All aboard the Western Express – it’s here! All aboard the Western Express – it’s here!

Date: 10 November 2023

A new and improved bus network launches this weekend for West and Northwest Auckland.

From 12 November, Auckland Transport’s (AT’s) new flagship bus route, the Western Express (WX1), launches - along with a range of other changes to bus routes in the area.

These changes are the most significant improvements to bus services in the West and Northwest since the introduction of the existing network in 2017 and will improve the frequency of many bus services to connect people to more places more often.

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.

“The West and Northwest haven’t been well served by public transport until now. With these changes, more than twice as many people will be in walking distance of a frequent bus route. Improving public transport means more people can use it easily, which helps to free up the roads for those who really need them. Effective public transport can reduce congestion and carbon emissions, reduce the need to use land for car parking, connect communities, improve health outcomes, and provide independent mobility for those who can’t or choose not to drive.”

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 Atatū 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 network will be based around not just commuters heading into the city, but also around people travelling across West Auckland. For example, you will soon be able to take a bus to Westgate, departing every 5-10 minutes, at all times of day, seven days a week.

“We do acknowledge, however, that these changes will mean some people will need to take two buses to complete their journey. Remember if you do this, you will not have to pay for two fares if you tag onto another service within 30 minutes. Given the service frequency improvements we are making, we still expect many journeys to be more convenient and quicker than today.”

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

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 (Kedgley Rd) to support the new bus services.

New bus network highlights:

  • A new Western Express (WX1) bus service to provide more frequent services on the Northwestern Motorway. Connecting the west every 10 minutes from 7am till 7pm on weekdays and 8am till 7pm on weekends, then every 15 minutes until midnight, seven days a week.
  • Local buses connect to motorway bus services at new interchanges at Te Atatū and Lincoln to get you to more destinations more often.
  • More buses running more often in many areas and later in the evening.

Further information about these service changes, including a map, can be found at