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Auckland Transport

Airport to Botany Rapid Transit Airport to Botany Rapid Transit

Auckland Transport is working on delivering a fast, frequent and reliable rapid transit system between Auckland Airport, Manukau and Botany. The project forms part of the Southwest Gateway programme.


Project status: Consultation - open until Sunday 8 December, 7pm.
Project zone: South-West/East


Project overview

The Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project will deliver a new rapid public transport link between the airport, Manukau and Botany, which will improve accessibility in the southern and eastern areas of Auckland and provide an important link in the rapid transit network, with connections to the rail network at Puhinui and Manukau stations, the Eastern Busway at Botany Interchange and light rail at the Airport.

Airport to Botany will significantly improve transport choice, reliability, and journey times in the south and east of Auckland. A good public transport network helps cities evolve by providing better connections and improved accessibility. Reliable, affordable and efficient public transport has major economic, social and environmental benefits.

Airport to Botany Rapid Transit is one of three projects in the Southwest Gateway programme. Auckland Transport, the NZ Transport Agency, and Auckland Airport are working together on the Southwest Gateway programme to improve access and allow for future growth in south and east Auckland.

Read more about the Southwest Gateway programme.

Artists impression of Airport to Botany - Te Irirangi Drive Station
Artist's impression of Airport to Botany - Te Irirangi Drive Station.

Project benefits

The Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project will improve access between the southern and eastern areas of Auckland by providing a fast, frequent and reliable rapid transit system that will:

  • significantly improve travel choices, reliability and journey times for people in south and east Auckland, with a reliable 35-40 minute journey time between Auckland Airport and Botany
  • improve access to major employment centres, including Auckland Airport and Manukau
  • provide an important connection in the rapid transit network, connecting to the rail network at Puhinui station and Manukau, the Eastern Busway at a new Botany Station and light rail at Auckland Airport, allowing for better connections to New Zealand's gateway airport
  • support growth opportunities along the route - as well as for the wider south and east Auckland area
  • improve walking and cycling connections between Auckland Airport, Puhinui Station, Manukau and Botany.

Project details

The Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project will be delivered in stages. Planning for the implementation of rapid transit between the Airport and Botany is currently underway, with route protection and further public engagement to begin in 2020. Auckland Transport, in collaboration with the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Airport, are also seeking to complete early deliverables by 2020/2021 to provide more immediate benefits to people accessing the airport area.

The long-term objectives of this project are to:

  • achieve a reliable 36-40 minute journey between Auckland Airport, Manukau and Botany with an 18km congestion-free rapid transit corridor
  • provide 12km of new walking and cycling facilities between SH20B and Botany
  • provide a rapid public transport link to the city centre as well as south and east Auckland via Puhinui bus/rail interchange
  • support growth opportunities at key locations along the route, particularly in the airport area, Manukau and Botany
  • improve access to major employment areas in south and east Auckland.

Project stages

Stage 1: Early improvements by 2020/2021

The first stage of the Southwest Gateway programme is already underway, with Puhinui Station being upgraded to provide a high-quality interchange to allow for easy connections between bus and train.

Other early improvements include bus priority lanes, new and upgraded intersections and improved walking and cycling connections along State Highway 20B, Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive that will integrate with improved transport facilities in the airport precinct.

The priority lanes will allow for a new, frequent AirportLink bus service between the airport, Puhinui Station Interchange and Manukau, which will replace the southern section of the existing 380 bus service. The Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive improvements are to be implemented in 2020, and more detail on these changes is provided below.

A new route 36 bus service will link local town centres between Onehunga and Manukau, via Papatoetoe.

By 2020/2021, these early improvements will provide the following benefits:

  • A 10-12 minute bus journey between the airport and Puhinui Station Interchange.
  • More reliable and timely travel choices around south and east Auckland.
  • New Puhinui station facilities, providing better safety and an improved travel experience.
  • Faster and easier connections to the southern and eastern train lines.
  • Improved access to employment areas in Manukau and the airport.
  • Progress towards long-term transport, social and economic outcomes.

Map of Stage 1 early improvements
Map of proposed early deliverables.

Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive Improvements

A new AirportLink bus service will connect the airport, Puhinui Station Interchange and Manukau via Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive. It will travel along new bus lanes that are proposed to operate during peak hours to ensure fast, reliable journey times. As a result, some on-street parking will not be available during peak hours. Auckland Transport is proposing bus priority lanes along Lambie Drive/Puhinui Road, from 6am to 10am and 3pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Most existing bus stops on the route will be upgraded with new shelters. Two new bus stops will be provided between Wyllie Road and Noel Burnside Road.

Existing pedestrian crossings will be upgraded and signalised to improve safety and access to shops, schools and parks. A new roundabout will be provided at the Puhinui Station Interchange to improve access to the station.

A shared walking and cycling path will be provided on the north side of Puhinui Road between SH20 and Puhinui Station Interchange as well as a protected cycleway along Lambie Drive. A 1.2km section of on-road cycle lanes will be removed east of the Puhinui Station Interchange between Clendon Avenue and Cavendish Drive. The existing footpath between Ranfurly Road and Puhinui school will be upgraded.

Some trees will be removed from Puhinui Road and will be replaced by new trees on nearby side roads.

The proposed bus lanes and walking and cycling facilities will connect with the improvements planned along State Highway 20B to create a direct link to the airport.

Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive Parking Changes (PDF 179KB).


Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive Improvements.

Stage 2: Deliverables from 2021 onwards

In the long term the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit programme will deliver a new rapid transit system between the Airport and Botany. Future deliverables include:

  • route protection for the new rapid transit facility
  • further public engagement around wider programme
  • staged delivery of the rapid transit facility and services between the Airport and Botany

The preferred route for the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project will travel from Auckland Airport, along State Highway 20B and Puhinui Road to the upgraded Puhinui Station Interchange. From here, the rapid transit corridor travels along Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive and through the Manukau Centre via Manukau Station Road, Davies Avenue and Ronwood Avenue. It then travels via Great South Road and Te Irirangi Drive to a new high-quality interchange at Botany, where it will connect with the Eastern Busway.

New major station interchanges will be implemented in Manukau and Botany to support the new rapid transit line, as well as rapid transit stations along the route.

Download the Puhinui Road and Lambie Drive consultation plans (PDF 4.4MB).

Rapid transit stations

Stations will provide connections to local bus services, and will be located near town centres, employment hubs and residential areas.

Manukau centre

Two new rapid transit stations in Manukau will improve access to planned town centre developments, offices, housing and schools, encouraging economic growth and urban regeneration.

Botany station

A high-quality station will provide easy transfers between local buses and rapid transit services. It will be built as part of the Eastern Busway project.

Airport to Botany Rapid Transit route


Public engagement

The Southwest Gateway Programme consists of three connected transport projects that will provide greater choice and reliability for travel around south and east Auckland, including to and from the airport.

In November and December 2018, the Southwest Gateway project teams held nine community
engagement events updating the local community on progress, next steps and listened to feedback.

In addition, we met with local government, Mana Whenua and key interest groups.
Overall, feedback has been positive with support for investment in public transport and
walking and cycling, as well as improving safety on local loads and state highways.

Here's a snapshot of what we heard.

Southwest Gateway Programme one page engagement summary (PDF 434KB).

Southwest Gateway Programme Report (PDF 11.4MB, 81 pages).


Southwest Gateway programme


The Southwest Gateway is a programme of three key transport projects to create a well-connected, efficient system that will provide choice and reliability for how people and freight travel around the southwest and southeast Auckland, including to and from the airport.

The NZ Transport Agency. Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport will deliver the works to connect communities and support population, business and airport growth.

We need to move more people more efficiently by providing better public transport and walking and cycling facilities and improving safety and the efficiency of freight. This will improve access to jobs, education and social opportunities, support economic prosperity and provide health, cultural and environmental benefits.

Three projects of the Southwest Gateway programme

  1. Airport to Botany rapid transit
    A rapid transit project led by Auckland Transport to improve southern and eastern access between Auckland Airport, Manukau and Botany.
  2. 20Connect
    A state highway project led by NZ Transport Agency to improve access and customer journey experiences to and from the airport and surrounding area on the state highway network. The improvements may include technology to better manage the network, roading improvements and providing more transport choices.

    Find out more about 20Connect on the NZ Transport Agency website
  3. Auckland Airport precinct developments
    The airport area will undergo a dramatic transformation over the next 30 years led by Auckland Airport, to provide a seamless experience for airport customers by improving public transport and pedestrian and cycle access.

    Find out more about the Auckland Airport precinct developments on the Auckland Airport website

Southwest Gateway project map

Southwest Gateway section of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit map


Have your say

We want your feedback on the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project.

Your feedback will give us a better understanding of your needs and any improvements that can be made to the proposal. We will use it, along with other factors such as funding, safety and strategic direction to help refine our plans.

Have your say on the Southwest Gateway programme

Download the freepost feedback form (PDF 64KB).

Community Open Days

Come along to an open day to view information about the overall programme and proposed improvements, talk to the Southwest Gateway team, and have your say. The open days are being held at the following times and locations:

  • Saturday 23 November, 9am to 6pm - Westfield, Cnr Great South Road &, Manukau Station Road, Manukau
  • Sunday 24 November, 10am to 5:30pm - Westfield, Gnr Great South Road & Manukau Station Road, Manukau
  • Wednesday 27 November, 3pm to 7pm - New World, 65 St George Street, Papatoetoe
  • Saturday 30 November, 7am to 12pm - Otara Markets, 46 Fair Mall, Otara
  • Wednesday 4 December, 9:30am to 1:30pm - Papakura Library, 209 Great South Road, Papakura
  • Thursday 5 December, 3pm to 7pm - Countdown, Cnr Te Irirangi Drive & Ti Rakau Drive, Botany Downs
  • Friday 6 December, 5pm to 7pm - Tupu Youth Library 102 Dawson Road, Otara
  • Saturday 7 December, 9am to 3pm - Kāinga Ora, 12 Waddon Place, Mangere

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport