We are making street changes to make it easier for people to use public transport around Wellington.

Bus priority action plan

We're working to give buses priority on the road and make key bus routes more reliable, in line with the bus priority action plan developed by Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

In-lane bus stops

Bus journeys are slowed down when buses have to wait to merge with traffic after picking up passengers. In-lane bus stops give buses priority over cars because they stop in the traffic lane to pick up passengers, while other traffic waits behind. Kerbs are extended so passengers can get on and off the bus as normal, which is also better for people with mobility needs as the buses can pull in right against the kerb.

Not all bus stops are suitable for in-lane stops. Using this tool is most effective at the stops with the highest use.

Bus stop spacing

We can look at bus stop spacing to improve journey times for people on buses. Too many stops mean buses stop more often over short distances, slowing down journeys. But too few bus stops mean passengers have to travel further to get on a bus, or to their destination. Waka Kotahi guidelines say one bus stop every 400m is the ideal balance.

Not all stops should be exactly this far apart, as local context also matters.

Bus lanes

Well-designed bus lanes are a tool that let buses avoid slow-moving traffic, and jump the queue at intersections. We can look at where bus lanes create better efficiencies in Wellington.

Learn more about how bus lanes work.

Bikes lanes as a bus improvement

Bikes often travel more slowly than cars and buses, especially when going uphill. In some locations, this slows down car and bus journeys. Separating bikes from general traffic can make it less stressful for people driving or biking, and improve car and bus journey times.

Preparing for increased bus capacity

Greater Wellington Regional Council is looking to accommodate an estimated 50% increase in passengers over the coming years. Double-decker buses are good on some routes, but others are not suited for double-deckers. This means we will either need more buses or longer buses to provide for the increase in passengers. Both options require longer bus stops along routes to provide for more or longer buses.

Bus priority at intersections

Where there’s space for a bus lane, traffic lights for buses give bus passengers a head start on slow moving traffic. These bus priority traffic lights also apply to bikes in the shared bus/bike lanes.

Lane alignment

Narrow streets come with the territory in Wellington, but sometimes changes to lanes at intersections and corners can help buses turn more easily, and without cutting into the path of other road users. Buses have very wide turning circles, so providing more room for cornering through lane alignment and widening can make a significant difference for ease of travel, and safety for other people on the road.