Nice for the free trains Auckland Transport but one small catch….
Opening of MIT campus milestone for Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton says, the public opening of the new $100 million Manukau Institute of Technology Campus this weekend showcases another world-class facility for Auckland.
Dr Warburton says, “Since the railway station opened in April 2012, commuters have been using a temporary entrance as the MIT Tertiary Hub was completed above. The rail line to Manukau Station was specially built by KiwiRail and approaches the station in a trench up to seven metres below ground level. It was the first new rail connection to be built in Auckland in 82 years and is ready for the introduction of electric trains.
“Commuters and students can now access the station through an atrium the size of a rugby field with soaring views through six floors of the 14,000 square metre education facility above. It is decorated in a cultural theme by artists led by MIT lecturers making it one of the most impressive transport interchanges in Auckland”.
The partnership between MIT and Auckland Transport sees a station complex matching the new commuter friendly transport facilities at other major centres such as Britomart, Panmure and Newmarket.
The Manukau Station and Education Hub complex will be complemented with a bus interchange, parking improvements and access to the Manukau City Centre. Already apartment buildings and shops are being built near the new building and changes to surrounding parks and car parks have been made to accommodate the surge in commuters. The university will attract around 120 staff and 6000 students, many of them will use public transport which will bring them to the door.
A 250-seat auditorium and theatre in the complex will also be available for community activity. These will boost use of the transport interchange and the businesses on the ground floor of the building.
Estimates of passenger numbers suggest that the Manukau Station and Bus interchange will grow to be one of the busiest in Auckland.
There will be an Open Day for the public at the new Manukau MIT education and transport hub tomorrow Saturday 28 June. Auckland Transport is providing free train travel for those wishing to visit the new building. There will be food stalls, music, entertainment and information about MIT and transport options to the site.
10am – 5pm Saturday 28 June
Manukau Train Station and MIT Manukau
Cnr Manukau Station Road and Davies Avenue
It will be so great to see the site up and running after delays owing to the Mainzeal disaster which proved quite costly to MIT.
Just a couple of pointers though:
First is that while the free trains are good they only run hourly on Saturdays and only go to and from Britomart. There is no Papakura to Manukau direct option until the South Link is built. Yes you could time your Papakura to Britomart train to try and relay up with a Manukau Train at Puhinui (and vice versa for the return) but with bad hourly frequencies on the Manukau Line you might as well drive. As for buses no buses stop outside the new MIT and Manukau Station facility yet. If you do catch the bus you will be deposited outside the eastern entrance of the Westfield Mall in which there goes a 15 minute walk to get to the MIT site. So come on AT I know later in the year there is meant to be an announcement for the South Link but surely we can speed this up please.
Second pointer although a question. 6000 students? I thought it was 5,000 students for MIT. That extra 1,000 students than first thought, ah well bring it on! That said the MIT building is only the first stage of three for the site. Over time two more buildings as two separate stages will be built on the site eventually covering the rail trench. That is going to be super impressive for the Manukau City Centre (yes Auckland Transport even referred it as such, see A Story of Downtown Auckland on a a reference to two City Centres).
Ah well, I will be at the open day tomorrow and promise to get some photos of the completed facilities 🙂 – lets hope the weather is a bit better than today.
Some earlier photos of the MIT and Manukau Station complex: