Now to Stage 2 – the full Rapid Transit line to Botany Metropolitan Centre
Today marks the formal operational start of both Puhinui Station, Airport to Botany Rapid Transit Stage 1, and the Airport Link from Manukau to the Airport via Puhinui Station.
Over the weekend the formal opening ceremony was done and an open day not held long after. From the photos seen people were definitely enjoying themselves while checking out the new station. Today people were certainly using it and I will post a couple of Twitter threads at the bottom.
In the meantime from Auckland Transport:
Puhinui Station in Papatoetoe opens to the public
Improved transport connections for South Auckland are here.
Minister of Transport Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff officially opened the long-awaited upgraded Puhinui Station in Papatoetoe this morning.
A public open day then saw hundreds of people through the doors to check out the stunning $69M architecturally-designed facility.
From this Monday – there will be faster, more frequent and easier connections to Auckland Airport – with the new station providing connections to the electric AirportLink bus fleet.
Closed off for construction since September 2019, the fully-staffed station now includes new escalators, stairs and large lifts to accommodate customers with luggage.
There’s also drop-off zones and short-term parking bays, new and larger platform shelters, a HOP ticket gateline, improved safety, lighting and CCTV.
Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison says it’s a proud moment to finally reach this key milestone.
“It’s a special time to be able to unveil this stunning piece of architecture and design. Thanks to a partnership with mana whenua, which involved Te Ākitai Waiohua providing design leadership, we’ve now got an amazing station that will create key connections into Auckland Airport from all over Tāmaki Makaurau.”
Manukau Ward Councillor Alf Filipaina says the new station will also generate better future connections around Tāmaki Makaurau.
“The design also incorporates the future rapid transit network bridge – as part of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project. This will eventually unlock 18 kilometres of a dedicated rapid transit path from Botany to Auckland Airport, via Manukau, and is part of Auckland’s bigger rapid transit network.”
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says it’s another welcome investment for South Auckland.
“There are so many benefits to having such an amazing new asset in Papatoetoe. The new station will benefit locals, but it will also make it easier for the large number of airport workers who live nearby – who will now have a reliable and affordable public transport option for getting to and from work.”
The station opening also coincides with the recently upgraded State Highway 20B and Puhinui Rd/Lambie Drive Improvements – providing dedicated T3/bus lanes and reliable travel times for customers on the AirportLink.
The AirportLink will run every 10 minutes from Puhinui, with a 10-12 minute journey to Auckland Airport, along bus lanes that operate every day from 7am – 7pm.
The station was designed by Aurecon and Jasmax and constructed by a McConnell Dowell and Built Environs joint venture.
Puhinui Station is an early improvement from the wider Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project, which forms part of the wider Southwest Gateway Programme.
The Southwest Gateway Programme involves Te Ākitai Waiohua, Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, and Auckland International Airport working together in partnership to deliver transport projects that will improve access to the airport and its surrounding area for the benefit of all road users including commuters, workers, travellers, tourists and freight movements.
This approach acknowledges Te Ākitai Waiohua kaitiaki and mana whenua role in Puhinui and the wider partnership with all mana whenua across the programme.
Build it and they certainly come
And yes they did:
I will be testing out Puhinui and the Airport Link tomorrow although in reverse! Tomorrow I have a workshop in Manukau where the decision will be made on the Osterley Way Bus Mall (Stage 2 of the Manukau Innovative Street Pilot). So this will be an excellent test of going from the south (this instance Takaanini) to Puhinui then transferring onto the Airport Link and heading to Manukau rather than the Airport.
In further news I am seeing that the Airport Link (so the bus) will be extended to Botany Metropolitan Centre by 2025 with Airport to Botany Rapid Transit Stage 2 (the infrastructure) being completed in the 2030s. Hang on to your hats Botany we are nearly there…
Overall it is brilliant to see A2B Stage 1 and the Airport Link go formally online today. Two years from concept to operation shows we can move at speed and not be bogged down by Death by Business Case for years on end…