After months of delays, work is finally happening on the bus improvements planned for the Northwest with visible signs of construction at Te Atatu. Auckland Transport’s recent board report stated that work on the Lincoln Rd station would begin in July. These stations are due for completion by April 2023 and AT have kicked off consultation on changes to bus services in West Auckland that will make use of the new infrastructure.
When it comes to Frequent PT services, West Auckland is the most underserved area in the region with just one frequent route that operates, the 14 bus – even the trains aren’t frequent enough to qualify. By comparison, the North Shore has six frequent routes and the South has eight. As I highlighted yesterday, making PT better is critical if we want more people to use it an so improvements to buses in the west is crucial.
ATs plan is to add four more frequent routes to the West as well as other bus improvements that combined, will make PT more useful. The changes proposed are in line with the principles of the new network that rolled out to West Auckland five years ago.
The most significant change will see the creation of a WX1 service that will run along the motorway corridor from Westgate to the City. The NW will also be served by a change to the existing 110, which will be renumbered to the 11 that will also see it run frequently along the motorway between the city and Lincoln Rd before splitting up to serve Massey
Other notable changes AT highlight are:
- Local routes connecting with motorway services at new bus interchanges at Te Atatū, Lincoln Rd and Westgate
- Increasing the all-day frequency of route 131 and renumbering it route 13 for easier local trips and connecting to the new bus interchanges at Te Atatū and trains and Henderson
- Increasing the all-day frequency of route 120 between Henderson and the North Shore and renumbering it route 12
- Most buses running more frequently and later in the evenings
- Creating a simpler bus network so it is easier to understand
- Most customers will need to transfer to motorway services to travel to the City Centre.
The proposed frequencies of the routes are shown below. This suggests there will be about 10 buses an hour from the west to the city
As a comparison, here is the map today
Overall I think the changes make sense and will be an improvement over what we have today, though personally I’d like to see the 12 be improved between Greenthithe and Constellation Dr Station as that leg of the journey can be very unreliable with buses stuck in traffic. I’m guessing the change that will likely get the most negative attention/feedback will be the 13 with citybound travellers from Te Atatu being required to transfer to a WX1 or 11.
AT are also holding a number of drop-in sessions with the details of them below.
- Tuesday 19 April 2022, 2pm to 5pm, Te Atatū Peninsula Community Centre, 595 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatū.
- Wednesday 20 April 2022, 2pm to 5pm, Te Manawa (Westgate Library), 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate.
- Thursday 21 April 2022, 4pm to 7pm, bus stops at 54 Hobson Street, City Centre.
- Saturday 23 April 2022, 10am to 1pm, Zeal West Henderson Youth Facility, Alderman Drive, Henderson.
Consultation on the changes is open till Sunday May 1.
Is there anything about the proposed new network that stands out?
While on the topic of the Northwest, as I highlighted from the Board Report, while the Te Atatu and Lincoln Rd stations will be completed by April next year with services starting to coincide with that, the planned interchange station at Westgate won’t even start construction till early 2024 and not be completed till early 2025.
One thing that also caught my attention was this map showing the infrastructure changes.
What’s notable about it is that the length of new bus lanes along the motorway corridor is much less that earlier anticipated, which was to effectively add bus lanes along the entire corridor.