Rail For Shore
Rail For Shore
Let’s transform living on the Shore with fast and frequent rail. With the Busway approaching capacity, we will need to convert to rail by 2030.
Now is the time to finalise my rail plan and confirm delivery.
In 1923 the City Rail Link (CRL) was first proposed. 93 years later government finally woke to the reality of Auckland’s transport future and committed to the project.
In the early 1950s, the original design for the Auckland Harbour Bridge showed a six-foot walkway and a railway line. In 2016 I reinvigorated that vision by putting forward my progression plan to bring rail to the Shore in the form of autonomous light-rail.
The Northern Busway has been a runaway success. So much so that its year on year patronage growth of 30%, necessitates the earlier than planned conversion of the Northern Busway to light-rail. The first parts of the puzzle are forming up - the City Rail Link is underway and opens late 2024. Together with the planned city-airport light-rail, these enable rail connection to the North Shore.
My work over the last three years has led to the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (2018) identifying the need to bring forward the rapid transit connection from 2048 to mid-2030s. In the last 18 months passenger boardings on the Busway have grown even more, with 45% growth in May 2019 compared to May 2018.
Higher capacity mode light rail is now required by early-2030s, earlier than anticipated in late 2017. This would entail a new rapid transit crossing of the Waitemata Harbour on an alignment that connects with the City-Airport light rail corridor at Wynyard Quarter. There is an urgent need to confirm the rapid transit corridor’s future mode
I have helped secure $61m to undertake the strategic business case to confirm the rapid transit corridor solution as the next harbour crossing. This work is in the final stages and is due to report to the NZTA and AT boards and Minister of Transport in November this year.
The next steps to confirm a delivery plan will be critical. A concerted effort is required.
My light-rail plan for the Shore anticipates two key phases and identifies future extensions:
Wynyard Quarter to Smales Farm and spur to Takapuna (2030), through under harbour tunnel.
Smales Farm to Albany (2032)
Future extensions : Birkenhead, Glenfield, North Harbour (Kaipatiki line) and Milford, Belmont, Bayswater, Devonport (Hauraki line)