We learnt last week about the council’s updated vision for the city centre. From the Linear Park, though to a better waterfront there’s certainly a lot to like about it. But there a few aspects of the plans that really concern me and they mainly relate to how public transport is being handled in the city centre. In short, will this plan really deliver world class public transport for Auckland?

At the heart of this concern is what Auckland Transport have labelled the ‘crossover’. On paper and at altitude, it appears to be a straightforward and elegant solution to many of the issues of city centre access. However, that falls apart somewhat when you look at the details and think about real world use cases. As a reminder, this is the crossover plan, not shown on here is the City Rail Link, light rail or other buses such as the City Link.

  • Buses from the east of the city centre (such as Gt South, Manukau, and Remuera roads) will turn down Grafton Rd and onto Wellesley St before terminating at the Southern end of Wynyard Quarter. AT are looking at a new bus interchange station in Grafton Gully to allow connections to Symonds St buses.
  • Isthmus buses will travel down Symonds St and terminate at a new bus interchange on Quay St, as will buses from Tamaki Dr.
  • Buses from the Northwest will use Albert St and terminate in Lower Albert St.
  • North Shore buses will terminate at either Lower Albert St (NEX1 and Onewa Rd services) or in the new interchange at Grafton Gully.

People understandably would, where possible, prefer a one-seat ride from their home to their destination. That is after all one of the main appeals of the car – until everyone else is trying to do the same thing at the same time. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make every bus serve every part of town in an efficient manner which means that inevitability people will need to walk for some of their journey and some may need to transfer to reach their destination.

Whether people will be prepared transfer, or stick to their car, often comes down to two key things, how frequent the services are and how physically easy is it to make that transfer. For the purposes of this, I’m going to assume the frequency issue isn’t a problem and that these routes are likely to have buses on them running every few minutes at worst. That leaves how physically easy those transfers are and where I have an issue.

There are two main locations I want to talk about:

  • in and around Britomart
  • the proposed new Grafton Gully interchange.
Quay St

AT plan to build a bus interchange on Quay St with a roundabout at Commerce St to turn the buses around. This appears to be to enable all of the Britomart precinct to become shared spaces. There are two main issues with the interchange being here.

  1. by being on Quay St, buses are as far away from as much of the city as possible, including;
  2. the various different PT services are so spread out across the waterfront area that transferring between them is difficult.

It’s the second point I’m focusing on here.

The images show that some buses could be stopping between Commerce St and Britomart Pl. That’s relatively easy if someone was wanting to transfer to a train at Britomart but is less than ideal if wanting to transfer to a North Shore or Northwest bus on Lower Albert St, or to Light Rail on Queen St. In the worst-case scenario, someone could have up to a 500m walk to transfer between services. Apart from being outright annoying, for some who are mobility impaired, that will be physically difficult too.

Another issue with this proposal unrelated to the practicality of transferring is to do with the outcome for Quay St as a whole. The idea of a waterfront promenade has long been the aim for Quay St and the proposal delivers it between Lower Albert and Commerce streets. However, the bus interchange acts like a bookend, forever preventing that from spreading further down the waterfront. It also means those great buildings along that section of Quay St, like the Northern Steamship building, will be blocked behind canopies and idling buses, the hospitality businesses unable to spread out with tables and chairs on to a wide people focused space. The only reason to linger in the area will be to wait for your bus.

Grafton Gully

Very little is known about what is proposed for the bus interchange at Grafton Gully. What we do know is that the Universities don’t like the idea of buses using the slip lanes from Wellesley St up to Symonds St which has helped push this idea to the surface. Simon Wilson over at The Spinoff says

Up at the universities they’ll build a big new station just past the Symonds Street underpass. The University of Auckland will put a “gateway building” over it, much as Manukau Institute of Technology sits over the Manukau Railway Station.

Based on the map and comments above, it suggests that Auckland Transport have moved away from the idea of having the bus station directly under the underpass, possibly for space issues. As such the station will be now be east of Symonds St and right next to the motorway and where the cycleway is located right now, although given the height differences the interchange may be above it. However, the closest stop for an incoming isthmus buses is south of Wellesley St. This means that there would be an approximately 200m walk to transfer buses, possibly longer and includes the need to cross the busy Symonds St. Certainly not as bad as the Quay St interchange but not ideal either.

It’s also worth pointing out that a station at this location, likely building over the cycleway, sounds very expensive, certainly a lot just to avoid using a slip lane. I hope the Universities are paying for this then.

This was the previous plan for interchange with a station in the underpass itself.

There are always trade-offs to be made when fixing a city, there’s limited space to do everything we want to but at this stage, I’m not convinced we’ve got the optimal solution just yet.

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  1. I’ve heard the University station could be over $200m, which absolutely means the University needs to pay, given they are the ones making such a fuss about using the Wellesley St slip lane.

    1. That cost will be passed onto the students. You, being the well-informed person that is ‘Fred’, know the high and rising costs of student fees in Auckland.
      And then the students have to suffer in wet damp smelly buses while all the CEOs can drive to work in their Audi A7s with no congestion? I hardly think so.

      1. The university gets my ear only when it removes the discount to staff for weekly parking. Instead of the daily 25 dollars, staff can pay 45 dollars for the whole week. This encourages daily car use instead of PT use with occasional car use.

        Which are the smelly buses, Ray? The ones you call both wet and damp? Did you have a bad experience? Would you like to tell us about it?

  2. A University ‘Gateway’ building over the bus station. Perhaps there should also be some future planning when this bus station is designed so that an underground heavy rail station can be included. The CRL2 University station and/or a NW rail route University station as its likely in the future these will exist.

      1. Yes, both will eventually be required, there will probably be an eastern-north HR line through AWHC to North Shore and onwards to Whangerai.

  3. Thank you Matt L
    I don’t know what the answer is but it seems that there must be something better than this proposal.
    I envisage something flowing where the routes circulate closer to one another.
    Loop or overlap or intersect before terminus.
    Better minds than mine should be able to devise something better even if they need to take over streets for bus movement only (deliveries for limited periods only).

  4. Thanks for the summary, Matt. I share the same concerns. My question for the waterfront area is:

    Would it better for the buses that are shown as terminating west of Britomart to cross over to the East and those terminating east to cross over to the west? I imagine this would create too many buses crossing Queen St, and the better solution would be to find better terminals. Is GA looking at both those ideas or is one obviously better? Thanks.

    1. Yes, better terminals are surely the ideal answer. I remember back in the 1980’s we had a really good bus terminal near Britomart. All of Auckland’s major bus routes stopped there, so if you needed to transfer it was just a matter of just arriving and changing platforms. It was so easy to use and there was no need for any walking around trying to find your connections.

      I’d like us to revisit the idea of a restoring the missing central bus station, with the idea that it is better to design it once and design it properly than to try to squeeze services into spaces ill-suited for the purpose. Transport hubs are essential core infrastructure to me, and Auckland has so few of them.

      Maybe AT’s focus should be first on where a new central bus station should go, and what options exist to upgrade existing structures. A couple of car-parking buildings in the vicinity spring to mind that could be repurposed/upgraded, one next to Britomart and another at the bottom of Hobson Street.

      1. The bus terminal in the 1980’s was brightly lit, had toilets (albeit cigarett-burnt), there was always a man sweeping to make the place feel safe, and it cut the wind. As a teenage girl, I used it all the time, including at night, and it was far nicer than spending time at the actual bus stop in the wind – many of those stops were a long way from any “eyes”.

        Building Britomart without a bus terminal was one of the sillier things we’ve done.

      2. You’re perhaps a bit kind on the old bus station at Britomart, I remember it as a piss-soaked murder hole… although I was just a child and maybe my recollection is based more on my mothers fears than reality.

        Plus it’s not true that all the major bus routes stopped there, only those from the south and east. North Shore buses ran to Victoria Street and Hoboson Street, Dominion Road and others from the isthmus went to the Civic, and western buses were still on Albert, I think.

        Coming from the North Shore and getting off in front of the Skytower site, that terminal ten blocks away downtown might as well have been in Timbuktu.

        A single central bus station is an impractical proposition. By my guesstimate there are now about 400 buses an hour coming into the city centre, or one every 9 seconds. That translates to about 40 bus bays, or about a linear kilometre of bus platforms.

        I think our biggest current bus station at Akoranaga, which can handle 14 buses at a time. So one central bus station for everything would be size of three Akorangas laid out side by side. At that size, even if you found somewhere to put it, transfers start to get difficult and routing in and out certainly gets circuitous.

        1. Yes good points. However, I believe there should be toilets and safe, lit, indoor seating available at each of the network interchanges.

        2. +1!

          We won’t get somewhere the size of three Akorangas, but if we have 6 transfer points they should all be half the size with toilets, and ticketing!

        3. Generally agree but not sure about indoor seating. I’d rather have a network of frequent buses where you don’t have to wait very long, and where going inside to sit in a waiting room is more trouble than it is worth…

        4. I don’t think we can hope for that sort of frequency in the late evenings, for example, when we particularly need safe, lit, out of the wind places and are generally more tired, too.

        5. The only remaining suitable site in the city is the old city works depot.
          This is surely due to be redeveloped at some point in the next 20 years. You could build a full massive bus terminal (including intercity) there and then redevelop above it.
          Even then it is still a fair distance from a lot of the CBD but not impossibly so. If a CRL 2 were to be built it could link in with that and there’s nothing stopping an underground pedestrian link being built in the meantime to avoid walking over the hill.
          You would still need other depots but this would be the main one and the majority of buses could pass by it.

        6. Once we have all new networks running I count ~300 buses entering at peak hour counting SkyBus but not coaches, intercity etc. I see the Perth Busport has 16 bus stands, handling 28,000 journeys in a day 2016 (will handle up to 38,500 2031, 3,500 bus services in one day – not sure what that would mean per hour at peak). Wonder what that translates to for bus per hour? They are making some nearby bus layover facility to work with it.

        7. We already have more than 40,000 bus passengers in the CBD every day. You’d need an entire block and Probably 6 approach roads to manage a single terminal for almost no benefit over having 6 transfer points where everything connects with everything.

        8. Yes I wasn’t advocated one massive bus station necessarily, but you could perhaps have one that handles a big portion of them, only have to handle the peak of the peak & I don’t see city streets doing it that well AND having good legibility for new users of PT. Why 6 and where roughly do you think? Once we have LRT done down Queen St that would cut out a heap of buses. If it wasn’t for the fumes & the fact the LRT likely getting built down Queen, you could actually make Queen St the bus corridor where all services meet (assume make car free as well). Six approach roads? Nelson & Hobson St.

        9. “Why 6 and where roughly do you think? ”

          Turns out it is 5, each station should be on the intersection of major streets that can handle a lot of buses well and we only have 5. AT actually got this right in the first iteration of the new network, but have chickened out. The 5 locations are:

          Symonds – Wellesley
          Queen/Albert – Customs/Quay
          Wellesley – Fanshawe
          Queen/Albert Wellesley
          K Road – Pitt/Queen

          There is nowhere we can realistically get all of the buses for a single transfer point. Therefore we should try and have every bus transfer to every other bus, but not all in the same place. Once we reach the capacity of this system we have to upgrade to LRT or tunneled systems.

        10. PS, your idea about using Queen Street doesn’t really work.

          The whole thing would need to be across one or two blocks to keep walking distance down (something this blog criticized the Britomart option above for). This gives you 4 access roads at best (Queen, Albert, Victoria, Wellesley). Then you would need bus stops and routes on all four roads. There may well not even be enough street frontage to achieve enough stops. You can’t use Hobson and Nelson (which would only count as one; one for inbound and one for outbound) as they aren’t close enough.

        11. Agree about the “old” Britomart bus terminal. There was precious little to commend it, and I for one don’t miss it at all. That said, agree that there should be more efficient ways of ensuring bus-rail-ferry transfers.

  5. It’s surprising that despite championing a transfer-orientated system AT seems to be incapable of seeing the importance of convenience when it comes to transfers.

    I think that the transfer station underneath Symonds st must provide an easy way of transferring in all directions. I suspect a number of ppl will use it to transfer towards Hospital, Newmarket and not only towards the city/Wynyard. I suspect that’s why AT doesn’t want to have it directly under Symonds St, as that would require the trench to be at least 2 lanes wider than it currently is.

  6. The plan for Welles was always the preferred solution until some non-ratepaying management at UoA kicked up a fuss because they always kick up a fuss about protecting parking and traffic lanes for the car because unlike their students they drive.

    Remember they opposed the Symonds bus lanes as well.

    If they are not willing to pay the extra money because no doubt it will be a fortune then they should be politely and I don’t really mean politely to fuck right off.

    They don’t own the streets the public do and quite frankly I am really tired of their entitled attitude they really need to be taken down a peg or two.

    1. As an alumni, I’m embarrased by the attitude demonstrated by UoA management when it comes to public transport and place-making in general. Their campus is a blight on the city and they seem intent on opposing efforts to make it better.

    2. Will AT/Council already have agreed to things with them that mean they won’t have to pay for this expensive accommodation of their wishes?

    3. I agree, it is time to zone them out of the CBD. They gave a hollow undertaking in the 70’s that they would not grow beyond 10,000 students. Everything they contribute to society can be contributed from a Tamaki Campus.

        1. +1 . The University are an important element (but only one) in the city. Their right to exist however should not be at the expense of a properly functioning city for everyone.

          A campus at Tamaki was rubbish and Christchurch’s university move to Ilam was a mistake when you consider what was happening to that city centre even before the earthquake.

        2. Tamaki was awful, I spent my two years penance wandering in the wilderness there before transferring back to the city. No wonder they closed it.

        3. So keep AUT. They actually make a contribution to the city. ‘The University of Auckland – Boring Bastards since 1883’.

        4. How dare you put down UoA, it offers some important degrees (med) that AUT doesn’t. If uoa didn’t exist you wouldn’t have any doctors to treat your viral infections in 30 years time.

        5. Really Jess? Here was me thinking they trained them up in Grafton at the Medical School and not on the CBD campus. Besides if we are lucky the Government will green-light a medical school at Waikato to break the Auckland/Otago duopoly. Funny how after 50 years the incumbents have suddenly discovered an interest in rural medicine.

        6. I hope you are, Harriet, because you’ll be able to look back with pride on what you achieved to make this city better.

  7. I’m confused. What is the purpose of the ‘interchange?’ Is it just for the NEX to turn around?
    And how would the slip lanes make a difference?

    1. Presumably it’s also for transferring between the purple, grey, light blue and NEX lines, as required in a transport network. And for hopping onto a share bike and cycling along the cycle network.

      1. But only two lines look to go through the interchange. Are the other lines going to detour to the interchange? Won’t it just make buses take longer?
        I’m still confused…

        1. I think ‘transfer’ means walk up to Symonds St to catch purple line buses.

          I share your confusion regarding the slip lanes though.

        2. But then it isn’t an interchange, its just a very expensive bus stop. Or am I missing something?

        3. A proper interchange is needed at the corner of Symonds St and Grafton Rd where the lines cross and should involve: toilets, safe, lit, indoor seating, bike share, pedestrian and bus priority at the traffic lights with commensurate down-graded car priority. The bus terminal down in Grafton Gully is ill-placed to provide this amenity, unless AT have got some magic up their sleeves.

          I still don’t understand the slip lanes or university concerns either but seems to me if any of the university’s concerns are accommodated, they could provide the land to accommodate the transfer facilities.

          And since that’s about as likely to happen as a not very likely thing, the only solution I can see is taking Goff at his word, and reallocating road space to provide this amenity.

        4. But those amenities would only be provided to people waiting for a blue line bus. If you are waiting for a purple or grey line bus you will be out in the cold, right?

        5. I’ve no idea what the best solution is, but there’s room up on Symonds St for amenity if the road gets reallocated from cars. See how much space they’ve used for the road because cars hog so much space. Five lanes:


          Buses don’t need this much space. Imagine if there were dedicated bus lanes down the middle of Symonds St, with shared car and bus lanes next to the footpaths, in which the buses could stop at bus stops. If you’re in a car behind the bus, you just have to wait for it to go again. There’s plenty of footpath space there on the right for a toilet block with indoor seating, and then you’d just need a good shelter next to each bus stop.

          GA, you’ve probably got something better in the pipeline. Looking forward to seeing it.

  8. “for some who are mobility impaired, that will be physically difficult too.”

    Or impossible, more to the point. Why are we still paying public servants to design infrastructure that excludes citizens (especially giving our ageing population)? Being unable to walk 200m unaided is enough to qualify for a mobility parking permit. Banking on a design allowance of 500m is professional negligence.

  9. If we are not going really but cars on a diet & use Customs St to turn around instead or Quay…..

    Coming back to my rough idea of an interchange in place of the old Farmers car park on Hobson St, so enclosed by Hobson, Wyndham, Nelson & Fanshawe. If Isthmus & Tamaki Dr buses kept moving along Quay St & terminated at this Hobson St location. Advantages are:
    1. Not clogging the waterfront Quay St area/less people using the stops there.
    2. Interfacing with the Northern & Northwestern buses properly (is there enough capacity of road?)
    3. With more bus priority and re-purposing you may be able to also bring the Eastern & Southern one to this location as well, but you would have 500m walk to Wynyard. No problem once you have light rail going there.
    4. Use of the Hobson St flyover by buses.

    Not ideal either, but I don’t think any solution is without a massive huge central station of some sort. Lots of complaints what doesn’t work, but has anyone got a decent solution?

    I guess we either have car sewer, bus sewer or more walking? Just got to get the balance right.

  10. One thing we have all missed is that Dominion Road buses will still use the southern slip lane inbound and Wakefield outbound. Why on earth will AT not just tell the Uni to get lost?

      1. Also, Lester Levy is Professor Adjunct of Leadership at the University of Auckland Business School. Another board member, Paula Rebstock, is a member of the University of Auckland Business School Advisory Board.

      2. I sure as hell hope that the University is put firmly in its place. But what do we really know about the reasons why they’ve not capitulated so far? Nothing. Any comment on this is completely speculative, and feeds into the general trashing of AT management and staff which unfortunately infests this blog. There’s always a reason for AT decisions, but rarely does it come down to the incompetence of staff or social connections. Surely blog readers want to encourage AT staff and management, and bring them on side, not to alienate them with unnecessary trash talk? Constant references (not by you specifically, but generally) to them as “idiots” and “incompetents” are not a worthy contribution to an otherwise quality site.

        1. I don’t have a problem with AT staff however some people in upper management like Warburton are jackals

        2. OK, so now we’re getting to the nub of the issue, it’s upper management where the problem is centred. What, though, does Warburton being a “jackal” mean in practice?

          My problem with this personalised approach to allocating responsibility for the failure to sort Auckland’s transport woes is that it naively assumes that all decisions they take are binary ones which can be taken in isolation from all other factors. That’s plainly absurd – there are huge constraints on decisions, not least the $$$ that AT is given by Council, and especially the funding mechanism by which NZTA dictates the division of central government funds. The fact that funds cannot be transferred between NZTA funding silos means that AT is faced with a stark choice: by all means you can spend more money on PT, but to do so the burden falls 100% on the ratepayer. Given the present political realities (which you and I, as ratepayers/taxpayers are part of) this is a huge impediment for AT central management and means that many, many decisions are by necessity compromises.

          There’s also an arrogance on this blog that assumes that the only factors that are relevant to a decision are those that are known to the commentator. Of course that’s also absurd.

          This is how life is in the real world, and to suggest without evidence being offered that decisions are taken on the basis of social connections on the golf course or the sailing club is both lazy analysis and disingenuous.

          Trash-talking AT staff and management makes Greater Auckland more like talkback radio than a serious analytical blog.

        3. Culture of bullying, secrecy and micromanagement just have to talk to any of a number of ex AT workers who have fled during the Warburton reign of terror

        4. I think you must be talking about a different AT from the one that I used to work at. Sure, there are managers who bully (but in my observation, precious few), there’s sometimes secrecy (often for extremely good reasons) and some managers micro-manage, but it’s a real stretch to say that any of these are fundamental to AT’s culture. In short, it’s pretty much the same as most other workplaces.

          I have no reason to back or even like Warburton or the senior management, believe me. I’ve had many, many “strong” discussions with senior management where I fundamentally disagreed with the approach they were taking on individual issues. And sometimes won, but mostly lost – that’s real life. However, I rail against anyone being trashed on the basis of rumour and innuendo and unsubstantiated and lazy analysis. And to suggest that Warburton leads a “reign of terror” at AT is just plain silly and falls right into the “talkback radio” category, and does Greater Auckland no credit whatsoever.

        5. I have a right to be skeptical considering the last option they picked would destroy the Linear Park and had a negative BCR on their own business case. They tried to hide it but stuffed up the redacting.

          When the only thing that backed the option they picked was an MCA line regarding the Universities.

          Where we have correspondence under the LGOIMA that shows that Warburton and UoA have been in close correspondence over this.

          I seriously doubt they managed to follow the proper business case process this quickly considering the midtown option above was not even one of the original options from the previous IBC they would have not had the time.

        6. Nice comment David 🙂

          The buck stops with Warburton, though. This is a terrible plan and, if there is a good reason to ruin Britomart and Grafton Gully then they at least need to tell us. ‘The University don’t want it’ isn’t good enough.

        7. Thank you for your thoughts David.
          What we really need is to focus on the solutions to this proposal.
          This proposal is not ideal and we need something that is much better. I believe there is a better answer but can’t think of it.

        8. Putting all the politics aside (which is almost unavoidable in the real world anyway, & most businesses, corporates have their control freaks, micro managers, gossips, back stabbers attempting to climb the ladder etc etc); ideally I would think we need buses to have a layover space at the Grafton side anyway or they would have to travel all over the place/go back and layover somewhere in Wynyard or use up precious road space somewhere else? Perhaps is becomes an operational vs customer service tension.

  11. Regardless of what happens with single seat journeys, buses, LRT or whatever, I sincerely hope they build a bus depot in town. The single biggest problem now is where to park all the buses outside peak hour. LRT can replace a lot of buses where it runs, but at present a ridiculous amount of kerb space is taken up all over Britomart, Wynyard Quarter and elsewhere simply to park buses to give drivers a break. This will not change after LRT goes in unless they have somewhere else to park.

    To be honest, an obvious solution would be not to permit the buses to layover in town so long. For shorter routes they could come in, turn around and have a break at the other end of the journey. Most big bus systems I am familiar with have several large depots in the suburbs and one medium sized one in town. The drivers no doubt prefer having a break in town, but it is not in the cities best interest.

    BTW, for those arguing that buses/BRT are much cheaper than LRT, this is one of the additional system costs for BRT that makes such claims misleading.

      1. No buses can’t fit in any of the existing carparking buildings, not without major reconstruction at least. A double decker is about 4m tall and 12m long, most car park floors aren’t even 3m.

        1. As a piece of infrastructure really close to Britomart, is it worth having a structural engineer look at the reconstruction possibilities? It is property in the right location, owned by the right owner, and already part of the transport infrastructure.

    1. There’s mainly office space along that stretch of Grafton Rd, Hospital is quite a distance too, so probably the route is quite ‘safe’.
      I think AT would have to dedicate a lane each way to buses. Particularly in the afternoon Grafton Rd becomes stationary (downwards) as everyone tries to get onto to the motorways there.

      1. The main ambulance entrance is off that stretch of Grafton Rd, and the main staff and visitor parking entrances. There are offices on the western side of Grafton Road, and the lower eastern side, but the hospital grounds take up most of the upper eastern side.

      1. I just meant the routes light blue route running on there instead of originally proposed across Grafton Bridge and right down Symonds. Faster & leaves the bridge a bit safer for cycling. Yes purple and grey miss out, unless we have stops like in the last graphic as well…in fact why not?

        1. Yip, that route works better. I’m keen to see the interchange plan and know where it should be: where the lines cross, not on Grafton Rd, where they don’t. But I’m open to a little AT magic.

  12. Surely they would remodel the underpass somewhat to allow for numerous pedestrians, up to and including lifts? (Or built a bridge.)

  13. “I’m going to assume the frequency issue isn’t a problem and that these routes are likely to have buses on them running every few minutes at worst”
    Here is your problem, Matt. You assume buses have adequate frequency. This is never achievable in Auckland, because Auckland is such a slowly developing city compared to other big cities in the world. We see 3 minute frequency buses on NEX and Mt Eden Rd but the bus route that serves me best only has one bus every 20 minutes at best. And you expect me to give up my car.

    1. You’ve completely missed the point, he’s talking about frequency on the CBD streets not frequency in the suburbs, Symonds St would easily have that level of frequency already.

    2. Ray the frequency issue is ignored for this analysis because it’s something that can be changed. Building a multi hundred million dollar interchange isn’t something we’re going to easily change again.

  14. If Lester Levy is the same man who sorted out Middlemore Hospital years ago then I have faith that he will get his staff on sorting this out. This proposal is not the solution and I believe that a better model can be put forward. Don’t adopt this answer!

    1. Ted, Levy’s been there for a while so I’m sure he’s got his staff ship shape already and doing exactly what he wants. More interesting is who will replace him when he leaves at the end of this year. I’m fact, the whole appointment process is interesting, but I can’t find much out about it. This could be a key turning point for Auckland PT – a new government and a new head of AT. Just imagine what’s possible.

  15. Here in Perth they have two bus stations in the CBD (Elizabeth Bus Station and Perth Underground Busport – both indirectly connected to a train station). Auckland should have invested in a bus station, either over or underground. The CBD is a mess without a proper bus interchange, they could have used part of the Britomart Precinct for this.. although now its bit late, the area is well developed and popular.

    1. ‘although now its bit late, the area is well developed and popular.’

      A key statement there that is often overlooked in discussions about bus stations. Had we built a surface bus station at Britomart the opportunity cost would have been missing out on an excellent piece of amenity. This applies for any potential bus stations in the CBD.

  16. Thought on the bus interchange, if it is multi level or under anther building, let us hope that they install really good extraction system better than the old Britomart at least.

  17. Can they please dig up Aotea Square, remove all those bloody underground carpark and instead replace those with an underground bus station like they have in Perth? This would be amazing as it would help connect the buses stoping at Aotea with the soon to be train station?

    1. Hah! What an excellent idea, isn’t there several layers of carpark there? Maybe keep one for electric only vehicles, another for the bus terminal and a third or part thereof as the terminal/interchange for Light Rail, that way keep the surface LR out of the new pedestrian only lower Queen Street (Victoria St to Britomart)

  18. I believe the plan doesn’t get the priority right.

    Stakeholders like University and the uncompromising light rail engineers seems to get too much power.

    Council should ball up and have the courage to challenge what is more important.

  19. The problem is space

    This is the area of Amsterdam dedicated to boarding, unboarding and transferring between bus, train, tram and ferry (does not include bike transfers!)

    This is largely a plain, some underground connections and the train station (with some stores, admittedly). From here you can go everywhere, no dicking around with middown vs downtown busses etc. Typical European Central Station. Being on a harbour is no excuse.

    Where in Auckland can we commit this kind of space?


    1. A lot of that is space for rail and particularly tram. The major bus interchange is actually elevated above the heavy rail corridor, so imposes very marginal additional land requirements.

      I’d suggest Auckland needs to do something similar: Spend $500 million developing a really nice well-located underground/elevated bus station somewhere centrally.

      We’ve been dicking around for 20 years, and now landed on a roundabout, which ain’t gonna cut it for the next 20 years, as Matt notes in the post.

      1. Building something into Aotea Station while we have the opportunity would seem like Ann obvious solution to explore to me.

      2. Doesn’t matter why (Buses are on both sides of the station), just noting how much space is allocated. I used it every day for a year 🙂

        1. Dr was it flat, covered, or was there a reasonable way to cross it for the halt and the lame?
          I imagine that Amsterdam would have inclement weather? Also that the area had been used for other commercial uses before the interchange was developed?
          So i wonder how they went about it?

  20. Lets look at the walking footpath like we c at airport such as HK and Singapore.Good safe people mover between the terminals

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