Accessible Travel


General FAQs about catching buses

How can I find out which bus to catch?

The easiest way is to use the Journey Planner. Alternatively, you can contact MAXX on 09 366 6400 for help with finding the appropriate bus.

How do I know which bus stop to use?

Buses usually stop approximately every 400 metres at posted signs. At major stops, bus route and timetable information signs show the numbers, names and descriptions of buses that stop at the stop. Longer bus stops will have different departure points for each service. These signs indicate the place to wait.

How do I make sure I catch the right bus?

The destination sign above the bus windshield shows the route number and destination. If the bus approaching your stop is the one you want, remain on the curb and indicate to the bus driver with a clear wave of your arm that you intend to board.

Can I eat, drink or smoke on the bus?

No eating, drinking or smoking is allowed on buses at any time, so that other passengers can travel in comfort.

What is the difference between a stage and a zone?

For cash fares and multi-ride bus tickets, Auckland is divided into 8 stages. Distance based stage points are used to calculate the fare charged. Stage points are set at specific points along the bus route, approximately every four kilometres, often at a point of interest such as a local shopping centre. If your journey travels across a stage point then the fare increases. For instance if you were to make a journey from Manukau City to central Auckland City, you pass through stage points at Hunters Corner, Otahuhu, the Harp of Erin and Newmarket. Therefore you travel 5 stages.


For monthly bus passes, Auckland is divided into zones offering the choice of all zone passes or less expensive zone specific passes, for travel within a zone. For example Ritchies A Zone (west) pass offers unlimited bus travel anywhere south of the Massey West shops to the CBD, which is great if you work in the city.

What should I do if I have lost or found something on a bus?

If you have left something on a bus, you need to call the operator of the service that you were on directly; for further information click here. If you find something on a bus please hand it to the driver as soon as possible.

What buses connect to the trains?

Frequent buses operate between Britomart and Queen Street and Karangahape Road. If you are using an adult monthly train pass, you can travel for free on Waka Pacific/GO WEST/North Star/Metrolink bus services to and from Britomart from anywhere within the Inner City zone. Simply show your pass to the bus driver.

Use the MAXX Journey Planner to plan your trip. All you need to do is select your departure and destination locations and when you wish to travel. The Journey Planner will advise which buses you can catch from Britomart and provide times, fares and maps for your trip.

Around the central city you can also catch the LINK or City Circuit buses. The LINK travels a loop connecting Downtown to Ponsonby, Parnell, Newmarket, Auckland University and Karangahape Road. The free City Circuit bus travels clockwise in a loop around key destinations such as The Edge entertainment area, The University of Auckland,Sky City, Britomart and Queen Street.

FAQs about the Northern Busway and Park and Rides

What is the Northern Busway?

The Northern Busway project is the first dedicated busway infrastructure in New Zealand. The Northern Busway system consists of a public transport network of five busway stations, linked by a 6.2km two-way road for buses running alongside the Northern Motorway from Constellation Drive to Esmonde Road, then continuing in a 2.5km single bus lane to the Auckland Harbour Bridge and into Auckland City. Buses travelling on the busway are able to bypass general traffic, especially during the morning and afternoon peak travel times.

Can you tell me the names and locations of the busway stations and Park and Ride facilities?

There are five stations: Albany, Constellation, Sunnynook, Smales Farm and Akoranga. Park and Ride facilities are available at Albany and Constellation Stations, immediately adjacent to the stations. Albany has 500 free carparks and Constellation has 370 free carparks.

Locations of the busway stations and Park and Ride facilities are as follows:

  • Albany busway station is west of the motorway at the Oteha Valley Rd interchange. Access to the Park and Ride is provided via two entrances located on Oteha Valley Roadand McClymonts Road.
  • Constellation busway station is east of the motorway at Constellation Drive. Access to the Park and Ride is via Parkway Drive, off Constellation Drive.
  • Sunnynook busway station is just north of Sunnynook Rd, on the eastern side of the motorway.
  • Smales Farm busway station is on the eastern side of the motorway, by Smales Farm Technology Office Park.
  • Akoranga busway station is on the eastern side of the motorway, just north of the Esmonde Rd interchange.

What facilities are at the busway stations?

Both Albany and Constellation stations feature major Park and Ride facilities with over 350 free car parks at each. There are also well-planned drop off and pick up zones. Cyclists can leave their bikes in a secure locker or bike racks at the stations, except Sunnynook Station which only has bike racks. A $2 coin (refundable) is required to operate the bike lockers. All stations have toilets. Monitored CCTV covers the stations and safety points have been installed. Patrols visit and check vehicles in the park and ride facilities, which are also monitored by CCTV 24 hours, 7 days.

Do all the busway stations have parking?

No, Park and Ride facilities are only available at Albany and Constellation Stations. However all stations have pick-up and drop-off zones. Secure bike racks and lockers are available at each of the stations for a refundable $2 charge per day, except Sunnynook Station which only has bike racks.

Will it be safe for me to use the stations after dark or during off-peak times?

Each station is well lit and is monitored by a video recording system operating 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The CCTV footage is fed back to the busway operations centre. Busway stations are also patrolled by security staff and there is a safety point at each station where passengers can get immediate assistance by pressing a button that links them to the busway operations centre.

What about comfort and convenience?

All stations are weather protected, with seating and shelters designed for good visibility. There are modern toilets at each station. Facilities for disabled users are also available, including lifts, ramps, carparking and toilets.

Why was a busway built and not a rail network?

Buses are a much more flexible transport option than trains, as they can move around anywhere where there are roads. The bus system can also evolve as the suburbs grow to meet the changing needs of the community. The busway has been designed so that it can be converted to light rail if this proves viable in the future

Can car pools use the Northern Busway?

Not at this time. However, the Northern Busway has been designed to accommodate car pools (vehicles with three or more people) in the future. The Northern Busway project partners will look at this once the capacity at Victoria Park Viaduct has been improved.

FAQs about the Northern Pass and the new Northern Pass zones

What is the Northern Pass and After 9am ticket?

The Northern Pass is a zone based ticket that allows passengers to ride any bus around the North Shore (as far as Albany and Long Bay in the north, and Greenhithe in the west) and/or into Auckland City, using the one ticket for as long as it is valid and within the zones it is valid for. This ticket is transferable across different bus operators, allowing you to travel on different bus services without having to buy a separate ticket each time you board a bus. The Northern Pass can also be used on train services between Britomart and Glen Innes, Britomart and Ellerslie (via Newmarket), or Britomart and Kingsland (via Newmarket).

The Northern Pass is valid for a specific time, rather than for a single journey or return trip. You can purchase a:

  • 2-Hour transferable ticket
  • 1-Day transferable ticket
  • 7-Day transferable ticket

These fares give you unlimited travel on the North Shore within the time period and within the zone you have purchased. The expiry date and time will be printed on the ticket. In the time and date stated on the ticket you can travel anywhere on the North Shore and to/from the Auckland CBD using the busway, or continue your journey from the city using a train to Newmarket, Kingsland, Ellerslie or Glen Innes. With the 2-hour pass you only have to board your return bus before the 2-hour time period expires. Current operator passes will still be available and will be valid on their North Shore bus routes.

The After 9am ticket is available after 9am on weekdays and all day during the weekends. This allows you to travel around the North Shore and to/from Auckland City for one flat fare of $9.00. NiteRider services are not included. There are no other concession fares available with the After 9am ticket.

Where can the Northern Pass be used?

Buses - The Northern Pass is for use on bus services on the North Shore (as far as Albany in the north and Greenhithe in the west) and/or into Auckland City. These services will be provided by North Star, Ritchies Transport and Birkenhead. This pass cannot be used on any other bus services. Therefore, once passengers arrive into the CBD from the North Shore, they cannot use this ticket on any further bus travel, only to return to the North Shore.

Trains - The Northern Pass can be used to travel by train to/from some destinations from Britomart. You can travel from Britomart on the Western Line to/from Kingsland (via Newmarket), on the Eastern Line to/from Glen Innes and on the Southern Line to/from Ellerslie (via Newmarket).

Ferries - The Northern Pass cannot be used for any ferry travel. Passengers will need to purchase a separate ticket for any ferry trips.

Can you tell me more about the new zones?

For the purposes of the Northern Pass transferable ticket, the North Shore is divided into two zones: the Upper Zone and the Lower Zone.

Upper Zone - The following roads are part of the Upper Zone: Kyle Rd, Schnapper Rock Rd, Bush Rd, Upper Harbour Highway, Constellation Drive, Maxwelton Drive and Ramsgate Terrace extending up as far as Long Bay and Albany Village.

It includes the suburbs of Rosedale, Mairangi Bay, Murrays Bay, Rothesay Bay, Browns Bay, Torbay, Long Bay, Waiake, Northcross, Pinehill, North Harbour Industrial Estate, Albany, Albany Village, Brookfield.

Lower Zone - This is the area south of the Upper Zone down to the Harbour Bridge. It includes the suburbs of Greenhithe, Unsworth, Meadowood, Totaravale, Sunnynook, Campbells Bay, Castor Bay, Forrest Hill, Wairau Valley, Glenfield, Bayview, Windy Ridge, Marlborough, Hillcrest, Milford, Takapuna, Northcote, Birkenhead, Chatswood, Birkdale, Beach Haven, Hauraki, Belmont, Bayswater, Narrow Neck, Devonport, Cheltenham and Stanley Point.

With the purchase of a Northern Pass you can travel within or between:

Upper and Lower Zone only
Lower Zone and to/from Auckland City only
Upper and Lower Zone, plus to and from Auckland City.

Please note that stages will continue to exist when purchasing your usual operator tickets.

Timetable information

Where do I get timetable information from?

All busway stations will have an electronic display system to advise when the next bus will arrive and at which platform. Some local bus shelters will also have the same technology. There will be bus timetables for passengers to take away at the busway stations.

You can also find timetables here in the Timetables section.

FAQs regarding Northern Express and North Star bus services

What is the Northern Express?

The Northern Express is the name for the high frequency service operating between Albany and Britomart via all Busway stations.

What is North Star?

North Star is the name of NZ Bus' community bus service which operates on the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast.

Sight-seeing in Auckland City

I am a tourist in Auckland for a short time only. What would you recommend for me to see as much of the city as possible?

Take the LINK for a circular tour of the inner city area. A complete circuit takes about one hour and costs just $1.80. If you get off the bus and reboard you'll have to pay $1.80 again.

Long-distance bus FAQs

Where can I get information on long distance buses and coaches?

For bus services to other cities and towns outside the Auckland region, please phone InterCity Coachlines or Newmans Coach Lines:

InterCity Coachlines: call 09 623 1503 or visit the InterCity Coachlines website.

Newmans Coach Lines: call 09 623 1504 or visit the Newmans Coach Lines website.