Around a month ago Auckland Transport gave a presentation to the Campaign for Better Transport on their Light Rail plans. I wasn’t there however I was provided with a copy of the presentation and it contains some new information not shown before – and not all about light rail.

As a reminder of the background, AT say that even with all the improvements planned – including the CRL – the number of buses on many city centre corridors will need to be greatly increased however many of those routes are already at, or near capacity in terms of actual bus numbers. To handle the number of buses (including double deckers) they will need significant extra land for more bus lanes and infrastructure to handle the number of buses that would be required, an example would be at Wynyard where a lot of buses would need to turn around. The map below shows the bus routes through the city with the new network. Most of those bus lines will be running in the peak at least every 15 minutes with some routes such as Dominion Rd much higher resulting in over 180 buses an hour on Symonds and Wellesley Streets.

City Access - Do Minimum

By 2046 the number of buses needed would be around double the desired capacity of bus lanes and as such buses will likely be very unreliable. Improved PT speed and reliability has been a big part in the fact that now around 50% of all people arriving in the city centre in the morning peak do so on PT. Some of the improved reliability is highlighted in these two charts showing the variability of travel times by mode at different times of the day. As you can see roads suffer from wide variability while the Northern Busway and rail lines – which have accounted for most of the PT growth to the city over the last 15 years – have fairly reliable times. The Panmure result will partly explain why patronage has grown at that station by a massive 71% in the last year.

Travel time Reliability

AT say they’ve looked at a number of options and that Light Rail on the southern isthmus routes – which are some of the busiest bus routes in Auckland – allows them to significantly reduce the number of buses in the city which will be critical in achieving goals such as making the city centre more people friendly. That would change the map above to what you see below. Some parts of Symonds St would go from 180 buses an hour down to just 16 Light Rail vehicles. This is because AT are looking at large 66m long light rail vehicles capable of carrying 450 people each. Interestingly the map below also seems to suggest light rail across the viaduct whereas previous versions had it going via Fanshawe St. I remember a few board meetings ago an item in the closed session was titled LRT Fanshawe/Customs St Alignment so presumably a lot more work is happening in this area.

City Access - LRT

The presentation also included a number of new images along with some we’ve already seen. The new ones suggest some other significant aspects to the proposal. We know that stage one is to effectively replace the current City Link bus by getting light rail to Ian McKinnon Dr where there would be an initial depot. That was highlighted back in June within this document which AT have now published is now online. The presentation gives this as a view of what the depot which I assume this is on the patch of land between Ian McKinnon Dr and the motorway. I’m not sure where the NW Cycleway connects through here – let’s hope AT don’t forget that in their planning.

Ian McKinnon Depot

Just around the corner they show that at least in that section they haven’t forgotten the cycleway as part of very multi-modal street.

Ian McKinnon LRT

Where things get even more interesting is just a bit further north. The image below shows the intersection of Queen St and K Rd.

K Rd intersection LRT

You may notice there is an absence of tracks and some odd things on the side of the road. That’s because it appears Auckland Transport are planning on sending light rail tracks through an underpass which is probably about easing the steep grade coming up Queen St. You can see the underpass emerging in this next image.

K Rd LRT Underpass

From there light rail would carry on down Queen St like in the images we’ve seen so far. Below are a few more images showing light rail past the front of Britomart, on Quay St and Lower Hobson St.

LRT - Britomart

LRT - Quay St

LRT - Lower Hobson St

Lastly this next image shows what Fanshawe St could look like – obviously from a different version of the plan to the earlier map. It shows light rail in on a dedicated route on the northern side of the road. If it was installed on Fanshawe St I presume it would share that with buses from the North Shore that travel to Britomart.

LRT - Fanshawe St

Overall some interesting aspects, especially around K Rd. The last information about the project was that AT was looking to appoint a technical adviser to support further investigation of light rail. Of course there’s also the matter of how exactly it will be paid for which AT remain quiet about.

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101 comments

  1. Of note is that the Viaduct crossing is to the south of where the frequently used, larger, yachts are moored so opening and closing the bridge is far less frequent. (What a great idea. Why didn’t someone suggest this earlier? LOL)

    1. Yes I guess it does make more sense to cross the viaduct to the South of the existing te whero bridge. It looks like they are planning on using Customs Street West then crossing over to link up with Madden Street via the vacated Team NZ base. Only issue is that there is the existing rail around Wynyard which doesn’t use Madden Street. Purely on a cost basis I can imagine there being a left turn onto Halsey Street then around Gaunt street and around Daldy Street and along Jellicoe Street in a loop back around to Halsey and then another left turn back onto the new bridge. In some aspects it is a shame that the rail does run down Daldy Street rather than Beaumont Street as that would cover a bigger area.

  2. I have heard some transport engineers talk about a tunnel under k road as one of the possible options.

    On a different topic, a train ticket inspector told me yesterday that once Otahuhu transfer station is completed AT is thinking about running trains from Otahuhu to the western line via Newmarket. Has anyone else heard that, is this just a rumour or it is something post CRL? I have not heard it anywhere else before and I wonder were the rolling stock will come from?

  3. Hi, from what little I’ve had from AT regarding this project – including asking the money question – it would seem that they are doing a lot of technical work in-house, but nothing else. I expect that if AT are really serious about this, they will put this project into the next LTP programming round, in 2017.

  4. It was the Mayor of Auckland who got a free car along with many other Mayor of NZ and Australia when they scrapped the trams . mayors come and go .
    This is not a new Idea it is rebuilding what the Mayors scrapped some 50 years ago .

    1. Yes they probably should have been smudged. But at the end of the day it doesn’t really cost anything and it might help with support from those companies

    2. What an inane comment. Their building appearing in a photo is hardly ‘advertising’, and it doesn’t cost the ratepayer anything. Who cares.

  5. Choking those roads to one lane of traffic each way will result in a tradesman, delivery and emergency vehicle nightmare. If there is any breakdown or incident the roads are effectively shut down totally. Some much smarter thinking is required. Before I get ridiculed, please think. Some of these ideas are totally impractical.

    1. Only if they build them with impassable barriers. Most of the tram lines in Melbourne are able to be accessed by vehicles meaning they can drive around a stopped car etc (looking out for a tram of course). As far as emergency services are concerned the tram lines actually provide them with a clear way.

    2. I have seen plenty of one lane traffic streets overseas and drivers work around them. I think in the US and probably in NZ too, we have been guilty of providing for every eventuality, to the detriment of the majority, and especially to the livability and character of the city.

    3. No what chokes the road are the thousands of single occupant vehicles. Then they go on to choke other roads, take up valuable space when parked and keep their users fat and sad!

      Ever wondered Ricardo why great cities all over the world organise their streets this way rather than just try to cram ever more space hungry private vehicles onto them? City streets are too valuable for truckies and tradies to allow them to be dominated solely by SOVs.

      1. Patrick, what concerns me with a lot of the ideas on this forum to ‘copy’ overseas concepts and restrict roads etc do not take into account real people going about real business. Tradies live out of their vehicles, and need to park them close to the business they are servicing. Parents and families transport children to schools, hospitals, shopping, sports, doctors, dentists, visit sick, elderly relatives, handicapped, perform charity work, some hold down more than 1 job. Emergency vehicles need fast direct unencumbered routes to save lives and property. A lot of the ideas espoused here are (clearly to me) from single, young, (fit) males who can happily use PT and cycling to get to and from the office. Not everyone lives like that. When some of the respondents partner up, have children and get a job that requires them to be all over Auckland on a daily basis will they realize just how much of a negative impact their ideas have on many people. All I am asking is that people think of others in all types of real live circumstances, and have balance. One lane roads with no parking, and concrete barriers either side is (absolutely no apology) plain silly, and does nothing to make navigating the city pleasant. And yes I travel extensively and yes I have worked in a large number of countries, but in the ones where a lot of ideas work there is balance, choices to suit the various life and work choices, and not restrictions. Amsterdam is often used as a shining example – Auckland now extends from Pokeno to Wellsford (give or take) for commuting, so some aspects of Amsterdam will work, some will be totally irrelevant. Just think about balance when an idea is raised and I will totally support it. Real balance with carrots and not just sticks.

        1. Yes, obviously none of these cities who also have light rail have any tradies, or any people with mutiple jobs, or emergency vehicles. /sarc

    4. Looks like they’ve opted for the longer Quay St route. To Wynyard. Not so convinced about that. We lose our plaza in front of Britomart just after we got it among other things, how about just hanging a left into Customs? More direct, cheaper, plenty close enough for transfers from train and ferry, especially if they go to the north side of Customs….

      On a much more minor issue, it looks like they’re now wanting the wandering 020 to go keep turning left out of Richmond rd. Noooooo! Please just take the logical and direct route that every single person on the bus at this point wants: right into P Rd and to K then Pitt and Greys and Albert. Remember the Link does not take a direct route to the city from this end of P. There is no direct connection between min P and the city if the Otto turns left into P.

      1. Be quite nice to go so close the the waters edge though on Quay St with more sunlight, rather than tucked in the back on Customs?

      2. With the planned eventual pedestrianised Quay Street this is why is is going along there. Custom’s street will be needed for other vehicles (buses, trucks, cars etc).

        1. Customs St is seven lanes wide, Two for light rail 4 for general traffic and the remaining space for medians, leave Quay st for people.

          1. Quay Street is currently not for people and when it does become for people there are going to be all the vehicles that used to use it moving to Customs Street. What you are proposing is cutting back capacity on Customs Street despite a doubling of usage? (Actually probably eve more since Queen Street will also be pedestrianised meaning more vehicles will be usings Customs Street to get around it

          2. No, what I am proposing is to simply not allow that many vehicles into a place that they do not need to be by narrowing the roads. Just like every other city in the world that has reduced dowtown street capacity these vehicles will disappear as people find other ways to get to and around town.

          1. The note under it says ‘Peak hour peak direction’ so somewhere between 16-32 vehicles an hour in service at peak.

      3. From a passenger point of view abolishing the plaza will be a very good idea. The last thing a passenger needs is an event in the middle of a transport interchange.

        For the 020 if the map is accurate and I suspect not, then it will change to a one way route as it appears to travel up Howe street and turn right into Hopetoun Road, note there is no legal route the other way, though quite a few try it. As to rerouting the bus route the 020 is the only bus passing Auckland Girls Grammar and Freemans Bay school, as such its route does serve a useful purpose.

      4. “Looks like they’ve opted for the longer Quay St route. To Wynyard. Not so convinced about that. We lose our plaza in front of Britomart just after we got it among other things, how about just hanging a left into Customs? More direct, cheaper, plenty close enough for transfers from train and ferry, especially if they go to the north side of Customs….”

        I noticed this last night, haven’t seen anyone pick up on it yet, looks like they will use Customs Street afterall…

        https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/light-rail-network/light-rail-network-project-updates/

    5. Melbourne has many kilometres of 4-lane arterials with central tramlines. Mostly they are clearways in peak periods and at other times there is kerbside parking and traffic follows the tram down the middle of the road. That can be slow, but the philosophy appears to be that if you want to drive through a busy strip shopping centre in the middle of the day, you have to accept that it will be slow. Yes, the occasional breakdown does cause huge delays, but they’re quite rare, and when they do occur, interestingly, you never see any commentary to effect that we should get rid of trams. People must realise that the trams have huge advantages in other ways that make it worth the inconvenience of the occasional breakdown.

        1. Melbourne also has many 2 lane roads with central trams, as do Frankfurt, Zurich, Vienna, Stockholm, etc, etc. Funny how none of those cities have experienced armageddon.

    6. And, by the way, for anyone who is concerned about streets being too narrow for trams, have a look in google maps at the streets around Ghent Castle, Belgium (sorry, don’t know how to link). Two track tramways (narrow gauge, admittedly), share with pedestrians and other traffic on streets that are 12m wide between the walls of the opposite buildings.

      When people say that streets are too narrow for trams, I suspect that often they really mean ‘too narrow to accommodate a tramline *while maintaining the present level of priority for traffic*.

    7. Looks like I’ll hold up traffic when cycling up upper queen st, unless I can use the tunnel too? It’d connect nicely with the Grafton cycle way and the connection to the old Neilson st off ramp currently under construction

  6. I can understand why they are talking about tunnelling under the K Rd ridge, but that image of it makes the upper section of Q St look pretty ugly and unfriendly. How would you cross the road on foot?

    1. Yes always the problem with undergrounding are the moments when you surface. But surely this makes crossing easier as up at K Rd there are no trams to look out for as they are below. Will also calm traffic, vehicles movements will reduce, because they won’t be so needed nor so optimised.

    2. I would assume the reduction in traffic capacity alongside the tunnel portals would make driving on that section of Queen St much less attractive, which is a good outcome. Am wondering why the planned K Road cycleway isn’t shown though??

        1. Looks like it is directly under as those glass things at each corner of the interestion would be the roof of the stairs. Need a lift as well?

          1. I agree it does need a lift, to cater for the disabled and those with luggage.

            The plans for the light rail look good and it would be great if AT proceeded with them.

            The bus service is already struggling it took over 30 minutes for the 020 to get the top of Pitt Street, due to the congestion in Albert Street tonight. The bus stops could not cope with the number of buses turning up at once. So the sooner a light rail and CRL are built the better.

  7. So what’s with the overhead wires, poles and pantographs – artistic freedom or are they no longer looking at using a ground-level power supply, battery power or similar?

        1. Yes to sections without wires. Particularly in the city. We assume that stretches like Upper Queen and Ian Mackinnon will use overhead but not elsewhere. This technology is becoming fairly common and has a lot of advantages beyond the aesthetic. Reduces chance of accidental outages through wires being taken out etc…

    1. Batteries on a 450-capacity LRV wouldn’t last long. Would be lucky to reach the top of Queen St! Short wireless sections are more likely, although wires really are no biggie these days. They can easily be incorporated into stylish infrastructure.

  8. I like it very much.
    It is also interesting to see what the streetscape looks like (very much improved) with the central catenary wire supports in the middle of the road in the first two photos, and street lights on the top.

    Which means the road side is clear of light poles – so although the overhead wires add some clutter, a lot more is removed.by not having the power poles on either side of the road.

    As a contrast compare the photo beside the viaduct bridge on Lower Hobson – on the left is the usual light poles and on the right where the LRT track goes is the same idea of using pole mounted streetlights on top of the pole holding the catenary wires – even with the backdrop of the viaduct bridge the improvement in visual clutter is evident.

    A nice and unexpected outcome of LRT.

    Even downtown, the way they string the wires across from building to building means a clear roadway (means no light poles in the roadway to hit).

    However, I think AT can do better than using those grey basalt “pavers” outside Britomart – we need this area to stand out for peopl not cars, and making it look like a road surface is not the way to do that. Need a better shared space design that that.

  9. Surely they wouldn’t dig up the recently redeveloped Waitematā Plaza, screw up the advanced plans for the hotel and plaza at the former Team NZ site, and build a new bridge that would still cut off half the Viaduct basin instead of sending the tracks around existing streets like Viaduct Harbour Ave?

    1. Looks like a win for the hotel to me; they get to open out more onto the northern side instead of the southern one by switching trams north to South. Probably be elevated along the northern edge of Waitemata plaza, just looking at it. Although I’d expect opposition from some apartment dwellers whose views will be altered.

    2. I wonder if they will make the bridge permanent, effectively closing of that little bit of the viaduct from boats. With no private mooring, they could open that area up more.

      (or fill it in and turn it into a park?)

      As noted above, why not turn left into custom street and remove that additional part of the journey and open up Quay street (I assume because it will interfere with buses whose ‘terminal’ will now be lower Albert?).

        1. Looking at the map, it would cut of quite a bit. Why not just follow Viaduct Harbour ave around. Is it really an issue if it doesn’t connect all the way up to the ASB building? (a quick measure shows it is about 1km from there to the very tip of the wharf.)

        2. Only small fizz boats. Can easily design a bridge to clear those. Or move the old lifting bridge, fix it up and make it operational, and use that as the bridge. The reason it was replaced was the width of the new yachts and launches – especially catamarans.

    3. As the images as opposed to the map show the light rail in Fanshawe Street, I would suspect it is unlikely that it would go through the Viaduct. Putting a bridge over the Viaduct would be expensive, it would also be at the place where the larger boat are moored. If the frequency of service is to be met then a lifting bridge would not be a good idea. It would be better and cheaper to use Fanshawe street as the images show.

      1. I get the feeling from the contradictions between the renders and the map that both are from various options neither of which may turn out to be final…. We probably shouldn’t get too hung up on details, even though that’s where the success or otherwise of these projects gets decided.

  10. Wow, that would be a massive improvement on the current state of Ian McKinnon Dr.

    The cycleway currently crosses Ian McKinnon Dr and goes up a shared path on the other side from that patch of land. Looks like their ideas about bikes are very…conceptual at the moment – I’m not sure where those riders in the uphill image are supposed to have come from, because there doesn’t look to be space for them in the depot image. The shared path would be a disaster with any more pedestrians than it has now (hardly any). Probably the best way would be Copenhagen lanes on both sides.

  11. Do wonder why we don’t put bus lanes up the middle of roads than along the sides. If LR is the natural progression from buses, and needs to be in centre if roads, would be less disruptive to design in that way from day one, irrespective of mode.

  12. Looks & sounds great! I have a LRT idea would like feedback on:
    LRT THROUGH the Auckland Domain!
    All the future plans seem to have PT running around the Domain. Wouldn’t it be great to open up this park for greater access using a LRT line directly from Queen St up Wellesley St? Line continue over LRT/bike/pedestrian bridge over the Grafton Gully, around a curve as close as possible to the future Parnell heavy rail station. Then carry on up close to the Museum, basically next to/on/in place of Domain Dr leading out to Parnell Rd.
    See rough sketch up https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-kfn3zNT/1/X2/i-kfn3zNT-X2.jpg. Purple line route with blue stations marked (haven’t thought about the placement of non park ones too much).

  13. Advantages:
    1. Close link to heavy rail (Parnell Station) with effectively a shortcut to/from the middle of town rather than necessarily going to Britomart.
    2. Solves the student access from the future Parnell heavy rail station to the two universities.
    3. Good access between CBD & Parnell
    4. Links Albert Park with the Domain. Art Gallery with the Museum. Etc etc
    5. Cheaper than doing some of the other longer lines first.
    6. Less disruptive of main arterials during construction (park area) than say doing Parnell Rise/Rd first. Seems to be room to run line right next to that little road parallel with Wellesley St next to the Auckland University (Princess St?)
    7. Great big people access to park special events and also ASB Tennis Ctr.
    8. Good interim measure to remove some of the buses in the CBD that come from Park Rd while other lines are constructed.
    9. If the full loop is completed along Parnell Rd, up Khyber Pass, Park Rd, Grafton Bridge, Symonds St (alternatively back down Grafton Rd), would provide access to Grafton heavy rail station, AU Newmarket & Grafton Campus & Auckland Hospital!

  14. Disadvantages I could see:
    1. Destroying some park trees etc
    2. Expensive bridge over the gully?
    3. Competing priorities with isthmus lines.
    I have no idea if this is technically/legally possible or not. Timing of it could be useful in that you obviously need the Queen St spin and depot first, then probably Wynyard and I guess the Dominion Rd lines.

    1. Disadvantages, Domain is only passenger source on route, going along Park Rd gives Hospital, university, Newmarket, Grafton etc plus retains direct Domain access at the more heavily used Southern end

      1. Did you look at the link? No heavy rail at Parnell also a big passenger source (the pic I posted didn’t have that rail stations marked like I thought). From the Domain it can then can go right onto Parnell Rd (ie head toward Newmarket) then up Park Rd etc as you say. Parnell itself could be added at a later date or this idea could be.

          1. Loaded up new improved image with station between tennis & Parnell Station instead http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-vTHzXNL/0/X2/i-vTHzXNL-X2.jpg, the line could replace Domain Dr as much as possible so as to reduce tree killing. Prob no cars where the line goes. Only ~200m to Parnell heavy station. Quicker & nicer than farting around on a inner or outer bus link to get to Parnell. Other quick thought is go West (right) when you hit the fork in Domain Dr, follow that around to Park Rd so more of a half slice through instead of duplication. Could look like this a bit?
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/meteorry/8188648442/in/photostream/

          2. Seems like a waste to me. transit should be located where greatest number of people are going, Wellesley, Grafton Rd, Khyber Pass Road, then out to Botany.

          1. Grafton Station is also about 40m from the Domain and the LRT line on Manukau Rd will have to stop in the domain too.

          2. So will all trains (except East) stop at Parnell? Don’t think many will be thrilled adding further travel time to an already delayed timetable. They will get 12TPH at peak currently if all services stopped there… Will definitely make the CRL look more attractive though.

          3. But closing Sarawia Street (Newmarket level crossing) remember, but when do they expect that to happen?

        1. Try having a walk along that route you’ve proposed, you can do it on foot… just. But far too steep for a tram.

          Don’t see the value in running through the bush for a couple kilometres when you could be running through the university, hospital, med school and new university instead. Plus you still go alongside the domain at the top end.

          1. My key thought was direct access into the Domain esp from CBD, you can’t get into it hardly now, under used really, motorway cut it off etc. The bridge over from Wellesley St would be bike & ped as well. Must admit going from memory re the terrain, plus a bit of Google maps, but looks flatter I guess! If the bridge could span enough maybe wouldn’t be too steep?

  15. As an aside, there appears to be a lot of artistic freedom in these renders – there’s even a self-driving car (no occupant) at the intersection of Quay and Albert running a red light during a Barnes’ dance pedestrian phase.

    On topic: If in future the Inner Link will be replaced by a light rail route – as mentioned already as part of an emerging wishlist – how would that tie in with the underpass at the intersection of Queen and K’ Road? Assuming the ‘odd things’ are stairwells leading to platforms in the underpass, would it then be possible to have east-west aligned stairwells also leading into the underpass to enable easier transfers? Would there be enough room for this on K’ Road after implementation of the K’ Road Plan? Why not do away with the underpass entirely if the light rail vehicles in this area will be powered by the overhead system, presumably enabling them to draw enough power to tackle the steep grade?

    So many questions, but it’s a very exciting project – can’t wait to hear more details (especially the “minor” details like how AT are going to fund this exactly).

  16. How bizarre this all is! One transport agency (AT) is striving desperately to remove congestion from our streets and the other (NZTA) with the harbour tunnel proposal is working so hard to clog them back up again.
    Sadly only the former plan seems to make any sense.

  17. Meh. Shouldn’t have scrapped them in the first place, but a huge waste of everyone’s time and money to bring them back.

  18. I’ve been riding the ‘luas’ light rail in Dublin this week. They typically have 3 cars in a train. It’s very popular. At peak hour, too popular, as they fill up rapidly and standing is the only option for many users. But definitely better than buses in terms of capacity, noise, emissions and comfort (even if standing).

  19. Great, really looking forward to this getting off the ground and up and running. This Government won’t be happy as they are all about roads and pandering to the roading forum and will not assist Auckkand Transport with this project unless there is a motorway to be built. Great to see rail making a comeback and more and more people using the existing rail on the new electric trains. We need more rail and rail over the Shore and electrification extended to Pukekohe and beyond. Go Railways

  20. Sorry previously I posted this in the wrong area ”new”
    This is my proposal for a light rail public transport system. Auckland city’s NESW; Airport Rail Connection.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/midline-line-rail-corridor-craig-basham ( image of what it would look like at this link)
    Concept; This proposal suggests A Middle Lane Rail Corridor, in which the two inner lanes of a motorway which connect to a major city hubs have barriers and tracks laided for a light rail train system. A platform is erected either site of an existing over – bridge (one platform for each train direction ) then stair units are built connecting the platform with the over bridge ( the stairs and the platforms are both fenced) .
    Advantages of this system is that motorways normally always run to all the populated areas of cities, making every over bridge along the network a train platform point, and as the trains run down the center of the motorways they never cross any lanes or off-ramps this allows for easily implementation into existing infrastructure. Every train could potentially take 300-600 cars off the road
    Disadvantage the two inner lanes are given up for public transport,
    As people and destinations are not in the middle of motorways. A Park and ride structure could connect urban centers to the Ride points,
    I was focusing problem solving using existing infrastructure and indicating that there was an existing arterial access corridor currently being used by cars with usually one passenger per vehicle
    This proposal is just an exercise in problem solving, seeking to solve the problem of how to introduce mass transport without expanding public works corridors through populated areas
    could pick up the city surface connections shown in the above artistry

    1. Craig. We do of course already have PT along many of our urban m’ways: on SH1, the Southern Rail Line and the Northern Busway, and will be improving the bus system on the Northwestern too. Certainly these busways could be upgraded to Light or heavier Rail, but in general the issue isn’t one of vehicle technology but rather Right of Way quality. In other words the Northern Busway makes for our best bus service and one of the best PT systems in the city because of the separation from traffic and high quality Stations.

      While you are correct to observe we have failed, in general, to reserve ROWs for PT anywhere and are forced to use m’way ROWs [or m’ways have taken over rail ROWs] they are not ideal. Motorways may look like a good place for PT but in general they are suboptimal. People are not there, cars are. Many of our by-the-m’way stations struggle by being cut off from a population by the adjacent m’way; Remuera, Greenlane, etc. Furthermore the great landvalue upgrade effects of Rapid Transit stations are hard to capitalise when they are stranded by m’ways.

      Park and ride, except right out on the fringes of cities for dispersed populations, can only provide a small fraction of ridership and in fact subsidise car use [unless properly charged for] and limit quality landuse around stations. So in general I would suggest that your scheme is a very car-drivers’ view of how Transit might work rather than from a Transit perspective.

      One thing about Light Rail is its ability to go right to the front door of destinations, it’s on-street operation, Streetcars as the Americans call them. This of course needs to be balanced with its contradictory need to have a clear ROW too… ATs Isthmus LRT plan attempts to balance those demands, this will sometimes likely utilise m’ways route too, but we should assume that just because a m’way goes somewhere then so should Transit.

    2. Interesting concept but things to consider:

      You need a platform or platforms for passengers to get on and off at stops. This means another 8m or more at stops, which means in addition to two running lanes for trains you need to take a further two lanes worth of width for platforms. Considering the required geometry for the rail and the motorway, this can be very difficult.

      Passengers need to get to or from the platform with stairs, ramps or lifts for an existing motorway bridge or a new one. This isn’t as easy as it sounds either.

      At some point you inevitably need to provide some pretty serious ramps for the rails to move from the middle of the motorway to somewhere else.

      All together its usually easier just to put it down one side.

      1. On this note, I guess that AT are thinking mainly shared space stations/stops or just like a bus stops (and seems to be like this looking at some of their artist impressions). I can see it’s a bit tricky with even one side having a single car lane unless it’s fully separated and have access from both sides somehow (then so much width is needed). Can’t seem to find any/many examples on the web where it shows stations working without it been a major sort of one. Anyone got any good links? Haven’t had the privilege of seeing one overseas in action.

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