Yesterday Labour announced their transport policy for Auckland and we already know it’s fantastic as they’ve adopted our Congestion Free Network 2. You can watch their announcement here.

A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. share on twitter

“Let’s get Auckland moving by building a light rail network and accelerating investment in heavy rail and bus rapid transit. This is crucial to Auckland’s future growth.

“A world-class city in the 21st century needs a rail connection from its CBD to its airport. Auckland needs this now. Labour’s going to accelerate the solutions to Auckland’s transport problems.

“I believe Labour’s plan is a game-changer. It will reduce the $2 billion a year that congestion costs Auckland. It will realise Auckland’s potential to be a truly world class city.

“Labour will build light rail to Mt Roskill in four years, to the airport and West Auckland within a decade, followed by a line connecting the North Shore to the CBD.

“We’ll also build a Bus Rapid Transit service connecting the airport and East Auckland, and a third main trunk rail line to serve the commuter and freight rail traffic.

“We’ll free up funding by getting better value for money from the East-West Link, and give Auckland the ability to fund its share of the investments through a regional fuel tax, infrastructure bonds, and targeted rates.

“Investing in high quality modern public transport is the best way to unclog our roads. This will ensure Auckland can grow and meet the needs of all who live and work in this great city.

“It’s time to get on with it. It’s time to get Auckland moving. Let’s do this,” says Jacinda Ardern.

Labour will:

  • Build light rail from the CBD to Auckland airport. This will be part of a new light rail network that will be built over the next decade with routes to the central suburbs, the Airport, and West Auckland, and will later be extended to the North Shore.
  • Build a new Bus Rapid Transit line from Howick to the Airport, starting with a bus service which will connect Puhinui train station to the Airport in one year.
  • Invest in more electric trains and build a third main trunk line urgently between Wiri and Papakura,
  • Allow Auckland Council to collect a regional fuel tax to fund the acceleration of these investments, along with infrastructure bonds and targeted rates.

They’ve also adopted our CFN map to show the projects they’re proposing.

and this table

Here are a few thoughts about the announcement

    • Overall, I thought it was good and it was appreciated that Jacinda called out us and our friends at Bike Auckland and Generation Zero
    • I quite liked the line “Auckland needs to be a world class city, we can be a world class city, but that will take world class, 21st century transport, that is what we need“. Also, her comments about how transport isn’t just about transport but how we connect with our city, communities and families.
    • I particularly liked how Jacinda mentioned about how rail to the airport was not just about the airport but also about serving the communities of the south west that are on the route, a critical point often forgotten in the debate.
    • They specifically call out some of the ways they’ fund the additional infrastructure they plan to build including regional fuel taxes and scaling back the East-West Link.
    • I was a bit disappointed that Labour are using the bogus congestion cost figure of $2b. On that topic, Simon Wilson over at The Spinoff wrote a great piece about it on the weekend.
    • It’s cool that they’ve used our CFN map but it’s also a shame they’ve removed some of the key routes that either exist or are happening regardless of the election, such as the Western Line and the Eastern Busway. I get they’re trying to show the projects that they’ll prioritise but one of the key points of the CFN is to highlight that it is about building a complete network rather than having an individual project focus. As a reminder, here’s the full map

The announcement from Labour follows on from Friday’s leak of National’s transport policy for the city, which they also formally announced yesterday, a few hours after Labour. The optics of it were certainly not lost on me National holding their announcement at Papakura station, on a day when no trains were running due to among other things, motorway works. It’s worth noting that their announcement also included $37 million in improvements to Wellington’s rail network, most of which was to double track to Upper Hutt. It’s also interesting in their Q&A section where they talk about how it will mean Auckland’s new battery powered trains could then be used to serve Pokeno. That’s notable because legislation specifically lists inter-regional PT services as ‘exempt’ and therefore not eligible for NZTA subsidies. Lastly on National, it’s worth noting the language they’ve used in the 1News segment embedded in this piece, Bill English talks about how light rail to airport is a good project and Simon Bridges talks about rail taking hundreds of cars off the road.

What’s already noticeable is just how much transport appears to be shaping up as a key topic this election. This is a change from previous elections where it is often a minor footnote compared to topics such as the economy, health and education, despite being an area that can affect all three (and others). This is also despite the transport policies of the major parties probably being arguably the closest they’ve been for years with the debate focusing on the level of PT investment, not whether it should exist. Who knows, perhaps normal transmission will resume over the coming seven weeks and transport policy will disappear into the background, I certainly hope it doesn’t though.

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    1. i think it’s code for “don’t build a gigantic grade-separated road in a sensitive urban location many years before you need it”

    2. Hi Heidi – the policy is that we will cancel the current project and then conduct a 6 month evidenced based review of the freight problems in the area and come up with a sensible solution. $750m is provisioned in our numbers to then deliver it, which is similar to the amount that Option B would have cost.

      Michael Wood

        1. I work on Neilson street, and I’ve always thought this was the best option. But I would go slightly further and build new northbound on and off ramps that join up with the end of Neilson street. I believe much of the problem with that end of the road is the way you have to loop around under the motorway, meaning northbound traffic is crossing over the southbound traffic at Nelson st / Onehunga mall intersection.

    3. I do not know, but if they are really just going to build an EW Link for freight, then a much reduced two lane facility (one lane each way) with fewer local road connections so as not to attract all the local traffic onto it, could be built for literally half the price. That would make far more sense – still giving regional freight connectivity, but not buggering up Onehunga so much.

  1. National speak with a forked tongue when it comes to transport, it’ll be enough soothing language to hopefully get back into office then back to full steam ahead with asphalt and roads, road and more roads as BAU. They’ve had their chance to pick up the CFN. Frankly, Labour gingered on by the Greens will be far more likely to deliver – especially as they’ve bitten the bullet and offered a fuel tax as a funding mechanism.

    Quick question – Orewa to airport on light rail, what would the journey length be?

  2. I concur this is great news. I’m extremely happy to see the electrification to Pukekohe going full electron-beam ahead, with the third main also confirmed.

    Now comes down to a wee bit of haggling about the nature and timing of other projects. I’m happy to see Labour prioritising LRT to north-west and south-west. Those areas definitely needed some PT love.

    As Matt notes, really positive that both major political parties, as well as the Greens and NZ First of course, now support major investment in public transport in Auckland in various ways and to varying degrees.

  3. This is good news. Seeing Matt L on the news just shows the good work all the GA team is doing in advocating better transport for Auckland. I look forward to the day when PT is no longer a political issue argued over by the main parties. I still don’t think trams make sense because of how the road network operates. Trams will just get stuck with all the other traffic.

    1. Having just been on a Gold Coast where their new light rail operates similarly to how the proposed system(s) would operate in Auckland I can say they have done a good job giving it priority over traffic. It operates smoothly and is quick despite interweaving with a major road (the Gold Coast highway) for much of its route. It also has city street running sections in Surfers Paradise that are similar to how light rail would operate on Queen Street and Dom Road. It seems that Auckland can have a good quality light rail system with good implementation.

      1. From Manukau going South? It seems ridiculous that people from the South have to transfer at Puhinui and wait before back tracking to go to Manukau. We have MIT, AUT, Courts, Council, govt departments, apartments, entertainment, retail, industry and jobs here. Manukau is more than a metropolitan centre but services southern Auckland and into Hamilton/Tauranga axis.

        1. Someone’s got to use an interchange. With enough frequency, it shouldn’t be a problem. Most major cities around the world have a series of major transport interchanges, where you go from one mode to another or from one line to another. Three changes is a little too much – two is doable, daily – and one is just fine.

        2. OK, I would refer to that as a south-facing connection on an existing spur line, but what the hell let’s roll with it.

          To service that connection you really need electrification and/or battery electrics no? Post electrification/BMUs you could, for example:
          – Route all trains from Pukekohe direct to Manukau, where they terminate; and
          – Run southern line services as is between Papakura and the city.

          Something like that? I don’t see what you could do before electrification/BMUs, because it would require either diverting all southern line services into manukau, which would be really bad, or taking rolling stock away from elsewhere, which would also be bad.

          What do you propose?

        3. Yes, if electrification needs to be done first then, as Labour says: “Let’s do it.” But the CFN doesn’t have the southern link on the Manukau spur line, and therefore Labour won’t be “doing it”.

        4. Tasi it’s an interesting one. Stu’s running pattern above is an option, but it does mean a forced transfer for everyone south of Papakura heading to a destination further north of MC, whereas now that is the case for those heading to just one destination: MC. So it’s likely a question of which is the bigger group of riders?

          Additionally, one thing that certainly would be useful about Stu’s plan above is the separation of services operationally. Say if there’s a problem north or south of MC that badly affects services, having the transfer and separation at MC would at least enable the unaffected part of the system to simply continue as normal… There may be some efficiencies in resource utilisation too… but that’s unclear at this point.

          However the proximity of the PoAL inland port, and its increasing freight traffic does look problematic to this idea.

        5. This is for Stu and Tasi (Stu werent you meant to be doing a post on the Manukau South Link?)

          I presented to the Auckland Council Planning Committee last week both on the Southern Airport Line (Manukau to the Airport via Puhinui Station) and the Manukau Rail South Link allowing direct services from Pukekohe and Papakura to Manukau.

          The Southern Airport Line has been committed to by Labour and the Greens so that one is “dealt with” providing the Government changes September 23

          The Manukau South Link I managed to get back into the mix of transport projects with Council and AT for consideration and priority funding.

          Going to Stu’s question:
          The link wont be ready in any case until the B-EMUs were online in 2019. Even with Pukekohe Electrification committed by both major Parties the B-EMUs still have a role to place.

          The service at every 20mins would use the new rolling stock coming through not the existing. Given also Labour have committed to the Third Main ALL THE WAY TO PAPAKURA not just Wiri line space gets freed up.

          South Link is back in the mix however, the elections have made things very fluid right now so will need to hold until the elections are done.

        6. Tasi – fair call, although i suspect the details can be worked through later. The south facing link is fairly cheap in scheme of things so i think Patrick’s right to observe that operational performance is probably the important thing. I don’t know which service pattern would be more efficient once patronage and running costs were accounted for.

        7. As a daily user of the Papakura – Manukau train – transferring at Puhinui isn’t that bad, sure a direct service would be nice, but ‘IF’ the frequencies are right, the 2-5 minute wait is fine.
          Hopefully the 3rd (and/or) 4th main line will enable the frequencies to be increased, along with the timetabling so there is more even timing between the southern and eastern services, rather than running so close behind/infront each other.

          Alternatively, buses (with bus lanes through Takanini/Papakura) would do the job of the Papakura to Manukau commute just fine.

          I’ve decided to take the train, as it averages about 30-35 mins door to door, where as the bus is sometimes 20mins, and sometimes 1 hour due to being stuck in the traffic headed southbound at peak times.

        8. If we are talking south facing links (just commented on an older post re this), how about fixing the Onehunga HR pattern by doing south facing link at Penrose, ONE to Papakura running pattern. A lot of the industrial workers around Penrose come from the south I’m sure. Move Penrose station further south for the interchange and it also means you get a station closer to Mt Smart Stadium (more than halving the current walking distance)!

        9. Grant – there is a limited capacity on the Onehunga line sue to it being single tracked, it would be better to provide more frequent services to Britomart than a new service with any available slots.

        10. @Jezza – Why bother, there will be enough service to the city plus a LRT via the isthmus. Going south to Papakura counters the overly full section of Remuera/Greenlane, simplifying the Western route by going all the way to Otahuhu every time rather than terminating half at Newmarket & half at Onehunga. To go north, transfer at a new Penrose station by walking across the platform – perhaps should have 3 platforms for special event handling or western line terminating? Just thinking of options really. This also gives a actual useable Onehunga to eastern transfer at Otahuhu.

        11. Grant – I’d say why bother to a service from Papakura to Onehunga, it is unlikely to have many people on it so would just tie up an expensive EMU. There is certainly quite a lot of employment around Onehunga but it is nowhere near the density of the CBD.

          What sort of frequency would you expect on this service?

        12. Jezza – Just the current 2 tph or step up to 3 tph esp if close some level crossings. If you think about it, Onehunga line pretty much goes East anyway, not towards Britomart. Track faults at Britomart wouldn’t affect it as currently do. Complicated weekday skipping as at present not an issue anymore. Big thing is post CRL you can run all or at least half the Swanson trains to the same destination (instead of 3 different end points?), further simplifying the network.

        13. Grant – that is a lot of trains you are putting through the Westfield junction, the post CRL running pattern already has 18tph peak direction and 15tph counter peak. You are proposing adding a further 7-8tph in each direction.

          I’m not sure a low patronage service between Papakura and Onehunga is going to be a good use of slots at this junction.

          It seems like the best solution is to just close the Onehunga line as I see your point with Onehunga commuters having the option of Dominion Rd LR.

  4. It is me or are the transport packages are to key electects ? For instances:

    Mill Rd – papakura/Franklin
    AMETI- Pakarunga
    Electric Trains to Pukehoke -Franklin

    CBD to airport – mt Roskill
    Light E-W- Onehunga

    Either way Auckland PT is certainty going to win.

    I’m a little disappointed that Labour announcement did not include upgrading CRL for second exit to K Rd or 9 carriage train platforms. Sell it as building for the future. Also I think AMETI is the third most important PT iniatative outside CRL and NW motorway PT project.

    Also no cycling funding mention by anyone? Did I miss it? To make Auckland a more livable city walking and cycling need to be part of the solution.

    Hopefully it is a sign of better things.

    1. yes I thought the same thing actually. PT not the only winner, of course: This kind of transport investment is good for Auckland and New Zealand in the long run.

      I also think Labour’s committment to a regional fuel tax is positive. It will shift low value travel demands towards non-car modes, freeing up roads for commercial vehicles, while also generating an additional revenue stream for additional infra/services.

    2. Fear not, our full transport policy, which will include cycling and walking initiatives will come out soon. We’ve separated it out because we thought that yesterday’s announcements would probably overshadow anything else.

      Michael Wood

      1. Hopefully your cycling and walking initiatives including funding for SkyPath. It’ll be great for my son & me to be able to cycle to visit his grandparents on the shore.

      2. Michael, at what point could Labour’s transport policy include an overhaul of NZTA’s transport modelling, which – by excluding the known effect of induced travel – produces cost benefit analyses for road projects that are skewed towards road building?

        1. Heidi – A really good question for Michael to answer. The road lobby really need to be tied down somehow……………….

        2. Heidi, traffic modelling in Auckland is not done by NZTA but rather a partnership of NZTA, AT and Auckland Council (it used to be called JMAC and now its the Auckland Forecasting Centre). I would say NZTA are the minor player in all this but have a look at the link below to see everyones roles under the former JMAC – its still pretty much the same.

          Basically, there are some shortcomings in the modelling, I agree with that, but its the best we’ve got and I can’t see the general process changing any time soon (regardless of who’s in power).

        3. Thanks for that link, Missing Link. As I see it, there’s the ART3 model which is complex, involving assumptions about land use, economic growth and population, etc. I am not criticising this model as I haven’t had a chance to look at it.

          What I have looked at is how this is then incorporated into the transport models operated by NZTA’s consultants. They erroneously apply the figures for regional “person trips” to both the “without project” and “with project” scenarios, and NZTA confirm this when they say that “It is industry standard that newly created trips are the least likely response to new infrastructure and it is not normal practice to include them.”

          The transport model CANNOT show added “person trips” as a response to a project. Since the road project adds capacity, yet the “person trips” are erroneously held constant, the model MUST on average show reduced travel times for the project. IMHO, the travel time improvements are total nonsense.

          This creates an entirely flawed BCA. The international research community pulled apart this sort of model a long time ago:

          We know that induced traffic is real and substantial, and NZTA’s consultants fudge the use of language around the concept – but they simply do not include “newly created trips”. Look at Litman’s chart of types of generated traffic and see how substantial leaving out the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th lines of his graph (and possibly more) are:

          Countries are having to decide whether to simply walk away from technical models like these, or to put the effort into reducing their fundamental deficiencies.

          As an engineer, I’d far prefer the models to be improved so we can properly discuss roads on their merits, but if the modellers won’t change, we might just have to reduce the political weight given to the models!

        4. ML
          the real solution for transport modelling in NZ (and Australia; similar guidelines used in both) is that we must introduce Land Use Transport Interaction (LUTI) models. The problem is not the models per se, but the land use assumptions fed into them. At present we use a “static” modelling process, whereby we assume the land use scenario stays the same as infrastructure is added. But changes in land use are one of the primary mechanisms by which induced travel shows up. So the sprawl that is caused by something like EW Link is not measured, nor is the containment effect of projects like CRL. This leads to misleading BCR analysis.

          Of course, the real solution IMO is to abandon the old British/Australian planning methodology entirely and go towards the development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) as now recommended by the EU. This enables the development of genuine long-term multi-modal planning strategies, rather than an ad-hoc string of roading projects. Modelling becomes a secondary tool, rather than a driver. See


        5. Thanks Scott, I ‘ll have a good look at that. Yes you’re right about static land use in the models.

          Have you followed the open source developments in this field?

      3. Hi Michael, It is REALLY important that the CRL is built to be able to handle up to 9-car EMUs so that these can be used in future (which with our type of network is likely to be the only way to get additional capacity out of it long term). Good luck with the election hopefully we can have a change of government – but in any case even if you don’t get in pressure really needs to be applied politically to make sure the CRL is built for this as it will be almost impossible to retrofit it later).

    3. Yes, it seems that Labour’s view is that only Labour electorates should get rail in the next ten years. What’s the timetable for the train stations that are missing and so desperately needed at places like Glenfield, Birkenhead, Takapuna and Browns Bay?

      It’s undoubtedly better than what we have now, but it needs to cover all of Auckland rather than just Labour’s political bases.

      1. You mean the places that already have a busway system? They scheduled that for conversion to rail in the second decade, well before anyone else.

      2. North Shore Line is moved into the second decade from the third decade
        SE Auckland gets covered by the Botany Line coming into Decade One
        Everyone wins with the Third Main
        Pukekohe wins with electrification

        And all of those above is National Country

        1. Yeah, it’s a really good plan and I love it, but 10+ years is just too far away for large metropolitan centres that have no transit stations.

          I want to be able to go to and from all parts of Auckland and not be far away from a transit station, and t would prefer to get a complete network for every-day use before catering for trips to the airport.

        2. ‘before catering for trips to the airport’

          Not quite right there, as that’s the advantage of running through the south western suburbs – providing an entire area of auckland that currently has no mass transit near by at all. So the ‘airport’ line, will not infact be just serving the airport commuters/travellers, but it will be serving a large area of Auckland as well.

        3. For the Southern Airport Line to be honest it can be done all square by 2025
          2018-2020 from Airport to Puhinui
          2021 to Manukau
          2022 to Botany
          2025 to Howick

          NS Line? Second decade is a bit misleading
          Nothing starting tunnelling under the Harbour 2020 and getting the first stage to Takapuna by 2023. From there you go up in stages to Orewa.

      3. Indeed, the well known Labour stronghold of Helensville gets light rail all the way to town……. sarc/

      4. Not quite sure what your point is. Electorates are largely irrelevant with MMP and the voters they are trying to appeal to are swing voters, not the already existing 23 % that support Labour no matter what.

  5. Excellent news for Auckland PT. Nats PT policy starting to look weak and second rate.
    It will be great to see that EW link scaled back to something more practical and save a $billion or so.

  6. I can’t see a slow LRT to the airport as being appealing to travelers as opposed to an express HR solution.

    1. not so fast! How much slower is it? And at what frequency could the HR line operate?

      You have to factor in wait-time, so if LRT operates at 5 minute headways vis-a-vis HR at 15 then the LRT has just saved you ~5 minutes per trip.

      1. Oh, I don’t know, maybe because HR can travel up to 110 km/h on a dedicated track and an LRT is going to be traveling on a public road that it will be sharing with other road users and all the associated risks.

        1. Vance we have covered this ad nauseam. No train even reaches 110km/h in actual service in AKL, the top speed of the machine is almost entirely irrelevant to the actual speed of the service. Light Rail Vehicles can also reach those speeds. The LR system proposed is for a mostly separate right of way, and well placed stops not too close together.

          If you can’t be bothered to engage with the actual proposal I’m not sure we can be bothered hosting your reckons about it. Look a little closer there is plenty of information on this site alone.

        2. And you wouldn’t have been one of the many on this forum who reckoned that the Waterview Tunnel was doomed before it opened either.

        3. Again if you studied a little more carefully you will find that my criticism is not of the tunnel itself but the of the absence of a Rapid Transit route on the NW while all that work was happening there. And it is true in the absence of this these routes will clog with induced traffic in due course.

          The Waterview tunnel is, as I’ve constantly said, the completion of the motorway network, it is the completion of the city bypass, and necessary. But to continue to work at peak the motorway system needs the complementary Rapid Transit Network, and it is a huge institutional failure to now come back and add this at greater cost. Which is what the plan is now.

        4. Two points.

          1. It’s not entirely about travelers. While this is a great optic, the airport is massive and rapidly growing employment (*) zone. The only option is cars at the moment or a very slow bus service.

          2. Even if it is slower by m/2, LRT actually be faster A to B if you take into account travel time for the full router. A worker getting on in Manage or Mt Eden township will get to their place of work faster via a LRT route, than a bus and then HRT.

    2. Eventually there will be both. LR serving communities with an HR express for airport passengers to City

      1. Yes there certainly will be a new high quality connection from the main line at Puhinui to the Airport, and the other way to Manukau and further east AS WELL AS one through the communities to the north to the Airport. Both of these connections will enable people to head all the way to the City Centre as well, but certainly not only, or even mainly.

        The Puhinui interchange will also serve intercity trains from beyond the AKL region to the south. And express trains from the city, so ‘trains to the planes’ will be a rich and and high choice field.

      2. I’ve always thought that once the Transit revolution gains momentum, there will be a continued investment leading to multiple overlapping networks of HR, LR & Bus. Separated and providing redundancy to each other.

        The first stage for the SW/Airport corridor will probably be LR down Dominion Road. Then when teleporting and electric cars arrive, we’ll probably start re-purposing PT to provide social benefits for those who can’t or don’t want to own what amounts to a SOV.

        1. Before we get teleporting, won’t we be flying with those little backpack things and need a 3DCFN? Hopefully I’ll be long gone by then.

    3. Last I saw the papers if was 43mins from Aotea Station to the Airport via Dominion Road

      Britomart to Puhinui Station then transferring to a bus down the busway to the Airport was also similar timings depending on transfer

    4. I can’t see an express service to the CBD being appealing to people who work in the airport precinct compared with a service that connects well with numerous other suburbs and services.

  7. Vance, am I reading correctly that Labour would give you a buslane along Puhinuit Rd to the airport by Christmas next year?

    1. Heidi, Jacinda appeared to be saying – buses would be there immediately and the RT would take 2 years. So, I’m expecting a better bus by THIS Christmas.

      1. Hi folks – yes we will work with AT to deliver decent bus services from Puhinui and Manukau to the airport within one year. This will then progressively be upgraded to a full bus rapid transit system, and extended to Botany and Howick within the first decade.

        Michael Wood

        1. Michael, would it not make more sense to just build it as LR in that case through to Botany like how you plan on building the NW as LR rather than BRT and converting it later?
          Or are you looking at having these on the existing (upgraded) road with RT to be built later (which could be HR)?

        2. Is light rail really needed? I would imagine that the AMETI busway would be likely to reach capacity sooner than Howick – Manukau – Airport Busway.

  8. I think it’s worth mentioning that if not for the great team at Greater Auckland Labour probably would not be announcing those project. GA did an incredible job investigating and researching the options and coming up with first with CFN and than with CFN2 and than relentlessly advocating for it.

    Thank you team!

  9. I would like Jacinda and Michael to re-do the Christchurch transport plan. Given the Auckland announcement, Labour’s Christchurch plan looks a bit light.

    Although Labour’s Christchurch plan is miles better than National’s plan -which has spending on commuter trains for Auckland and Wellington and nothing for Christchurch.

    Specifically, I would like time commitments -so within 4 years a train service from Addington to Rolleston (what is currently promised). Within 10 years a service to Kaiapoi/Rangiora and within 15-20 years to a Lyttleton cruise liner terminal (which will require electrification or battery technology to get through the tunnel) plus extending the northern line out to Amberley/Waipara.

    That all Canterbury train stations will be built with large covered bike parks, like the Dutch do. That way investment into rapid transit complements investment in cycling infrastructure.

    1. christchurch really needs its own britomart spur as rail doesnt penetrate the cbd at this point. They might need light rail for that, plenty of issues to work thru.

      1. Creating a Christchurch rail CBD loop would have been ideal. Something that could have been done post earthquakes. If the government had a rebuild back better approach…. But they didn’t…..

        I think the best approach now would be to get some sort of basic commuter rail service up and running and integrate it with really cycle friendly infrastructure plus a modern bike share scheme. That in part will compensate for the train stations not being ideally located.

        Once a basic commuter rail service is up and running, a more comprehensive rapid transit system can gradually evolve from there.

      2. In my dreams. Canterbury would get a regional fuel tax so it could get pay for a complete rapid transit service for Greater Christchurch.

        This could over a decade or two pay for a electrified commuter rail system on the existing tracks.

        A north/south express bus-only road on Colombo street from Brougham to Edgeware roads -with underpasses for the Cathedral and Bealey Aves. This would mean buses coming from the Northern or Southern Motorways would have fast access to the CBD. There would also be a highly frequent bus connection from a new Moorhouse Ave train station up Colombo street.

        And a East/West light rail route going from New Brighton through the CBD out past a new Riccarton train station through the University and out to the airport.

        1. Not sure the people of Twizel and Waimate would be that keen on paying a regional fuel tax for Greater Christchurch public transport.

        2. I doubt that the residents of Christchurch are happy giving massive subsidies for Roads in Waimate and Twizel.

        3. SB – that is a fair point. However, we are talking about a situation here where due to a purely artificial boundary drawn on a map, people in Waimate (which is closer to Dunedin than Chch) will pay for Chch PT but people in Oamaru wont.

        4. I used to think LRT in Christchurch was unrealistic in terms of cost, but it might be possible if scoped carefully. This example in Besancon, France was done very economically. It still works well and looks quite nice. It has less capacity than the LRT Auckland is proposing, but enough for a medium sized regional city. And still cheaper per km than any of the freeways NZTA are proposing. Try the French Wikipedia page and hit “translate”


        5. Ok I have just found this -so Canterbury under Labour definitely gets commuter rail started and it is funded by a re-allocation of transport funding not a regional fuel tax (which is probably a good thing as petrol is already way more expensive than the North Island due to a lack of competition).

          “Labour says it’s still fully committed to its transport plans for Christchurch, as well as a massive investment in the Auckland region.

          In June, the party announced a $100 million transport investment in the garden city, to be funded by a re-allocation of the transport budget.

          The biggest single project would be a commuter rail link between Rolleston and the CBD.

          Spokeswoman for Christchurch Regeneration, Megan Woods, said new leader Jacinda Ardern understands the need for the investment.

          “I’ve spoken to Jacinda this morning, and confirmed we’re all good to go on this, and she absolutely is committed to this kind of vision for our city.

          “Labour is absolutely committed to having a rail option in Christchurch, starting that with the western line, and that commitment stands.”

          Dr Woods said the proposed commuter link between Rolleston and the CBD won’t be paid for by a petrol tax.

          She said the $100 million will come from a re-allocation of the transport budget.”

  10. Agree Brendon. Both WGTN and CHCH need full ‘Greater…’ organisations to develop plans. These are way better to come from a source independent of nation wide political parties, from the local ground up. But are a huge amount of work requiring an entire ecosystem, which in turn probably requires a really big talent pool of the sort bigger cities can more easily generate… Agglomerate!

    1. The first step would be to make Ecan fully democratic again. Having a proper regional/Canterbury democracy would create forums and opportunities for Greater Christchurch residents to debate such issues. I also think other regions should be able to take up the regional fuel tax option too -to fund extra transport infrastructure -if they want it. Say if their particular regional government voted for it. Having that option would facilitate a debate of what transport infrastructure is needed.

        1. Interesting I didn’t realise that!

          I don’t live in Canterbury anymore but I hope they get rid of that anomaly when it goes back to being democratic.

          Interestingly as an employee at Ecan I found it better once the commissioners came in as they were actually well qualified and could be logically reasoned with as opposed to some of the hicks on council prior to 2010.

  11. Off topic, but while we’re being happy, THANK YOU very much to the commenter who turned me on to LineageOS so my old phone could run the new AT Mobile app. My phone is in fact too crappy to have a LineageOS build but it does have a version of its predecessor, CyanogenMod, and now it all works fine. 😀

    Back on topic: I wonder how long before certain posters who previously supported the CFN will decide that if the Labour Party supports it, it must suck! As people no doubt know I’m far from a fan of Labour – although Jacinda is a breath of fresh air, I think it’s atrocious how she’s blackballed Metiria Turei from cabinet (PLEASE DON’T START THAT DEBATE HERE GUYS). However, I’m feeling much more relaxed about a Labour-Greens government given this announcement. Just got to keep the heavy-rail-mode-fetishists associated with NZ First from spoiling it!

    1. Don’t start the debate?? Don’t bring it up then for f**ks sake! You say things like this many times Daphne – as if only your opinion on any matter counts.
      I don’t have much of a personal view on this particular matter, but do think that Jacinda has made the right political call.
      As slippery as politicians are and no amount of salt can be enough let alone a pinch they still need to be held accountable for any illegal activity (that includes Turei and English for his dodgy housing expenses debacle). There are a lot of beneficiaries out there that abuse the system so if they think it is ok to do because of someone like Turei then that would be a bad precedent to set and makes it harder for those genuinely in need to get by.

  12. I think that everyone is being unduly kind (the media and Mayor Goff included) to National’s proposals, while the potentially game-changing implications of Labour’s proposals have not really been given significant attention (the focus has been on the big-ticket items only).

    First, National:

    * Electrification to Pukekohe – this looks ham-fisted in light of an AC decision just a couple of weeks ago that battery-powered trains were the way forward. Surely, given the “close” cooperation between AC/AT and NZTA this could have been finessed better. From the travelling public’s perspective, in terms of easing the gridlock, the net benefit is zero to reticulate rather than use battery power.

    * Northwestern Busway: I don’t know what the proposed money will buy (others will no doubt be able to advise) but I’m guessing it won’t go much further than the Te Atatu-Westgate section of the route. Net benefit to resolving gridlock: very minor, and confined to a small section of the Northwest.

    * Mill Road: OK, so this MAY reduce road congestion on the Southern Motorway in some of the currently most-congested areas. The benefit, however, is confined to the south.

    * AMETI being advanced: great, but this was going to happen anyway.

    * Third Main Line: again, great, but begs the question as to why the proposed fourth main (with a higher B/C ratio) was not included. As much about the freight industry as it is about public transport.

    Now Labour:

    * Dominion Road and Airport Light Rail: let’s leave aside the HR/LR debate, and acknowledge that either way this is a game changer for the central suburbs and the southwest.

    * Northwest Light Rail – completely trumps the idea of a partial busway, and is again a complete game changer for the northwest.

    * Howick to the Airport bus rapid transit: again a complete game changer in terms of access to the airport, and an essential link in an overall rapid transit network.

    * Third main line – as with National, perhaps a half-hearted response given the B/C benefits of a fourth main.

    * Reassessing the gold-plated version of the EW Link – if we’re serious about B/C ratios being a standard against which projects are assessed, then this is an obvious target.

    * Four new bus priority routes – while these won’t be rapid transit as such, they will be essential components of a real PT network that has the potential to lead a massive public shift toward (and acceptance of) public transport as the way of the future, rather than road-building.

    * Plus new trains, further “rail improvements” and light rail to the North Shore (the latter after Year 10).

    As I said, I think everyone has been too kind to National. What they are offering is a piecemeal, mainly road-focused package that over ten years will improve the lot of commuters in the South, primarily, and then not that much.

    Labour’s approach has as an outcome a comprehensive rapid transit network with three brand new lines, of which two light rail (and presumably also a commitment to ongoing funding for AMETI, which would create a fourth new rapid transit line, though this was not stated), plus four new bus priority routes connecting the when-completed EIGHT rapid transit lines together. In short, a complete game-changer for public transport, and will have region-wide benefits. The benefits of the “network effect” that will be created should also not be underestimated.

    I think that any objective analysis would suggest that Labour’s policies are far more in line with Auckland’s needs than National’s, and while I appreciate that Mayor Goff doesn’t want to burn his bridges with National, he may not be doing the city a favour nevertheless by taking such a neutral stand.

    By way of disclosure: I am neither a National voter nor a Labour voter, and will not be voting for either of them next month.

    1. Yes Eastern Busway will still be funded as well as the Puke electrification as these were decade 1 projects. The announcement only was regarding projects being moved forward.

      On the third main Labour is proposing that be done between Papakura – Westfield rather than just Westfield – Wiri. This will make express & intercity trains very feasible in future as well as be great for freight.

      1. Express train to New Market…drooolleee. I remember the days….20 minutes in the silver fern NM to Manurewa.

        What rail was like before it become fashionable.

        Do we have enough trains for that …probably need 9- car train as well as it will be packed.

        1. Good point arum1. Assuming an express service only goes into Britomart and back out then so long as the few intermediate platforms are long enough could be a good way to get good capacity onto that route. Would reduce the operating costs of such a service even further (still 1 driver but 50% more passengers)

        2. It’s just a shame that the the Britomart Tunnel is only double tracked, meaning that an express train entering Britomart will be using a valuable CRL capacity slot. However express trains from Pukekohe/Papakura would be great, although I am not sure how much ‘expressing’ they could do after Westfield, as there will still be other trains in the way.

    2. Spot on there David; the nat’s announcement was pure political spin mixed with panic.
      I loved you in Talking Heads BTW! Same as it ever was……

      1. You’d be surprised how few people understand the “Same as it ever was” T-shirt that I often wear . . .

  13. Can someone please inform me how light rail will be integrated into already narrow and congested roads like Dominion Road. Apologies if this has already been covered in the comments above.

    1. The way I understand it, the area currently used for bus lanes/off peak parking will become the road lanes, and the light rail will go down the middle where the cars/painted median was.

    2. It’s been covered ad nauseum on this website, best to check out the light rail proposal, but in short it is re-purposing the existing bus lanes so minimal change to general traffic lanes.

        1. Correct, LR would replace buses along Dominion Rd. One of the reasons this corridor was chosen was it would be a simple replacement of existing buses, where other corridors have multiple routes so some bus services would still need to run.

  14. This is great news, and the focus in the elections that transport finally deserves. Now we can go on debating the more finer points of design & what’s next etc rather than getting depressed that it won’t happen at all for decades….mind you we have an election to get through first. I think the next polls will show a huge swing to Labour, but hopefully not just at the expense of the Greens & NZF. Well done GA & related team on promoting the CFN 2.

  15. “I believe Labour’s plan is a game-changer”

    Game-changer…what does that actually mean?

    “Investing in high quality modern public transport is the best way to unclog our roads”

    Really? It won’t (it hasn’t thus far) and why would we want to?

    1. “Game-changer” – google is your friend here.
      “It won’t (it hasn’t thus far)”. Well that would mainly be because we haven’t yet spent any serious money on PT as it’s all gone on roads! Building road after road after road has really helped congestion. Yeah right.
      Your comment would be more accurate if you substituted “roads” for PT.

      1. In Auckland there is a positive correlation between PT trip numbers and road congestion. Increased PT use is not diminishing congestion. Absent road pricing the biggest brake on road congestion is… road congestion. Until we have a functioning road pricing system why would you even want to reduce road congestion? It’s self-defeating.

        Ardearn either knows that increasing the spend on PT is not the best way to unclog the roads (road pricing is) and is either throwing out little porkies to the voters or she doesn’t know. Either way it’s poor. It’s polly-speak. They all do it. They just can’t help themselves.

        As for”gamechanger”; it has become almost meaningless; just like “awesome” and “fantastic” and a host of other vapid words.

        1. Are you sure this is a meaningful positive correlation or are you confounding the variables?

          More likely increased population implies an increase in number of trips. Which then depending on travel options implies more PT and vehicle trips.

          Since the roads have limited capacity, more vehicle trips mean more congestion.

          So more PT does not imply more congestion.

        2. I have made no claims of a causal link. To ignore the effects of a rapidly growing population and claim that an increase in PT spending is the best way of unclogging the roads is somewhat careless.

        3. What increases vkt is an increase in road capacity, in a linear ratio. Provision of public transport has little effect on vkt – one person switching from driving to PT in our congested road network will be replaced by another person driving. Congestion is the cap. PT does, however, increase accessibility, which is the real aim. Population also has very little to do with vkt – it’s all to do with where the population is housed and whether new road capacity was added to provide that housing.

        4. @MFD

          Let’s consider the reverse. No PT only means more congestion when the population growing.

          Congestion charging is certainly a tool, but in the absence of choice it’s meaningless as those drivers have no alternatives. So they just pay the higher cost and complain about it to their friends.

          Fundamentally it should be about priorities at the moment. More PT should come become new roads otherwise we continue down the same path we are at now.

          Step back and look from a higher level, the city we live in now is driven (pun intended) by the transport choices we have made in the past. If we had better PT choices, I contend that we’d have a more liveable city now.

    2. MFD, you don’t have to give a cat’s whisker about reducing congestion on the motorways. But on the urban and suburban streets where people are living, both the congestion and the vkt are what creates the danger, fumes and unpleasant environment. There, I think you probably do care.

      The European Commission uses the term “traffic evaporation” for what they have found happens when roading is reallocated to living, PT, active modes. This is what we should be aiming for. Better accessibility for all, and reduced car use.

    3. I agree with you. I don’t think it is constructive to claim that PT or cycling will relieve congestion because of induced demand.

      What they both do is offer an alternative to congestion. So for me on a train or on a bike, it has solved congestion. I am not in congestion so problem solved.

      Congestion is part of a successful city and will always exist as long as Auckland is successful – which is what we all want. What we need to do is offer people options so that when they don’t need to travel in a 15 sqm metal box alone, they can choose not to.

      One thing people comment on when they go to countries with a true multi modal system is how much more relaxed drivers seems. I firmly believe that is because those drivers have made a conscious choice to drive. Auckland drivers are forced (or at least feel forced by a lack of awareness of other options from 60 years of car centric policies) to make all trips by car no matter whether that is the best option. No wonder they are so angry.

      Let’s never forget that the Netherlands recently won a competition for best place to drive in the world.

  16. I’m a little unclear about the third main.

    Labour seems to be saying they’ll do a third main from Wiri to Papakura. I thought the project was Westfield to Wiri that Kiwirail and everyone was talking about previously?

    Are Labour extending the distance of the third main further south to allow more express running or something? Or is it a typo and it is just the standard Westfield to Wiri?

    1. Yes correct bringing it forward extending the third main to Pakakura was originally decade 3 now decade 1 under Labour plans.

  17. Well done to Greater Auckland and Generation Zero for getting your evidence based transport policy adopted. It feels as if some balance is starting to come back after the years of RONS and the trucking lobby holding the power.

  18. Wooa in all the excitement, hold onto your horses. The often quoted 5 – 10 cents per litre of fuel tax to fund transport infrastructure will not get LR to the airport or anywhere else in a month of Sundays, except perhaps around the Wynyard Quarter. While Jacinda Ardern is full of enthusiasm, she’s been poorly advised by Phil Twyford and Michael Wood on her first policy announcement.

    Even if LR to Mt Roskill in 4 years and the Airport/ West Auckland in a decade was a transport priority, it would more likely be closer to $1 than 10 cents per litre of fuel tax to achieve it. The true cost (tax) on poorer household incomes is huge compared to higher incomes and certainly doesn’t help those sleeping in their cars. It’s not quite champagne socialism yet, but it definitely is a carrot for higher middle income swing voters.

    Perhaps the most curious thing about this announcement is that Labour and the Greens are supposed to be working together to change the government for a fairer, greener future. To implement the Labour transport policy, Ardern, Twyford and Wood require rich and poor Aucklanders to burn as much petrol as possible and as quickly as possible to fund it. That’s not really a great vision or much of a memorandum of understanding is it?

    1. The regional fuel tax does not pay for everything, it is an additional contribution. The policy also includes slowing down the reckless spending on low value motorway projects: A more balanced investment programme. There is already a great deal of money in transport budgets; this is a re-ordering of current spend as well as new sources.

      1. Agreed – take out E-W and Warkworth to Wellsford and you’ve freed up about 3.5 billion. Not exactly chump change. This is what I don’t get about National – they’re meant to be fiscally conservative and yet they like to spend massive amounts on roading projects that aren’t economically efficient.

  19. Although this has been about Labour’s transport policy I can’t help thinking that if the new govt is a Lab/Green/NZF coalition then how would NZF change or add to this Lab policy.
    Winston has already said he wants greater use of the NAL for freight ans possibly passenger services. So would this likely see the Auckland end of the NAL changed? Perhaps the Waitakere tunnel widened, daylighted or the NAL re-routed. Double tracking or electrification and as well as intercity passenger trains to Whangerai, Auckland Metro to Haupai/Helensville.
    If NAL freight increases significantly then the need for the Avondale-Southdown link?
    Is there a comprehensive transport policy yet available from NZF?

    1. There is this: I like this bit: “Subject every major new urban roading project to a requirement that its transport objectives cannot better be achieved partly or wholly through an alternative public transport option or options taking account of regional or national transport strategy criteria as well as a wide range of cost/benefit considerations including externalities and socio-economic considerations, as well as city/district and regional plans. Light rail, ferries, buses with traffic propriety measures, and off road and on road cycling and walking routes must form a part of these considerations.”

    2. “Winston has already said he wants greater use of the NAL for freight ans possibly passenger services. So would this likely see the Auckland end of the NAL changed? Perhaps the Waitakere tunnel widened, daylighted or the NAL re-routed. Double tracking or electrification and as well as intercity passenger trains to Whangerai, Auckland Metro to Haupai/Helensville.

      I have wondered about this too. The route via the west still seems too long for me, for passenger commuting. Maybe in future it links up with an extended Northern Busway (with freight going via the west).

      The busway will ultimately be converted to rail but that is looking like LRT, so would require a change. But the cost to build a rail line for a more direct route – Wellsford down to the busway extension at Silverdale – would be astronomical.

      Holiday highway should have been a rail line…..


  20. The best thing about the airport light rail is that finally real rapid transit comes to Mangere and Mangere Bridge. I am also pleased that the huge and ever growing airport industrial zone is going to get serviced by an alternative to the car. This whole area is an absolute traffic disaster every single day during peak hour. It drives me nuts.

    Anyway, Jacinda Ardern’s rise is a real breath of fresh air not only for her party and this election but Auckland public transport.

    1. Very true. All the consideration of bus versus rail to the airport forgets that the bus options zoom past Mangere on SH20 without stopping. So no benefit at all to an area with a population of 50-60,000 people, who currently have around a 60 minute PT journey to the city, with interchange. They will save 20 minutes each.

    2. Agree try to get this across to as many people as possible the above is the main reason we should build the line the Airport is only the icing on the cake.

  21. Off-topic but noticed the placards at the policy launch yesterday against driver-only trains. Are there moves afoot?

    1. Yes the SaFe programme is being rolled out by AT

      – Driver Door Operation
      – Removal of Train Managers and Ticket Inspectors
      – Introduction of Transit Security who will have new warranted powers when the new act passes
      – More gates across the network, Henderson goes live today.
      – More customer service staff at these gated stations

  22. They are just just promise… who knows what will happen after the election – there are always execuss like lack of funding etc.

  23. A shame really. The new girl had me interested but there ain’t no way I’m voting for another 10c a litre to fix Aucklands traffic problems.

    1. The tax would be set by Auckland Council rather than at the Crown level so if you don’t want one when it passes the discussion would really be around AC representatives

    2. “there ain’t no way I’m voting for another 10c a litre to fix Aucklands traffic problems.”

      Well you are just going to love congestion charging then. And that is something both sides of the house agree on. Its not an “if”, its a “when”….

        1. With the amount of debt Rodney passed over to Auckland Council for the rest of us to help fund, I don’t think anyone in Rodney can complain about having to pay taxes that might be used elsewhere in the city.

        2. Lol jezza. How’s Aucklands debt level looking now? They’ve pretty much doubled the combined debt since this monster was created so don’t give me that shit.

  24. The worry that i have about these light rail lines are that they follow the motorways in almost all areas.

    For me the success of these depends on transit oriented developments being based near stops. Apartments townhouses, and public squares should be the urban form goals. Light rail is an attractive thing and people would like to live near it.

    However motorways are not. People want to be a reasonable distance away.

    Dominion rd is the only exception but its not a wide rd and will be crampt with light rail. It may need big changes to become a comfortable urban space.

    I worry we wont realise the full potential of these light rail lines unless they get away from the motorways. The routes planned above are easy but not good.

    1. +1, this is why I think it is critical that the NW line comes down Great North Road from the zoo to the CBD, instead of coming down the motorway. Similarly LRT to the shore must include a spur to Takapuna and provision for a future line up Onewa Road.

      1. Disagree, to me that is similar to running the Southern line along the streets between Newmarket and Britomart.

        The purpose of this line is to provide a good rapid connection from the NW, running this line along GNR will slow it down while trying to serve a second purpose of connecting the inner-west suburbs.

        If the line is successful the trams will likely be pretty full by the time they get to GNR anyway.

        1. To me it is similar to running LRT down Dominion Road instead of going via the Southern Motorway.

          Remember that the NW LRT on GNR would link the NW *to* the ridgeline of GNR, not just *through* the ridgeline.

        2. They are different for a couple of reasons. Waimauku and even Kumeu are quite a bit further from the CBD than the Airport, I think anything that slows journeys from these places should be avoided.

          Also I think a tram arriving at Mt Roskill from the Airport will have less people on board than a tram arriving at GNR from Waimauku. There is some logic in combining two purposes (longer distance commute and urban LR) on this route as it will make good use of capacity but I don’t think the same applies to the NW line.

        3. I think connecting to the Great Nth Rd ridge line could be easily done via a station around Pt Chev/Carrington Rd and on the other end around K’rd.

        4. It is approximately 26km from Huapai to the zoo. If we choose rolling stock capable of doing 110km/h this will take 24 minutes, including a 30 second dwell time at all stops. The zoo to k Road would take 7.5 minutes via 3 stops on GNR 4.5 via two stops on the motorway.

          For the sake of 3 minutes, we are clearly better to link to the densely populated ridgeline instead of the motorway in the gully. This alignment has the added benefit of removing additional muses from the inner west from streets that will already be at practical capacity for buses.

          Also, holy shit; 32 minutes from Huapai to K Road!

        5. I suspect for the GNR part it’d have to obey the 50km/h speed limit. Also if there were only 3 stops along GNR – would the rest be still serviced by buses?

          Back of the envelope calculations (from Westgate):
          Along the motorway:
          – stops – 6 (Westgate, Lincoln, Te Atatu ,Pt Chev, Grey Lynn, Newton/K’rd)
          – distance 16km (all along motorway)
          – avg speed 70km/h (which is pretty high)
          – time to travel ~14 min + dwell time ~3 min = total ~17 min

          Along GNR:
          – stops – 8 (Westgate, Lincoln, Te Atatu ,Pt Chev, Zoo, Grey Lynn, Newton, K’rd)
          – distance: 10km along motorway, 6km along GNR
          – avg speed 70km/h (motorway part), 30km/h (GNR part)
          – time to travel: ~(8.5min + 12min) + dwell time ~4min = total ~24.5min

          So about 7 minutes longer.

          I still think that my avg speed values are overly optimistic.

        6. Hmmmm. I thought we already have rolling stock capable of doing 110 km/h on the rail network, and trains are definitely not going that fast.

          Also, I think you have to count a more time for stops; 30 seconds is a short dwell time, and you need additional time for slowing down and speeding up.

        7. The number of stops that I have allowed from Huapai to Westgate is the same as in the CFN2. I have allowed 30 seconds of stationary dwell time and 30 seconds to accelerate and decelerate (this is longer than the EMUs take and the acceleration and dwell times are considered very slow).

          I have assumed that LRT only travel at 50km/h on GNR and we would only need three stops. They would be approximately 800m apart at Surrey Cres, Bond Street and Ponsonby Road.

          @Pshem, your method uses an average travel time, whereas mine uses a calculate speed, acceleration period, and stationary period. My method is more accurate than yours as it removes some massive assumptions that you needed to make about average travel time. Therefore, if you wish to challenge it you need to challenge my assumptions, not just make different ones.

          @Roeland, EMUs do reach 110kmh on parts of the eastern and southern lines. The NW motorway alignment is pretty good compared to the existing train lines and will not have any at grade crossings. Why would LRT not be able to operate at 110km/h on this alignment?

        8. SB – ‘It is approximately 26km from Huapai to the zoo. If we choose rolling stock capable of doing 110km/h this will take 24 minutes’.

          That’s an average speed of 65kmh, which doesn’t sound at all credible when compared with the average speed on our trains or even Wellington’s trains.

        9. One more thing to remember about GNR – large number of traffic lights (AFAIK 9 between GNR interchange and Ponsonby Rd). Making another wild assumption of 20seconds at each on average (with some presumption) that’s another 3 minutes.

      2. It’s all down to priority light rail can get along Great North Rd. I also think that even thought it’d sound great to have it along there in fact access to it would be restricted anyway – unless you want to have stops every 200m-300m (as it’s right now with buses).

        Having priority is crucial, as the whole trip to Westgate shouldn’t take longer than NEX to Albany (i.e. around 30 minutes). At the moment, even with no traffic, bus between CBD and Pt Chev takes 20-25 minutes. Light rail is mainly about unlocking NW, inner west (Grey Lynn, Pt Chev) already has a great service along that corridor (even route 18 on it’s own has pretty good frequency).

        In my opinion the light rail should follow a patter similar to the Northern Busway – with a few well defined stations, not a ‘tram’ ones with a lot of stops.

        1. “It’s all down to priority light rail can get along Great North Rd”

          Centre running and signal pre-emption, the same as Dominion Road. Questioning obvious things to which you know the answer to waste your opponents time is called concern trolling.

          “I also think that even thought it’d sound great to have it along there in fact access to it would be restricted anyway – unless you want to have stops every 200m-300m (as it’s right now with buses).”

          So we get rationalized stops, capacity upgrades, and better connection for NW residents, inner west residents and the city centre? win-win-win.

          “At the moment, even with no traffic, bus between CBD and Pt Chev takes 20-25 minutes. Light rail is mainly about unlocking NW, inner west (Grey Lynn, Pt Chev) already has a great service along that corridor (even route 18 on it’s own has pretty good frequency).”

          So the service is very slow (your words) and ‘great’? Is it operated by Schrodinger’s bus company? Also, how dishonest is it to argue that LRT will be faster to Kumeu than the bus, yet won’t be faster to Pt Chev?

          “In my opinion the light rail should follow a patter similar to the Northern Busway – with a few well defined stations, not a ‘tram’ ones with a lot of stops.”

          I completely agree, just like the northern express stops at Wynyard and the Viaduct, so too should the NW LRT line

        2. This conversation is not going to a reach a conclusion 🙂

          rationalising stops along GNR to 3 or even 5 means its further to walk for many. If anything buses should be prioritised, but not replaced with LR.

        3. +1, we are coming at this from fundamentally different start points on what transit stop spacing should be on major bus routes.

      3. My two cents, I think the line should carry on alongside the motorway the whole way, and GNR be left for frequent buses. The two corridors would intersect at each end and in the middle.

        If we had a Domininon Rd motorway running one block parallel, we’d probably run LRT along that instead of DOm Road itself. But we don’t, thankfully, so it’s a different set of constraints with a different best outcome.

        1. now thats a great idea, keep the rail path along the motorway and the GNR bus intact. Since the NW LR proposal is an all new infra then why LR? Metro HR independant line from Huapai (linked to NAL) and NWL right through to the new bus interchange proposed for Wellesley Street University/Hospital Metro station with possibly through to a Strand station. All same stations, AM emus, not using CRL but ready for connection to CRL2 and NS rail…

        2. Why LRT? Because it would be about three billion dollars cheaper to deliver exactly the same thing. With HR you would need to build a second CRL to link it into, or an equivalent. With LRT the city section can be at street level for a couple of km.

        3. Why would a metro HR NW line need 3 billion more than an NW LRT? An independant HR NW certainly does not need a CRL2 but it would be ideal to connect into a CRL2 if and when that was built.
          A Metro NW with connections at Beech Rd and Huapai NAL would mean it could leverage from existing emu fleet, maintenance and use same CAF emus as current Metro. With a major CBD train/bus interchange at University, two lines routed via SH16 would not have gradient issues and would leave the Q street LR to deal with the Dom Rd/Airport LR.

        4. +1 David, Would be great to see another HR line built along side the NW motorway all the way through to the NAL at Huapai.
          To start with it could even be built as a branch off the NAL at Morningside through Fowlds Park and Chamberlain Park, crossing over the motorway then running alongside it from there. Then in 30 years or so if desired a TBM could tunnel from the motorway through Grey Lynn/Ponsonby to meet up with a CRL2.
          If building from scratch alongside the motorway there is really not a lot of reason why HR would be more expensive than LR since gradient and curvature is the usual reason for HR being more expensive which wouldn’t be an issue in this case.

        5. David – if I’m reading your solution right it ends up with a terminus in Grafton gully. While not quite as far away as the old Auckland train station, I don’t think it is a great idea spending a whole lot of money on a line that doesn’t even terminate in the middle of the city let alone go through it.

          I can’t see how this would offer a better commute for someone working in mid-town when compared with the light rail option.

      4. Alternative is slink it up onto New North Rd, joining the airport line on a fast section around Ian McKinnon having an interchange at Kingsland! Though this is just duplicating other lines but could be cheaper but does leave room for cycling on K’road.

        1. Actually k’rd future plan has bus lanes so no problem to change to LRT but advantage of NN Rd is option of covering the dead Newton & Upper Symonds st area instead. Maybe cross back to upper Queen B4 Grafton bridge if be a clash with busy bus route

        2. Thinking more about it, best just straight and fast as possible via motorway. One point though with either that or GNR you end up with tricky junction with K’rd & Queen as will be underground. Assuming u join from motorway to K’rd on Newton Rd offramp area.

        3. In an ideal world it would leave the motorway and join the Airport LR on Ian Mackinnon Drive, however I’m not sure this is realistic with either cost or the elevation that would need to be gained from the motorway.

        4. Jezza – Yes problem is we probably need a pile of Western buses still that will want to go along K’Rd as well. Also the NX3 from the shore will be at least 6bph. Is this going to work with LRT at high frequency & cycling?

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