After slugging motorists with almost $10 million in bus lane fines since its formation in 2010, Auckland Transport says its enforcement efforts appear to be succeeding.
"Issuance [of infringement notices] over the last three years shows that drivers are becoming more compliant," says parking services manager Liz Hogan.
Figures she provided the Herald under official information legislation show her organisation collected $1.9 million in fines in the 2013-14 financial year for breaches of bus and "transit" lanes, which cars are allowed to use if they have enough passengers to get a legitimate jump on low-occupancy vehicles stuck in traffic queues.
That was down from $2.25 million collected the year before, and $2.34 million in 2011-12.
The council body has reaped $8.94 million in bus and transit lane fines since November 2010, and is owed a further $653,000.
That follows its issuance of 77,275 infringement notices carrying $150 fines, of which it has waived 14,691 for technical or legal reasons, or in acknowledgement of special circumstances such as medical emergencies.
It has also withdrawn 19 notices in the face of legal challenges, but only nine drivers or vehicle owners have had cases dismissed in court.
Auckland Transport inherited enforcement duties after a review of the former Auckland City Council's controversial policy of increasing income from bus lane and parking fines to hold down rates.
The old council collected almost $6.2 million in bus lane fines in the year to June 2010, providing political ammunition for Len Brown in his successful campaign against John Banks for the Super City mayoralty.
Mr Banks said the fines reflected an absolute commitment "to getting people out of cars and into integrated public transport" on his turf, which had 10 times more bus lanes than the former Manukau City under Mr Brown as its mayor.
Auckland Transport hopes to add 40km of new bus lanes to the Super City's network of 88km in the next two and a half years, most in central areas.
North Shore councillor George Wood is calling for more in the south and west. Almost a third of fines are for breaches of North Shore bus and transit lanes.