As we round out not only the year but also the decade, I’ve decided to join the ranks of end of decade reviews.

Thinking about the overall macro trend of the twenty tens, I think it’s one of Auckland starting to come of age as a city. A city that is starting to make more mature decisions that will set itself up well for the future – although not always consistently. In thinking about what’s happened I also think this quote sums things up well:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

-Bill Gates

There has been a huge amount of change and improvement over the decade. Many projects and changes that were a big deal even just a few years ago now seem minor and ‘part of the furniture’.

This is far from an exhaustive list but here are some of the key changes we’ve seen.

Auckland Amalgamation

It seems like they’ve been around forever but one of the first major things to happen at the start of the decade was the amalgamation of Auckland’s various council’s along with the creation of Auckland Transport and the other big Council Controlled Organisations near the end of 2010.

While there was much criticism at the time and since about the change, I think a lot of it hasn’t been justified and by and large the change was a key in Auckland finally being able to move forward toward addressing many of the big issues the city faces.

It’s because of the amalgamation that we’ve seen the development of:

  • The Auckland Plan – a 30-year strategic vision for the city
  • The Unitary Plan – a complete re-writing of the planning rules for the entire city. Since the UP was approved in 2016 we’ve seen housing building consents soar to their highest levels ever at just under 15,000 within a calendar year – up from just 3.5k at the start of the decade and following the GFC driven decline.
  • The City centre Masterplan – a 20-year vision for the city centre that has already helped shape many improvements.

One aspect that’s been notable about the amalgamation is that in the four elections we’ve had under the structure so far, transport has played a key role in all of them and each time the main candidate with the most ‘progressive’ transport policy has been victorious.

In fact the way transport discussion evolved during in the initial election, primarily between Len Brown and John Banks, was one of the key reason for us creating our original Congestion Free Network. It and it’s subsequent version have helped play a role progressing the overall transport debate.

Getting the PT basics in place

When it comes to public transport I think there are two key trends that have emerged over the last decade. The first of these is that we’ve overhauled our entire PT network to put in place the basics of a proper public transport system – picking that low hanging fruit if you will. A number of independent projects have combined to significantly improve on the quality and usefulness of the PT system. Each project on their own was important and necessary but combined the impact was greater than the sum of the parts and many had a multiplicative effect that translated to a lot more ridership than expected.

Over the decade we’ve seen the following key changes:

  • Completion of Project DART – was started in the middle of the previous decade, Project DART was about upgrading and expanding our run-down rail network. As a result of it we saw:
    • Newmarket, Grafton and New Lynn station upgrades along with double tracking completed in 2010
    • The Onehunga Line was also reopened in 2010
    • The Manukau branch line and station opened in 2012.
  • Rail Network Electrification – was confirmed at the start of 2010, the rail network was electrified between Swanson and Papakura with the first electric trains began running in May 2014 and all lines were operated by them by mid-2015, resulting in the sparks effect occurring in Auckland (as expected).
  • Integrated ticketing – was instrumental to making it easier to catch buses, trains and ferries, ending the tyranny of each operator running their own independent systems. However, the project spent the first few years of the decade in turmoil thanks to Snapper saga. Once that was finally sorted, HOP as we know it today, rolled out near the end of 2012 to trains and ferries. It then took till early 2014 till all buses were on the system.
  • Integrated Fares – simplified the fare structure and meant passengers were charged for where they travelled, not what or how many services were used to get there – removing the penalty for transferring between services
  • New Bus Network – the entire bus network was reorganised between 2016 and 2018 to improve coverage, frequencies and quality.

On top of this other changes such as the introduction of double deckers – now common on many routes, some increases in bus priority, a number of significantly upgraded train stations, such as Panmure and Otahuhu.

Combined these changes have contributed to a massive increase in usage. At the beginning of the decade there were less than 59 million trips annually on the PT network. At the end of the decade that figure stands at over 103 million, a 75% increase in usage. Once population change has been taken into account, the number of trips taken by the average Aucklander each year increased from 44 to 67.

The Future RTN

The second key public transport trend we’ve seen is the agreement on, and the start to building of, the next major stage in the development of the network – a region wide rapid transit network (RTN). It wasn’t that there weren’t previous plans for this RTN network but they had tended to be more like a theoretical wish list of lines than anything serious. It was also not really something considered as part of a coherent network.

As such, the first half of the decade was dominated by disagreement and distrust between the council and the government to the point that if Auckland proposed something, the government would oppose it for the sake of it. A significant shift in that came in 2016 with the launch of the first Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), which for the first time saw the government admit that we couldn’t build our way out of congestion with more roads and that we needed a rapid transit network, and one more extensive than had been previously considered. Subsequent iterations of ATAP have refined, enhanced and put more certainty around this.

The need for the RTN has come about in part due to the huge success of the existing investments in rapid transit, the rail network upgrades and the Northern Busway. Usage on the existing RTN more than tripled over the decade, rising from 9.6 million trips to 29.6 million and showing that when high quality, frequent and congestion free alternatives are provided, Aucklanders will flock to use them.

Many parts of the overall RTN are now underway and the next decade will be exciting as much of it gets completed.

  • City Rail Link – The CRL dominated discussion in the first half of the decade. The first business case for the project was released at the end of 2010 by newly elected Mayor Len Brown but quickly opposed by former Transport Minister Steven Joyce and then his successor Gerry Brownlee, who was once quoted in parliament saying “I take big issue with the suggestion that the City Rail Link is useful or popular“. That rhetoric changed in early 2013 though when Prime Minister John Key publicly supported the project, although not as early as Auckland wanted or needed. He set a number of targets in place for an early start and being on track to meet those years early plus business demand, including so the Commercial Bay development could go ahead led to the project formally started in 2016. Since then there’s been positive news with the stations being future-proofed for longer trains but that combined with the delays brought on by the previous government have contributed to the cost increasing.

  • Northern busway extension – The busway was opened in 2008 and has been immensely successful, now busier than any of the rail lines thanks to it’s superb frequency. An extension north to Albany was desired but at one stage didn’t look like happening after former Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee removed it from the Northern Corridor project against advice. It was eventually added back in and is now under construction with AT building an additional station at Rosedale.

  • Eastern Busway – what seems like one of the longest running projects, and one that has been being worked on throughout the entire decade, finally started construction at the end of the decade.
  • Airport to Botany Rapid Transit – Getting rapid transit to the airport has long been a high priority and throughout the decade just how that will happen solidified. One part of that is a busway connecting the airport to Puhinui and Manukau eventually extending to Botany and beyond. Construction started on that this year.
  • Light Rail – While the debate about the CRL dominated the first half of the decade, light rail dominated the second half. Much like the CRL this was initially opposed by the (former) government but they eventually agreed it would happen in the future. The new government in 2017 prioritised the project but things have not been as smooth sailing recently. This will continue to be a big talking point in the years ahead.

The next decade is going to be exciting as these and other RTN projects get delivered.

Road Building

While we’ve seen great strides made over the decade with public transport, there’s also been a lot of road building going on. We’ve probably had more large motorway projects completed in this decade than nearly any other.

Within Auckland some of the big projects that have been completed during the decade,

  • SH20 Manukau Harbour Crossing (2010) – duplicated the motorway bridge across the Mangere Inlet. Cost $218 million
  • SH20 to SH1 Manukau Extension (2011) – extending SH20 from Puhinui Rd through to SH1 at Manukau. Cost $220 million
  • SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 extension to Brigham Creek (2011) – new motorway from SH16 through to the Upper Harbour Bridge and  the extension of SH16. Cost $220 million
  • Victoria Park Tunnel (2011) – SH1 northbound was put in a tunnel under Victoria Park. Construction began right at the start of the decade and was completed in less than two years. The project also stands as a testament to how quickly our perception of cost changes. At the time it started it was Auckland’s most expensive ever roading project at $340 million.
  • Waterview Tunnels (2017) – The Waterview tunnels at $1.4 billion are the single biggest motorway project New Zealand has seen so far and extended SH20 from Maioro St through to SH16

  • Northwestern motorway widening – multiple separate but interrelated projects have seen the NW motorway widened from St Lukes all the way to Westgate.
    • St Lukes to Gt North Rd (2016)
    • Causeway upgrade (2017)
    • Te Atatu Interchange (2017)
    • Lincoln Rd to Te Atatu (2017)
    • Lincoln Rd to Westgate (2019)
  • SH20A to Airport (2018) – the Kirkbride Rd intersection was grade separated and SH20 upgraded.
  • SH1 Ellerslie Widening (2016) – Adding a single northbound lane to SH1 between Ellerslie Panmure Highway and Main Hwy
  • SH1 Manukau to Papakura (2019) – Widening this section of motorway, in part to cope with the extra traffic generated by the completion of the SH20 to SH1 project.

There are also a couple of big projects still ongoing

  • Northern Corridor – the final section of the Western Ring Route, creating a motorway to motorway connection between SH18 and SH1 as well as widening from Constellation through to Albany and the extension of the Northern Busway.
  • Puhoi to Warkworth – extending the motorway north from Puhoi to Warkworth

A couple of big projects that thankfully haven’t happened (yet) include

  • East West Link – a project that even those who support it admitted would cost more per km than a corruption ridden project in Russia. The new government told the NZTA to review the project but we’re yet to hear what the outcome of that is.
  • Warkworth to Wellsford – another massive project but this is one that delivers few benefits due to small traffic volumes

There are plenty more local projects that have been built or talked about. The two biggest of these that that have seen a lot of discussion are Penlink and the Mill Rd upgrade. I expect we’ll hear a lot more about them in the coming years.

A growing issue in the latter part of the decade has been that of safety. This came about in part as a result of the country seeing the number of deaths on our roads increasing after a sustained period of decreases. This has started to track back down again – although this is is looking to be the worse December since 2008.

Cycling / Micro mobility

The decade finally saw us start to build proper cycling infrastructure. A particularly big step change occurred after the previous government announced their Urban Cycleways Fund in the lead up to the 2014 election. Since then we’ve seen a number of great projects completed.

One big disappointment is that the initial surge in projects that the delivery of projects slowed down and nearly five years on we’re still yet to see many of the initial UCP projects even started despite it meant to have been a three-year programme. We have started to see some movement on a few projects in the last few months but there’s lots of catching up to do.

At the end of the decade we’ve also seen the wider micro-mobility scene explode with lots of new devices coming, in particular electric scooters. It’s clear that bikes/micro-mobility are here to stay and when tied with good public transport is going to play an increasingly important role in the transport system for years to come.

The City Centre

Last by certainly not least we have the city centre. The twenty-tens are the decade we finally got serious about improving the city centre. It seems hard to believe now but just a decade ago there was no Wynyard Quarter, no shared spaces, no cycleways, cars dominated the city centre and about 35% fewer people living in it. These are all now a reality and the city is now thriving under a sea of cranes and orange cones as it goes through a massive building and improvement boom.

The success of the changes so far has helped to emboldened the council to go further and planning is underway for the next big shift which will see the city become much more pedestrian friendly.

We end the decade with most of the downtown area under construction in a range of both private and public projects that when complete will contribute to a significant improvement to the area.

O’Connell St before and after it’s upgrade

So there it is, a wrap up of some of the big projects and trends we’ve seen over the last decade. It’s been an exciting time and there’s plenty more to come in the coming decade. See you in 2020.

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    1. Its in the same basket as Pukekohe electrification, AKL-HAM-TGA trains, LRT’s, 3rd/4th mains, penlink, bus lanes, the many still uncompleted sections on the cycleway network map, east-west link or its alternative, level crossing grade seperation, etc.
      No construction timetable or tenders in place and certainly no start this decade or soon. Govenment of non-delivery.

    2. Skypath is not mentioned because its never graduated from the announcement phase. Progress is actually having signed bulletproof contracts and actual construction to future proof it from National.

      We don’t have any such progress, all we have is the NZTA dragging its heels hoping for National to rescue it and go back to motorways only!

        1. That’s the ticket Grant, enjoying your stroll over the harbour bridge this morning or admiring the Skypaths wonderous design features or uplifted by Phil Twyfords dedication to deliver. The view up there is amazing, I must say.

          Oh well, just be thankful and contented in the knowledge you can do that, but in your own car and that God created the internal combustion engine, I know I am :).

  1. GA is my favourite website. Thanks for all the good discussions.
    When will the TBM begin its work. Hopefully the CRL might be open sooner than in 4 years time.
    When will the tunnels under Albert Park begin.
    I rode the Wellington trains a few weeks ago and noticed that most stations have easy, short underpasses rather than Aucklands difficult long walkways over the platforms. A new underpass is being installed at Trentham.
    I think there are many low cost things that could be done to improve the service. Better pathways to the station and electronic timetables at the entrance to a station. Sometimes I don’t know when the train is due and whether or not to rush over the long walkway. More encouraging signs at stations rather than “fines and penalities for not paying “, repeats about “pressing the button when lit”.

    1. But are extra electronic signs really a good use of money when just about everyone has a mobile phone which allows a personal electronic timetable for all stations with comprehensive arrival/departure info?

      1. Yes. Planning for real, not idealised, people means more electronic signs make good sense. Maybe the data’s run out, the phone was in the bag that someone stole, you left it at work by mistake, or it fell out of your pocket when you slipped, or… any number of things. Some kids can’t afford phones. Many kids are far better off as long as possible without phones. Some people recognise theire addiction to phones and have realised they need to not have one.

        Electronic signs at the entrance to train stations mean people can decide they have time to go and get a drink of water or do something else nearby before entering the station. And they mean they can weigh up the choice of using the train or the alternative bus more quickly.

    2. Yes, when it comes to rail underpasses are certainly easier for pedestrians than over passes (you only need to drop below the rail bed rather than having to climb over not just the height of the train but also the OLE + safety margins) not to mention being more sheltered. I think the reason for the overpasses is that a lot of them are being built with elevators (harder to build underground), and quicker/less disruptive installation… pre construction plus big cranes means they can lift them into place overnight once ready.

    3. There’s still quite a few pedestrian overbridges across the Wellington network too.
      Tawa station, Ava station, Woburn station, Wingate station, Heretaunga station and a new and especially daunting overpass at Manor Park station all immediately come to mind. And Kaiwharawhara station will be recommissioned in the next decade and will almost definitely have access via a new pedestrian overbridge.
      Many of those pedestrian underpasses on the Wellington network date from the 1950s and are too narrow so implementing gated ticketing in the future could be problematic.
      I agree that they’re generally better than overbridges though. Except on the rare occasion that they flood…

  2. Happy new year Matt. May I add that this blog itself has also achieved many great things for Auckland’s Transport system in the past decade.

    The 2020s will be an exciting decade, when we will see the CRL be halfway completed ready for a 2037 opening.

    1. Most of the changes actually happened under bridges. Pity he seems to have taken the party the other way as leader.

  3. Hoping to buck the trend of general negativity and moaning that I see on these comments sections; here’s a video of Auckland’s trains from back in 2010:
    Remember that? Remember those crummy ADK’s and those DC locomotives grumbling away while push/pull-ing those SD sets? And that whole lame MAXX branding (and who came up with that one?). No Onehunga branch yet, no electrification yet, no Manukau branch, New Lynn trench station still under construction and the CRL still a pipe dream away.

    Now let’s look at today and how much it’s improved and is still improving this decade later.

  4. Integrated ticketing is a major victory and win for PT and probably one of the top 5 wins.

    Electric trains, smooth, quiet, fast and another win. Held back however by moronic dwell times that took all that edge off the speed.

    Vic Park tunnel was a very good engineering win all round.

    Waterview tunnels are also brilliant but only off-peak. Without doubt, they have turned SH16 into an even bigger car park than it was before city-bound and probably added countless cars through Pt Chev as a result which I can attest to, being stuck in jams on Meola Rd.

    The use of the otherwise disused Nelson St off-ramp for people was another good thing.

    With the exception of an Auckland CBD hub that is not planned, buses have probably hit the high tide mark. The Northern busway is quicker than the motorway at peak but slower by a country mile otherwise and double-deckers are the polar opposite of rapid transit, even in terms of buses. Busways are better than nothing but that is about it and they don’t hold a candle to rail for speed, longevity, delivery and comfort.

    And for all the spending on SH16 (to name but a few such major highwaysprojects), it still gridlocks something chronic and just leaves that gaping question of why any of our leaders just cannot see the good in genuine rapid transit public transport.

    1. Comfort perhaps, the idea that busways don’t hold a candle to rail for speed, longevity and delivery is frankly ideological nonsense. I am a huge rail fan but to claim that busways are barely better than nothing is poppycock.

      The Northern Busway takes 28 minutes from Albany to Britomart, thats 19km, an average of 41km an hour. Which is the same average speed as the southern line and considerably faster than the western line.

      It operates from 5am to midnight seven days a week, except on the weekends when it runs to 3am. It also runs every 2 minutes at peak, and every 4 to 5 minutes all day and most of the evening.

      And most importantly, it is the only new rapid transit line *New Zealand* has ever managed to build, barring the one station stub to Manukau.

      Show me any rail line, planned or conceptual, that has any chance of being funded and built that will run every two minutes at peak, every five minutes to midnight seven days a week and achieve over 40km/h average speed from end to end.

      1. NIck, the frequency of the NX is such because it is by bus so it has to be. Those buses average 12.8 metres long and seat 80 in double deck form, max capacity 134 vs the EMU’s that are just under 72 metres, max capacity 373, with the ability to double (or triple) that simply by coupling sets together, same driver. And as stated the double-deckers are slow, slower than a single deck because they are very slow to board and discharge if the top deck is being used.

        Show me a train 14 metres long and then ask what’s the point.

        And as you say the bus averages about 40 km/hr but at its peak, if it ever gets there, 80 km/hr, by rail the EMU’s are currently constrained to 110, track permitting, but are quicker than that and very quickly up to that mark. But regardless off-peak its far quicker to take your car from Albany to the CBD. Going the other way I would suggest they are far slower given they have to negotiate Esmonde Road.

        Don’t get me wrong, the busways are better than nothing, certainly on-peak, but in comparison to genuine mass rapid transit, they are quaint!

        1. “NIck, the frequency of the NX is such because it is by bus so it has to be.”

          There’s plenty to grumble about, but the excellent frequencies on the busway are something to celebrate. Happy New Year’s Eve, Waspman! Have a good one. 🙂

        2. “NIck, the frequency of the NX is such because it is by bus so it has to be”

          Not true, there is no reason it ‘has to’ run every four or five minutes all day, or every fifteen minutes till 3am on the weekend, because it is a bus.

          Rather it is because it is a bus that it ‘can do’ those things, because the operating cost per unit is low enough that it can run efficiently* with very high frequencies all day and all night. That is something that trains can’t ever do, practically speaking, in Auckland.

          While the double deckers may be less than ideal (I would like to see articulated buses with multiple doors an all door boarding, if they could sort out a terminal in the city for them), the fact remains they are still as fast as the southern line and faster than the western line from end to end. And speaking from experience, I think the dwell time on a double decker averages well less than the EMUs achieve.

          Indeed the busway isnot faster than driving off peak, but its actually pretty close, and of course neither are the trains. Again the idea that the busway doesn’t hold a candle to rail is demostrably false, it outperforms our rail on several measures already!

          *In fact based on some back of the envelope figuring of reported patronage and the timetable, I’ve estimated the two NX services probably actually make a small profit on operations. How many slightly profitable busways can we afford to run as a city? The answer is as many as possible!

        3. Even more reason to allow buses on the actual busway to travel at 100km/h. Once the Albany extension is open even more reason to.
          Faster journeys, more productive buses/drivers, more capacity, for minimal additional cost and reduced net cost overall. Safety isn’t an issue here either – dedicated RoW.

      2. Agree Nick. Auckland is too small and sparse to build new rail. Look how much the light rail price tag has escalated in the last 5 years. We would be massively better off with 10s of busways than one or two new railways.

        1. Sparse? It was extremely built up last I saw. Does nobody want attractive real alternative transportation in this city? Is the “aw shucks, that’ll do us” PT mentality really advancing Auckland? One could be excused for thinking oil companies must delight in such lobbying for such low grade PT such as this, like most of Auckland gets.

          If the absolute lack of ambition is to just rely on our current slow as a wet week bus system then let’s not deride our reliance on the convenient private motor vehicle and as Hosking would say, stop taking away roading space to use them and on that front the very probable incoming National government that will hardly be reliant in coalition partners will agree.

          At this moment based on Google maps that are in my extensive experience very accurate, Customs St to Albany Mall, by car 20 minutes, by bus, 48. Hardly “pretty close” much like Joyce’s “pretty legal”,

        2. Waspman I think the problem is that everyone wants attractive real alternative transportation in this city – but providing steel wheels to everyone would cost too much and take too long. We could probably provide decent bus infrastructure to most everyone in a decade but rail will probably take a century. buses don’t need to be slow – there is no real reason they can’t be as quick as trains. The only real issue with buses is capacity – I doubt that would be an issue in most areas of Auckland for a fair while.

      3. “(The NEX) is the only new rapid transit line *New Zealand* has ever managed to build, barring the one station stub to Manukau.”

        Wow. Sad but true.

        41% of a NW busway would be Westgate to Patiki Rd with the rest comprising on-road bus lanes. Can NZ do that?

    2. Waspman, I am somewhat on your page.

      I note that Curitiba want to replace their enormously successful BRT with light rail. They use triple articulated buses so the dwell time is less than our double deckers, but they are often so busy that people entering and existing can be slow.

      The Milan 5 driverless metro is an example of a relatively recent construction (finished last year I believe) that has been funded and completed. Yes its average speed is only 30kph, but it has 19 stations over the 12.8 km length with dwell times that Auckalnd can only dream of.

      The difference between Milan and Auckland is that Milan have decided that many, many less people will travel by car. It’s as simple as that, so while Auckland has probably gone from 82 to 81% car mode share over the decade Milan started at 36% and has a goal to reduce that dramatically within ten years.

      If Auckland believed that to address climate change annual PT ridership of about 100 million needs to be 500 million within a decade then I am sure that many projects would look much more affordable.

      1. Another big difference is density. Rail makes a lot of sense in large dense cities, less so in smaller sprawling cities.

        1. Jimbo, that’s why I used the example of Milan that has only 1.2 million people, but huge numbers in the wider area.
          Isn’t density a chicken and egg situation of what comes first? With rail options isn’t their an incentive to develop more intensive living around it?

      2. John, as well as the modeshift targets, with public transport and street redesign to support them, our Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan should include something like what Barcelona has implemented today. There’s so much we can do to reinvigorate this city and make it beautiful and healthy. We just need to roll over some dinosaurs:

        The largest low-emissions zone in southern Europe opens in Barcelona on New Year’s Day, banning the most polluting vehicles from entering an urban area including the city and some satellite towns…

        The Barcelona zone covers 95 sq km – 20 times the size of the Madrid one… It will be monitored by 150 cameras.

        Janet Sanz, the deputy mayor in charge of mobility, said Barcelona hoped to reduce the number of cars in the city by 125,000 within three years, and air pollution by 20% within four.

        If these targets were not met, Sanz said, Barcelona would consider introducing a London-style congestion charge for all vehicles entering the city.

        “It’s about the democracy of public space and public health,” she said. “It’s a combination of reducing pollution but reconfiguring public space so that everyone can enjoy it.”

        The low-emissions zone is designed to complement the city’s so-called superblocks scheme, in which areas made up of nine city blocks are closed to through traffic and partly pedestrianised.

        1. Heidi, yes Barcelona is another great example of where there is the leadership to want to effect change. Mexico city have addressed their air pollution problems by having car less days – e.g. if you have a blue or orange car you cannot drive on a Tuesday. As you know Auckland has poor quality air in the city and largely our leadership sits on its hands.
          I would have thought that this term Phil Goff has the chance to build a legacy – forget the likes of PEE that is a growing blight on Takapuna’s skyline- real change that improves “public space and public health”
          My wish for the New Year is to have politicians that are brave enough to make the changes that we need rather than will make them popular. I can never profess to being a Jim Bolger fan but these recent words impressed me, “It’s crucial the world listens to scientists when combating the big issues facing humanity, such as climate change, he said. Politicians also need to show skill and courage and act on their advice.

          “Not all of it is going to be well received because people have to change whatever they’ve been doing and people don’t always like change,” Bolger said.

          “But if we’re going to save the planet, save the atmosphere, we’ve got to make big changes.”

  5. Quite a bit has happened alright. Everything in the field is slow in real time but that quote sure is relevant (much as I’m annoyed with Microsoft these days):
    “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

    -Bill Gates

    Happy New Year everyone!

    1. Let’s see where things are in another decade and with some positivity.

      By then; the CRL will have been in usage for over 5 years and will have established usage and service patterns.
      And hopefully; the north-western busway will be where the Northern Busway was 5 years ago. Well-established, with climbing patronage, having several key civil engineering works implemented to improve transit times and stations, etc and ever-improving.
      And maybe Skypath will be built and the eastern Busway will be beginning,.

      Hopefully by then:
      * The commuter rail services between Auckland and Hamilton/Waikato will be established, competitive, well-patronised and on-course for increased services, dedicated (possibly electric) rolling stock, improved stations, extension south to Te Awamutu/Otorohanga, integrated feeder bus services, re-establishing passenger services to Tauranga & Rotorua etc.
      * The upgrade of the Northern busway to some form of light rail will be well underway. And maybe it will be tied-in with the second-crossing tunnel.
      * The rail link to the airport will be already planned-out with the route, stations, approaches, etc all finished and all required compulsory property purchases completed with only the funding and tender process awaiting.
      * Rail services will be extended as far as Helensville and the NAL will be much upgraded.

      I’m having positive hopes that there will be more improvements in the new decade than there were over the decade we’ve just had as there have definitely been more improvements in the decade we’ve just had over the decade prior.

      1. Yes. Also, we can’t ignore the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods / Barcelona Superblocks radical changes that have been shown to be so effective at modeshift. I’d hope these will be on the cards soon. How soon depends only on will. They’re not expensive.

        Also, there is intensification happening. It needs better policy support (and even good application of the plans we have), but one decade with the right approach to this could see a much larger part of the city well served by the amenity and public transport that higher population density can bring.

        What we can achieve in Auckland in the next decade is totally inspiring. We have many building blocks in place.

        1. Hopefully urban design centred around greater population density, more pedestrian-centred areas and less automobile-dependency in Auckland and Wellington can expand the narrow minds in other NZ cities like Christchurch, Hamilton, etc

        2. I’m not sure where the most progressive minds are and aren’t.

          One thought to chew on is that if smaller places got their act together they could offer something that’s unique. Offer people an actual choice to live in a designed-for-bikes or car-light or car-free place. It’d be easier at that scale to get agreement. And the trial of new ideas would be very useful for the rest of the country.

          I’m thinking somewhere with some beautiful geography that could make a go of offering accommodation for tourists or people needing a break.

        3. ‘One thought to chew on is that if smaller places got their act together they could offer something that’s unique. Offer people an actual choice to live in a designed-for-bikes or car-light or car-free place. It’d be easier at that scale to get agreement. And the trial of new ideas would be very useful for the rest of the country.’

          Too right Heidi, seems crazy we can’t do the basics right. Take Arrowtown for example, the main street could and should easily be pedestrianised, but even that is given over to the car. Pedestrians stand in the road trying to take pics and get the all old buildings in but have to dodge out the way of cars. Parked cars ruin the views of the older buildings, all the for sake as some additional on street parking, when there is a huge off street car park one road down.

  6. The decade started with poor facilities at the SkyCity owned InterCity bus deport. It ended with no improvement. Maybe we will have an upgrade by 2030.

    1. Hopefully, by 2030; there will be competing bus terminals in Auckland for competing operators. And closer to PT hubs like Britomart.

    1. Also Happy New Year Greater Auckland and thanks for your inspirational posts last decade… I hope the website continues producing such high quality material.

      1. You’re always an inspiring writer, Brendon. Thanks for all your hard work. And have a great summer and year to come!

      2. Brendon, yes I also want to acknowledge the work of Matt and the other editorial team. The debate about public transport that you see on this blog is seldom evident in mainstream media.

    2. We’re all hoping too Brendon.
      But sadly what’s appearing to me is the opposite; that Gerry Brownlee [edit] made sure that rebuilt Christchurch would be as much of an automobile, horrendously design dystopia as possible.

      [Formal warning from admin to abide by the user guidelines.]

      1. Please, there is more than enough to criticise about Brownlee’s actions and character without bringing his body into it. We can do better.

  7. SH20 Manukau Harbour Crossing – $218 million
    SH20 to SH1 Manukau Extension – $220 million
    SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 extension to Brigham Creek – $220 million
    Victoria Park Tunnel – $340 million.
    Waterview Tunnels – $1.4 billion
    So, 2.394 billion dollars in less than 10 years – imagine how much different Auckland would be if all that money had been spent on mode shifting, pedestrianising the central city, road safety, a fully electric public transport network, and genuinely reducing emissions and transport pollution…

  8. Everything in the field is slow in real time but that quote sure is relevant (much as I’m annoyed with Microsoft these days):
    “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

  9. I thought it was okay. I loved the 1994 movie and thought the chronology in the first half was distracting and made it hard for me to get really invested in the characters. I did not like Timothee Chalamet at all! Laurie is supposed to be a little bit older and sexy – I think he is 17 in the book when Jo and Meg are around 13/14 – but he looks prepubescent throughout the whole thing. He was not believable in the least at the end. Same with Emma Watson – I love her but felt she seemed younger than she should? And Beth was lacking the warmth and likeability that Claire Danes brought (although I think that’s more true to the book). The few direct to camera scenes were also a little odd. Overall I thought it was good – the second half was definitely stronger – and I enjoyed it, but I was hoping to have the same reaction you did and it just wasn’t there for me.Car Rental Cape Town

  10. I totally took an impromptu blogging vacation recently, too! It’s really nice to get to live out in the world without feeling tethered for a while Having lots of new things to write about it always a plus, too! It sounds like you had a great time visiting with family and friends. Hope your eye is feeling better!paint by numbers for adults

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