Bus Industry News, Company News, Electric Buses, International

Electric double-decker buses to run West Auckland WX1 service

The nine-year, $166 million contract will see Tranzit Group run more electric double-decker buses throughout West Auckland

Auckland Transport has announced that its flagship bus service in West Auckland, the WX1, will be run by fully electric double-decker buses from next April.

The announcement is part of a new $166 million contract between Auckland Transport (AT) and bus operator Tranzit Group to accelerate AT’s Mission Electric.

More than 40 new electric buses will hit the streets of Tāmaki Makaurau as part of the nine-year contract, with the buses to run under the Tranzurban Auckland brand on the key WX1, 11T/11W and 120 bus routes.

More than half of these buses will be double-decker models, with AT director of public transport and active modes Stacey van der Putten saying the new contract with Tranzit Group marks another step to run 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,” van der Putten says.

“Since we introduced the WX1 Western Express last November, we have seen fantastic growth on this frequent bus route that 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 per cent higher and, in Te Atatū, it is about 30 per cent higher.

“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.”

As part of the deal, Tranzurban Auckland will look to recruit an additional 90 drivers and already has plans for a new bus depot near Westgate that will be equipped with a three megawatt charger for incoming electric buses.

The new depot would become Tranzurban Auckland’s second bus depot, supplementing the current Dairy Flat site.

“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 that will improve the overall operation and safety of bus services in the area. These will go live on May 15 this year, with a bus priority lane also being installed on a section of Triangle Road in Massey.

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend