How to use bus & transit lanes How to use bus & transit lanes

Bus and transit lanes help to keep Auckland moving, they reduce congestion and speed up travel times by separating buses and vehicles with more than one occupant. Learn how to use them to avoid receiving a $150 infringement.

The Lowdown on Bus Lanes

The Lowdown on Transit Lanes

Rules for using bus and T2 or T3 transit lanes

General rules

  • Vehicles must not stop or park in any bus or transit lane unless they are permitted to use the lane or the vehicle is an emergency vehicle that is being used in an emergency and is operating its beacons, for example, an ambulance, police car or fire engine.
  • Do not turn left out of a junction into a transit lane and travel for longer than 50 metres. Wait for a break in traffic on the all user lane before turning left.

Bus lanes

  • Only for use by buses, bikes, motorbikes and mopeds during the restriction times, except for motorways, including the Northern Busway, which are for buses only.
  • Vehicles are not allowed on a bus lane during active periods.

Bus Only Lanes

  • Bus only lanes are for the movement of Buses (and emergency vehicles) only. Bus Only lanes may have restriction times, if no restriction times are posted, Bus Only is 24 / 7.
  • Where bus only lanes are on motorway shoulders, vehicles can use the lane to stop in emergency situations.

T2 or T3 transit lanes 

Reserved for the use of these vehicles (unless specifically excluded by signage):

  • Motor vehicles carrying not less than the number of people (including the driver) specified on the sign - T2 is for any vehicle that has 2 or more occupants and T3 is for any vehicle that has 3 or more people.
  • Passenger service vehicles, including taxis, regardless of whether or not they are carrying passengers.
  • Bicycles.
  • Motorbikes.
  • Mopeds.

Lane operating times

Bus and transit lane hours of operation are displayed on road signs.

  • If operating times are not specified on road signage, a lane operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If operating times are specified, the lane operates as a normal lane (no restrictions) outside those specified times.
  • If you are unsure if you can use the lane, it is best to stay out of the bus or transit lanes and travel in the regular traffic lane.

Standard operating times

With a few exceptions, the standard operating times are:

  • Auckland city centre many lanes operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • North Shore Transit Lanes operate 6.30am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm.
  • Elsewhere lanes operate 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm.

Grafton Bridge

  • Operates 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.
  • It operates these times citybound and outbound.
  • These operating times apply year round, including public holidays.
  • During these operating times the bridge is closed to traffic other than buses, cyclists, motorcyclists and emergency services.
  • All other times the bridge is open to general traffic.

Broadway and Khyber Pass Road

  • The existing bus lanes are monitored between 7am and 7pm for weekdays and weekends using CCTV traffic and safety cameras.

Albany Highway, outside Albany Senior Highschool

  • The lanes are monitored between 7am to 10am and 3pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

What the bus and transit lanes look like

Waterfront Transit Lane

Bus lanes

  • Marked on the road with a green-coloured section at the beginning and end of the lane, and sometimes sections in between.
  • Roadside signage identifies the lane and its hours of operation.

Transit lanes

  • Marked on the road with a red hexagonal shape with T2 or T3 painted in white.
  • Roadside signage every 100 metres identifies the lane and its hours of operation.

Legislation and enforcement

Auckland Transport operates bus and transit lanes in full compliance with national legislation and associated bylaw provision. The bylaws from the legacy councils are carried through to Auckland Transport within the provision of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.

Lanes are regularly monitored by traffic enforcement officers and fixed transport cameras. An infringement notice will be issued to those vehicles not complying with the conditions of the lane.

The infringement fee for non-compliance is $150.

Incorrect use of the lane includes:

  • Entering the bus lane at a distance greater than 50 metres before turning.
  • Parking in the lane during bus lane operating hours (refer to road signs for times).

Find out more about vehicle infringements.

Rules for motorcyclists

People riding motorbikes and scooters are allowed to use bus and transit lanes, with the exception of 'Bus only' lanes. 

You may go at the traffic lights on a white "B" signal, but only in the direction allowed by the lane and not if the red arrow light is lit for the direction you are travelling. Be sure not to ride in 'Bus only' or cycle lanes as you may face a $150 infringement.

For safety tips, read our information about motorcycle safety and information about scooter safety.

Media updates

28 January 2021

From Monday 8 February 2021, Auckland Transport (AT) will begin remote monitoring the existing transit (T2) lane (north-bound) outside Albany Senior High School on Albany Highway.

Read the media release.


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