Airport to Botany (A2B) Rapid Transit Briefing to Local Boards Out. Progress Continues with Consultation Due

Lambie Drive selected as part of the A2B route

After discovering information about Airport to Botany Rapid Transit (A2B) in briefings to the Southern Local Boards (Howick, Mangere-Otahuhu, Otara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa, and Papakura) I went to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act machine to see if the briefing to the Local Boards could be made public. And yes it was today by Auckland Transport. 

Airport to Botany RTN Briefing to Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board. Source: Auckland Council
Airport to Botany Briefing to Howick Local Board Source: Auckland Transport

The LGOIMA

Some background to the LGOIMA on the Airport to Botany Options:

Dear Auckland Transport,

On 15 October you provided Howick Local Board with this update 
Airport to Botany Rapid Transport Network

5. A key part of Auckland Transport’s public transport strategy is the plan to provide an east-west ‘Rapid Transit Network’ that links Auckland Airport with Botany via Manukau. This project involves the New Zealand Transport Agency, Auckland Airport and Auckland Transport working together over a number of years to plan and build a bus or light rail link between these points.

6. Auckland Transport briefed the Southern Local Board Cluster meeting on 17 September 2018. This briefing discussed the very wide long ‘list’ of options currently being considered and the possible ‘short list’ that was being developed.

7. At the briefing Auckland Transport outlined the process for further discussion including public consultation and providing an opportunity for local boards to engage in the process.

8. Like previous discussions with local boards, the September briefing was positive and local boards including the HLB (which has stated its support by resolution) continue to support the project. This was particularly evident with regard to the social procurement opportunities that the project is creating.

9. Finally, from HLB’s perspective the relationship between this project and AMETI is important to reinforce. AMETI – Eastern Busway Stage Four is the development of a public transport hub at Botany. This hub will provide a link between the East Auckland’s busways and the proposed east-west link provided by the Airport to Botany project.

Link: HERE. 

My questions or requests are

  • Can the briefing of the wide list of options please as seen in (6) (including the options themselves) be list into the public realm and if possible the short range options under consideration
  • When will public consultation due to start for A2B
  • What are the qualifications for A2B to be Light Rail rather than a bus way?

Yours faithfully,

Auckland Transport replied (my questions are in italics):

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) CAS–888954-P7B0C7
Thank you for your email dated 16 October 2018 requesting information under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) regarding the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project.
The Airport to Botany Rapid Transit (A2B RTN) project forms part of the Southwest Gateway Programme and is still in the early stages of the business case.

  1. Can the briefing of the wide list of options please as seen in (6) – including the options themselves – be list into the public realm and if possible the short range options under consideration.
    We note that (6) in your email refers to the Auckland Transport (AT) briefing of the Southern Local board Cluster meeting on 17 September 2018). Please find enclosed a copy of this briefing.
  2. When will public consultation due to start for A2B?
    AT and our Southwest Gateway Project Partners (the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Airport) will be initiating public engagement on the programme and its projects (which includes A2B RTN) in mid to late November 2018.
  3. What are the qualifications for A2B to be Light Rail rather than a bus way?
    There is some overlap between the roles of Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in transit system as they both provide a medium to relatively high capacity mode that is relatively flexible in terms of corridor choice.
    Qualifications for LRT over BRT may lie in demands as LRT can carry higher volumes than BRT at lower frequencies, enabling in some cases better reliability of journey time.
    A need for passenger experience quality can be a differentiator, as LRT is typically perceived as higher quality; however, this gap is narrowing significantly with current emerging BRT technology.
    Budget is a significant qualification as LRT normally results in higher costs. This can be exacerbated by BRT’s ability to be staged and operate on roads for sections whereas LRT typically requires a major up-front investment.

—ends—

The Southern Local Board briefing presentation is below:

2018 08 17 Southern Local Board Cluster Meeting V2 by Ben Ross on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/393138223/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-N65wBsOA1N5pFv6FNeJS&show_recommendations=true

Light Rail still not ruled out, Lambie Drive preferred route

A2B Routes. Source: Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport said there was a wide list? Okay sure but the above route selections looks logical and can be worked with. 

That is at least AT and NZTA have a fail safe option if they can not get A2B down State Highway 20B although that negates the benefits of an express route from the heavy rail line to the Airport!

In any case it looks like A2B will make its way along Puhinui Road and down Lambie Drive before (hopefully) linking up with Manukau Station via Manukau Station Road and then heading out to Botany on Te Irirangi Drive. I have made the case why A2B should go down Manukau Station Road and not Ronwood Avenue here: Human Connectivity – Which Way Is Best? Why Should (A2B) Light Rail Go Down Manukau Station Road and not Ronwood Avenue.

With Lambie Drive nailed down all that is left is making sure Manukau Station Road and Manukau Station form the final part of the Airport to Botany route to allow maximum connectivity and accessibility. 

Again Light Rail not being ruled out but I see someone is using pictures I used for A2B again 😛 (I don’t mind).

Source: @TransitSleuth Could the Southern Airport Line be like this? Yes it can

Public consultation should be starting next week if AT keep to the LGOIMA timetable.

Also thank you Auckland Transport for releasing the information. 🙂 

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