Northwestern Bus Improvements Northwestern Bus Improvements

Northwestern Bus Improvements is a joint Auckland Transport (AT) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project to deliver a range of short-term bus improvements over the next 5 years to support growth in the region.

Project status: Construction
Project zone: Northwest

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Latest updates

July 2024

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be installing new covered bike parking at the Lincoln Road Bus Interchange. Work will take place during non-peak traffic hours.

The planned bike-parking shelter will accommodate 12 bike parking spaces, replacing the 3 existing bike stands in the area.

This will allow people using the bus services to get into and out of the city centre easily and effectively. They will be able to bike all the way to the interchange and safely store their bikes for their return trip.  

November 2023

The new bus services launch on the 12 November 2023. Information about the new bus services can be found here.

We also have loaded onto our website the new timetables for the services. We encourage passengers to download the AT wobile App, or to use the online journey planner to plan their routes.

Related projects

The new Northwest bus station is at the heart of the new connected public transport network for Northwest Auckland, connecting bus users to express services to the city centre.

Te Atatu (south) T2 and bus priority lanes will improve the overall operation and safety of bus services for Northwest Auckland. 

With the increased number of travellers, projects like Fred Taylor Drive and Hobsonville Road - Bus Lanes and Other Improvements and will help with the access and safety of our bus services.

Project overview

The Northwestern Bus Improvements project will provide more reliable bus journeys, with improved connections both locally and into the city centre. 

Construction work to provide new bus stops at the Te Atatū and Lincoln Road interchanges, plus improvements to connect and extend the bus shoulders on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16), has been underway since late July 2021. This work will improve journey times, which will encourage more people to take the bus and reduce traffic congestion. We know that 74% of people who gave us feedback during our consultation said that they would be more likely to take the bus with these improvements.

View the public feedback report from the 2020 consultation process. 

The design and resource consenting process for a new Westgate Bus Station is also underway. Construction on the station is expected to begin in early 2024. Interim bus stop infrastructure at Westgate to support the new Western bus services will be provided for by early 2023.

The project aims to:

  • Improve bus connections locally and into the city centre by building new bus stops at Te Atatū and Lincoln Road Interchanges.
  • Provide a more reliable and quicker bus journey into the city centre by extending the bus shoulders on the Northwestern Motorway between Westgate and Newton Road. This will increase bus priority from 13km to almost 20km.
  • Provide a new frequent express bus service using the motorway between Westgate, Lincoln Road, Te Atatu, and the city centre.

The project is being funded in part by the Government to help New Zealand’s economic recovery and create a future pipeline of work. The COVID Response and Recovery Fund has provided $50 million of the $100 million projects to support this work.

Project benefits

  • This project will deliver resilient and reliable bus journeys with improved connections locally and into the city centre.
  • When complete, there will be a bus every 7 - 8 minutes from Westgate to the city centre during peak hours.
  • Improved journey times will encourage more people to take the bus. This will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. 
  • With new bus stops on Te Atatū and Lincoln Road interchanges, people will have easier access to a bus stop with frequent services close to where they live or work. 
  • Improvements to the existing bus shoulders on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) will provide a more reliable journey for people taking the bus into the city centre.

While these improvements offer significant benefits, they are not a long-term solution. There is still a need for a rapid transit solution in this corridor.  Waka Kotahi is exploring rapid transit improvements in the Northwest to move even more people efficiently along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).  Decisions on the mode, sequencing, and project design of the corridor will be made in a way that integrates with other key rapid transit corridors.

Why these improvements are needed 

The northwest is growing. By 2046, it will have 37,000 new houses, 11,000 new jobs, and nearly triple the number of people travelling along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).

People living in the northwest have limited options for travelling to work, study and social activities. The current lack of bus interchanges and gaps in bus shoulders on SH16 makes it difficult to provide an efficient and reliable bus service for people in this area.

WX1 express service

The WX1 will run every 10 minutes between Westgate and the city centre during peak until 7pm. It will then run every 15 minutes until 11.30pm.

There will be bus stops at Lincoln Road and Te Atatū Road motorway interchanges to pick up or drop off passengers.

For those heading into the city centre, after the WX1 leaves the Te Atatū interchange, the next stop will be K Road and on to Queen Street. Heading west, the WX1 leaves from Lower Albert Street and will make stops before getting onto the motorway. From there it will stop at the Te Atatū and Lincoln Road interchanges and ending in Westgate.

During peak travel periods, or other times when there is congestion on the Northwest motorway, the WX1 will use the bus lane located on the motorway shoulder.

Infographic showing the stages of the NX1 express service
WX1 map

Local services

Bus customers will be able to catch local services from north or south of the motorway that will take them directly to the bus stops on the interchange. There will be a new timetable and bus services come into operation to tie in with the start of the WX1.

These new services will be a change from the way people in the west have used public transport, especially when commuting. The new bus network will require people to transfer services, however the benefit of this is a reduction in the overall journey time for many customers.

The local bus services will be supported by the introduction of bus lanes along the roads leading toward the interchanges.

Western express bus services will start once construction is completed in late 2023. 

Bus stops at the interchanges

Lincoln Road north flyover

Lincoln Road south flyover

Te Atatū Road north flyover

Te Atatū Road south flyover

Construction locations and timeline 

Construction for the Northwestern Bus Improvements project began in late July-2021. The four main worksites are:

  • The Lincoln Road interchange
  • The Te Atatū Road motorway interchange
  • The Northwestern motorway (SH16)
  • The new bus station on Gunton Drive

The works have been completed on the first three sites between July 2021 and November 2023. 

The new bus station on Gunton Drive is in the design phase, and more information about this project can be found here

Frequently asked questions

Where will the new bus stops be located?

There will bus stops located on the interchanges at Lincoln Road and Te Atatū to allow local bus services to connect to the express services along the motorway. 

Why do we need new bus stops on the interchanges?

The northwest is growing. By 2046, it is expected to have 37,000 new houses, 11,000 new jobs and nearly triple the number of people travelling along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16). The Northwestern Bus Improvements project (NWBI) will provide more frequent express bus services along the Northwestern Motorway between the city centre and Westgate. The bus stops on Te Atatū and Lincoln Road interchanges will allow the express services to quickly and easily exit and re-enter the motorway using the on and off-ramps. Passengers can transfer to local bus services that will have bus stops located close to the express bus stops. At least 4,000 passengers are expected to use the express services each day. Predicted residential and employment growth in this area supports the need for more public transport options in the Northwest.

Will there be park and ride facilities?

Park and ride facilities are not being considered as part of the NWBI project. Providing a park and ride in this already heavily congested area is likely to increase private vehicle trips, encourage more cars on the road and worsen local road issues. Additionally, building a park and ride facilities would be very expensive due to the high cost and limited availability of land around the Westgate, Lincoln Road and Te Atatū interchanges.

How can I get to and from the new bus stops if there is no park and ride?

The roll out of a new bus timetable will provide more local bus feeder services and improved routes to make it easier for customers to access the express services. When the bus stops on the interchanges open in 2023, there will be further service changes which will re-route and improve bus services to the new station. This means that the residential and commercial centres from the western suburbs will become more accessible via local feeder services and improved express services.


Project details

Improvements proposed over the next five years

Improved Bus Priority

Improved bus priority on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16)

The existing bus shoulders will be extended on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) between Westgate and Newton Road to fill the gaps and provide a more reliable journey for people taking the bus into the city centre.

New bus infrastructure

The bus stops will include weather protected, high-quality shelters. Other features include passenger information displays and CCTV cameras that operate at all times. Good lighting will be provided to enhance safety.  

People can use local feeder buses to get to the new interchange bus stops where they can connect to express services travelling into the city using the extended bus shoulder lanes.  

Locations for park and ride facilities in the northwest will be considered as part of the long-term investigations, in alignment with Auckland Transport’s parking strategy, but will not be delivered as part of the current project. 

Westgate: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

The detailed design and resource consenting process for the new Westgate bus station will be undertaken during the next phase of this project and is expected to begin at the end of the year, with construction starting in 2023.

Lincoln Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

Lincoln Road Interchange

Te Atatū Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure

Te Atatu Road Interchange

Renderings of bus infrastructure

What to expect 

Work will be carefully planned and staggered over the construction period to ensure the safety of work crews, drivers and the community. 

All efforts will be made to minimise disruption; however, people are advised to expect delays and plan ahead.   

All work will be carried out within the existing corridor and no private land is required for work at Lincoln Road, Te Atatū Road and along the SH16 motorway corridor. 

Construction - Lincoln Road   

In preparation for the new bus interchange on Lincoln Road, a new roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Lincoln Road/Selwood Road/The Concourse, designed to accommodate double-decker buses as well as the large trucks which use The Concourse and Selwood Road.  

The work will include installing a central island with a mountable collar, reshaping the existing raised median island on Lincoln Road and constructing new traffic islands on The Concourse and Selwood Road.  

Construction is expected to begin in late early September and may require some full or partial closure of the intersection at times to enable construction activity to occur safely.   

Advance warning of any closure or restrictions will be provided to businesses on The Concourse and Selwood Road and we will work to time any closures to avoid peak traffic periods where possible.  

Construction - Te Atatū Road North –Titoki Street - raised pedestrian crossing (August 2021) 

Construction work will include new kerbs, berms and footpaths to narrow the entry to Titoki Street.  A new raised pedestrian crossing with upgraded lighting and signage will be installed to make it easier and safer for people on foot. 

Titoki Street will be temporarily closed at the intersection with Te Atatū Road to enable the construction of the raised concrete pedestrian crossing,  

When the work is complete, two traffic lanes will still exist, allowing you to drive into and out of Titoki Street at Te Atatū Road. 

At a later stage in the construction programme, the indented bus stop outside 378 and 380 Te Atatū Road will be extended to accommodate two buses with a new bus shelter.

New network for the northwest

Building bus stops at Westgate and the Lincoln Road and Te Atatū motorway interchanges will enable a high-frequency express bus service using the motorway to connect with local feeder services operating to each stop. 

This means we will need to review bus services and routes.  

It may mean having to change buses to get to your destination but with buses running about every 7-8 minutes throughout the whole day on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16), it will mean you can travel more often to more northwest destinations. Buses on the motorway will also have quicker journeys thanks to upgraded and extended bus shoulder lanes. 

In the near future, we will provide more information on the proposed changes to the existing network. 

The proposed improvements to the bus network are detailed in the maps below. 

Current all-day bus network map

The proposed improvements to the bus network are detailed in the maps below.

Current all-day bus network map

Current all day bus network map

Proposed all-day bus network map

Proposed all day bus network map

In 2014, we undertook public engagement on the Public Transport New Network proposals for West Auckland. In 2017, Auckland Transport implemented as many improvements to the bus services as possible with the limited bus infrastructure in place.  

Long-term plans (beyond 5 years) for rapid transit to the Northwest are being investigated by Waka Kotahi, which will build on these short-term improvements.  

Read more information on how we have used the feedback provided during the 2014 network review.

Public feedback

The feedback period for this project closed on this proposal on Sunday 25 October 2020. You can read the feedback report below.  

Feedback report: Download the public feedback report (PDF 1.5MB)

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport