Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.
Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It includes connecting the bus lanes down SH16 between Westgate and Newton Road, new bus stops, crossings and footpaths at Te Atatū and Lincoln Road, and a new bus station at Westgate.
“Not only will the Northwestern Bus Improvements project mean better public transport for West Auckland, it’s going to support the economic recovery and create around 300 jobs,” Michael Wood said.
“It’ll make a real difference for commuters with around 25 minutes shaved off a bus trip from Westgate into the city. When complete, 170,000 more people will able to access the city centre within a 45-minute bus journey.
“By delivering faster and more frequent bus services, we’ll make taking public transport a real option for more people – reducing congestion and emissions.
“The northwest is going to be a major growth area over the next 30 years, with an additional 100,000 people expected to live there. This project is the first step in giving West Auckland the rapid transit it needs to keep it moving,” Michael Wood said.
Construction of most parts of the project will be completed in late 2022, when express bus services will begin. Construction of the Westgate bus station is expected to begin in 2023, with detailed design and consenting starting later this year.
As part of the Government’s economic plan to invest in infrastructure and create jobs, the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is investing $50 million and Waka Kotahi is funding the remaining $50 million of the $100 million project.