We have been sent more LRT details from AT. Light Rail is undergoing investigation at this point, but slowly more of their thinking is emerging:

LRT Stage 1.0

Clearly access to Wynyard is the most difficult part of this route. Queen St is so LRT ready and at last a use for that hitherto hopeless little bypass: Ian Mackinnion Drive. The intersection of New North and Dom Rd will need sorting for this too- Is there nothing that LRT doesn’t fix!

LRT Stage 1.1

They are planning for big machines, 450 pax is at the top end of LRVs around the world.

LRT Stage 1.2

At 66m, these are either the biggest ever made, or I guess more likely 2 x 33m units. 33m is a standard dimension, and enables flexibility of vehicle size.

LRT Stage 2.1

The contested road space of Dominion Rd. Light Rail will create the economic conditions for up-zonning the buildings here; apartments and offices above retail along the strip. But the city will have to make sure that the planning regulations support this. Otherwise it will be difficult to justify the investment. Something for those in the area who reflexively oppose any increase in height limits, reduction of mandated parking, or increases in density and site coverage rules to ponder. If they prefer to keep the current restrictions they need to be aware they are also choosing to reject this upgrade. More buses will be as good as it gets, and AT’s investment will have to go elsewhere. I’m not referring to the the large swathes of houses back from the arterials, no need to change these; it’s the properties along the main routes themselves that need to intensify; anyway these are the places that add the new amenity for those in the houses. And not just shops and cafes, also offices with services and employment for locals, and apartments for a variety of dwelling size and price. Real mixed-use like the world that grew up all along they original tram system city wide, before zoning laws enforced separation of all these aspects of life.

LRT Stage 2.2

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127 comments

    1. Apparently they are looking at a public private partnership so that there won’t be any costs directly to AT… or a shared cost.

      Personally I think K’Rd / Ponsonby Rd and it’s surrounds need urgent attention. So much space and the buses really struggle to get through.

  1. I don’t care about the cost and I’m an Auckland ratepayer. Won’t somebody please hurry up and build this?

      1. I guess the cost is important when you compare this to doing exactly the same thing but using buses instead of trams. The trams provide a little extra capacity but will cost a lot more. So the question is – is that cost benefit appropriate.

  2. Any news on whether there will be overhead wires on Queen Street (Wellesley to Quay)? artist impression show wires, I myself am secretly hoping there’ll be nothing.

    1. AT say they are looking at systems that can run for considerable distances without input. So the flat parts of the Central City say, perhaps Dom Rd too? Presumably the incline of Upper Queen would be wired at minimum.

    2. Me too, currently most of these type of LRVs are designed use in-ground “snatch” charging at stopping locations and at each end to allow as much wireless running as possible.
      [which lowers the CAPEX to do so].

      Don’t see that a short uphill of Queen St from Mayoral to K’Rd would *need* to be wired just because its a hill – the energy lost going up will be reclaimed a bit going down.

      Placement of these stops is probably more designed around the infra. for the charging needs, interim stops could be added but vehicle wouldn’t charge at those ones.

      As for cost, assume they cost similarly to the EMU’s say $15m for a “3 car”, 33m unit, times 6 (with 2 33m units per long LRV) initially = $180m + wiring+trackage and stabling and the like, say another $90-$100m.

      Thats basically chump change compared to another motorway off ramp improvement (Kirkbride road & co – looking at you here).

      And for 10 more for stage 2, well thats up to $300m in vehicle costs plus another $100m in trackage and stabling.

      All up, well under $1B for that, while that sounds expensive, as a transformational technology thats actually good value.

      And given the alternatives? well each double decker bus costs the thick end of $1m each, we need 5 to replicate the load carrying capacity so thats over $5m for the buses, then the opex of 20 years of drivers ($2m if you assume 2 drivers per bus x 20 yrs) and fuel + RUCs for the buses ($100K per year, per bus minimum = $10m right there), all up that will be well over $12m in todays $, then LRT kind of begins to stack up, even allowing for the need to run track and wires.

      And thats assuming that LRVs cost like EMU’s do – which they probably don’t – they’re now going to built like brick shithouses on wheels in case a freight train hits them like our EMUs are.
      And with a off-book PPP for CAPEX and OPEX then the costs may well prove cheaper than the status quo of buses.

      So, yes please, can we have some starting tomorrow AT?
      And oh yes, where do we sign up?

    3. The trams in Bordeaux were the first to be “wireless” (of the most recent variety of in/on-ground power supply): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-level_power_supply

      Since then many cities that have put in new trams/LRVs have chosen wireless options.

      I really hope AT will take the opportunity to specify wireless, it makes the street-scape look so much cleaner (and it should cost less from scratch as well).

  3. Patrick, I remember hearing that a set of points was built into the Wynyard Quarter tram loop at the time of construction to future proof it for eventual extension towards Quay St.

    Is this in fact true? Wouldn’t that make it easier to connect to the rest of the network rather than delaying it?

    1. It was designed so that a new connection to Quay st could be made but I think that is not referring to the space needed for a junction rather than points. Regardless that needs a new bridge and it seems they are looking at Fanshawe St where they could presumably combine it with a busway for the North Shore buses

      1. I like the idea of extending the LRT to Takapuna and Albany using the busway and a new wynard – North Shore bridge (like the one depicted in this post http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2015/06/09/queen-st-light-rail/ ) thus almost eliminating the need for a Fanshaw Street busway. I do think we will need heavy rail to the North Shore at some point, but this can be done as an interim step. A new Quay Street – Wynard light rail bridge would be shorter and quicker but leave out the Fanshaw Street area of the CBD

      2. I remember seeing the concrete foundation poured to allow a junction at the intersection of Jellicoe and Hallsey. It looked like they planned to rip up the pavers and bolt in some new points without having to close the loop (or road) for long. There was nothing further done, besides the piles of the temporary lifting bridge being made strong enough to carry light rail.

    2. The original plan was to extend the Wynyard loop across the raising bridge directly to Quay St just past the ferry building.

      This would connect Britomart, Ferries, QE2 bus and Wynyard.

      At the final ACC Transport meeting we were advised that the footings/ piling on each end of the raising bridge had been built strong enough for trams and the El cheapo bridge they put in (for the Rugby World Cup/ some yachting event?) would be temporary.

      That plan was sidelined in favour of a longer, far more expensive, circuitous route along Fanjam Street. Why? no good reason has emerged.

      Heck the cost savings on that could be spent on the extension to Kingsland Station.

      1. “That plan was sidelined in favour of a longer, far more expensive, circuitous route along Fanjam Street. Why? no good reason has emerged”

        Direct across the bridge has no catchment. The longer route goes where the office and apartment buildings are. It’s also better positioned for extentions to such places as Ponsonby.

          1. The required frequency doesn’t work with a rising bridge; cute moving bridge is only fit for heritage tourist trams that no one uses not and an actual high volume transit service [not that even that silly thing goes there now]. The problem of connecting to Wynyard is clearly getting a lot of effort put into it, I suspect we haven’t heard the last of the possible variations yet.

          1. Really? They have raising bridges serving working marinas with 48 trams an hour over the top?

          2. Eighteen words -fucks things up royally in Holland because the bridge takes over ten minutes to open and close again.

  4. Struggling to understand the Kingsland Station tie in referred to in Stage 1. Assume via some NNR connection/change in current Dom Rd /NNR intersection design?

      1. Is the Piwakawaka Street stop supposed to serve Newton?

        Anyway, a more central alignment through Eden Terrace, continuing along Upper Queen Street and through to Dominion Road (along a similar alignment to the Dominion Road-Upper Queen Street connecting road that Ian McKinnon Drive took the place of, with a covered trench through Basque Park) would serve buildings on both sides of it, more than doubling the immediate catchment. It could even run through the ground floors of renovated/redeveloped buildings, like the tram line in Christchurch does now – how cool would that be!

        1. I don’t think there ever was a road connecting Dominion Rd with Upper Queen Street (or Belgium Street as it was briefly known during the inter-war period). Though I believe that was the original plan for Ian McKinnon Drive but local opposition got it diverted (perhaps that’s what you meant).

          1. Yes, you’re right, and that’s what I meant (I should’ve inserted “proposed”).

            On street directories from the 1970s both this connecting arterial road and the northern start of the Dominion Motorway from the CMJ are shown with dashed lines (with the 8-lane motorway ending abruptly at Edenvale Park Road in Mt Eden, a 1-lane cul-de-sac! (This was either insanity on the part of the National Roads Board engineers, or a cunning ploy to ensure the funding had to be made ready for the next section of motorway. Maybe mfwic knows the story behind that.)).

    1. Zurich trams stop on hills that are as steep or steeper than Upper Queen Street so I don’t think that’s the reason.

    2. I’ve heard that a tunnel is being considered under the steeper part of Queen St, would explain the lack of stops.

      1. Don’t think a tunnel is required, more like an underpass right at the top, actually containing or adjacent to that station on the first map. Don’t think a long tram could get over the K Rd ridge without being left stranded with wheels in the air as it is now, also would mean trams not engaging with K Rd vehicle traffic; quite smart. And quite obvious when you think about it, why hasn’t it been thought of before…?

        Oh wait; here it is, 1929, though in this case with a road way too. Don’t see the need, or the space, for that part:

        Essentially what this shows is that despite all the technology changes etc the solutions to Auckland’s transport needs are largely timeless and were worked out long ago; because the principle determinants are spatial and topographical, and these don’t change with fashions, unlike technologies.

    3. Agree. A stop here could really help as a stimulus to redevelop this part of town.
      (Surely there are steeper streets with trams with stops on them?)

  5. I often see that savings on infrastructure (roading, sewerage, electricity etc) are put forward as an advantage when comparing increasing the density of land already occupied with developing new land on the outskirts of the city. However I can’t see how this would ever be the case.

    If we were to try to make the Dominion corridor more dense by filling it with apartments and offices we would have to upgrade the infrastructure to support it. Most of it around there is likely to be very old. The amount of time spent digging up roads to put in new sewer pipes etc would cause more congestion and cost more money than putting it into a new development while it is being built. It’s a bit like trying to renovate a kitchen while somebody is already cooking in it.

    While I also understand the advantages of using PT in the rush hour, however what is going to happen when these urbanites want to go away for the weekend? Is it realistic to believe no one will own a car? If the parking is taken away on Dominion Road AND hundreds of new residents and workers move in are built I struggle to imagine where all these cars are going to park. Company vehicles (I can’t count how many times I do a site visit a month)… Clients and customers visiting? Most likely wherever they can or the offices and apartments will end up empty.

    1. You make the mistake of assuming that to get the efficiency benefits of PT people have to abandon their cars and never drive again. This is no one’s plan. The efficiency and lifestyle gains come from people being able to choose what works for them and when. Usually that means PT or Active at the high demand times and driving when that’s best, especially on out of town trips, with heavy loads, or the times when the roads are emptier, off-peak, weekends, night time.

      A city works best with not only spatial shifts but also temporal ones.

    2. “While I also understand the advantages of using PT in the rush hour, however what is going to happen when these urbanites want to go away for the weekend? Is it realistic to believe no one will own a car?”

      I suspect not many people who move into new city apartments on a tram route would have a car. One of the great benefits of living there would be you don’t need one. Of course, for going away for weekends, it’s easy to hire a car, paid for out of the $3-5k you’ve saving each year by not owning one.

    3. I wasn’t aware that New Zealand’s building developers were incapable of building basement carparks? Are they really that stupid?

      I also wasn’t aware that people who wanted cars would be forced to buy apartments without parks available instead of one of the hundreds of thousands of residences that include parking?

      Also, if you seriously think that laying 1000s of kms of new pipe in Long Bay as well as pumping stations and upgrading 10k of trunk line from Rosedale ponds is cheaper than upgrading 10k worth on Dominion Road you should probably take a long hard look at yourself.

      1. I’d expect it’s significantly more expensive to close roads and paths, dig up existing infrastructure, replace the pipes, re-new hundreds of connections, recover and reseal than burying a few pipes and installing a pump station in the middle of a paddock.

        But Watercare infrastructure levies cover such things so meh.

        1. You may, or may not be right on that, but you would have to dig up the road and relay pipe to service greenfields anyway. 10,000 residences require more trunk capacity whether they are on the trunk line (Dominion Road) or at the end of the trunk line.

        2. Also on top of sailor boys comment, Long term maintenance cost are lower per km of infrastructure in high density purely cause the cost is divided by more people/residences. Same goes on installation, per km per person/residence its much more economical with higher density. When building in greenfield area’s, the densities are commonly much lower and therefore the cost per km per person becomes much higher.

          1. Given the shithouse state of what’s under auckland and the large capacity needed that may not be true.
            It’s irrelevant anyway.

          2. No, it’s very relevant, and is an important thing that sprawl pushers need to realise.

          3. No, it’s irrelevant because it’s a Watercare issue not a council issue.

            By the way, did you know construction is about to start on a new central interceptor pipe to upgrade the combined system in central Auckland? A 13km pipe costing near $1billion alone. Some perspective maybe…

          4. It’s probably the biggest project to go ahead in recent times with just about no discussion. Given it is essentially a giant diversion tank it would be interesting to see the alternatives explored such as doing that more locally.

          5. Yes every century or so you do need to upgrade wastewater, depending on how well it was built earlier, but Sailor is right, concentration is more efficient than endless length.

          6. Tony, are you aware of the catchment of this pipe, one thing to consider is the fact our wastewater goes to treatment plants, so the pipes upstream catchments can actually be quite large, where greenfield developments also affect brownfield infrastructure and visa versa. Also would be interesting to see what catchment the 13km pipe is carrying and the people numbers required. Remember our wastewater system is set-up on occupancy rates per bedroom. This 13km pipe could be service a large number of people.

            The discussion is relevant as its about infrastructure, which includes wastewater, stormwater, public water, telecommunications and of course our biggest service, transportation. We pay for these services oneway or the other.

          7. And indeed after the central interceptor they’ll also need to upgrade the western network to serve, among other things, the greeenfields growth around Hobsonville and Kumeu.

    1. When we have more info we will share. Except to say that we know CRL is underway soon; stage one tenders are let, so that is the more real project.

      With LRT there is an air of ‘blue sky thinking’ by AT. Though I know they are very keen, perhaps a little too keen, IMV, certainly when it comes to solving the Mangere and Airport RTN access issue. It’s a bit like LRT is the new girlfriend and AT are still in the head over heels phase with it.

      Airport is too far for this more local access mode I reckon, and we already have a grade separate RTN already half way there. I still prefer proper grade separate rail for this job, however it doesn’t mean their could be a cross town LRT route linking up the four finger routes that AT have planed; Owairaka to Onehunga, to hook into that rail line by transfer and distribution to the Isthmus.

      It could be a North Shore solution though as getting it across the harbour would be cheaper than standard rail, and way cheaper than that terrible road plan. And better too. Would miss out on the operational savings of driverless, which we could have with a new grade separate Light Metro system however.

      1. Having a good day reading your posts today Patrick! Well done.
        Airport is indeed too far and too important to be left to LRT. Yes LRT should link in to it.

      2. Those trams sound huge!! 450 people is a huge number but I guess if it is 2x tram sets joined together that makes sense.

        I have a feeling that perhaps AT has in it’s mind a change of government where CRL gets funded more (I think NZFirst said 75% or was it 100%? and Labour was keen to fund more than 50% too) freeing up PT funds for these LRT projects.

        Of course there are heavy rail projects to consider in future (Avondale spur and eventual Avondale-Southdown link, Airport Rail, North Shore Rail, electrification to Pukekohe (or even better Hamilton with govt funding to link up the NIMT), electrification to Kumeu). I feel that once the current generation of motorway projects is completed (Western Ring, AMETI*, Puhoi-Warkworth) then there should be more money in the pot for PT – fingers crossed.

        1. I’d like to think that the age of motorway building is over, but I’m not so sure. I’m pretty certain that once the current round is finished there will a new round.

          In the same way that although a staged building of the CRL isn’t the best way to proceed, I’m sure that once the LRT benefits start to be ralised, it will become easier to invest more in the system/mode.

        2. I don’t think expecting a change of gov is a as good a strategy as working towards changing the view of which ever gov. After all MoT is one of the biggest hurdles and they don’t get voted in or out!

          Good that the OCED came out and told the gov they ought to invest in PT in Auckland. And use proper road pricing. I certainly think that the evidence is there for the current government to evolve in its position.

          It would certainly help AT’s argument if they could get their new trains running properly; get those dwell times down to 30secs, and sort the reliability.

        3. With the current trends of the parties I don’t think they can be relying on change of government. Need to focus on educating the current government on Auckland’s needs. Especially since it looks like the current government might actually be operating on surplus at the moment (unusual internationally at the moment), all though they are intent on keeping that on the down low. It will be interesting to see if any focus change comes from the OCED findings, although I wouldn’t hold your breath.

          1. NZ is third only to Norway and South Korea in our ability to invest in our long term future according to the IMF:

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/06/public-debt?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/st/howmuchistoomuch

            But like all Keynesian investments it matters critically what the long term quality of that investment is. They must, in particular, be ‘fit’ in the Darwinian sense, for the times. Not last year’s infrastructure, but next decades’ ones.

          2. Keynes himself was less fussy about what things were invested. He wrote of burying money in a field and letting people pay to dig it up as a way of stimulating the economy.

          3. He did! The article I read said he once left a meeting and said he thought he was the only non-Keynesian in the room!

        4. +1
          We need heavy rail to the Airport, and ultimately to the North Shore (and beyond), but the line to the North Shore could start off as light rail.

  6. Don’t agree with your comments about the large swathes of houses not needimg to upzone, this is where housing potential can be unlocked and should be a condition of this major investment in the inner city. Merely upzoning the arterial is not good enough.

    1. Yeah intend to agree with this sentiment. Upzoning needs to extend at least 500m and preferably 1000m back from arterials with lrt. Which is interesting when you look at the spacing between sand, dom, mt eden, and manukau roads. Basically covers most of the central isthmus, which is not unreasonable given prevailing land values already.

        1. A few RMA cases and quality developments and it will be all go. Then in 10 years when the UP is reviewed, I bet there’ll be substantial change.

  7. Wonder what the situation will be at the Lower Hobson overbridge if the route goes there – will the tracks go over it or either side of it? Or will tearing it down earlier than envisaged be yet another opportunity that arises thanks to LRT..

    1. I like the idea of keeping the overbridge in place and putting the LRT tracks over it, making that bridge LRT only

      1. Huge potential for place making if we demolish that ugly bridge. The LRT route can get to Fanshawe via Sturdee St.

    2. This will be great! Easily the best commuting option for me.

      Wouldn’t Victoria St be a closer interchange for Aotea Station than Wellesley though?

      1. Aotea Station will have exits at both Victoria and Wellesley, meaning you can transfer from both though Wellesley will be the less steep of the two and additionally will have the links to bus services.

  8. The four stops on Queen street seem one too many to me. There may be engineering reasons for not having three stops because of where they would have to go, but in the current plan the stops are pretty close together. It’s barely 1 km. Maybe there are spacing standards that I am unaware of, but I don’t think it would hurt ridership to have the stops a couple hundred meters farther apart, with a quicker ride.

    But, in any event, just get on with it.

  9. If this is worth doing in the future, then why don’t AT secure the rights of way now and run buses along the proposed light rail route to build patronage?

    As a start they could secure a right of way from Wynyard to K road and run the red city link buses along it. Most of the benefits could be realised this way without the massive capital required. Then the major capital investment wouldn’t be needed until greater capacity is required.

  10. Is the route along Fanshawe really the best? Given we also want a dedicated bus lane along there, it is going to be a squeeze. If it cant go across the Viaduct bridge (upgraded), why not the more leisurely route along Viaduct Harbour Ave (converted in a shared space so it really only used by cars accessing the underground parking.

    The proposed route doesn’t even look like there will be a stop at the proposed Bus interchange on Fanshawe so it cant be for that reason.

    1. Perhaps they are proposing a shared corridor for the buses and trams. Aren’t they putting central bus lanes down Fanshawe?

  11. I’m looking forward to light rail up Onewa Rd 🙂

    It would have to be up there as one of Aucklands busiest bus arterials currently.

    1. And why not? Hop across the harbour to an Onewa Station, up to the good-awful built environment of Highbury [that could do with an uplift], and over to Glenfield. Also a branch to Takapuna, via Akoranga, and one up the Busway. Boom.

      1. I think light rail is the best option for the shore – lower cost than heavy rail and it can actually penetrate into where people live.

          1. Possible, but it can’t get into the town centres without expensive grade separation. So no chance of running it into the western north shore, Milford etc. it will be a lot more expensive.

          2. Light metro offers much in the way of future proofing of a ‘main line’. It doesn’t prevent LRT lines to Takapuna, along Onewa Rd, up Glenfield Rd etc.

          3. yes, the busway can be a shared BRT/LRT facility, the dimensions fit, but I’m not certain that the structures were specified to take the weight of LRT

            but the big question is: what do you do with the buses and the thousands of daily users while construction is underway? I seriously doubt that you could maintain a single lane peak direction service

          4. Northern Busway was designed to take Light Rail, or at least that is my understanding. Laying of Light Rail tracks relatively non-disruptive. Close busway in the weekends, Christmas holidays, and at night….same as was done when the rail lines were electrified, with the busway maintained in full operation at other times while the upgrade work was happening. In comparison with the electrification programme, adding Light Rail to the Northern Busway would not be especially complex.

          5. The busway was reduced to one lane for reasonable sections a couple of years ago to install an electricity main, and seemed to continue to function. Though traffic is up since then, it could be more restricting now. Perhaps during peak the ‘off peak’ direction uses the motorway as Matthew W suggests.

          6. The solution is to work backwards, a section at a time. There’ll need to be a storage/maintenance yard so that can be on the northern side of Albany (Silverdale even. Cheap as mostly flat running and spare land already there).

            1) build Silverdale to Constellation.
            2) Constellation to Smales Farm – buses use mwy, temp stations at Sunnynook.
            3) Smales to Akoranga.
            While staging this, dig the cross harbour tunnel.

    1. Not sure why? The previous incarnation of the Dom Rd design had a minimum width that allowed for a 1.8m median strip together with bus and vehicle lanes. Where has the 1.8m gone, as well as the reduction in width resulting from the use of trams?

  12. It looks fantastic and the sooner they start the better as we are 60 years behind! The dedicated corridors are I think the most important feature and I think most people will get behind it – although a dedicated busy-way would be 100 times harder to sell even though it is effectively the same. One thing I would like to see is some cross-town lines maybe along Balmoral/Greenlane and Mt. Albert Rd.

    1. Busways require much more width. Previous plans for dedicated busways on Dominion Rd involved the purchase and demolition of buildings on one entire side of the road! Nuts.

      It is the spatial efficiency of LRT that is at the heart of its value in cities globally. And Auckland is actually very spatially constrained; it is bounded by harbours and ranges; it is entirely unlike cities on flat plains. Anyway , the efficient exploitation of space is what makes great cities.

      Underground or elevated subways are the only more spatially efficient way to more people at volume. They are of course an order of magnitude more expensive, so you only build them through the most dense and valuable areas; ie the Centre City.

  13. I love it, but wonder about the sense of where Stage 1 stops. To be (while Stage 2 is not yet built) more than a City Centre local service, you’d need a big bus-tram interchange at the temporary terminus.

    1. Kinda crazy, I agree; I assume that it’s more a case of doing One then same gang getting on to Two while they start commissioning One. So sort of contiguous, of course there is that thing where the buses turn off Dom Rd before the baffling flyover malarky and head off to Mt Eden Rd, I guess that makes for an obvious transfer point….?

  14. I think they should look at eventually changing AMETI from the proposed buses to trams…… assuming at the time the running of the trains on the Eastern line still isn’t a almost always late in the mornings. East is gagging for decent public transport, bring it, people will use it.

  15. I realise that this is a fast moving subject but the Stage 2 decribed to local boards just 10 days ago was very different. Apparently AT is concerned that there will be major capacity issues on the inner west line well before CRL opens (now projected to be no earlier than 2023). So the plan as explained to us is for light rail to connect with heavy rail at Kingsland by about 2020, giving commuters from the west the option of staying on the EMUs if they are going to the bottom of town or transfer to light rail if going to K. Rd or upper CBD. According to projections, if something like this is not done there will be no room on inbound peak hour trains for anybody to board at Mount Eden or Grafton. So, the stage 1 plan ends at a temporary stabling facility on Transit land adjacent to Ian McKinnon Drive (near the Newton Road Bridge); Stage 2 would continue down Ian McKinnon, then turn west down New North Road and a short distance down Sandringham Road to terminate opposite the Kingsland Station. Completion of Sandringham Road & Dominion Road would follow later.

    1. Not long ago they were saying light rail down Dominion by 2019.
      Can’t imagine anything will be done by 2020. AT was formed in 2010 and we still don’t even have integrated ticketing – can you imagine them actually trying to build something!

    2. It sounds like your stage one and stage two are actually combined into stage one – they will build the Sandringham line as far as Kingsland in stage 1, then build the Dominion line in stage 2, then probably continue the Sandringham line after Dominion is complete.

  16. Having recently seen plans for a North Shore interchange on Fanshawe Street by Victoria Park I am concerned why the Fanshawe Street stop is not co-located in the Victoria Park section.

    The service improvement for Queen Street should be done now to speed up the existing bus services so that the City Link and Air Bus services can run to timetable.

    1. Why? Surely coming from the Shore you could just as easily transfer at either Aotea, or Britomart, seeing as every bus into the city centre will soon take either Fanshawe or Wellesley.

  17. At the City end what about running the tracks on the south side of Victoria Park and running them up College Hill to Ponsonby?

    Wynyard Qrt could have a separate LRT-Lite line running to Vector Arena via Quay St / Britomart (as required / later date).

    LRT comes down Queens St and then ‘horse-shoes’ around Quay and Hobson or Nelson Street before turning out west along Victoria St W (the linear park?) and up to Ponsonby Rd (subject to intensification of College Hill).

    There should also be serious thought being given now to pedestrian interchange between K’Rd and Aotea stations and the Queens St LRT stops as they are potentially within 200m of each other… close yet also far away.

  18. Very excited.

    The thing about Dominion up zoning resistance, the council need to provide incentive to all stockholders.

    For example:
    Property owner: up zoning means higher land value, which is capital gain.
    Residential Tenant: In long term there are improved amenity, but in short term, less car parks, less backyard may concern some people.

    Therefore council should give something in return for that.
    For open space, council should upgrade the community center and parks around that.
    For shops and residences that are affected by removal of car parks, in short term, council could allow more empty space to temporarily zone to carparks. Then in long term, those lands can be rezone to be developed and intensify.
    If nothing works, council could negotiate a deal with the residences that has their car park removed, ie buy back, or rates discount.

  19. Absolutely game changer for the isthmus. Every congested bus route in the city will want one.

    On a personal note, I probably wouldn’t have looked to live in the southern end of the route where there is a dearth of connections to rail. But now…..transport opening up new housing choices (to be fair, would have been the same if they built 24/7 bus lanes).

    Long term its the answer for the north shore too. Across the harbor, through Wynyard with a change at Aotea if necessary. North shore (some time in the distant future) could a have a spine going up to Silverdale, a spur to Takapuna and an upper east-west line

  20. 10 stops in 12.5 minutes. 75 seconds to get to the next stop and then let passengers on and off. Is that realistic, particularly if there will be traffic lights for some of the route?

    1. Stops should be at lights, and trams get priority, ie once the 30sec pause for all door boarding/alighting, then instant green light for trams. About as fast as possible, plus own ROW on road, so no traffic in way. Better than much of the running in Melbourne if they can achieve this, close to Rapid Transit performance, while closer to destinations…..

  21. Anyone know why are they opting for such big units? Is the thinking run a double half as often and you reduce staff costs?

    1. Yes, both those reason; the argument is that one LRV with 400 pax every 5 mins over a bus every 60sec with 50 is both more efficient in terms of opex [1 driver v 5, and electricity not diesel] and less obstructive for other road users even with priority at lights. Especially as it’ll not be weaving in and out of stops and lanes and tripping over itself like multiple buses but fixed in its dedicated route….

      1. And LRT avoids buses tripping over cyclists and pedestrians as well. Should make cycling and walking much safer and much more pleasant (no toxic bus fumes and noises).

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