Auckland Development Committee Talks Bus-Way

Lets have a chat about the North Western Busway


Amongst other things the Auckland Development Committee is talking about the North Western Bus Way.

From the Auckland Development Committee Agenda

Northwestern Busway investigation update

Northwestern Busway investigation update


  1. The purpose of this report is to update the Auckland Development Committee on planning for a future busway along State Highway 16 (SH16).

Executive summary

  1. The Auckland Plan anticipates significant growth in the northwest part of Auckland in the next 30 years.  80,000 new dwellings and 60,000 new jobs are expected by 2041.  This scale of residential and employment growth will put pressure on the transport system and considerable investment will be required to provide a high quality, reliable public transport network in the area.
  2. Recent patronage modelling, which includes Auckland Plan growth scenarios, indicates that the demand for bus services in Northwest Auckland will triple in the coming decades to a level that warrants a full busway from Westgate to the city centre along SH16. The busway would provide rapid transit to a different catchment than that served by the Western Railway Line.
  3. Auckland Transport’s Integrated Transport Programme (ITP) identifies the Northwestern Busway as a second decade project (2021-2031), although it is recognised that changes in development and growth rates may require the project to be brought forward.  Faster than expected growth is also occurring in northwest Auckland from initiatives such as Special Housing Areas.
  4. Further analysis, investigation and evidence are required to enable the protection of a route.  At this stage, analysis has been undertaken at a strategic level only to establish the need for a transport intervention and the appropriateness of a busway.
  5. It is important that the busway route is protected as soon as practicable, as the increasing growth in the area is not only placing the transport system under greater stress, but it may also encroach upon the land adjacent to the SH16 motorway corridor that may be required for the busway.

That the Auckland Development Committee:

  1. note the need for investment in public transport improvements to support the considerable development expected for northwest Auckland.
  2. note that NZTA has committed to short term public transport improvements along SH16 in the form of shoulder bus lanes between Waterview and Westgate as part of the Western Ring Route project.
  3. support the main objective of the Northwestern Busway to enable frequent, high-speed, high-capacity and high-quality public transport services from the Northwest growth area to the city centre.
  4. support ongoing work between Auckland Transport and NZTA to develop a strategy to secure route protection for the Northwestern Busway.


In short the Auckland Development Committee has done two things:

  1. Acknowledged the need for a bus way owing to growth and urban development forecasts out in the North-West
  2. Begin the long processes in getting the North Western Bus way built (by about 2025 at this rate) with an interim solution of shoulder bus lanes on the North Western Motorway post 2017 until the bus-way is built.


Look the bus way will happen just as the Northern Bus Way happened last decade (and that took time while due for an extension too) and it is good to see the motions getting under way. The downside is always timing and hoping like anything urban development up in the North West does not accelerate too far ahead of public transport investment.

North West Bus Way Prelude
North West Bus Way Prelude

The timetable intentions for the North Western Bus-Way


The project comes in at $376 million and would be joint funded by NZTA and Auckland Transport (NZTA as the bus way sits along a State Highway corridor). As the Bus Way is a distance from the existing Western Rail Line (as the agenda paper notes) the bus way serves its own unique catchment such as Westgate, Hobsonville, Te Atatu North and South. A current 45 minute trip by car along the motorway should drop by if you take the bus using the busway so there is incentives to use it (amongst others).

How Council would fund their share of the bus-way is yet to be seen in light of the cuts coming through the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan Draft discussions at the moment.

One thing is for sure though if and when the North West does fully develop the bus way will be needed unless you plan to sit on the motorway for an hour not going very far.


We shall see how the Committee handles the debate around the bus way on Thursday


Auckland Development Committee – September Agenda 2014