All aboard the Western Express! Better, more frequent buses for West Auckland from November All aboard the Western Express! Better, more frequent buses for West Auckland from November

Date: 19 July 2023

A new and improved bus network is coming to West and Northwest Auckland.

From 12 November, Auckland Transport (AT) will launch a new flagship bus route, the Western Express (WX1), along with a range of other improvements to bus routes in the area.

The bus route changes are partnered with over 7km of new bus lanes, new bus interchanges near the motorway at Lincoln Road and Te Atatū and over 40 new bus stops.

Waitākere Councillor Shane Henderson says the changes will more than double the number of people in the Northwest who have access to fast and frequent public transport.

“The Northwest is growing. By 2046, there will be 37,000 new houses, 11,000 new jobs, and nearly triple the number of people travelling along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).

“Currently people living in the Northwest have limited public transport options and when you combine this with the amount of growth, we are seeing huge pressure on the roading network. These changes can’t come soon enough,” he says. 

AT’s Executive General Manager of Public Transport, Stacey van der Putten says the changes are about making public transport, an easier, quicker, and more reliable option.

“The new WX1 and 11 routes will combine to provide buses between Westgate, Lincoln Road, Te Atatu and the City Centre in both directions every six minutes, from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week. 

“Local trips to hubs like Henderson will also be much easier, with more buses more often.”

The Northwestern Bus Improvements are seen as the first step towards providing people with more frequent and reliable public transport choices in the area.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will continue to investigate long term options for a Rapid Transit Corridor between the City Centre and Westgate.


About the bus route changes

From April to June 2022 Aucklanders had the opportunity to express their views and share their feedback on proposed changes to bus services in West Auckland.

Following consultation in 2022, AT has refined West Auckland’s all-day, 7-day bus network to meet the needs of the wide range of existing and future users.

As a result of the feedback and budget constraints (following the 2023 Auckland Council budget saving requirements, Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle),

AT has made changes to 13 of the 20 bus routes that were proposed in the 2022 consultation.

The changes will provide:

    • Increased access to Frequent bus services. (A ‘Frequent’ bus services operates at least every 15 minutes from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week).
    • More bus services throughout the day
    • A bus network that meets growth expected in Northwest Auckland
    • More reliable and quicker bus journeys into the City Centre
    • A simpler bus network

View the full consultation report here:

About the Northwestern Bus Improvements

The Northwestern Bus Improvements is a joint Auckland Transport (AT) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project to deliver a range of short-term bus improvements over to support growth in the region.

The project is being funded in part by the Government to help New Zealand’s economic recovery and create a future pipeline of work. The COVID Response and Recovery Fund has provided $50 million of the $100 million projects to support this work.

More information on the Northwestern Bus Improvements can be found here

Westgate Bus Station

The design and resource consenting process for a new Westgate Bus Station is also underway. Construction on the station is expected to begin in early 2024. In the meantime, there will be interim bus stops at Westgate to support the new bus services.