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Auckland Transport

Central crosstown bus changes Central crosstown bus changes

Auckland Transport proposed some changes to crosstown bus services that affect the OuterLink and 650 routes.

Project status: Consultation - closed 23 December 2019
Project zone: Central

Project overview

We’ve heard from you that the OuterLink isn’t 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 two 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 can’t make some crosstown journeys as easily as they would like because there is a gap in the frequent bus network along Balmoral Road and Greenlane.

So we are proposing changes to some of the buses that cross Auckland’s central area to address these problems.


  • Improving the reliability of the OuterLink will create an improved service for most people.
  • Increasing the frequency of the 650 to every 15 minutes allowing more people to get to more destinations, more often.


  • 18 November 2019 - feedback on crosstown bus proposals opened.
  • 23 December 2019 - feedback on crosstown bus proposals closed.
  • December 2019 - January 2020 - feedback considered.
  • Early 2020 - Report on public feedback released.
  • Late 2020 - project implementation if proposal is accepted.

Project details

Changes to the OuterLink route

  • Removing the section of the OuterLink route between St Lukes and Newmarket via Balmoral/Mt Eden where there is duplication with other routes to provide better reliability of the remaining section of the route.

Removing the need for buses to wait at Victoria Park.Increasing the frequency of route 650

  • Route 650 will be renamed as route 65 and its frequency will increase to every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week it will also operate later in the evening.There will be no change to the current route.

More buses on Manukau Road route 30

  • Adding more bus trips to Manukau Road at peak times.

New school bus service

New route 640

  • Route 640 will be introduced in May 2020 to assist with journeys when Mt Eden Station temporarily closes to enable construction on the City Rail Link.
  • It will operate between Valley Road shops and Newmarket via Mt Eden Station.
  • We propose to extend route 640 to Kingsland Station via Walters Road, subject to the necessary infrastructure being in place.
  • Download the crosstown bus route 640 map (PDF 296KB).

Proposed bus routes

Map of proposed crosstown bus changes

Download a map of the proposed bus routes (PDF 256KB).

Download a map of the current bus routes (PDF 248KB).

Download a simplified map of the proposed bus routes (PDF 140KB).

What these changes mean

  • Most people will see no change to the way they travel.
  • Some existing customers might need to transfer between buses and/or trains to complete the journeys that they are currently doing.
  • No bus stops will lose bus services and all existing journeys can continue to be made. Even if the changes mean that you need to transfer between two buses, or a bus and train, your journey might be quicker.
  • We are currently exploring options to make transferring between buses on Green Lane East and Manukau Road more convenient.

How these proposed changes would affect your current journey

St Lukes to Mt Eden Village

  • Take the new frequent route 65 from St Lukes to Mt Eden Road and transfer there to any 27 bus that travels along Mt Eden Road.

Mt Eden Village to Manukau Road

  • Take new route 640 to Newmarket and transfer there to the 30 or 309 for Manukau Road
    Use new school bus if you are a student travelling to school.

Epsom to Parnell

  • Take the frequent route 30 or route 309 along Manukau Road and transfer at 277 Broadway to an InnerLink or OuterLink travelling to Parnell.

St Lukes to Newmarket

  • Take new frequent route 65 to Manukau Road and transfer there to the frequent route 30 or route 309 to Newmarket and city.
  • From Morningside Drive take a 22 bus to Morningside Station and transfer to the train to Newmarket.

Mt Eden Village to Dominion Road

  • Take route 640 from Valley Road near Mt Eden Village.

Newmarket to College Hill

  • No change but with a more reliable OuterLink service.

Newmarket to Wellesley Street

  • No change but with a more reliable OuterLink service.

St Lukes to City Centre

  • Take route 22 from Morningside Drive

Westmere or Herne Bay to Wellesley Street and City Universities

  • No change but with a more reliable OuterLink service with faster journey times.

Accessible Resources

Public consultation

We are at the proposal-stage so your feedback was important to help us to make the best decisions.

This project was seeking feedback on only the OuterLink and Route 650.

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.

Feedback closed 23 December 2019

Next steps 

We will:

  1. Consider your feedback and use it to revise the proposal.
  2. Prepare a report by early 2020 that outlines any changes to the proposal and our final decisions. If you provide your contact details, we will notify you when the report is available.
  3. Promote changes, if any are made, on buses, at bus stops, in the Central Leader newspaper, on social media, on the AT Mobile app and journey planner and to registered AT HOP card holders who have opted in to received public transport updates.

If changes are made they would likely be implemented in the second half of 2020.

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport