New E Buses for East Auckland, and will go nicely with the $1.4b Eastern Busway

E Buses and Busways make very nice combination

Two sets of wins for East Auckland (the Howick Ward) over the week with the announcement of an Alliance who will oversee the delivery of the $1.4b Eastern Busway, and E Buses being rolled out into East Auckland as well.

Starting with the Eastern Busway:

Auckland Transport builds momentum on $1.4b Eastern Busway

Four world-class organisations have been selected to form an Auckland Transport-led alliance to design, consent and build the completion stages of the Eastern Busway project.

The project connects Pakuranga and Botany town centres and Mayor Phil Goff is pleased to see the project progressing at pace.

“Signing up Fletcher, Acciona, AECOM and Jacobs to form an alliance is a significant milestone for Auckland. This is a game-changing project for Auckland.  The formation of an alliance is a major step towards delivering rapid transit and improved travel options for people in our eastern and southern suburbs,” says Mayor Goff. 

“Following the enormous success of the Northern Busway, the Eastern Busway is expected to carry more than 30,000 people per day between the rapidly growing south-eastern suburbs and the rail network in Panmure. This project will make journeys faster and more convenient, reducing travel time between Botany and Britomart.  It will also help reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.”

The alliance delivery model, which is a first for Auckland Transport, requires the partners to work closely together and draw on local and international expertise. 

“The organisations have entered into an interim project alliance agreement phase to start critical design and consenting work, before progressing towards construction expected to start in 2022,” says Auckland Transport Chief Executive Shane Ellison. 

“The alliance partners have a proven track record in delivering major local and international infrastructure projects using this model, including Auckland’s Waterview Connection, the SH16 Causeway Upgrade and Brisbane’s Eastern Busway.” 

The remaining stages of the Eastern Busway will extend the rapid transit, high frequency busway currently under construction between Panmure and Pakuranga, through to a new station in Botany Town Centre. 

The project will include new walking and cycling connections, placemaking, urban renewal initiatives and improvements for general traffic. The project is due to be complete in 2025 – subject to consent approvals.

“Customers will be able travel between Botany and Britomart by bus and train in less than 40 minutes, which is 20 minutes quicker than the current journey times,” says Mr Ellison.

Project Alliance Board Chair Dean Kimpton says the alliance partners are excited to be part of a project that will contribute wide-reaching social and economic benefits to the Auckland region.

“The next stages of the project are expected to generate hundreds of jobs in the short-term and provide work for thousands of people and dozens of businesses in the supply and construction sector,” Mr Kimpton says.

–  ENDS 

Fun Facts on the Eastern Busway:

The Eastern Busway project is being delivered in four stages:

  • Panmure to Pakuranga (Stage 1) – currently under construction
  • Pakuranga Town Centre (Stage 2)
  • Pakuranga to Botany (Stage 3)
  • Botany Town Centre Station (Stage 4)

Key features to be implemented (Stages 1 to 4):

  • New signalised intersection in Panmure
  • 7km busway between Panmure and Botany
  • New and enhanced walking and cycling connections
  • Three new stations in Panmure, Pakuranga and Botany
  • Two new bridges across Tāmaki River and Pakuranga Creek
  • A grade separated road between Pakuranga Road and South Eastern Highway reducing traffic congestion in the town centre and significantly improving travel options
  • Safety improvements at key intersections and town centres

Key features of an Alliance: 
The alliance model is a best practice method for delivering large-scale infrastructure projects. This involves multiple organisations with specialists in safety, government, planning, design, construction, community engagement and environmental sustainability, collaborating to deliver a project within a set budget allocation, with shared incentives, resources and objectives.

Costs and funding:

  • The Eastern Busway (all stages) is expected to cost $1.4b
  • Sections 2,3 and 4 are expected to cost $700 million and will be jointly funded by NZ Government and Auckland Council, including funding from the Regional Fuel Tax.

Source: Auckland Transport

Meanwhile in regards to E Buses that will serve East Auckland:

Electric bus trial for East Auckland

Auckland Transport (AT) has launched its latest electric bus, as the next step towards reducing the city’s carbon emissions.

The Yutong E13 is Auckland’s first electric ‘extra-large’ bus, which can carry 78 passengers and is designed specifically to meet New Zealand standards.

Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the trial of the new bus: “Transport accounts for more than 40 per cent of Auckland’s total carbon emissions, so making progress with electric buses capable of travelling long distances is important to reduce our overall carbon footprint,” he says.

“Electric buses help us achieve our climate change goals. They also help improve air quality and reduce pollution from black carbon and nitrogen oxide emitted by the current diesel vehicles, which is a health risk.”

AT’s Manager of Bus Services, Darek Koper, says AT is very excited to have the Yutong E13 in its fleet.

“Trialling this bus on longer distance routes from East Auckland into the city centre will help us compare operational performance, power demand and costs alongside equivalent existing diesel buses and hydrogen fuel cell buses being manufactured for AT. This validates our case studies showing much lower impact from three-axle electric buses on road pavements, compared to standard e-buses.”

Wei Zhou, Director of JW Group says Yutong and JW Group are pleased to continue working closely with Auckland Transport to introduce an extra-large, fully electric bus.

“During 2018 and 2019, a large two axle EV bus was trialled by AT in partnership with Yutong. During this testing, operators in Auckland have shown real world range exceeding 400km a day on a single charge. This builds operational confidence in electric bus fleets to manage the rigorous demands of public transport right now.”

General Manager of Howick & Eastern, Sheryll Otway, says the company is excited to be associated with the first electric bus in the area.

“In 1906 we launched the first motorised bus to complement our horse drawn carriages and now 114 years later, in partnership with Auckland Transport and JW Diesel, we are again changing the way our passengers travel. This is history in the making.”

“Electric buses are a game changer and we’re excited to support Auckland Transport’s vision for a full zero emission bus fleet by 2040. We can’t wait for our customers to get on board and experience the E13 for themselves.”

The Yutong E13 three-axle bus will be on loan to operator, Howick & Eastern (H&E) and will be used on its routes from East Auckland to central city.

JW Group are also the builders of nine new electric buses being built for the Airport Link service, which will be launched in January next year.

The E13’s 422kwh battery pack is equivalent to the power required to:

  • Charge 140,000 cell phones overnight;
  • Power a family house for two weeks;
  • Cook 10,000 two-minute noodle packs in the microwave.
  • The power is equivalent to a hamster running on a wheel continuously for ten years.


The new E Buses, along with Wei Zhou and Darek Koper. All photos are from Auckland Transport

Great progress being made for East Auckland after it has been waiting for a Rapid Transit line for decades while not being the best served with transit in the interim. The E buses also mean clean running transit with no emissions nor noise either. Win all round for Howick and Botany!