Auckland mayor Phil Goff is urging the government to push ahead with light rail to the airport rather than create a bus route.
The government agreed yesterday to the council's long-sought light rail option as the best mass transit for the airport in the long term.
It agreed it would start buying properties for a transport corridor between the airport and the central city, but Transport Minister Simon Bridges said light rail could be 30 years away.
Mr Bridges said it would take time to secure the route and in the meantime buses would still be the main form of transport to the airport.
It would become what he described as "advanced bussing" along the secured corridor, most likely to be Dominion Road.
Mr Goff said he wanted light rail to be the priority.
"It seems to me that if the need for light rail is earlier rather than later it would be unfortunate if we had to disrupt public use of the roads twice - first putting in a bus way and then converting it to light rail.
Mr Goff said a study on the vailbility of light rail should be completed by the middle of the year.