Auckland’s West Auckland bus service to go fully electric

Posted: 19 April 2024 | | No comments yet

West Auckland’s flagship bus service, the WX1, will transition to fully electric double-decker buses in April 2025 under a new $166 million contract between Auckland Transport and Tranzit Group

Auckland's West Auckland bus service to go fully electric

Credit: Kinetic

Auckland Transport (AT) has announced that West Auckland’s flagship bus service, the WX1, will transition to fully electric double-decker buses starting April 2025, as part of AT’s Mission Electric initiative. This development comes under a new $166 million contract signed between AT and Tranzit Group.

The nine-year contract will introduce more than 40 new electric buses to the streets of Tāmaki Makaurau, with over half of them being electric double-decker buses. These buses will operate under the Tranzurban Auckland brand, serving key routes including WX1, 11T/11W and 120.

Stacey van der Putten, AT’s Director of Public Transport and Active Modes, emphasised the significance of this partnership in advancing sustainable transportation in West Auckland, stating, “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.”

Since its launch in November 2023, the WX1 Western Express has witnessed remarkable growth, catering to over 275,000 passengers. Ms. van der Putten highlighted the increasing popularity of bus services in West Auckland post-COVID, with patronage up by 25% in Westgate/Massey and 30% in Te Atatū.

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“With a dedicated fleet of electric double-decker buses on the WX1 from next April [2025], we’re looking forward to enhancing reliability and comfort for our customers,” Ms. van der Putten added.

Tranzurban Auckland, the operating arm of Tranzit Group, plans to recruit 90 additional drivers and establish a new bus depot near Westgate equipped with three-megawatt charging infrastructure for the incoming electric buses.

Brent Early, Manager of Tranzurban Auckland, expressed enthusiasm about expanding services across the city with the new electric fleet, stating, “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.”

In addition to the fleet upgrade, AT is implementing T2 lanes in Te Atatū South to improve journey times and safety for bus services, effective from 15 May 2024. A bus priority lane is also being introduced on a section of Triangle Road in Massey to further support the efficiency of West Auckland’s bus network.