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Over 20 Electric Double-Deckers Coming To West Auckland As Bus Usage Increases

As part of AT’s Mission Electric, West Auckland’s flagship bus service, the WX1, will be run by fully electric double-decker buses from next April. A new $166 million contract has been signed between Auckland Transport (AT) and bus operator Tranzit Group.

The nine-year contract will see Tranzit Group bring more than 40 new electric buses to the streets of Tāmaki Makaurau, operating under its Tranzurban Auckland brand on the key WX1, 11T/11W and 120 bus routes. More than half of these will be electric double-decker buses.

AT’s Director of Public Transport and Active Modes Stacey van der Putten says the new contract with Tranzit Group marks another step on the Mission Electric journey and demonstrates AT’s commitment to running frequent, reliable and sustainable bus services for West Auckland communities.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tranzit Group to bring long-term certainty and a modern fleet of fully electric buses to our new West and Northwest Auckland bus routes,” Ms van der Putten says.

“Since we introduced the WX1 Western Express last November we have seen fantastic growth on this frequent bus route which connects Westgate with the city centre, carrying more than 275,000 passengers so far.

“In recent months we’ve also seen more people using buses in all parts of West Auckland than before Covid-19. In the Westgate/Massey area patronage is about 25% higher and in Te Atatū it is about 30% higher.

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“With a dedicated fleet of electric double-decker buses running the WX1 from next April, we’re looking forward to bringing improvements in reliability and comfort for our customers. This will deliver a significant boost to the capacity of the service as its popularity continues to grow,” Ms van der Putten says.

Tranzurban Auckland will look to recruit an additional 90 drivers and already has plans for a new bus depot near Westgate, equipped with 3 megawatt charging for the incoming electric buses. It will be Tranzurban Auckland’s second bus depot, the other located in Dairy Flat where it operates the NX2 service between Albany and the city centre.

“It has been great to partner with Auckland Transport in delivering the NX2 services since 2018, so we are now looking forward to expanding our services across the city in our new electric buses that will deliver quiet and smooth services for passengers,” Tranzurban Auckland Manager Brent Early says.

To further support better journey times and reliability on West Auckland’s bus network, AT is installing T2 lanes in Te Atatū South which will improve the overall operation and safety of bus services in the area. These will go live 15 May 2024. A bus priority lane is also being installed on a section of Triangle Road in Massey.

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