Auckland Harbour Bridge Situation Report (SitRep) – September 21, 2020: Public Transport is Working in Keeping Auckland Moving

Now Prime Minister where is the cheque for the North Shore Line?

There have been calls to convert some of the general lanes between the City Centre and the Harbour Bridge into bus lanes. NZTA and Auckland Transport have been listening and have obliged – on a temporary basis (for the bus lanes).

From Auckland Transport:

Public transport keeps Aucklanders moving

Buses and ferries kept Aucklanders moving this morning as motorists struggled with the reduced traffic lanes on the Harbour Bridge.

Auckland Transport (AT) says Northern Express buses were running close to time and took advantage of the dedicated busway and bus or transit lanes.

AT’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison says our experts have advised us that on the busway at 7am, the trip from Albany to the city took around 30 minutes. In a car, the same journey was 90 minutes. He says going northbound there were no delays.

“Our joint operations centre with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has been monitoring traffic 24/7 and adjusting traffic signals in real time. We’re looking at making some changes to give buses priority at pinch points like the top of Onewa Rd at Birkenhead.  

“There were no capacity issues or long waits at busway stations or ferry terminals this morning, there were seats available on buses and ferries. 

“It’s great to see the public’s faith in public transport. We’ve seen a lot of familiar faces return to public transport this morning after driving during the COVID crisis, early reports suggest passengers numbers were up 20 to 30 per cent on last Monday.”

The Birkenhead and Devonport ferries were particularly well used up more than 30 per cent. “We realise that not everybody is able to use public transport but for those who did, or made the switch out of their cars, it was the way to go.”

Bus priority lane to North Shore on SH1 before the bridge

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are implementing a bus priority system that will be implemented before evening peak traffic on State Highway 1 northbound to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The priority lane is to reduce congestion for buses to the North Shore and provide more reliable journeys for customers. 

This bus priority system will allow buses to access the SH1 northbound on-ramp at Fanshawe Street via a new priority lane, allowing buses to bypass the queuing traffic.

This priority lane onto the motorway will then merge with the general state highway traffic.

AT suggests customers consider traveling on public transport during off-peak hours, which will also allow them to take advantage of a30 per cent discount. Customers are advised to plan their journey with the AT Mobile app, which now also displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any given time, or use the journey planner on our website. 

If you want to plan a journey on buses, ferries or trains, go to for your best travel options.

AT also reminds customers that a face covering must be worn while on public transport, register your AT HOP card and scan the on-board QR code with the Ministry of Health’s COVID Tracer app.

“Many people and businesses don’t have a lot of choice about how and when they travel, so we appreciate everyone’s ongoing patience and understanding during the disruption,” says Mr Ellison.

For more information visit or Waka Kotahi / NZ Transport Agency’s traffic updates or media release webpages.   

Source: Auckland Transport

Auckland Harbour Bridge. Source: NZTA

Excellent to see NZTA and Auckland Transport move promptly getting the bus lanes set up to allow the buses servicing the North Shore to get through more efficiently. I will say can NZTA and AT please make that move permanent until the North Shore Line is at least completed.

Speaking of the North Shore Line (metro rail between the City Centre and Albany with a branch to Takapuna Metropolitan Centre), when is the Prime Minister and Finance Minister signing the cheque for the North Shore Line please. The faster we can start building this transit line the faster the North Shore won’t feel the pain of we lose the Bridge again for whatever reason.

Transport Movements per hour Source: Dale Bracewell – City of Vancouver
The Northern Busway. Source: Auckland Transport