Auckland has certainly seen its fair share of short sighted transport decisions over the decades and one of the most significant recent ones was that a busway wasn’t included alongside the Northwestern motorway at the same time as we were widening it as part of the Western Ring Route project.

The current government promised to rectify that, but progress stalled while waiting for decisions with light rail metro. However in July things finally started tentatively moving forward with the announcement as part of the government’s COVID response of up to $100 million on a range of interim improvements.

Yesterday the Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZTA launched a consultation on just what those improvements would be. However, while they will improve buses to the Northwest, they’re certainly not a long-term solution and don’t represent the best customer experience.

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.

The plan to make bus journeys quicker, easier and better connected involves upgrading and extending the existing bus shoulder lanes along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16) and building interim bus stops at Westgate and the Lincoln Road and Te Atatū motorway interchanges.

This would enable a northwestern express bus service using the motorway which connects with local feeder services operating to each station. The bus network will also be reviewed to make better use of the proposed new bus stops and adjustments are planned at motorway interchanges to increase priority for buses.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford says this joint AT and Waka Kotahi project will allow faster and more frequent bus services.

“Bus passengers going from Westgate to the city during the morning peak could save up to 35 minutes on their journey as a result of these improvements.

“This project will also create around 300 jobs and support our economic recovery,” says Mr Twyford.

Mayor Phil Goff says the project will have economic and social benefits for the northwest and will help support jobs and population growth.

“The $100 million in government-funded upgrades for public transport in the northwest will enable a further 170,000 people to get in and out of the city within 45-55 minutes on the bus,” he says.

“This will support jobs and population growth in the area and help to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions by allowing more people to commute without driving. Construction of the projects will create jobs and provide economic stimulus across the region.”

…..

The improvements are to be built over the next five years and, once complete, will encourage more people to use public transport while plans are made for longer-term improvements.

Looking beyond the next five years, Waka Kotahi plans to explore options for a mass rapid transit system so that even more people can be moved along the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).

The works which 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.

Before getting into just what’s proposed, it’s useful to understand how AT intended to run the bus network in the west once this is in place. The changes are shown on the maps below and like with the Northern Busway, essentially there will be a core Western Express service along the motorway that local routes will connect to. This will necessitate people needing to transfer from those local services to the Western Express service.

It’s making those transfers work well that is critical and also where these leave a lot to be desired with the Lincoln Rd and Te Atatu ‘stations’ being bus stops in the middle of motorway interchanges on motorway on/off ramps.

Westgate

First up, here’s how services will operate at Westgate. A new station is being built on the eastern side of Gunton Dr between Kedgley Rd and Tawhia Dr. This is not the most ideal location given half of the catchment is motorway – though given how Westgate has been designed I’m not sure where else it could go.

Lincoln Rd

Lincoln Rd is where things start getting interesting.

Citybound express buses exit the motorway, cross Lincoln Rd and stop on the motorway onramp to pick passengers up. Those passengers will get there by way of bus stops on Selwood Rd that local buses will access via a new roundabout.

Westgate-bound buses will stop on the motorway off-ramp with transferring passengers using the existing crossings built as part of the NW Cycleway extension to access the local stops.

Te Atatu

A similar situation to Lincoln Rd will exist at Te Atatu with the exception the local buses will through route between the peninsula and Te Atatu South.

Citybound there’s a bus stop on the off-ramp while passengers from the peninsula or heading to Te Atatu South will use a new bus stop in the middle of seven lanes of traffic. For those going from the Northwest to the peninsula the local bus stop is at the top end of the image.

Westgate-bound buses appear to have two stops, one on the motorway off-ramp (not shown very clearly) and one again on the on-ramp. The local bus stops are to the north and south of the ramps.


It’s really hard to see how this is going to take five years to deliver – we’re going to build a rail tunnel and two underground stations in that time. It’s also hard to see where the $100 million is going – though in both cases I suspect some of those bus shoulders are going to be tricky to add.

Overall, the proposal has some similarities to what happened with the Northern Busway where the Albany and Constellation Dr stations were build and an interim service was put in place while the actual busway and additional stations were being built. One difference being that the full busway was already under construction whereas on the Northwest it’s much more of a band-aid solution and there’s no timeframe or guarantee on when an actual rapid transit solution will happen. I guess with the solution being so bare bones it will help but won’t remove the for that longer-term solution

The consultation closes on Sunday 25 October.

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72 comments

  1. I often use the ‘don’t let perfect be the enemy of good’ phrase but in this case many of the proposed solutions don’t even meet the standard of ‘good’.

  2. So even more people will be exposed to the diabolical crossing across Lincoln Rd as used by the NW cycleway. This is dangerous enough now.
    Isn’t there some money to go towards fixing this? Would think it would be a fraction of $100M required.

      1. Back in 2011, as part of Cycle Action Auckland, I got them to concept-design a cycleway/walkway overbridge at Lincoln Road. Of course it never went anywhere, because unlike at the Waterview consent hearings, this was a much more “closed” process as NZTA were working just within their own designation, so we couldn’t appeal to a hearings panel in the same way as at the Waterview Board of Inquriy.

        When they started doing the prep / actual design some years later, the team weren’t even aware that there had been an overbridge concept at Lincoln Road….

  3. I’m not feeling this is something I can let my children use without me. Mind you if it’s taking five years, maybe I’ll feel differently by then.

    If this was taking a year, with something better planned at the five year mark, that would be ok.

  4. Winston is saying the light metro/heavy light rail/light heavy rail/whateverthehell scheme for the airport was going to cost between $10b to $15b. So I guess a more realistic light rail scheme on the North Western motorway is dead by association.

    1. That kind of $$ would get us the full set; City Centre to Mangere, NW to Westgate, and across the harbour up the busway to Albany. Perhaps the old dog is being a little mischievous, ‘virtue’ signalling his anti-urbanity?

      1. Maybe when you are in the finance business like the Superfund, rather than the transport business, the incentive is to make the project as expensive as possible.

        1. Well he’s clearly making things up, cos he says it’s trams, but we now know both options in the silly horse race were grade separate… so either it’s the more expensive not tram option, or it’s the cheaper surface one, he seems to be conveniently conflating the two.

          Also note, he’s perfectly happy to commit that kind of money to massively overbuilding a highway to Northland, so…?

          anyway, bye Felicia

  5. Sigh, this is what we get I suppose. The writing is kinda on the wall for an overbuilt line in one direction, and hot garbage in most other directions. These on off ramps with the bus lanes only being completed in 5 years raises a few questions about how long they plan on leaving it like this too. It’s not often I think the government should spend less on something but here we go I suppose. If light metro goes ahead we would be unlikely to go ahead with any other mode on other routes until a change in power or it would be seen as an admission of being wrong.
    What should we put in the submission?
    Perhaps they should spend a little / lot more and build a section or two of busway.
    Whatever happens with light metro I can only hope they have small, skytrain like frequencies.

  6. Nothing about the city side of the congestion. I guess buses will keep rat running through Grey Lynn with the rest of the motorway traffic

    1. They don’t seem to highlight it strongly, but the plan (and others that I have shown) does include adding bus shoulder lanes between Waterview and Newton Rd.

        1. The busses are going to be taking that exit onto great north road, perhaps that exit doesn’t get very blocked up as it goes directly onto great north road with no lights, the bus would stay in the left lane and go strait to the light on that exit, I presume they will rejig the on-ramp onto the causeway

        2. So they exit at Newton Rd where there is no priority and cross 2 lanes of traffic to turn right onto K Rd? Or wait 20 mins in Nelson St offramp queues? In that case they will just keep rat running through Williamson Ave.

          It sure sounds like Someone has ruled out lane reallocation happening anywhere – “No traffic lanes will be removed.”

          I’d like to see a table of options considered and how they arrived at 25mins time savings when their buses don’t even stick to the route currently.

          Spending $100m for 5 bus stops and ‘priority’ where buses still have to slow down and wait in queues is an ‘improvement’ on current quality sure but just shows the influencers at WK + AT haven’t changed.

  7. Sigh. So many lanes of traffic to cross as a pedestrian. So many lanes of traffic spewing out emissions and pollution. It’s such a failure of planning when proper public transport and safe active travel to the public transport was possible.

    The reason all we get offered are compromised solutions like this one – and elsewhere, unnecessarily expensive solutions – is because WK, AT and MoT won’t treat reducing traffic volumes and reducing the number of lanes in order to improve the active travel environment, as a goal.

  8. All that crossing of major roads they’re requiring pedestrians to do is unacceptable for a public transport project in 2020. To make things worse, with AT in charge of the traffic light timings you’ll have to check when a pedestrian phase is due by consulting a calendar. I guess they’re relying on complete gridlock to give pedestrians a chance to cross through stationary traffic.

    1. Short of taking the buses fully off-line (aka the full busway, which 100 million doesn’t provide), I can’t see how you COULD avoid crossing those major roads. The only other solution then would be to build pedestrian bridges and underpasses, which can easily be 5-10 mil a pop, and unless designed JUST right, don’t necessarily serve pedestrians well because you have to go up huge ramps out of your way first. Plus, they might then be in the way of the actual future busway and have to be torn down again.

      So I’m not really blaming the designers of this for being in between a rock and a hard place. They can do some really good stuff with 100mil (I can see some very un-flashy bus shoulder lane widening works at pinch points costing a lot already), and I think they will be quite beneficial for PT, but we aren’t getting a Northern Busway from it. The real failure in my view is not in these works, but in the fact that the Coalition failed badly in progressing the actual busway, so now we get this, and the busway recedes another 5-10 years into the future.

      As for improving these to make them as good as possible, I’d look at maximising the crossing widths and pedestrian spaces as much as possible to make them less “right next to the traffic”, maximise the traffic signal times for pedestrian crossings (now THAT will be a challenge…), providing good bus shelters and good station design. Then it will be a worthwhile thing to do. But no busway, and people will keep comparing it to one.

      1. Yes that may be all that’s possible within that budget. But that just shows the budget is inadequate.

        The proposed solution would be ok if it was a short term, interim measure while a permanent solution was under construction. However there’s still no permanent solution on the horizon.

        1. And there won’t be any progress until after the election at best.

          Should they have NOT given 100m for PT improvements as part of the Stimulus programme then?

          That’s the rub. SHOULD the perfect be the enemy of the good here? I.e. delay or cancel the interim works?

        2. Well, if fundamentals aren’t established first, it does make you wonder. For example, the Auckland Motorway Alliance says: “It is important to note that the shoulders on the Auckland Motorway network are first and foremost emergency stopping and breakdown lanes 24/7. When not being used for this purpose, they are used to improve bus efficiency by way of shoulder running.”

          Given WK’s focus on resilience (eg AWHC), they wouldn’t spend five years and $100m on providing a system with low resilience, would they? :/

  9. When I saw the announcement I thought it was great. Sadly I misread it to be that this was immediate with long term improvements (an actual busway/light railway) starting in 5 years. The stations should be 5 months not 5 years ffs

    1. The 5 year think is strange, true. However, the money comes with a “construction works must start mid 2021 at latest”, so at least there’s a certain level of urgency, rather than BAU approach. Maybe they can get themselves into gear more than taking 4 years of actual construction.

      1. That’s good to hear.

        I’m not quite sure what could possibly take four years at the stations. Sure, the lanes in some sections need a lot of retaining and possible land purchase, but the stations are essentially bus bays, shelters and footpaths with some minor retaining. That should be very simple.

        1. Bus lanes on ramps aren’t required for the stations. The goal should be to get the stations built ASAP. At least by the end of 2021. People would rather be crawling up an off ramp on a service that exists than crawling up an off ramp on an imaginary bus. I feel like too many PT improvements are built by people who don’t ride PT. On a motorway the lanes are the improtant bit that makes it work and the interchanges are optional extras to improve the experience. PT is the opposite. The stations are the bit that makes it work and the lanes are the optionalm extras.

          Build the stations ASAP, fill the lanes in as needed.

      2. AT have this weird policy of seeing more risk in actually promising to do something than in having a reputation for being useless.

        The funding is certain, from central government, why wouldn’t they put pressure on both themselves and their subcontractors and partners (nzta) to deliver this at pace? After all that is both the intent of the fund and an actual condition!

        Very odd culture.

    1. The North Shore busway opened in February 2008. It was included in the ARA’s Comprehensive Transport Study Update in about 1987 or 1988. So it took at least 30 years.

  10. I almost never go out west so its a bit hard for me to comment. But I suppose there is a conflict between locating the local and the express bus stops close together and time taken to get the express buses on and off the motorway. And if this is too be rapid transport I expect that is what took precedent. I am thinking the local roads are on bridges across the motorway is that right. Then all the on and off ramps just complicate things. Could the express bus stops be down at Motorway level. I have looked at locating motorway level bus stops around Mangere Town center and Mangere bridge it wouldn’t be impossible in my lay mans view.

    1. Having the stops down at lower level under the bridges is theoretically possible, but that would place a bus station platform at the edge of a live motorway, which isn’t. Both for the safety of passengers in the station, and the car drivers travelling past a stopped bus.

      So the buses would have to “detour” off the normal shoulder into a “pocket” (so you can have a barrier between the bus stop and the general traffic lanes). Then you need to (ideally) allow for a bus just passing through to bypass a bus that is stopped. Then allow for a station platform that isn’t too narrow and dingy (new safety issues otherwise).

      Once all those requirements are included, building a bus station underneath the bridges means basically ripping out the abutments. Possible if you are building a full new busway, but not for $100m for an interim design…

  11. Five years? Absolutely appalling. That suggests that proper rapid transit on the route is probably twenty years away. Who makes these decisions? Still time to make it an election issue.

  12. I know this is less than ideal but I hope that once the people out west get a taste of what might be the political pressure for improvements will build. If the success of the Northern Bus Way is anything to go by this will drive PT numbers.

    1. Yes it probably is the case that any improvement is a step in the right direction. The walking distances aren’t too long, generally. I think the five year timeframe has dumbed down enthusiasm for what could have been received a little better today.

  13. Why not? Everything else is half-arsed. And more years of roadworks. What, we had 9 years during the motorway widening?

    It’s very hard not to be cynical about this.

    1. Well, THAT at least isn’t the current govt’s failure. After all, it was National who decided that PT is for Europe and Asia, not for Auckland.

      1. When NZTA get involved with anything, it seems a requirement that it involves either roads or doing things at a grand scale.

        AT seem a little the same way.

        Twyford, as minister, should know better and should have put some fire to some bellies when presented with such a plan.

        Maybe we need some new bellies?

  14. On the plus side with this first step seeming to be so slow in coming and very mediocre is that I’m sure patronage will still prove strong and will provide impetus to advance the more full on solution.

  15. “Auckland has certainly seen its fair share of short sighted transport decisions over the decades and one of the most significant recent ones was that a busway wasn’t included alongside the Northwestern motorway at the same time as we were widening it as part of the Western Ring Route project.”

    This however would have turned what was some $800million in upgrades into a $5billion megaproject. Whilst it certainly would have been impressive it would have required the purchase off all of the houses and industrial buildings along one side of the motorway and so is no harder to build now than it would have been during the previous upgrades.

    1. Why would they still have needed so many traffic lanes, Richard? A proper busway would’ve moved more people, meaning fewer general traffic (ie low efficiency) lanes would be needed.

      We would now be looking at substantially less vkt throughout the network.

      The money saved would’ve been immense: Widening the motorway would not have been required, and the multiple expensive road and intersection widening projects in the local road network would not have been required. The externalities of carbon emissions, air pollution and physical inactivity that the traffic they’ve induced wouldn’t have been imposed on society either, and more people would be freed from having to own cars.

      In short, it was a extremely poor value-for-money decision.

      1. Fair point that maybe with a busway it could have stayed as only 2-lanes each way, I highly doubt it however. You would also be left with the numerous safety defects of a 1950s motorway had it not been upgraded.

        Don’t forget that as part of the upgrade proper bus shoulders were added the full length of the motorway, which for some reason are yet to actually be utilized for some reason. Also don’t forget that as part of this project one of the best commuter bike paths in the country was made. Sure it would have been nice to grade separate it as both Lincoln and Royal Rd, but when these underpasses costs $20mil a pop I guess people draw a line somewhere.

        I don’t really agree that by upgrading the motorway people were forced or incentivized to be inactive, it actually does the opposite for me personally. Neither do I think it forced people to own cars, it does however help people to experience the benefits of having a car.

        1. The ‘upgrade’ of SH16, by failing to provide even the barest minimum bus transit infra is a high cost low value indictment on the whole profession. All involved sound be deeply embarrassed by how inefficient it is.

          By spending all that money, and hogging the entire designation, on the spatially inefficient mode, and almost nothing on the mode that would enable the privileged one to function better, more often, and for longer, it is destined to clog up while carrying only a fraction of the people and freight that the RoW could and should.

          This is a low efficiency, low productivity corridor design, now requiring a further $100m to back engineer some really minimal passenger utility in an attempt to bring some better throughput to this sorry mess.

          Many more millions will have to follow, whereas had useful bus amenity been included from the start many hundreds of million$ would have been saved, and incalculable hours of travel time for all users/freight would have already been saved across all modes.

          The only partial saving grace is the cycleway, but even then the one-eyed highway engineers could only manage to grade separate that fitfully, preferring to slow and endanger active mode users seemingly at random, the weirdos. Perhaps out of resentment at having to do it all, as it’s only there at all because the environment court forced them to do it…?

          Does this profession have any process of self evaluation and reflection? No sign of it.

        2. Actually Bob, the bus shoulders that this proposal is going to use were built as part of the upgrade works, they are there on the ground today waiting to be used. The issue is that people have been holding off on running an effective bus service on this shoulder, potentially to sell the benefits of other projects.

          The current works simply add mini stations at the interchanges that not only slow down any buses that could be using the shoulders but also reduce the capacity of the recently upgraded interchanges further increasing congestion. The benefit however is that connectivity is improved for trips that aren’t based on going to and from the CBD.

          In terms of moving freight, the motorway does a great job at moving freight, for the majority of the day when freight users this road it is free flowing and there is nothing stopping lane management being implemented in the future to further increase utilization.

          On a side note, the environment court didn’t force anyone to build a shared use path. That was always part of the proposed works.

        3. @Richard The new bus stops will increase the utility for almost all people using the bus on the corridor, not just people not going to the CBD. Because instead of running a bus through a single area of the northwest and then getting on the motorway and driving to town and doing it every half hour, they can concentrate on providing much more frequent spine of the service running every 10 minutes or less, this will require a change of busses, but because they are all much more frequent this isn’t an issue. It will also far increase the utility for people living near the main corridor or its major feeder routes, walking or cycling to the stop and not caring about exact bus timings is much better. It is better in the same way that the new networks for the rest of Auckland are better, a hub and spoke transit system is more useful than a point to point system for most people. They are also adding a significant amount more bus shoulder lanes, closer to the city, and through some interchanges. The on off ramp areas seem to be where the busses get stuck the most at the moment so with the bus lanes on the ramps being added, I seriously doubt that the new services will be much slower through these areas, if at all. Side note, adding a dedicated busway to the project would not have added anywhere close to that amount of cost. They wouldn’t have had to add busway to the entire corridor, just the bits that they could have done while they were there. The causeway for example, they widened it by adding 3 lanes, plus a big extra bit in the middle. Cost 220 mil. Adding 1 extra lanes width (or one less for cars), and compressing the median would not have added an exorbitant amount of cost. There should also be a corridor through the tunnel and northwest junction. It would have added significantly more capacity than the general lane widening they actually did. It’s a massive opportunity gone, that will be fairly hard to fix, especially without pissing people off that dont realise there’s only so much space, and fitting more commuters into a smaller space will be better for everyone in the long run. I agree in the short term it helped people experience owning a car, but in the medium – long term it will hinder those same people more than if it was more a bus project than a car project, plus they aren’t the only ones to consider, there is a significant number of people that dont own a car in AK.

          These are fairly well established theories you should watch this well made video https://youtu.be/RQY6WGOoYis
          Long story short, in decent sized cities that are growing, car traffic will grow until its faster to take the alternative, but if your busses are in car traffic, then its almost exponential.

        4. Richard there is no transit amenity on SH16. It just doesn’t exist, because idiot politicians advised by inadequate, uneducated traffic engineers, who absurdly control our major urban transport networks failed to fund, design, or build any.

          You fail to understand what it is; there are some broken sections of hard shoulder between interchanges, often occupied by broken vehicles or drivers, this is not a busway.

          There is no transit RoW, there are no stations; there is both nowhere for any services to run nor any way of accessing any service that is stuffed into the vast yet inefficient array of general traffic lane along the entire length of SH16.

          Please go and find a serious transportation course and learn what urban rapid transit is and what it requires. This ‘upgrade’ is a shinning example of what it is not.

    2. Where do you get $5 billion from. Even with property purchases there no way a busway from Te Atatu to Westgate would cost anywhere near that amount.

      1. Just an educated guess.

        When you compare it to something like the EastWest link which is said to cost some $2billion, and then you look at how the busway will need a 4km long bridge next to the existing causeway and then another 6km of property purchase which will require total acquisition and compensation of multiple commercial and industrial lots it’s easy to see it costing in the range of $2-4billion to build. Include the $1billion for the recently completed motorway widening and you get $3-5billion.

        How much do you think it would cost?

        1. There’s no immediate need for a separate busway along the causeway, buses could just use shoulder lanes as there would be no stations on this section.

          Most plans for a busway have had this section being completed last in ~30 years time. The failure was not building the first section of the busway between Te Atatu and Westgate while this section of motorway was being upgraded.

        2. I’d say planning wise getting permission to build a 4km long bridge next to the causeway would be the hard part. However that would only cost some $400million.

          The most expensive part is building it from Te Atatu to Westgate as you would be going through various houses at over $1million each plus numerous industrial and commercial lots that could cost anywhere between $20 and $100 million each.

          Of course the part that actually needs the busway the most is from Waterview to the CBD, down there you could easily be spending some $4-8billion depending on how ‘rapid’ you want to make things.

        3. So you’re telling me that building a busway from Waterview to the CBD would cost as much as a harbour tunnel but a 4km bridge will only cost $400m, sure…

          I think you are overstating the impact of property purchases, they’re expensive for sure but the entire Eastern Busway is being built for $1.4 billion and it includes property purchases along the majority of its route.

        4. Have you seen the sort of work required to get a busway from Waterview to the CBD? It pretty much starts as a 3km long bridge from Waterview to Arch Hill, all through a place that would get a huge amount of public resistance. From there is can be somewhat straight farward to get to Newton Rd if you’re happy to have your ‘rapid’ buses join back into the local road network. However if you want it to be ‘rapid all the way into town you need to either tunnel or create some 30m high bridges to get through the CMJ.

          The bridge next the the causeway is somewhat simple once you have it agreed with Iwi and such. All you are doing is building the same 30m span over and over again. Of course it would look horrible and destroy the environment and so you may need to replace it with a tunnel for another $2-3billion.

        5. Surely a 3km bridge from Waterview to Arch Hill would only cost $300m…

          I can’t see any reason for this section to need a bridge anyway, it could just run on one or other side of the motorway, which I believe is what the NZTA has proposed.

          A busway would just end at Newton Rd, the Northern busway operates perfectly fine with the CBD section on street.

        6. The easiest side to run on is the northern side of SH16 and for that you need an almost continuous bridge or some other form of structure to get over and under the various local roads and ramps.

          The bridge itself may not cost all that much, however as with most projects its addressing all the adverse affects the project causes that puts the cost through the roof. For example, I can’t imagine anyone being appreciative of chopping down all the trees between Great North Rd and SH16. People were upset enough about losing 5 of them over a length of 30m let alone losing 600m worth of them. This could be another place where you are forced into building a tunnel.

          In terms of buses in the CBD. This is where most of the time is spent and part of the reason why people keep campaigning for the northern busway to get replaced with rail and a tunnel under the harbour.

          Also, don’t forget that the busway isn’t just about taking people to and from the CBD, its needs to connect with various other routes. One idea is to have it shoot off towards the new Mt Eden station to link with the CRL before then heading down Grafton and into the inner CBD.

        7. The Northern busway navigates offramps and local roads without needing a large bridge, probably why NZTA plan to do the same with the Northwestern.

          Buses spend a small proportion of their total travel time in the CBD. Yes it would be quicker if there was a tunnel but the big saving with the busway is skipping all the motorway congestion.

          Having the NW buses deviate to Mt Eden Station would be absurd, the likely route through the CBD would run practically over top of K Rd and Aotea Stations anyway.

        8. For the northern busway a huge amount of land was left off to the side of the motorway for the busway and the topography made it easy for it at two of the interchanges.

          On the side of SH16, there is virtually no space and things are spread out rather differently. Both the Waterview at St Lukes interchanges are nothing like Northcote or Akoranga and so you can’t expect the SH16 busway to be as easy through this section.

          Also, the bus shoulders already let buses skip most of the motorway congestion, all you are doing is saving a few seconds here on the motorway. The bigger benefit it how a busway can have stations to connect with feeder buses without needing the buses to exit the motorway at each interchange like what is planned here.

          I don’t see a connection to Mt Eden being too big of an issue. I think Mt Eden station may give greater connectivity to a wider range of rail trips as well as the planned light rail line to the airport. It’s also pretty direct to get to Symonds St from there, or Graton Gully. Remember, the idea is to provide for more than just people going to and from Queen St.

  16. Am I reading these images right? So if you wanted to get the bus from Lincoln into town you’d have to walk across the motorway, navigating the giant mess of the interchange toward the ‘transfer station’ (aka dump) to get the bus into town?

    Or does that not matter because buses will come down Lincoln or Triangle of from Royal? Get that this is being done on the cheap but still, seems a bit of a Michael Duck outcome

    1. No, you catch the bus to the end of the line where it turns around the roundabout and stops, then walk 100 m (about 80s) to the other platform.

  17. The comparison to the fully functioning Northern Expressway which is continuously upgraded, and to the Panmure-Botany busway now under construction, shows how poorly the west has been served for bus-based public transport for multiple decades.

    Why Minister Twyford and Mayor Goff think this proposal for the northwestern is acceptable after a decade of SuperCity amalgamation is a question that should hang over them for a very long time.

    In Auckland, “temporary” is the word with the meaning “permanent because we don’t give a damn”.

  18. Westgate is “not the most ideal location” is understatement of the year.

    The proposed Westgate stop is literally in the middle of nowhere. The stop has NO catchment. To the West is an empty parking lot; to the south is Northwest mall car park; To the east SH16; to the North, a handful of big box retailers.

    It’s exactly a 1km walk from the current bus interchange. Is this interchange moving here? Or will it require a 1km transfer?

    If it is moving, it’ll be a 1km walk from the new interchange to the other side of Westgate.

  19. Ahahaha three years of waiting for something out West and this is it? The Te Atatu interchange is just getting thrown off the bus at an intersection. Compare and contrast to the actual, proper stations in other actual busways around Auckland – do any of them dump you at the top of an offramp and tell you to walk hundreds of metres?

    This ain’t it. This is so far from it that I’d rather we had the void of nothingness that was the Light Rail plan that was never going to happen as opposed to this.

  20. Just wondering if the Westgate station was chosen so it could have its own on ramps back onto the NW mway a la Albany? Also there is soon to be a bridge across that motorway linking Westgate with Whenuapai which could presumably allow bus access onto the Trig Road on ramps to the Upper Harbour mway.

  21. Oooohhh… I gotta say… that’s ugly… and I don’t mean in the aesthetic looking way.

    Building major bus stops around motorway on/off ramps is a major safety concern for pedestrians. You’ve got pedestrians and buses trying to integrate with surface traffic trying to enter/exit the motorway.

    Does anyone else see “disaster” written all over this idea?

    1. Pedestrians and buses already integrate with traffic at these major interchanges. Sure, it isn’t ideal, but the alternative is waiting years for a full on busway to be built.

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