Christmas comes early for East Aucklanders

A new rapid transit route now open in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs offers a dedicated urban busway, new pedestrian and cycling facilities, road and safety improvements, and upgraded stations in Pakuranga and Botany, leading to a safer, faster, and more reliable transport network, says Transport Minister Michael Wood.

“The Eastern Busway is about much more than getting people from A to B. It will spur residential and business development, creating more jobs and boosting the economy, while also providing commuters with sustainable and affordable travel in our biggest city,” Michael Wood said.

The Minister was part of today’s official opening of the $287m Panmure to Pakuranga section of the Eastern Busway, the first section to be open to the public.

“People who live in East Auckland know the area has some of the highest traffic flows and worst congestion in the city. The dedicated bus lanes will be a game-changer, allowing commuters to link in with Auckland’s rail network and once fully completed, get from Botany to the central city in 40 minutes.

“With services every 5-10 minutes between Panmure and Pakuranga, we’re expecting around 5,000 people to use the busway during the morning peak and up to 30,000 passenger trips daily. We really encourage people to give the bus a go, and passengers will also get a chance to check out the 210m steel ‘busway bridge’ that crosses the Tamaki Estuary alongside the existing Panmure bridge.

“The Christmas period is also a good time for East Aucklanders to explore the new 2.4km long cycling and walking path, which allows for easy and safe access to the Panmure town centre and the station. Locals can also look forward to a series of Mahi Toi carvings that will be in placed along the project route early next year, as a reflection of the area’s importance to Mana Whenua,” Michael Wood said.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomes the opening of the Eastern Busway.

“This project will provide a massive improvement in access to frequent and reliable public transport in east Auckland,” he says.  

“It is fast and convenient for passengers, and will encourage more people to use public transport to get around our region, which we know is one of the most effective ways for Auckland to reduce carbon emissions and help us achieve our climate action goals. It will also help to address traffic congestion for those who still choose to drive.

“With government support and funding from the Regional Fuel Tax, we will now be able to move on to create the next stages of the busway through to Botany, further extending Aucklanders’ access to world-class public transport throughout our region,” Mayor Goff said.

“This project part of our Government’s vision of a linked-up mass rapid transit system for Auckland. Creating genuine mode-shift is a top priority, as we work towards our emissions reduction goals by providing people with active, healthy and sustainable ways to travel,” Michael Wood said.