Auckland Transit Gathers Pace

Southern Airport Line on the cusp


John Key: We are on the cusp…..

Indeed New Zealand was on the cusp – of going nowhere fast. Enter the new Government and the new THUD Minister (Minister of Transport, Housing and Urban Development) is already due to sit down with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff (the Prime Minister, and Finance Minister will also be present) this week and thrash out a plan in moving Auckland forward.


This from Newsroom

The new Labour-led Government will meet with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff later this week to discuss a massive shift in the way ratepayers and motorists will pay for $15 billion worth of new rapid transit infrastructure in New Zealand’s fastest growing and most congested city over the next decade.
Less than a week into the job, new Housing and Transport Minister Phil Twyford has asked MBIE, the Transport Ministry and Treasury for advice on 20 different streams of work to kick off a mass planning programme to enable the building of tens of thousands of affordable homes and a transport network that can handle more than a million extra people.
Twyford told Newsroom in an interview that the Government and the Auckland Council are looking at ways to fill a $6 billion funding hole over the next decade that the previous Government had given no indication of filling. The Council is up against its debt limits for its current AA credit rating and each notch downgrade caused by extra borrowing increases rates by around one percent per year.


Twyford has ordered an urgent rewrite of the Government Policy Statement (GPS) for the National Land Transport Fund to reflect the new Government’s focus on investing in urban public transport infrastructure, rather than building more motorways. It would include new directions on the use of the National Land Transport Fund, which was forecast last year to spend $9.8 billion over the 2015-2018 period. He expects a new GPS within two months.

Tywford expects a first meeting later this week between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Finance Minister Grant Robertson, and himself with Mayor Phil Goff to include the beginning of the start of a renegotiation of the Auckland Transport Alignment Programme (ATAP), which is the 30 year plan for Auckland Transport. The renegotiation was aimed at refocusing investment on light rail lines from the CBD to the Airport and from the CBD to West Auckland alongside State Highway 16, as well as cross-town buses and a new rapid transit bus system linking the Auckland Airport with train stations at Puhinui and Manukau.
“There’s a six billion dollar funding gap there that the former Government never really explained how they were going to fund that,” Twyford said.

quote context:


It does seem this new Administration has done more Auckland in a week than the last Administration had done it in it’s nine years.


WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 28: Minister of Economic Development, Science and Innovation, Small Business ,Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, speaks during the National Party Annual Conference at Michael Fowler Centre on June 28, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Around 600 National MPs and delegates are expected to gather for the two day conference, during which new policies will be released ahead of New Zealand’s general election in September. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)


CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – SEPTEMBER 05: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (R) and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee talk at an historic post cabinet press conference on September 5, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.The cabinet met in Christchurch, rather than Wellington, to show support of quake victims one year following the first earthquake to hit the region. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)



We should be seeing a new Auckland Transport Alignment Project  coming out hopefully by the end of the year of not early next year. What will entail and will it reflect the new Administration’s campaign intentions as true we will soon see.


But the exciting bit of news that is actually on the cusp is the Southern Airport Line (Botany to the Airport via Manukau and Puhinui Station) and by the looks it will be completed by 2023 as a Bus Rapid Transit route (per the Congestion Free Network MK2). Below was an extract from Newsroom on the Southern Airport Line (stage one):

A new airport bus
One issue likely to be discussed at this week’s meeting on Auckland is the potential for an urgent new bus service from the Airport to connect up with train stations in Manukau.
“There’s one really great project we’re looking to roll out as urgent priority is rapid bus link between the airport and the Puhinui and Manukau train stations,” Twyford said.
“This will give everybody who’s got access to the western and southern rail lines access to the airport. This will give rapid transit access to the airport to everybody that has access to the rail network across the city so you’ll be able to get on a train in Swanson in West Auckland or in Papakura in the south, and at Puhinui you’ll be able to change and pick up a rapid bus service to the airport,” he said.
“It’s an early win and will be very popular.

quote context:


The Southern Airport Line inside the Congestion Free Network MK2 (the yellow South Eastern BRT):

Congestion Free Network 2.0
Source: Greater Auckland
Congestion Free Network 2.0
Southern Auckland
Source: Greater Auckland


A close up of the Southern Airport Line courtesy of Auckland Urban Development via Twitter:

The Airport Lines and the North Western LRT Source: Auckland Urban Design via Twitter


Note: the two Terminals are due to merge so the ‘international terminal’ could be renamed reflecting the Airport shopping and commercial precinct

Stage 1: Airport to Manukau

Stage 2: Manukau to Botany and eventually Howick


Puhinui Station would serve as a major interchange between the Southern Airport Line and the Southern and Eastern (rail) Lines allowing near universal access to those who access any of the rail lines (including those on the Northern Busway who would transfer at Britomart then Puhinui). Manukau serves also as a major interchange due to the soon to be opened bus station that serves South Auckland’s busses as well as inter-city busses.


This came from GETs the Government procurement site:

Airport to Botany Mass Rapid Transit MRT Business Case and NoR


RFx ID : 19186791
Tender Name : Airport to Botany Mass Rapid Transit MRT Business Case and NoR
Reference # : 342-18-325-PS
Open Date : Tuesday, 31 October 2017 9:00 AM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+13:00)
Close Date : Friday, 17 November 2017 5:00 PM (Pacific/Auckland UTC+13:00)
Tender Type : Notice of Information (NOI)
Tender Coverage : Sole Agency  [?]

GETS – Notice of Information
Title: Airport to Botany Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Single Stage Business Case (SSBC) and NoR; and Short-Term Airport Access SSBC – Professional Services
Intention to release Tender Request for Proposal (RfP) mid November 2017

Intended Tender close: Prior to 20th December 2017.
AT Contract Number: 342-18-325-PS

Auckland Transport intends to release an open market RFP for the above contract, for the provision of Professional Services to produce Single Stage Detailed Business Cases (IBC and DBC) for the Airport to Botany Mass Rapid Transit, as well as for the short-term Airport Access Improvements (to be in place by 2020).

AT, the Transport Agency and Auckland Airport developed the Airport Access Programme Business Case in early 2017 and all three organisations endorsed this in May 2017. The PBC outlines an agreed high-level tripartite programme for improving airport access.
These single stage businesses cases aim to confirm some of the PBC’s key recommendations and are required to support the continued success of the airport and surrounding areas.

The single stage business cases will be in two parts:
1. Part 1 – Options Selection Phase (indicative business case / IBC)
2. Part 2 – Option Refinement Phase (detailed business case / DBC)

The key deliverables will be:
1. A “fit for purpose” single stage detailed business case (SSBC) – termed “Short-Term SSBC”; to confirm the short-term measures to be in place by 2020, including an upgraded Puhinui Station Interchange; and
2. A single-staged detailed business case to confirm the MRT solution for the Airport to Botany corridor (termed A to B MRT SSBC), including an upgraded Botany Interchange. The SSBC will be used to support route protection, i.e. lodgement of a Notice of Requirement (NoR) – which forms part of this commission; and implementation of the Airport to Botany MRT. Implementation and staging timing of the full A to B MRT solution is to be confirmed via the business case work, however, an operational new Botany Interchange is required by 2022/23.




According to the tender outline from Auckland Transport:

Stage One including Puhinui Station upgrade to be all done by 2020

Stage Two which includes an upgraded Botany Interchange by 2023

I wonder if the Botany Interchange upgrade will reflect Panmure to Botany section of the Bus Rapid Transit system?


Graphic Impression of South Eastern Bus Way that would could also used for the Southern Airport Line


So we have a timeline in place and the Minister putting the system into fifth gear compared to 30 years from that last Administration.

Looking forward to a more congestion free way of getting to the Airport soon!


Airport Origins
Source: Auckland Transport




One thought on “Auckland Transit Gathers Pace

Comments are closed.