Looking at the Light Rail Lines
Last month I wrote a piece on how we are looking at the Northern Airport Line (City Centre to Airport via Dominion Road) all wrong. In that post (see: We are doing the Airport Lines All Wrong. Start from the Airport not from the City Centres) I stated that we should be starting the Line from the Airport and head to Onehunga as stage 1 with Dominion Road and Queen Street as stages two and three. At the same time the Southern Airport Line (Airport to Botany via Puhinui and Manukau) would also start allowing operations by 2021 (and to Botany by 2023).
The reasoning behind this was two-fold:
- Allows Mangere to be connected to the Rapid Transit Network immediately rather than six to ten years time as currently proposed
- Kept the main LRT works out of the City Centre while the City Rail Link was being built
In the interim double-decker busses would ply Dominion Road which would have 24/7 bus lanes while Queen Street was closed to cars allowing the street to become a transit mall and able to handle the increased bus loads until Light Rail came down some six years later.
Depot placement also determined which end of the Northern Airport Line went first. Given that the depot should be placed next to SH20B where the Southern Airport Line runs (see: Where to Place the Light Rail Depot for the Northern Airport Line?) starting the Northern Airport Line at the airport end made sense.
A comment on Greater Auckland about Light Rail procurement floated an alternative as well. That is starting the North Western Light Rail Line first and make its way to the City Centre from the West.
Check the idea out below and let me know what you think:
Someone put Grant on the committee overseeing the Light Rail design and builds!
I like the ideas Grant put forward and they would work well with the Northern and Southern Airport Line builds starting at the Airport end.
What do you think?
** If that is too hard and mucks up cycleway/buses through K’rd & on Pitts St then via Ponsonby Rd & Hopetoun St (would hate to delay the cycleway/street upgrade plans!). I think some buses can work with the LRT down Albert. But frequent New Lynn route 18 which has stop on K’rd overbridge could be redirected down Queen St.