Bus Changes Include Outer Loop


Auckland Transport today detailed bus changes they say will make buses quicker and easier to use and increase patronage in the area by about 10%.

A new high frequency bus that runs along Queen St and to Wynyard Quarter is part of the improvements proposed for central Auckland buses.
Auckland Transport is also planning to introduce a new bus route similar to the LINK that will run every 15 minutes around suburbs surrounding the CBD.
The Outer Loop service would connect suburbs like Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, St Lukes and Wynyard Quarter.

The changes involve:

  • Changing some of the LINK route to improve reliability
  • Creating a new Inner City Service that runs every five minutes between Karangahape Rd, Queen St, Britomart and Wynyard Quarter
  • A 15 minute Outer Loop bus connecting suburbs like Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, St Lukes, Pt Chevalier and Herne Bay with Wynyard Quarter and Britomart
  • New services to Wynyard Quarter, including the Outer Loop and a connection to Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Western Springs
  • Two new Western Bays bus routes that run through the CBD via Albert St instead of Queen St to improve journey times
  • NZ Bus to operate high quality buses, similar to the LINK, on the new Outer Loop and inner city service.

Proposed improvements include:

The LINK –To improve journey times the LINK route would run directly from Karangahape Rd across Grafton Bridge to Newmarket. It would then go directly from Parnell to the universities and midtown, with part of the route moved from Victoria to Wellesley St. This avoids traffic congestion on Queen and Victoria streets.

New Outer Loop service – Similar to the LINK, this 15 minute frequency service would connect suburbs surrounding the CBD. This would provide many more connections for people going between Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Dominion Rd, St Lukes,Unitec, Pt Chevalier, Herne Bay, College Hill and Wynyard Quarter. It will replace the LINK for journeys between Ponsonby, Britomart, Parnell and Newmarket.

New inner city service – Running every five minutes 7am to 7pm and every 10 minutes at other times. This service would link Karangahape Rd with Britomart  via Queen Street with every alternate trip servicing Wynyard Quarter.  This service would replace the City Circuit.

Better connections to Wynyard Quarter – The 010 bus, which comes from Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Western Springs and Pt Chevalier, would be extended to Wynyard Quarter. The area would also be well served by both the frequent inner city service and the Outer Loop.

New Western Bays routes – Areas not covered by the new Outer Loop (Freemans Bay, Richmond Rd, Westmere and the tip of Pt Chevalier) would be served by two new routes. To speed up trips they would run from Britomart via Albert St instead of Queen St.

Auckland Transport Public Transport Operations Manager Mark Lambert says the aim is to create more bus services like the LINK that are highly recognisable.

“People want to be able to easily understand where a bus goes and how often it goes.

“For example buses already run every five minutes during the day up Queen St to K Rd, but only regular users know that. A new inner city service will be created so people know there is a frequent, easy bus they can catch.

“The Outer Loop service will mean places like Unitec and St Lukes are connected with Mt Eden Village, Newmarket and the city centre by an easy, regular bus service.

“Currently popular services like the LINK can get delayed by traffic in Queen St and aren’t as reliable as what they could be. Other services travelling to Ponsonby, Westmere and Pt Chevalier take longer than they need to because of slow journeys up Queen St.

“Another key improvement is providing bus services for the rapidly developing Wynyard Quarter area. It would be served by the new inner city service, the Outer Loop and a service to Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Western Springs.”

NZ Bus Chief Commercial Officer Rachel Drew says the company is introducing new high quality buses, similar to the LINK, on the new inner city and outer loop services. They will exceed Euro 5 emission standards, be wheelchair-accessible, air conditioned, and have more seated passenger capacity.

Auckland Transport and NZ Bus are also investigating options for introducing the latest technology hybrid-electric buses to the Auckland CBD.

Auckland Transport begins a three week feedback period on the plans today. People can find out more and have their say here



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  1. antz says:

    Not a bad idea, but i still think trams would be a much better option for the outer loops, oh well, better than nothing i suppose.

  2. ETBA says:

    Taking the link route along Stanley St and through the rats nest which is Pot connection for heavy vehicles while taking out Beach Rd the Wynyard Quarter and Queen St is a huge step backward. Auckland Transport forget why the Link route was established. The Heart of Auckland partially funds this route designed to circulate tourists around areas of visitor interest like Queen St shopping and at the same time get their workers into the city at a time when most buses had been removed from traversing the length of Queen St.

    With the changes it will require more than one bus tripto achieve less as Queen St will need to be navigated on foot unless a third bus trip is involved. Internationally it has been proven that cutting destinations reduce service use which is the case with the proposed link route changes.

  3. Andrew Miller says:

    Yikes! So the trips are quicker but you might need several buses to get there.
    Why would the Link not link with Britomart?

  4. Scott says:

    “exceed Euro 5 emission standards” yay :) Better air quality in the CBD.

    “air conditioned”, again a big step up from the current city circuit buses.

    “Why would the Link not link with Britomart?” I assume its because Britomart is well served by existing bus routes and the outer loop. Also it allows a cross CBD service bus service which is currently lacking.

  5. Matt L says:

    Andrew Miller - Taking several buses shouldn’t be an issue once we get integrated fares. The current system is a result of trying to draw a line on a map that serves everyone with as little journeys as possible even if that means only a bus every hour. By concentrating routes and allowing easy transfers you can use your existing bus fleet better and provide a higher quality service for the majority of users.

  6. Nick R says:

    EBTA, not really sure what you are on about there, this change provides more buses on faster, more direct routes between any points in the CBD and surrounding area. Do note that the new outer loop covers basically the same lower half of the city as the Link used to.

    @ Andrew Miller, there are already a heap of other more direct buses that link Britomart to the areas served by the Link, without any need for transfer

    Not any need for the Link to duplicate this too!

    For example if you want to get from Britomart to the Universities, Grafton or Newmarket then there are dozens on the new Central Connector up Symonds St.
    If you want to get from Britomart to K Rd then the new Queen St shuttle is most direct.
    If you want to get from Britomart to Ponsonby then the new outer loop and the 00 series routes will take you straight there.

  7. Mark says:

    I don’t see how outer loop will work up at Mt Eden - a right turn out of Valley Rd into Mt Eden Rd, is next to impossible - unless they signalise it.

    Dominion /Valley could work with existing bus lane through to the intersection, and the a “B” preemption which allows a right turn across traffic into Valley Rd.

  8. Gus says:

    @ Mark

    Agreed - Valley/Mt Eden Rd will be a nightmare for buses if the intersection if left as is.

    I don’t, however, think that using the existing bus lane at Valley/Dominion would work, simply because of the sheer volume of buses that are continuing on along Dominion and not turning right into Valley. The system will have no way of knowing which bus is going which way, so surely you’d end up with either buses continuing up Dominion or general traffic southbound on Dominion being held up by the signalling

  9. Mark says:

    It may slow down the intersection a little - but I believe the buses trigge rthat intersection already?

    There isn’t much coming south in the am peak - so buses going both straight and turning right from left bus lane, wouldn’t impact too much. And in the evening they can get into the normal right lane.

  10. Wally thomas says:

    Hi all. Please pass these excellent comments through to Auckland Transport as part of our consultation on the proposals (need to hear from “real” users such as yourselves) . Wally - Auckland Transport

  11. [...] – AKTBus changes include outer loop.HOP integrated Card Launched.How HOP tag posts [...]

  12. Auckland Transport is pleased to see so much interest in the review. Based on some of your comments and questions and the feedback received to date, Auckland Transport has created some Frequently Asked Questions in response to common questions. These can be found on the Maxx website.

  13. [...] the plus side there is a new inner-city service that goes straight from the terminals to K Rd, and an outer-loop bus that will go around the [...]


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