Airport to Botany (A2B) Rapid Transit Construction to Start 2019 with Puhinui Station Upgrade

Puhinui Station Interim Upgrade to Start Quarter Three next year

The Board of Auckland Transport has released a previously confidential paper on the upgrade process for Puhinui Station. The upgrade of Puhinui Station coupled with bus priority measures between the Airport and Manukau Bus Station in Manukau City Centre marks the start of Stage 1 of the much vaunted Airport to Botany (A2B)  Rapid Transit Line. 

The Auckland Transport paper on Puhinui Station can be seen here:

Puhinui Station Auckland Transport Paper 2018 by Ben Ross on Scribd

Some clarification on the various stages of Airport to Botany (A2B) Rapid Transit:

  1. Language from Auckland Transport and NZTA has couched the word Light Rail in all official documents, and briefings to Councillors and Local Boards. If it was to be busway Light Rail would have been struck out by now
  2. Stage 1 which has a completion date of 2021 is the upgrade of Puhinui Station and bus priority measures between the Airport and Manukau Bus Station. The 380 Airporter bus will be rejigged in its service route and run every 10 minutes Airport-Puhinui-Manuku and return. 
  3. Stages 2 and beyond are set after 2021 and are subject to Government funding. This includes possible Light Rail or full on busway. However, this is likely to be all tied in with State Highway 20B widening and the completion of Botany Interchange which is set for 2026
  4. To best utilise resources Stage 2 would be Light Rail from Airport (connecting with City Centre to Mangere Light Rail) to Manukau with the Light Rail then extending to Botany as Stage 3

Further more from Auckland Transport:

That update also noted that the Puhinui Station Interchange would be delivered in two phases (Figure 2):

  • The first phase is an early deliverable component of the Airport to Botany rapid transit line, to be operational by end of 2020 /early 2021. This encompasses a new at-grade bus/rail interchange and enhanced station. Buses will still use the existing local road (Bridge Street) to cross the railway line to/from Manukau, along with local traffic.
  • This Board report outlines the preferred option and next steps for this first phase of the Puhinui Station Interchange.
  • The second phase provides a rapid transit overbridge across the railway line to provide a more direct and bespoke rapid transit connection. The new rapid transit link will integrate with the new interchange station on the overbridge.
  • The overbridge requires additional land; and its footprint and likely delivery timeframe will be determined through the Airport to Botany rapid transit business case currently being progressed.
Puhinui Station upgrades. Source: Auckland Transport

The cost of the Stage 1 project is set for $59m and will follow the Social Procurement approach the Manukau Bus Station used as expected by The Southern Initiative. 

The upgrade will factor in the third and fourth Mains (currently under their own business case) and I see inter city trains will not initially terminate at Puhinui pre City Rail Link (2024). I wonder if Platform 3 at Otahuhu will be used instead (a good idea). 

Public consultation is also due to start soon on A2B Stage 1 so be on the lookout. For more on A2B see: Airport to Botany

Construction due to start Quarter 3, 2019!