Central crosstown bus changes Central crosstown bus changes

Auckland Transport is making changes to central isthmus crosstown bus services including the OuterLink, 64 and 650 routes.

Date of the changes: late 2024

Project overview

We’ve heard from you that the OuterLink is not working as well as it should. It’s not reliable, and buses are catching up to each other along the route, meaning you sometimes wait a long time for a bus and then 2 turn up at once. It’s not meeting its frequent promise of a bus every 12 to 15 minutes.

Circular routes such as the OuterLink are problematic, as they are required to wait in order to adhere to the timetable. This often happens while passengers are on board, which offers a poor journey experience.

And we know that people are unable to make some crosstown journeys as easily as they would like to, because of a gap in the frequent bus network along Balmoral Road and Greenlane.

To address these problems, we're making changes to some of the buses that cross Auckland’s central area. 

Public consultation on these changes took place in 2019. See Background on the changes for information on the consultation and the feedback that helped inform the design.


  • Improving the reliability of the OuterLink will create an improved service for the majority of current users and make it more useful.
  • Increasing the frequency of the 650 bus to every 15 minutes will allow more people to get to more destinations, more often.

Project details

Changes to the OuterLink and Route 101

To improve the reliability of the OuterLink route, we are removing the section between St Lukes and Newmarket via Balmoral/Mount Eden, which duplicates other routes. This will improve the customer experience for those travelling between Mount Albert, Point Chevalier, St Lukes, Westmere, Herne Bay, City Centre, Parnell and Newmarket.

For a quicker trip to and from the City Centre, we are removing a short section at the western end of Jervois Road, between Herne Bay Road and West End Road. The OuterLink and Route 101 will no longer use the bus stop at 219 Herne Bay Road, though school bus services will continue to use this stop.

For buses towards the City Centre, the next nearest stop is at 203 Herne Bay Road. For buses away from the City Centre, use the stop at 270 Herne Bay Road. 

These changes mean that buses will no longer have to wait at Victoria Park or Albert Park, nor will customers need to change buses at Victoria Park to quickly get to and from the City Centre.

Download the OuterLink route map (PDF 1.3MB)

Download the Route 101 map (PDF 1.2MB)

Extending Route 64 to St Lukes

Route 64 will extend from Kingsland Station to St Lukes via Sandringham Road. This will create a new connection between St Lukes, Mount Eden and Newmarket. It will travel in both directions on Walters Avenue and will no longer travel on Onslow Road.

To provide a crosstown connection in the area, Route 64 will continue to connect Kingsland Station to St Lukes until Maungawhau Station opens. Once Maungawhau Station is open, we will monitor the service to determine whether the route needs review.

The fare on Route 64 will remain at $0.01 until Maungawhau Station opens.

Download the Route 64 map (PDF 1.6MB)

Increasing the frequency of Route 650

Route 650 will be renamed Route 65, and its frequency will increase to every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week. It will also operate later in the evening.

The route will change slightly at the Point Chevalier end, now circulating Walker Park in an anticlockwise direction.

All trips will start and finish at Walker Park. Selected trips will also go to Selwyn Village, like Route 650 currently does.

Download the Route 65 map (JPG 1.2 MB)

New school bus service for Manukau Road schools

A new school bus service, Route S513, will be added to transport students from Mount Eden to Epsom schools (St Cuthberts College, Diocesan School for Girls and Epsom Girls Grammar). It will travel between St Lukes and Epsom schools via Dominion Road, Mount Eden Village and Mount Eden Road, following the existing OuterLink route.

Download the S513 route map (PDF 1.5MB)

What these changes mean

Most people will see no change in the way they currently travel, though some may need to transfer between buses or trains to complete their normal journey.

The new services will be more reliable and, in some cases, run more often.

How the changes may affect your current journey

St Lukes to Mount Eden Village

Take the frequent Route 64 from St Lukes to Valley Road, near Mount Eden Village.

Mount Eden Village to Manukau Road

  • Take Route 64 to Newmarket then transfer to Route 30 or 309 for Manukau Road.
  • Use Route S513 if you are a student travelling to an Epsom school near Manukau Road.

Epsom to St Lukes

  • Take Route 30 or 309 to Newmarket then transfer to Route 64.
  • Take Route 30 or 309 to Green Lane West then transfer to the frequent Route 65.

Epsom to Parnell

Take the frequent Route 30 or 309 along Manukau Road then transfer at 277 Broadway to an InnerLink or OuterLink bus travelling to Parnell.

St Lukes to Newmarket

Take new Route 64.

Mount Eden Village to Dominion Road

Take Route 64 from Valley Road, near Mount Eden Village.

Newmarket to Parnell, city universities and Wellesley Street

Customers on this route can continue as normal, though the improved OuterLink service will be more reliable. 

St Lukes to City Centre

  • Take the OuterLink via Point Chevalier.
  • Take Route 22 from Morningside Drive.

Westmere, Point Chevalier and Herne Bay to Wellesley Street and city universities

Customers on this route can continue as normal, though the improved OuterLink service will be more reliable and offer shorter journey times.

Background on the changes

In 2019, AT consulted on changes to central crosstown bus services that included the OuterLink and Route 650.

The changes that AT proposed would change the OuterLink route so that it would only run from St Lukes to Newmarket via the city centre. Most of the southern half of the current loop would be replaced by improvements to the current 650 and the introduction of a new 64 bus service.

The consultation ran from 18 November to 23 December 2019 and received 1,186 feedback responses. These responses provided AT with a range of different views and themes. The key messages received were:

  • 39% said they didn’t want to take more than one bus to complete their journey.
  • 20% said they liked the promise of a more reliable OuterLink service.
  • 10% said they liked the increased frequency on Route 650.
  • 5% said they would need to walk further if the proposed changes were made.

Following the consultation in 2019, AT paused the project for the following reasons:

  1. We needed more time to further understand the impacts of the closure and construction of Maungawhau (Mount Eden) Station. We also needed to monitor the effect of the new 64 bus service on travel patterns.
  2. We needed to consider what improvements could be made to bus stop infrastructure at key transfer locations to make it easier and safer to change from one bus to another.
  3. A lot of change was already happening in the area, with Maungawhau (Mount Eden) Station closing and the COVID 19 pandemic. We didn’t want to overwhelm the Mount Eden area with too many changes to public transport services in such a short space of time.

AT now has a new plan that addresses many of the concerns raised at consultation.

Main differences between the 2019 and 2023 proposals

  • Route 64 is now in place and has been operating for 4 years.
  • There are now bus stops for Route 64 on Valley Road, nearer to Mount Eden Village.
  • Route 64 will be extended to St Lukes and will no longer run on Onslow Road but in both directions on Walters Road instead.
  • The OuterLink will no longer travel on Jervois Road west of West End Road.

Download the 2019 Central Crosstown bus changes consultation report (PDF 1.9MB, 32 pages).

Download the Central Crosstown Bus Services Consultation brochure (PDF 639KB)

Bus stop and street changes

The following bus stop and street changes are required to facilitate these changes.

Cornwallis Street, St Lukes layover

Engagement start date: 17 June 2024

We aim to create a place for buses and bus drivers to wait between trips. This will require the removal of 11 on-street parking spaces for tracking and 10 for bus parking. This will leave 16 on-street parking spaces and 27 off-street parking spaces in Warren Freer Park.


  • Bus drivers will have a safe place to wait between trips, following the introduction of the changes.
  • The changes will allow for more reliable bus services in the area.
  • Buses will not have to wait outside residential homes.

We are engaging on how the changes will affect bus users and the wider community.

Walters Road, Mount Eden bus stops

Consultation start date: TBD

For the Route 64 bus service, we will create 2 new bus stops near Kingsland Station. This will require the removal of 4 on-street parking spaces on Walters Avenue and 4 on Sandringham Road.


  • Customers will be able to get on and off Route 64 buses safely.
  • The route connects with Kingsland Station and Kowhai Intermediate School.
  • The new stops are not immediately outside residential homes.

We are engaging on how the changes will affect bus users and the wider community.

Walker Park, Point Chevalier layover and bus stops

Consultation start date: TBD

We will create 2 new bus stops and a bus waiting space near Walker Park. This will require the removal of on-street parking spaces on Walker Road and Target Street.

We will also remove bus stops on the other side of the road, as Route 65 will change from clockwise around Walker Park to an anti-clockwise direction.


Customers will be able to get on and off Route 65 buses safely.

We are engaging on how the changes will affect bus users and the wider community.

Contact us

For more information on this project, contact Auckland Transport