day frequency of route 120 between Henderson and the North Shore and renumbering it route 12
  • Most buses running more frequently and later in the evenings
  • Creating a simpler bus network so it is easier to understand
  • Most customers will need to transfer to motorway services to travel to the City Centre.

Download map of proposed bus routes (PDF 3MB).

 Project details

This page outlines more in-depth information about the proposed changes to bus routes and the new bus interchanges.

Project overview 

In 2017, AT launched a new network of bus services for West Auckland. This connected more people to more places, took advantage of new electric trains and our new fares system that enabled customers to transfer between buses and trains during their journey without paying multiple fares. At that time we didn’t have the infrastructure in place to allow a fully interconnecting network of frequent bus routes.

We’re now working with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to extend and improve bus shoulder lanes along the Northwestern motorway and adding bus priority to the on and off ramps to create the first step towards a rapid transit corridor along SH16. When this is complete in mid-2023 it will allow buses to connect at new bus interchanges at Te Atatū, Lincoln Rd and Westgate and enable an all-day, frequent public transport option along the Northwestern Motorway.

The changes we are proposing:

  • Enable frequent all-day bus services to allow more people to simply ‘turn up and go’ rather than planning trips around a timetable.
  • Enable access to more local destinations making public transport more useful for a greater range of travel purposes. This will provide a realistic alternative to adding more cars to our roads.
  • Require some passengers to transfer between buses to get where they want to go. 

The proposed changes will impact some existing customers’ journeys. The overall objective of these changes is to make public transport simpler and more useful for as many people as possible including those who don’t currently use it.

View a Map of the proposed bus network (JPG 51KB).

Why are we proposing these changes?

The northwest is growing with more houses, more jobs and more people needing to travel. The current lack of bus interchanges and bus priority lanes means your bus network is not as frequent, efficient and reliable as it could be. These changes are designed to offer a better public transport network by removing duplication and using buses more efficiently. By sharing resources along the common motorway section of their routes, we can run more bus trips on the Northwestern Motorway all day, unhindered by traffic conditions on local roads. This also allows more local bus trips to run unaffected by traffic conditions on the motorway. By having buses working together as a connected network rather than as individual routes it makes it possible to reach more places at more times of the day with the comfort of knowing, in many cases you can simply ‘turn up and go’.

  • With these changes almost three times as many people will be in walking distance to a frequent bus route.
  • The current direct trips into the City Centre from Don Buck Rd, Henderson, Te Atatū and Helensville will require passengers to transfer between buses so everyone can share the same bus rather than requiring multiple vehicles.
  • Improving public transport means more people can use it easily, which helps to free up the roads for those who really need it.
  • Effective public transport can reduce congestion and carbon emissions, reduce the need to take up land to provide car parking spaces, connect communities, improve health outcomes, and provide independent mobility for those who can’t or choose not to drive.

What are the trade-offs?

To improve public transport for West Auckland overall we have needed to make some trade-offs:

  • The removal of direct bus services to the City Centre from some areas – these buses can be better used to create more motorway and local bus services.
  • The need to transfer between services – while transfers may not be desirable to some, they are essential to create frequency and simplicity. They enable buses to be utilised more effectively to run more often and provide access to more destinations. The HOP card fare system makes connecting between services easier. Fares are based on the number of zones you travel through. This means you can transfer between AT buses, trains and ferries and pay just one fare for your entire journey with your AT HOP card.

To provide a more reliable and quicker bus journey into the City Centre, the bus shoulder lanes on the Northwestern Motorway are being extended between Westgate and Newton Road. This will mean almost 20km of bus shoulder lanes on the motorway. Improvements are also being made at motorway interchanges and on Te Atatu Road and Lincoln Road to increase priority for buses. This will make bus trips quicker and more reliable.

More resources

Listen to a recording of the brochure.

Watch a video of the brochure in New Zealand Sign Language.

Watch a video of the feedback form questions in New Zealand Sign Language.

Have your say

Consultation was open from 4 April to 5 June 2022.

We held drop-in sessions at the following times:

  • Tuesday 19 April 2022, 2pm to 5pm, Te Atatū Peninsula Community Centre, 595 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatū.
  • Wednesday 20 April 2022, 2pm to 5pm, Te Manawa (Westgate Library), 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate.
  • Thursday 21 April 2022, 4pm to 7pm, bus stops at 54 Hobson Street, City Centre.
  • Saturday  23 April 2022, 10am to 1pm, Zeal West Henderson Youth Facility, Alderman Drive, Henderson.
  • Saturday 28 May 2022, 10am to 12pm,Te Atatū Community Centre, 595 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatū.
  • Sunday 29 May 2022, 12pm to 2pm, Te Manawa (Westgate Library), 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate.
  • Tuesday 31 May 2022, 12pm to 2pm, Waitākere Central Library, 3 Ratanui St, Henderson.

We also held online information sessions at the following times:

  • Monday 23 May 2022 from 7.30pm to 8.10pm - Join the event. Covers changes to Te Atatū Peninsula, Te Atatū South and Henderson.
  • Tuesday 24 May 2022 from 7.30pm to 8.10pm - Join the event. Covers changes to Lincoln Rd, Massey, Rānui, Swanson and Waitakere Village.
  • Wednesday 25 May 2022, 7:30pm to 8:10pm - Join the event. Covers changes to Westgate, Huapai, Helensville, Hobsonville, Kumeū and Whenuapai. 

What happens next

  • We’ll listen to all the feedback we receive, and then decide the best way to move forward.
  • We’ll post the outcome of this proposal and a summary of community feedback on this webpage.
  • We can email the proposal outcome to anyone who requested this when they filled in the survey.

When making complex decisions like these ones, we need to consider a range of important factors in addition to public feedback:

  • Further investigations
  • Operational considerations
  • Auckland Council & AT long term strategic plans
  • Funding constraints
  • International best practice
  • Internal and external technical specialist input
  • Feedback from public
  • Other projects
  • Other stakeholders: e.g. Local Board, Waka Kotahi

West Auckland: Safe with us

Auckland Transport cares for your safety. We want to make our roads safe for everyone, people walking and cycling, especially for our kids and senior citizens and people driving. Projects like this one around West Auckland are another step towards our goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. We are guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures (like minor time saving).