Over the next few years, Auckland Transport (AT) is moving to a simpler and more integrated public transport network for Auckland. This will deliver a new network of buses and trains that will change the way people travel.
Working to shape our city
With the help of thousands of people who participated in the New Network consultations over the past 3 years, we have re-designed the public transport network across Auckland.
New Network for North Shore
Find out about the new bus network for the North Shore.
New Network for Warkworth
Find out more on the future of public transport for Warkworth and Kowhai Coast.
New Network for the central suburbs
Find out about the new bus network for Auckland's central suburbs.
New Network for East Auckland
The new bus network for East Auckland was launched on 10 December 2017.
New Network for West Auckland
The new bus network for West Auckland was launched on 11 June 2017.
Beachlands Maraetai service changes
Find out about the new bus service in Beachlands and Maraetai.
New Network for South Auckland
New bus services for South Auckland were introduced on 30 October 2016.
New Network for Pukekohe and Waiuku
New bus services for Pukekohe and Waiuku were introduced on 30 October 2016.
New Network for Waiheke
Find out more about the proposed changes to the bus network for Waiheke.
Waitakere Ranges public transport survey
View the results of the public transport survey in the Waitakere Ranges area.
Project status: Implementation
The New Network is the biggest change to happen to the whole of Auckland’s public transport in its history. It fundamentally changes the way bus services operate, providing greater access around Auckland for more people, at more times of the day, more often.
The New Network is based on 3 principles: frequency, connectivity, and simplicity.
Frequency is freedom
The higher the frequency of each route, the more useful it is for passengers.
The New Network aims to increase the frequency on key routes (within available funding) so you can connect between high frequency routes and make journeys to a wide range of destinations without having to plan your connections in advance. This will make it a lot easier to get around at all times of the day.
The key routes in the network are called ‘Frequent’ routes. These routes meet our ‘frequent promise’ - each route runs at least every 15 minutes, 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. These routes also run earlier and later than this, and many will run at a frequency higher than 15 minutes.
A connected network
The New Network is designed to work as a connected network. You can easily transfer between bus and train services without paying an additional fare.
By having fewer routes at higher frequencies, you can still travel to a wide range of destinations, but you will have more options of when to travel. This also makes more efficient use of resources as there is less duplication between services travelling the same routes as train services.
Simplicity and legibility
The current network is complicated and difficult to understand as it tries to connect lots of places with lots of other places. We have bus routes going just about everywhere, but the buses don’t always come often
The New Network is simpler, so you can easily figure out which routes you need to make your journey, rather than sort through a web of possibilities.
Many North American and European cities already use this network model.
Routes that do the same thing, all day, every day, make it easier for people to figure out the bus they need to catch for any journey at any time of the day or week. The New Network aims to have as many routes as possible operate all day, every day, while removing as many occasional and infrequent variations to routes as possible.
We call this the all-day network, with services operating between 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week. People can rely on bus services to be there when they need them, without having to look up a timetable, or being caught out by finding the service only runs twice a day, or doesn’t run on weekends.
Over the top of this all-day network we have added some peak and targeted services that complement the main network, though the first preference is to add or increase frequency/span on an all-day route if possible.
Three reasons for the New Network
- Improve the attractiveness of public transport - so more people use it more often.
- Better use of resources - making buses and trains works together as a single network reduces duplication and provides services where they are needed.
- Provide more service for the same money - by designing the network to operate through connections we can provide more bus trips for the same amount of money.
Contributing to the Auckland Plan
The New Network is one of the key elements in achieving Auckland Council’s Auckland Plan targets for public transport. These targets are:
- Double patronage from 70 million in 2012 to 140 million in 2022.
- Increase the proportion of trips made by public transport to the city centre during morning peak from 47% of vehicular trips in 2011 to 70% in 2020.
- Increase proportion of people living within walking distance of frequent public transport stops from 14% (2011) to 32% by 2040.
With Auckland growing so fast, getting our public transport network ready means there’s lots of changes going on right now. With over 130,000 people using buses each day, this is a massive change. Improved service frequencies, more direct routes, a new fare system, and new bus stations will help make it easier for you to use public transport.
Due to scale of the changes, the New Network is being consultation on and implemented in phases:
- South Auckland - consultation closed August 2013; network launched October 2016.
- Hibiscus Coast - consultation closed August 2014; network launched October 2015.
- Warkworth - consultation closed August 2014; results released September 2015.
- Pukekohe and Waiuku - consultation closed October 2014; network launched October 2016.
- West Auckland - consultation closed December 2014; network launched June 2017.
- East Auckland - consultation closed December 2015; network launched December 2017.
- North Shore - consultation closed July 2015; final decisions released April 2016; implementation mid 2018.
- Central Auckland suburbs - consultation closed December 2015; final decisions released June 2016; implementation mid-late 2018.
- Beachlands and Maraetai - consultation closed November 2015; results released November 2016; new bus route (739) implemented December 2017.
To improve public transport, we needed to make some bold changes. We understand not everyone was in favour of what was proposed, or were aware that consultation took place.
Some of the trade-offs included:
- Replacing some bus services that take you direct from your home to your destination with generally more frequent services, which may require a transfer. While transfers may not be desirable, they are essential to both frequency and simplicity and they also enable access to a much wider set of destinations.
- Some bus stops will no longer be used. As a result some people may need to walk further to access public transport. Some of the factors we consider when removing bus services from a street include low all-day patronage, road layout constraints, access to frequent services, and shortening the routes to make them quicker and more direct.
School bus services
We will be reviewing existing school bus services. Schools will be notified of any changes to allow time for students to plan their new journeys.
The cost of operating the New Network is intended to be the same as the cost of operating the current network, as the AT resources required to operate the network will remain the same or similar, for example, the number of buses needed.
However, we cannot be certain of this until the network is fully implemented.
New infrastructure and upgraded existing facilities will also be needed to allow the New Network to operate efficiently and to improve the customer experience. There is a cost to deliver these improvements beyond current operational resources.
Spacing between bus stops
We are reviewing the spacing between bus stops. A route with many bus stops close together can mean a longer journey and unreliable arrival times. However, a route with fewer bus stops reduces the number of times a bus has to stop and start, allowing buses to reach their destination quicker.
A faster journey also allows for operational improvements to the bus network, such as increased frequency of buses and more consistent journey times
Reorganising bus stops is a balance between spacing bus stops to improve bus running times, while achieving our intention to get as many Aucklanders as possible within 400m of their nearest bus stop.
Park and ride
Key projects laid the foundation
The New Network is the culmination of many projects over recent years.
Investment in double-tracking and new electric trains (completed 2015) has enabled an increase in the frequency of train services and a huge improvement in the comfort, accessibility, and attractiveness of train services.
Trains now run every 10 minutes at peak on most lines, every 20 or 30 minutes outside these times on weekdays, and half-hourly on weekends.
AT HOP card
Introduction of the AT HOP card, completed in 2014, enabled fast and convenient payment of fares on buses, trains, and ferries. For the first time passengers could use a single card on all AT services, simplifying payment.
Building on the introduction of the HOP card, Simpler Fares introduced an integrated fare system across the whole of Auckland. This allows passengers to more easily make journeys that involve multiple trips and connections between different vehicles. And as the name says, it also makes it easier to know what your fare will be, for any trip, anywhere in the city.
Construction of major interchanges and infrastructure, for example, Otahuhu Station (completed in October 2016). Interchanges with quality facilities at key points make connections easier for passengers.
Comprehensive community consultation
Starting in 2013, AT has been conducting comprehensive consultations on the details of the New Network in each area. Public feedback has resulted in changes to make the New Network work better for the community.