Flushing out the methodology to the Auckland Transport study behind Airport Rail
With Auckland Transport announcing they want to do Light Rail to the Airport instead of extending the current and existing Heavy Rail system questions have been asked on why Auckland Transport has picked Light Rail.
For context thus far please read these two posts:
There is a presentation that Auckland Transport gave to the Auckland Council Infrastructure Committee in 2015 with AT subsequently refusing to release it when asked. The presentation covered Auckland Transport’s supposed methodology on why Light Rail via Dominion Road instead of Heavy Rail via Onehunga or Otahuhu given apparently heavy rail is six minutes faster (more likely Light Rail is 21 minutes slower).
In any case I have filed a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act Request to Auckland Transport on the Airport Rail situation asking the following:
Dear Auckland Transport,
Subject: Studies into Rail Options to the Airport
With Light Rail Transit (LRT) from the City Centre to Auckland International Airport via Dominion Road and State Highway 20 in place of heavy rail (see: Trams proposed for airport route http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11567299 ) I have the following questions for Auckland Transport:
- In 2015 you presented to the Auckland Council Infrastructure Committee a video showing the difference between Light Rail and Heavy Rail to the Airport from the City via essentially Onehunga and SH20/20A. Why have you not released this video into the public domain and will you release it into the public domain?
- In that video you claim the time difference between heavy rail using the existing electric trains and the proposed light rail via Dominion Road is six minutes. Can you please provide a full breakdown of the research methodology that resulted in that conclusion of the time difference please?
- Can you please a cost break down section by section for both light rail to the airport via Dominion Road, and heavy rail that would extend from the Onehunga Station? Please include the cost of track duplication and level crossing removal on the Onehunga Line and any Public Works Act purchases that might need to be made for either LRT or Heavy Rail? Please also include for LRT the cost of new trams and a tram depot that would be needed for servicing the Airport LRT Line while for heavy rail the cost of extra EMUs.
- Has Auckland Transport considered heavy rail to the airport from the North Island Main Trunk Link at Otahuhu Station and would run through Mangere East and Mangere before running alongside SH20A to the airport? If not why not? If so the methodology of your research that led to the Otahuhu to Airport route being struck out from further analysis and consideration to and by the Governing Body of Auckland Council.
- Finally has Auckland Transport done any study for bus or rail rapid transit from Manukau City Centre to the Airport via SH20B?
I look forward to your reply
Auckland Transport must reply by February 15 with their full response.
I am also penning a letter to Ministers English, Bridges and Smith on the matter.