Window seats will generally be the only seats available on buses when Aucklanders are allowed back on public transport under level 2 from Thursday.
Social distancing rules mean stickers will be placed on aisle seats, although couples or friends will be allowed to sit next to one another. Standing on buses will not be allowed.
The new rules mean buses will be permitted to carry only 15 or 18 passengers and 39 passengers on double-decker buses. Bright pink signs with the maximum number of passengers allowed have been placed on buses.
Similar distancing rules will be in place on train and ferry services.
Under levels 4 and 3, public transport has been limited to essential workers and for travel to supermarkets and pharmacies.
An Auckland Transport spokesman said capacity under level 2 will be about 43 per cent, an increase from 22.5 per cent under level 3.
He said AT will be monitoring the network carefully on Thursday and Friday but does not expect some businesses to restart until Monday. Similarly, tertiary students are not back and they represent 14.6 per cent of the normal passenger count, he said.
"We have the ability to move services around if we have capacity issues but we are now running a full schedule," the spokesman said.
AT's advice to commuters is to use the AT mobile app, which displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any time, or use its journey planner.
The council transport body is also encouraging people to consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce demand on public transport.
Under level 4, public transport use in Auckland plummeted by 90 per cent and improved slightly to about 37,000 daily trips under level 3.
Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern encouraged people to be patient with public transport, saying it will take a period to adjust.
She said people should plan their trip, keep their distance, track their journey and "if you are sick, stay home".
The Prime Minister also encouraged people to talk with their employers around working from home and when they planned to come into work, saying she wants discussions around early starting and flexible finishing times to perhaps space out necessary commutes.
After calls from health experts for masks to be worn on public transport, Ardern has said a review by the Ministry of Health on the evidence and research found if they are not worn properly, people might be in a position of more harm than good.
Some countries, like Germany and Britain, have required face masks on public transport. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has gone as far as telling people to avoid crowded public transport and walk, bicycle or travel by car.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency general manager transport services Brett Gliddon said it was important for people to understand that the experience of using public transport under level 2 would be very different from what it was before the pandemic.
"Catching a bus now will not be like catching a bus in February," said Gliddon.
He said the social distancing measures and passenger limits are vital to keep people safe and minimise the risks of spreading Covid-19.
• Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website
The agency is urging people to plan ahead as more people return to their cars and public transport and an expected increase in traffic with the move to level 2.
It's important to travel safely at all alert levels. In preparation for moving to level 2 and an expected increase in traffic across the country, Waka Kotahi is encouraging everyone to play it safe and plan ahead.
"Please plan your journeys in advance and allow plenty of time. If you can, stagger your journey to avoid travelling during peak times. Walking or cycling is a great option for some trips.
"We know that car travel is likely to spike when we move to level 2 on Thursday and there will be some unavoidable congestion and delays. We're hitting 'pause' on maintenance work on our busiest roads this week to avoid making those delays worse," Gliddon said.
He said the agency would closely monitor traffic flows around the country and the pause on daytime work may be extended if needed.