Auckland’s bus driver shortage is officially over! Auckland’s bus driver shortage is officially over!

Date: 16 August 2023

This morning, Auckland Transport (AT) announced that the bus driver shortage is officially over.

At the peak of the driver shortage just eight months ago, Auckland was 578 drivers short.

Auckland now has three more bus drivers than the required 2,306 to operate Auckland’s buses.

Richard Harrison, AT’s Metro Optimisation Manager says that for passengers, this means more buses and more reliability across Auckland’s bus network.

“We are extremely grateful for the patience of Aucklanders while we have worked hard to get our buses back to where they should be.

“We're delighted that the bus driver shortfall is cleared - we now have more active drivers in the workforce than the full requirement, and there are more in training to build resilience.

“The operators have done an excellent job of attracting and retaining drivers over the last ten months, and it's great to see passengers return as services become more dependable.”

Despite the challenges, Mr Harrison says Auckland’s public transport has bounced back strongly since COVID, with patronage at around 83% of 2019 levels.

“Our patronage recovery is on par or ahead of many places (the US is notably lower) and we are still working on ways to make public transport even more attractive to Aucklanders.”

Key information:

  • Cancelled bus trips have been consistently below 3% over the past month.
  • In July, all previously suspended buses were added back into timetables
  • Bus driver shortfall is now resolved, with three more drivers in the workforce than the full requirement.
  • Ferry skipper and deckhand shortfall remains at 25, with training and upskilling of the workforce due to start soon.
  • Last week patronage was 1.72 million boardings, another week at the highest level since March. This is 83% of the comparative week in 2019.