Detractors will always be detractors
Today the Prime Minister, and Auckland Mayor Len Brown will undertake the ceremonial sod turning to mark the official start of the City Rail Link construction in Downtown Auckland.
The City Rail Link with its 3.4km tunnels, two underground stations at Aotea and K’ Road, and the new junction/station at Mt Eden will open up Britomart making that station a through station. This allows doubling of the capacity of the heavy rail network (trains can go every five minutes on all lines except the Onehunga Line). The City Rail Link also allows the construction and operation of the North Shore, Botany and Airport Lines over time as well. Meaning with the inclusion of Isthmus Light Rail and the North Western Bus-Way the urban Auckland population plus Pukekohe should be within 10-15 minutes of a rapid transit line by the end of the Auckland Plan (if not sooner).
Of course busses will still have their place whether down a bus-way, feeding into the metro stations (light or heavy rail) and doing short distance shuttling across the City. Park and rides for stations with rural catchments would extend the reach of the Rapid Transit system to those outside urban Auckland.
For the usual detractors out there I am going to leave this graphic from How to Use OUR Street Space Efficiently While Being Pro-People? on why Auckland’s rebirth lays with rail (and busses) rather than cars, roads and motorways (including Mill Road, Reeves Road Flyover, and the next Harbour road crossing):
Note with heavy and light rail: the Elevated or underground Light Rail used in the example above was a 4-car train set at 1:30 minute frequencies. For surface light rail it was the same 4-car set at every 2:30 minute frequencies. In Auckland our heavy rail system can move using a 6-car set 750 people every five minutes in a single direction. So at 750 x 24 trains per hour (12 going both directions) our heavy rail system post City Rail Link moves 18,000 people an hour (or 9,000 in a single direction per hour). If the system were to go driver-less we can get down to three-minute frequencies or 30,000 people an hour.
The rest I will leave to Sudhvir Singh from Generation Zero: Sudhvir Singh: Rail link the key to a unified city
By 2024 I can finally catch that train directly to Town Hall without the walk up and down Queen Street 😀