Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are asking for feedback on a proposal to significantly improve public transport connections to and from Auckland’s northwest.
Project status: Consultation - feedback closed 25 October 2020.
Project zone: Northwest
AT and Waka Kotahi are working together on upgrades that will improve public transport travel time and reliability for the many people who travel by bus to and from northwest Auckland.
The improvements proposed over the next five years include:
- A station at Westgate and interim bus stops at the Lincoln Road and Te Atatū motorway interchanges.
- Upgrading and extending the existing bus shoulder lanes on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).
- Improvements at motorway interchanges to increase priority for buses.
- A review of the bus network to utilise the new bus stops.
Funding for the interim improvements has been granted by the government through the Crown Infrastructure Partners Ltd and planning and design work is underway.
For the long-term (beyond five years), Waka Kotahi are exploring other public transport improvements that will be able to move even more people along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).
- Faster and more reliable bus services. Bus journeys from Westgate to the city are expected to be around 25 minutes quicker.
- Encourage more people to use buses to help reduce congestion and carbon emissions.
- Improved access to job opportunities. Around 170,000 more people in the northwest will be able to get into the city within a 45-minute bus journey.
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 lack of bus interchanges and gaps in bus priority lanes make it difficult to provide an efficient and reliable bus network. This means a large number of people rely heavily on their car.
If bus journeys aren’t improved, congestion will get worse over time and journeys for motorists and bus passengers will take longer.
Early 2020: Planning stage.
Late 2020: Community engagement, detailed design and consents stage.
Mid 2021: Staged construction starts.
2024-2025: All of the interim improvements are completed.
Improvements proposed over the next five years
Proposed interim improvements to public transport in the northwest.
Improved bus priority on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16)
To reduce journey times and provide more reliable services for people travelling by bus, we propose upgrading and extending the existing bus shoulder lanes along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) – as illustrated in the image above.
We also propose improving bus priority at motorway interchanges. No traffic lanes will be removed.
New bus infrastructure
We are investigating a new station at Westgate and interim bus stops at the Lincoln Road and Te Atatū motorway interchanges. Bus stops in these locations will improve connections between local and motorway bus services. It will also mean that 18,500 more people living in the project area will have a bus stop with frequent bus services within 500m from where they live.
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. Existing walking and cycling routes will connect to the new facilities. This will increase the number of people who can easily and safely access the bus stops.
We are also looking into options for secure and covered bike parking areas. We want to create safe and dry places for people to leave their bikes before getting on the bus.
People will be encouraged to use local feeder buses to get to the bus stops. 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.
Westgate: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure
Lincoln Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure
Te Atatū Road: Proposed locations of new bus infrastructure
Renderings of bus infrastructure
Lincoln Road North rendering
Lincoln Road South rendering
Te Atatū Road North rendering
Te Atatū Road South rendering
SH16 causeway rendering
New network for the northwest
Building interim 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 station.
This means we will need to review bus services and routes.
It may mean having to change buses to get to your destination. However, with buses running every few minutes on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16), and connections to more northwest destinations, journeys by public transport will become more convenient and, in many cases, quicker.
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
Proposed all day bus network map
The review of bus services and routes will be a crucial step towards achieving the long-term West Auckland New Network.
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 five years)
Potential future rapid transit network
There are also plans to provide rapid transit to the northwest in the long-term.
Rapid transit is fast, frequent, high capacity public transport separated from general traffic. This means it is unaffected by road congestion – like the Northern Busway on the Northern Motorway (SH1).
The need for better public transport along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) has been identified in several key transport planning documents in recent years, including the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP 2018), Better Travel Choices (2019) and Auckland Plan 2050.
Previous planning work has identified the need for rapid transit to the northwest to:
- Improve access to employment areas.
- Support significant growth in the northwest.
- Help people to get to work, school and social activities.
- Provide an easy and reliable public transport option to and from northwest Auckland.
Implementing rapid transit along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) is a significant project and will take time.
Waka Kotahi is leading the investigations into the long-term improvements which will build upon the changes made as part of this project.
Your feedback is important to us. Your ideas, comments and suggestions will help inform our investigations.
Feedback closed on this proposal on Sunday 25 October.
After feedback closes
Public feedback is one of the factors that Auckland Transport takes into account when making complex decisions.
After we receive your feedback we will:
- Read and analyse all of the feedback provided.
- Create a report on the feedback received which we will publish on the project webpage. If you provide your contact details, we will notify you when the report is available.
- Share your feedback with Waka Kotahi and use it to help shape future transport improvements in the northwest.