Auckland’s buses are back on track – Bus driver shortage has reduced by 72% Auckland’s buses are back on track – Bus driver shortage has reduced by 72%

Date: 30 June 2023

Auckland’s bus driver shortage is now below 170, down from a peak of 570 at the end of last year. For passengers, this means more buses and more reliability across Auckland’s bus network.

In recent months there have been strong signs of recovery, with bus patronage lifting to above 80% of pre-covid levels.

And for the fourth consecutive week, Auckland’s bus cancellation rate has been below 5%.

On his final day in the job, AT’s Group Manager Metro Services, Darek Koper is thrilled to be leaving Auckland’s bus network in a strong position.

“Through the hard work of many people I am thrilled to be able to say that Auckland’s bus network is in a strong place, with the next six months looking really positive.

Mr Koper is confident that all previously removed services will be added back to the timetables by the end of July.

“Within the next month, we will be able to restore all services that were removed from timetables last year and by the end of September we’re expecting to get back to the same levels of reliability we saw before COVID.”

An example of this is on Waiheke, where the 50B bus will return to service from tomorrow. This will re-instate a 15 min frequency of service for customers travelling between Matiatia and Onetangi.

Waiheke’s buses are operated for AT by Waiheke Bus Company (WBC), part of Fullers360. Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne says the reinstatement of 50B services follows a hugely successful recruitment campaign.

“We’ve recruited a mix of domestic and international drivers who have now completed the necessary requirements to drive buses across the island. This week alone we have signed off 11 drivers, a massive effort from the WBC team.

“It’s exciting to see these new drivers progress through training and to be able to return to full services for our customers.”

The Government's half price discount on public transport ends today, with new discounts available for under 25’s and Community Services card holders. Find out more here


Notes to the editor:

  • Auckland’s bus driver shortage has decreased by 72% from its peak of 570 in late 2022 to 164 this week. Of the 2,274 bus drivers needed to run Auckland’s bus services there are now 2,110 employed by our bus operators.
  • Darek Koper is leaving AT today after six years in leadership roles with our AT Metro public transport teams. Darek is moving to Sydney to lead a range of public transport decarbonisation projects across Australia.
  • Stacey van der Putten will start as AT’s new Executive General Manager Public Transport Services on 10 July, taking on responsibility for the day-to-day operations and performance of Auckland’s public transport network in a role elevated to AT’s executive leadership team