On the bus On the bus

Do you have some doubt about bus etiquette? Find out about how to catch and get on the bus as well as expected behaviour once you're on board our bus services.

Catching the bus

Stand on the footpath at the designated bus stop. Many stops are serviced by more than one bus route, so make sure you watch carefully for your bus. The destination sign above the bus front window shows the route number and destination. Some buses have destination information on a board placed in the window.

If the bus approaching your stop is the one you want, remain on the curb and indicate to the bus driver, by a clear wave of your arm, that you intend to board.

Getting on the bus

Enter the bus from the front door, keeping to the left hand side of the doorway. Beware of passengers alighting from the bus on the right hand side. Some buses will have steps, please enter the bus with care.

Getting seated

If you are first on a bus with a queue of people behind you, please take a seat to the rear of the bus. If you are the last in the queue, or the only person boarding the bus, please take the first available seat. Doing so enables the bus to carry on with the journey as soon as possible after you board the bus. Generally, the bus will not move until you are seated.

If no seats are available, please stand carefully, supporting yourself by the easily located handles on the seats, pillars, roof rails or straps. Please move to the rear of the bus to allow more people to board the bus.

Please stand and give your seat to seniors and pregnant women or anyone with special needs.

For your safety, do not stand in doorways.

Signalling the bus to stop

There are red buttons on the poles throughout most buses. Simply push one of these buttons so the bell rings and the driver knows to let you off at the next stop. Some buses have cords running along the top of the windows instead - on these buses you just pull the cord.

Please ensure that you allow enough time, when pulling the cord or pushing the button, for the driver to stop smoothly and safely at your requested stop.

Getting off the bus

Once the bus has stopped, move towards the exit doors, which the driver will open. Where possible use the rear doors - except students, who must get off the bus from the front door on all school services.

New bus audio announcements

Buses on the Link service routes have audio announcements in English, telling passengers what the next stop will be. From 2022 to 2023 new audio announcements that are in te reo Māori and English will roll out across all buses, with more informative messages to improve customer experience.

General FAQs about catching buses

How can I find out which bus to catch?

The easiest way is to use the Journey Planner. Alternatively, you can contact Auckland Transport on 09 366 6400 for help with finding the appropriate bus.

How do I know which bus stop to use?

Buses usually stop approximately every 400 metres at posted signs. At major stops, bus route and timetable information signs show the numbers, names and descriptions of buses that stop at the stop. Longer bus stops will have different departure points for each service. These signs indicate the place to wait.

How do I make sure I catch the right bus?

The destination sign above the bus windshield shows the route number and destination. If the bus approaching your stop is the one you want, remain on the curb and indicate to the bus driver with a clear wave of your arm that you intend to board.

Where do I get timetable information from?

All busway stations will have an electronic display system to advise when the next bus will arrive and at which platform. Some local bus shelters will also have the same technology. There will be bus timetables for passengers to take away at the busway stations. You can also check out Timetables.

How do zones work when paying for the bus?

You can find out full details at How simpler fares work.

What should I do if I have lost or found something on a bus?

If you have left something on a bus, you need to call the operator of the service that you were on directly to report your lost property. If you find something on a bus please hand it to the driver as soon as possible.

What buses connect to the trains?

Frequent buses operate between Waitematā Station (Britomart) and Queen Street and Karangahape Road.

Use Journey Planner to plan your trip. All you need to do is select your departure and destination locations and when you wish to travel. Journey Planner will advise which buses you can catch from Waitematā Station and provide times, fares and maps for your trip.

Around the central city you can also catch the InnerLink or CityLink buses. The InnerLink travels a loop connecting Downtown to Ponsonby, Parnell, Newmarket, Auckland University and Karangahape Road. The CityLink bus travels via Wynyard Quarter, along Queen St, up to K-Rd and then back down Queen Street.

I am a tourist in Auckland for a short time only. What would you recommend for me to see as much of the city as possible?

Take the InnerLink for a circular tour of the inner city area. A complete circuit takes about one hour, if you get off the bus and reboard you'll have to pay again. Normal fares apply.

Where can I get information on long distance buses and coaches?

For bus services to other cities and towns outside the Auckland region, please phone InterCity Coachlines:

InterCity Coachlines: call 09 623 1503 or visit the InterCity Coachlines website.

FAQs about the Northern Busway and stations

What is the Northern Busway?

The Northern Busway project is the first dedicated busway infrastructure in New Zealand. The Northern Busway system consists of a public transport network of five busway stations, linked by a 6.2km two-way road for buses running alongside the Northern Motorway from Constellation Drive to Esmonde Road, then continuing in a 2.5km single bus lane to the Auckland Harbour Bridge and into Auckland City. Buses travelling on the busway are able to bypass general traffic, especially during the morning and afternoon peak travel times.

What are the names and locations of the bus stations?

There are five stations on the Northern Busway: Albany, Constellation, Sunnynook, Smales Farm and Akoranga. In addition, there is the Hibiscus Coast station which is located further North past Albany. Bus services travel via the Northern Motorway (SH 1) from Albany to Hibiscus Coast (and return) as it is not part of the dedicated Northern Busway infrastructure.

Locations of the Hibiscus Coast and Northern Busway stations are as follows:

  • Hibiscus Coast busway station is on the eastern side of the motorway, opposite the Silverdale United Rugby Football club on the Hibiscus Coast Highway.
  • Albany busway station is west of the motorway at the Oteha Valley Rd interchange.
  • Constellation busway station is east of the motorway at Constellation Drive.
  • Sunnynook busway station is just north of Sunnynook Rd, on the eastern side of the motorway.
  • Smales Farm busway station is on the eastern side of the motorway, by Smales Farm Technology Office Park.
  • Akoranga busway station is on the eastern side of the motorway, just north of the Esmonde Rd interchange.

Park and Ride facilities are available at Hibiscus Coast, Albany and Constellation stations.

What facilities are at the bus stations?

The Hibiscus Coast, Albany and Constellation stations feature major Park and Ride facilities. There are also well-planned drop off and pick up zones. Cyclists can leave their bikes in a secure locker or bike racks at the stations, except Sunnynook Station which only has bike racks. A $2 coin (refundable) is required to operate the bike lockers. All stations have toilets. Monitored CCTV covers the stations and safety points have been installed. Patrols visit and check vehicles in the park and ride facilities, which are also monitored by CCTV 24 hours, 7 days.

Do all the stations have park and rides?

No, Park and Ride facilities are only available at Hibiscus Coast, Albany and Constellation Stations. However all other Northern Busway stations have pick-up and drop-off zones.

Find out more about the Park and Ride facilities at Hibiscus Coast, Albany and Constellation stations.

Secure bike racks and lockers are available at each of the stations for a refundable $2 charge per day, except Sunnynook Station which only has bike racks.

Will it be safe for me to use the stations after dark or during off-peak times?

Each station is well lit and is monitored by a video recording system operating 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The CCTV footage is fed back to the busway operations centre. Busway stations are also patrolled by security staff and there is a safety point at each station where passengers can get immediate assistance by pressing a button that links them to the busway operations centre.

What about comfort and convenience?

All stations are weather protected, with seating and shelters designed for good visibility. There are modern toilets at each station. Facilities for disabled users are also available, including lifts, ramps, carparking and toilets.

Why was a busway built and not a rail network?

Buses are a much more flexible transport option than trains, as they can move around anywhere where there are roads. The bus system can also evolve as the suburbs grow to meet the changing needs of the community. The busway has been designed so that it can be converted to light rail if this proves viable in the future

Can car pools use the Northern Busway?

Not at this time. However, the Northern Busway has been designed to accommodate car pools (vehicles with three or more people).

FAQs regarding Northern Express and North Star bus services

What is the Northern Express?

The Northern Express is the name for the high frequency service operating between Hibiscus Coast and Waitematā Station (Britomart) via all Busway stations.

What is North Star?

North Star is the name of NZ Bus community bus service which operates on the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast.


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