Project introduction

As part of the growth of the wider rapid transit network, this project is investigating options to provide fast, frequent and reliable public transport for people to get around the northwest of Auckland – from Brigham Creek to the city centre, alongside State Highway 16 (SH16).

  • Project type

    Public transport
  • Project status


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About the project

The northwest of Auckland is growing and there’s an increasing need to provide better public transport options for everyone who lives in and moves around the area.

We are investigating rapid transit between Brigham Creek and the city centre, alongside SH16.

People in the northwest need better ways to connect to work, study, and play. This project will transform the way people move around the region, expand Auckland’s rapid transit network, tackle congestion, boost productivity and create a more reliable and resilient transport network that drives economic growth.

This work is being led by Waka Kotahi in partnership with Te Kawerau ā Maki, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and other iwi partners.

Te Kawerau ā Maki have gifted the name ‘Te Ara Hauāuru’ to the project. This name references the wind that blows from the west, a powerful force and story for the iwi. The west wind carries the voice and vision of the community of the west, and the path of connection between these communities and Tāmaki Makaurau.

We would like to express our gratitude to Te Kawerau ā Maki for this taonga (treasure) and significant gesture.

Find out more about the project

Why improvements are needed

Key features

The project area covers from Brigham Creek to the city centre along SH16 and includes providing:

  • Rapid transit on a dedicated corridor – investigations will determine the best mode (bus or rail) and location for the corridor which could be along, or either side of, SH16. 
  • Station locations, and facilities – such as seating, passenger information displays, CCTV, lighting and bike racks.
  • Access and connections to local bus services – we’re working with Auckland Transport to look at improvements to the supporting transport network (including feeder bus services and facilities, walking and cycling).
  • Potential options

    We are currently building a complete understanding of the potential options – including their benefits, risks, dependencies and uncertainties. This covers modes (bus or rail), route and station locations.

    In the coming months, we will share the proposed option that our investigations and your feedback have fed into and engage with the wider community. 

    The route of the rapid transit corridor and where stations are placed will take into consideration:

    • where people live and work
    • projected residential and commercial growth
    • public transport demand
    • community and business hubs
    • key feeder bus routes
    • existing roading and motorway interchange layouts
    • possible environmental, community and cultural impacts
    • available land and any required land purchases.
  • Potential rapid transport solution

    It’s important that we undertake a robust analysis of all the potential bus and rail rapid transit options to deliver the best outcome for the northwest.

    A previous investigation, as part of the Indicative Business Case, looked at the Westgate to Newton Road section of the northwestern motorway and recommended bus as the preferred mode.

    However, those investigations didn’t include the city centre components of the journey, from Newton Road to downtown, where the most critical constraints are. Previous work was also undertaken around five years ago, so it is important to reflect any changes that have occurred since then – like further development of other rapid transit projects in Auckland as well as more recent city centre planning by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.

    This means we need to undertake some further technical work to confirm the best mode for the corridor, as part of developing a Detailed Business Case for the project. 

    The recommended mode will be determined based on a number of factors, including consideration of:

    • demand
    • capacity
    • journey times
    • how long the solution will continue to operate effectively, and potential for it to be upgraded
    • engineering factors
    • cost and value for money
    • land acquisition
    • integration and staging of the delivery of the wider rapid transit network
    • as well as other detailed analysis (eg environmental, cultural and community impacts).
  • Project timeline
    • August 2023: Start the Detailed Business Case.
    • August – September 2023: First phase of community engagement.
    • Early 2024: Second phase of community engagement - share preferred option.
    • Mid 2024: Confirm the preferred option.
    • Late 2024: Complete the Detailed Business Case.
    • 2025: If funding is approved: consenting, detailed design and engagement with communities.

Community engagement

The first phase of community engagement ran from 24 August to 24 September 2023. Nearly 4000 people completed our engagement survey which asked questions about people’s travel experiences and the types of things they think we should be considering as part of our investigations. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your views with us. 

We have analysed the feedback and prepared a report summarising what we heard and outlining next steps. This feedback will be used to inform our investigations and help make decisions on the rapid transit solution that will best serve the Northwest.

Find out what communities had to say

The second phase of community engagement will happen in the coming months and will involve sharing a preferred option, based on our investigations and community needs.

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