Universal connection for Auckland
Debate continues over Airport Rail and this incline for light rail via Dominion Road to the Airport from the City Centre. This is despite the route being slower and Light Rail not even on the agenda yet compared to heavy rail which is already in place and easily expandable.
For more on the Airport Line details see: Airport (Heavy) Rail Via Otahuhu + Botany Line: Our Airport Lines. A Redux
Airport Rail via Otahuhu – The Universal Connection
I saw this tweet earlier today about Airport Rail via Dominion Road being a universal connection:
The problem is that the Airport Line via Dominion Road misses out where 45% of Auckland’s population is – South and East (Howick) Auckland. Given Transport Blog pointing out in their Serving the Southwest post the bulk of travellers to and from the Airport area come from the south and east of the City the Dominion Road Light Right route to the Airport simply fails to stack up. Cue heavy rail to the Airport via Otahuhu which would cost the same amount as the LRT system from Dominion Road to the Airport (around $1.2 billion) that is the true universal connection to the Airport for all of Auckland.
These diagrams illustrate the case for heavy rail to the Airport via Otahuhu:
Given Dominion Road light rail is on the wish list and the Botany Line is to have a business case done on it heavy rail via Otahuhu to the Airport (backed up by the feeder busses in the south-west) gives the best universal connection using the heavy rail system. The North Shore can use the Northern Express busses (until the North Shore Line is built) to Britomart then transfer over to the Airport Line via Otahuhu. The Airport Line via Otahuhu also allows me to come from Papakura to Otahuhu and transfer over to the airport train that would be every 10 minutes.
Of course and ultimately I would like the Airport Line via Otahuhu AND the Botany Line built and operational at the same time to allow a fully integrated solution that connects most of urban Auckland up.
I am aware of property issues at the Otahuhu end of the Airport Line but like any transport project whether it be road or rail good solutions can be worked out that are fair to all parties. Communication would be the key.
Airport Rail via Otahuhu: the universal connection for all of Auckland