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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

The Northern Busway

​The Northern Busway is a core component of Auckland's strategic public transport network and forms the backbone for public transport services on the North Shore.

The busway provides an opportunity to avoid congestion on the motorway, resulting in much faster travel times during morning and evening peak periods. The busway also significantly increases the capacity of the motorway corridor, making it possible for more people to travel and supporting the growth of northern Auckland.

Auckland's current Rapid Transit Network, showing the Northern Busway in dark blue.

​Source: Auckland Transport Rapid Transit Network website

It opened in February 2008, and has been very successful, with ridership increasing more rapidly than was originally forecast during the project's investigation.

Around a third of the trips over the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the morning peak travel period are now taken by bus.

This is expected to at least double over the next 30 years. By the mid-2030s it is forecast that more morning peak trips across the bridge will be by bus than by car (Auckland Transport, 2016).

The success of the busway has delayed the need for further harbour crossings, saving billions of dollars. It is so popular and effective that many services are becoming overcrowded.

Historic and forecast travel demand on the Auckland Harbour Bridge during morning peak.

Data source:

Space constraints within the city centre limit the number of additional buses that can be used on the busway, as corridors and bus stops within the city are already heavily congested.

Planning for improvements to the North Shore Rapid Transit Network is already underway, including investigation into how to increase the capacity of the service and whether alternatives to buses will be required.


Auckland Transport. (2016) North Shore Rapid Transit Network strategic case (PDF 2.41MB)