SkyBus services to Auckland International Airport will drop stops along one of the city's busiest arterial routes for buses because it doesn't stack up financially.

The bus company will quit stops along Dominion Rd, meaning some passengers will have to travel further to find a bus to and from the airport.

SkyBus says confining its service between the CBD and the airport to Mt Eden Rd will make it more efficient and allow it to increase frequency, reducing times between buses from 20 minutes to 12 minutes.

It is also dropping fares on the route from $19 to $17 as it faces slowing growth of passenger numbers and increased competition from Uber and shuttle services.


''It just comes back to the cost and the number of passengers we're serving down the Dominion Rd side. We've done some analysis and there's just not enough passengers [but] this allows us to speed up the service,'' said SkyBus general manager for NZ Dave Butler.

The round-the-clock service started four years ago and SkyBus was now talking to the airport about how to optimise the service.

'We want to work more with the airport about understanding where the staff live and whether there's more productive routes our buses can take because we want to reduce the amount of traffic that comes to the airport,'' said Butler.

The bus had stopped at three places down Dominion Rd and there had been ''a little bit'' of feedback.

''The comment from one person is that it was going to take them three different buses to get there now instead of our service. I think they're disappointed and it predominantly seems to be the regular workers at the airport.''

The company also runs services from Albany to the airport for $25 one-way and throughout its Auckland network carries just under one million passengers a year.

While there has been steep growth on the North Shore service, the city to airport service growth has been flat.

Butler said the company would prefer to run an express service between the airport and the city but at present the numbers didn't make it viable and it would continue to make stops along Mt Eden Rd.

SkyBus runs from Auckland's CBD and Albany to Auckland International Airport. Photo / Supplied
SkyBus runs from Auckland's CBD and Albany to Auckland International Airport. Photo / Supplied

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SkyBus started in Australia nearly 40 years ago and Butler said it was a purely commercial venture with no public funding support.

The Government has long-stalled plans to build light rail down Dominion Rd. However, Butler said he didn't think the difficulty SkyBus had in making that service viable was relevant to any light rail - when it gets built.

''It's a different type of service that we're running at the moment - we don't pick up and drop off down the length of Dominion Rd. If you were running a light rail service down there you'd be picking up people coming into the city.''

SkyBus services on Dominion Rd will end on November 17.

Auckland Airport said it was working on a collaborative public transport strategy that supported a greater number of people using public transport, which includes Skybus.

It was investing in high occupancy vehicle lanes on George Bolt Memorial Drive at the north of the precinct and Laurence Stevens in the south, said a spokeswoman. It is also working in partnership with NZTA and AT on a planned upgrade of SH20B, which would provide additional high occupancy vehicle and bus lanes, connecting the airport to Puhinui Station with a ten-minute bus service.