Searching through the vast number of documents produced as part of the CBD Tunnel review shows up some interesting things from time to time. One is the distribution of the project’s benefits – by ‘point of origin’ – contained within this report by Richard Paling Consultants: The map obviously has some typical flaws – like the fact that clearly most of the Waitakere Ranges is being caught in the same Census Area Unit as a place like Swanson that will benefit significantly from the project. But looking at the overall trends, it’s pretty clear that those with the most to gain are people living in West Auckland. This largely occurs through their significantly shorter commute. Further to them, there are some obvious parts of South Auckland, and also some parts of the Eastern suburbs on the isthmus around the railway line, who will also benefit from the project.

Further details, and explanation, is outline below: This is why I got so frustrated by various parties continuing to call the project the “CBD Loop”, because it wrongly gives out the impressions that the trains will go round and round in circles and the only ones who’ll benefit are those in the city centre. It seems that Auckland Council has picked up on that, and the project’s official name is now the “City Rail Link”. It’s not just about central Auckland at all, this project unlocks the capacity of the entire rail system – benefitting pretty much the whole region (even the North Shore benefits by having more street capacity available for its buses).

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  1. ‘city rail link’ is far more accurate.
    I was browsing through the comments page to Rudman’s editorial online this morning, it seems there’s still a large number of Aucklanders and Kiwis who just do not understand that the link will unlock the whole rail network to the benefit of everyone.
    ”i don’t want GOVT to spend $2billion to make it easier for people to get to work in the CBD” is essentially what people are saying. This shows worrying lack of understanding of the project and its benefits.

    1. OK, try and convince me that the project is not almost entirely for the benefit of those want to go to or from the CBD.

  2. this kind of analysis is useful, but to me, it has one major flaw. the link not only unlocks much greater capacity on the current network, it is an absolute prerequisite for futher network expansion. Onehunga-Mangere-Airport, for example. And later Nother Shore rail. You can’t build an efficient network based on a dead end. the cnetral node has to have four spokes–East, South, West and later North.

    1. You’re absolutely right on that matter. One big benefit of the project is that it’s an ‘enabler’ for any future rail expansions. How to measure that in a business case though is somewhat challenging I suppose.

      1. this reminds me of why, many decades ago, i was totally turned off microeconomic theory. worshipping these models when the underlying assumptions are patently absurd is… well, let’s just say it’s extremely counterproductive, though i usually use much stronger language.

    1. I actually think they’re among the lowest benefits.

      Modelling outcomes often generate what’s called “noise”, isolated areas of surprising results. You’re best off looking at the general trends.

      1. Whoops, you’re right, I should have had a better look at that map first.
        I meant Riverhead, but with its low population its probably just a case of noise as you said.

  3. The comments in the Rudman article show very clearly that the project has not been explained well to the general populace.

    One reason for that is that Herald is well known as the official mouthpiece of the National Party and so they are incapable of printing anything that is outside National Party policy.

    Perhaps if there was an in depth article or series of articles on the CBD Rail Link more people may come to accept it.

    Problem is – who will publish it – Fairfax own the local media and their political affiliations roughly parallel those of Granny Herald.

    1. I haven’t read through the Rudman comments but after being away for the week on holiday with limited coverage, one thing that strikes me is the level of detail across most major sources is far to detailed for most people to understand or at least get interested in. What is needed is a simple list of reasons of why this is needed and probably why it is needed before things like airport rail can happen e.g. We can’t get any more trains into Britomart at peak times.

      1. Exactly. Without sounding condescending, the need for the project and its benefits need to be explained in laymans terms. The mainstream media (and the Council to an extent) are either far too simple or far too complex in their explanation of this project – hence people say stuff like “oh but it won’t benefit me”, or “it’s a nice to have, not a necessity”, or “Auckland isn’t dense enough for rail to work”, or “The CBD is a waste of space, we should be decentralising more”….or my personal favourite “Loony Len’s loop is loopy”

        Everytime I’ve sat down with somebody whether it be a mate, the missus or whatever and explained the necessity of the project and its benefits with clarity, they’ve been pretty easily convinced because when explained properly it’s a no brainer. As everybody on this site knows. In the media/council’s defence, it is a tough thing to sell clearly and concisely just because it’s quite a complex thing to explain – there’s alot to it. We’ve had enough trouble coming up with a name that adequately reflects the project’s purpose/benefits.

  4. I dont think Mangere should be excluded. If the the Onehunga line double tracking is included in the costings, which I think it was, then there a big benefits to Mangere. The train trip from Onehunga offers a far better journey than the bus, especially so when the line is given a full upgrade.
    I hope no-one listens to Mike Lee and thinks they can get away with building rail to the airport with doing up Onehunga line. Just stupidity opening rail to airport with a crap half-hourly service, then having to rebuild the line a few years later with all the associate delays and closures that entails.

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