The northwest is growing
The northwest is growing with more houses, more jobs, and more people needing to travel. It’s anticipated that by 2051, the northwest will have:
- more than 100,000 extra people living in the northwest
- more than 40,000 new households
- increased congestion
- increased pressure on our public transport network.
People living in the northwest currently have limited public transport options and many rely heavily on their car:
- Over 60% of people living in the northwest commute out of the area.
- More travel to work by car than in any other region in Auckland.
If better public transport options aren’t provided, congestion and journey times will get worse.
More sustainable transport choice
More transport choice and reducing reliance on private vehicles can help build more resilience in our networks, contribute towards a healthier, safer transport system and reliably get everyone where they need to go in a way that also helps to protect the climate.
The contributions we make today towards a more sustainable future will add up to help form a healthier and safer future for us all.
Better transport options will also help the Government and Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
This project will align with the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which describes how we are going to meet emissions budgets and make progress towards meeting the 2050 target. This includes reduced carbon emissions, reduced embodied carbon emissions and ways to build resilience in the transport network.
Improving equity and wellbeing
Everyone deserves to have access to fast and reliable public transport choices.
But we know that not everyone has the same access to transport.
Inequity in transport happens when people:
- have a lack of transport choice
- pay more to travel than they can afford
- don’t feel safe using public transport
- are unable to access the transport system.
Many in the northwest experience these issues. It’s an area that’s long lacked viable public transport options. This has resulted in people relying on their cars – causing increasing congestion and carbon emissions. Or for many people, the lack of public transport choice has stopped them from accessing key essential services and participating in everyday activities.
Providing a faster and more reliable public transport choices will transform the daily lives of many people in the northwest for generations to come, and help provide for a more vibrant and better-connected community.
We’re listening to you
We’ve heard from many people in the northwest that you want to see improved transport choices. The current detailed business case will take into consideration what we heard in:
- hui with iwi partners, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council
- the 2020 consultation on the short-term Northwestern Bus Improvements consultation which included questions on long-term rapid transit
- Auckland Transport’s 2021 – 2031 Regional Land Transport Plan
- other consultations like Waitematā Harbour Connections.
Waitematā Harbour Connections
Short term improvements have been delivered
Auckland Transport (AT) recently launched a new flagship bus route, the Western Express (WX1), alongside a range of other improvements to bus routes in the area. The new WX1 and 11 routes combine to provide buses between Westgate, Lincoln Road, Te Atatū and the city centre in both directions every ten minutes, from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.
This new service was delivered by the Northwestern Bus Improvements (NWBI) team, a joint Auckland Transport (AT) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency project and made possible with funding in part from Crown Infrastructure Partners. The project provided new bus stops at Westgate, and at the Te Atatū and Lincoln Road motorway interchanges, plus new and extended bus shoulder lanes on the Northwestern Motorway (SH16).
More reliable journeys
Further work is needed to improve the reliability of journey times. This includes the citybound onramp at Westgate as part of Auckland Transport’s Fred Taylor Drive and Hobsonville Road(external link) - Bus Lanes and Other Improvements project.
We will continue to work with Auckland Transport to monitor performance of the WX1 and look for ways to make improvements along, and in and around, SH16 as well as any opportunities for improvements within the city centre.