Last week Michael Barnett and Kim Campbell of the Chamber of Commerce and Employers and Manufacturers Association co-wrote a good opinion piece supporting the City Rail Link. We know that the CRL is popular with the general public, however we are now starting to see a number of businesses and business groups also come out in support of it. With that in mind, I thought it would be good to create a list of those businesses/organisations or prominent individuals that support the project, and those that don’t. I will also added this information as a page under CRL topic in the drop down menus above.
Organisations that Support the CRL
- Campaign for Better Transport
- Chamber of Commerce – Herald opinion piece – “Without extending the rail lines through Britomart into a complete rail loop the station is largely a white elephant. It can never run at more than 30 per cent of its potential capacity.”
- Employers and Manufacturers Association – Same as Chamber of commerce, also appeared in this video about the project.
- Kiwi Income Property Trust – RLTP and RPTP submissions – “Continued recognition of the need for the City Rail Link”
- Heart Foundation – RLTP submission – “Supports CRL”
- AUT – RLTP submission – “Supports investment in PT, particularly CRL.”
- Unitec – RLTP submission – “Supports electrification of rail, upgrade of Mt Albert station, proposed CRL”
IPENZ Transportation Group,
Auckland / Northland Branch – RLTP submission – “Support funding proposed for CRL”
- Grey Power – RPTP submission – “the inner core requires a commitment to the rail loop”
- NZ Bus – RPTP submission – “NZ Bus continues to support the City Rail Loop”
These are just ones I have found quickly found and they represent a fairly wide cross section of society. I know that there will be lots more out so if I have missed any, or you want your business/organisation listed then let me know and I will add it in. I would also like to know of which businesses/organisations or prominent individuals oppose the CRL as currently the list stands at:
- Ministry of Transport
- Sealink Ferries
- Cameron Brewer
- Dick Quax
- George Wood
While we are on the topic of the CRL, why does Auckland Transport not do anything to address the complete lack on understanding about the project that exists among many members of the general public. This lack of understanding shows up in many ways and often relates to some of the finer, but key details. The first example is from the op-ed piece mentioned above. In it they said:
The whole of the CBD would come within a 10-minute walk of a railway station. Britomart would then become much more than a dead-end as another train came by every 10 minutes.
We will get a train every 10 minutes on each of the main lines just from electrification. The original business case for the project suggested a that theoretically we could pump up to 30 trains per hour in each direction through the tunnel. Due to the various junctions that exist across the network a more realistic figure is 24 trains per hour per direction but what does that mean in real life? Well depending on the the service pattern we use, some lines could be as high as a train every 5 minutes per direction, combining to a train every 2.5 minutes in each direction through Britomart and the CRL. That is a far sight better than what is being suggested above but if I had to guess, I would say that AT are too scared to commit to details like frequencies.
The next example comes from a letter to the editor, obviously in response to the op-ed.
There are a number of issues with the writers assumptions but the key one is the suggestion that the CRL would only generate an additional 4 million trips per year. Firstly it ignores the impact that electrification has on rail patronage, something known as the “Sparks Effect”. This was clearly demonstrated in Perth when they electrified their network and it is also expected to occur in Auckland. By 2016 Auckland Transport are estimating that there will be over 17 million journeys on the rail network and the original CRL business case suggests this will rise to ~20 million by 2021. Without the CRL patronage on the rail network will peak a few years later in the vicinity of 22-25 million. By comparison with the CRL patronage is expected to rise rapidly reaching ~48 million trips per year by 2041.
Once again though we seem to have a case where Auckland Transport is too scared to say these numbers. The projections above weren’t even released in to the public as part of the original business case but had to be obtained via an OIA request. Yet this is exactly the kind of thing that AT should be shouting from the rooftops so people understand just how much different the network will be once the project is built. Its might even be worth them pointing out that previous projections have tended to underestimate patronage.
In my view, Auckland Transport need to become more proactive in addressing this issue. Holding open days is good but a lot more could easily be done that would help their cause.