On Saturday the new $69 million Puhinui Station was opened by Transport Minister Michael Wood and Mayor Phil Goff. The official opening was followed by a public open day which saw a large number of people turning up to take a look at the station. Though with no trains running past it on the weekend, with the exception of the freight train that rolled through right in the middle of the minster’s speech, it’s only today that the station will see some actual use.

Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today.

The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus area via a new elevated forecourt, making it easy to transfer. It also includes new lighting, public toilets, drop off zones, better shelter, along with improved facilities and access for cyclists and pedestrians.

“The Puhinui Interchange has supported South Auckland’s economic recovery by creating over 150 jobs during construction,” Michael Wood said.

“It’ll continue to support the recovery by making it easier for thousands of Aucklanders to get to work – Auckland Airport is one the largest employment hubs in the country with more than 900 businesses around it.

“Thanks to the SH20B upgrades completed earlier this year, the travel time between Puhinui Station and the airport on the AirportLink electric bus will only be around 10 minutes. This will also help travellers avoid pre-flight congestion as air travel picks up.

“The interchange has been future proofed for future rail upgrades, including space for additional platforms, and for the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project, which will add a bus rapid transit bridge to better connect East Auckland with good public transport,” Michael Wood said.

“The new Puhinui Station provides regular and congestion-free access to the airport and its employment precinct by public transport,” Mayor Goff said.

I love how the term ‘congestion-free’ has caught on since our Congestion-Free Network.

Puhinui is the second upgraded station to open this year following the reopening of the CPO entrance to Britomart in April as part of the City Rail Link. The station follows Britomart in another way too as it is arguably now the second most impressive station we have, at least until the new CRL stations are opened in 2024. It is perhaps a rare case of the building coming out looking almost exactly like the pre-construction renders.

The forecourt area from which you can access the train platforms is spacious, or as Phil Goff described it, the station is like a cathedral.

Well done to the designers and builders, they’ve really done a fantastic job.

With the Southern and Eastern lines combined, there is a train to and from the city every five minutes at peak times and every 10 minutes off-peak. There are stairs, escalators and lifts to access the platform and also down to the bus stops where the electric AirportLink buses are running every 10 minutes from 4:30am to around 1am, and will make use of the new transit lanes added to SH20B and Puhinui Rd to get quickly to the airport.

As well as the design, another thing that is impressive about the station is it’s one of the few times we’ve actively future-proofed a station for expansion in two ways. First there is clear space set aside for the new 3rd and even a 4th track, as well as platforms for these. Hopefully we can get added in soon to allow Te Huia to be extended to the station. The second is the station was designed with a future busway bridge in mind, which is expected to be delivered as part of the Airport to Botany project and would remove the Bridge St diversion and put bus access right onto the forecourt for even easier transfers. I understand why it wasn’t but it would have been great if that piece could have been delivered at the same time.

The above image comes from this video Auckland Transport put out for the event:

With the station now reopened, hopefully it will see a similar outcome to what Otahuhu experienced following its 2016 upgrade that was tied to the new bus network. Prior to that upgrade, Otahuhu and Puhinui were some of the least used stations in Auckland but Otahuhu’s upgrade and bus connections changed that:

As mentioned, Puhinui is arguably now the second most impressive station we have after Britomart – but what’s even more positive is that we’re now building up a collection of great stations.

Out of the 40 train stations on the network, seven are now really high quality, and perhaps my order of the best are:

  1. Britomart – With the upgraded CPO and exit out to Te Komititanga it’s hard to go past Britomart for the top spot.
  2. Puhinui – As mentioned above, the station building is fantastic and will only get better as the future upgrades to it are delivered.
  3. New Lynn – Probably has the best bus, train and town centre integration
  4. Newmarket – The station itself is good, but it’s disappointing that AT/council still haven’t been able to improve access to the station from Broadway, not to mention any form of a northern entrance.
  5. Manukau – The station itself is good, but the way it opens up to the MIT building is stunning.
  6. Otahuhu – The station building is great but the station itself is isolated.
  7. Panmure – Compared to the stations above, Panmure feels undersized and that’s before the Eastern Busway starts pumping thousands more people through it.

In a few years those stations will be joined by Aotea, Karangahape Rd and an upgraded Mt Eden station.

We’ve also got some decent ‘mid-tier’ stations too, such as Henderson, Mt Albert, Grafton, Ellerslie, Papakura and Pukekohe.

What are your top 10 stations?


Updated: some nice reports and photos coming in from people using the airport transfer on the first day. Satisfied customers, too, by the looks of it!

Bonus: this was a nice touch at the Open Day:

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91 comments

  1. The Journey Planner is showing an odd transfer between rail and bus, with a 600+m walk around the block to connect to the AirportLink. I’m hopeful they did actually build a bridge over the platforms? 😉

    1. Based on the multiple modes and necessity to transfer to each mode, waiting times etc, I assume this upgrade is aimed mostly at workers who actually work at the airport or very very close to it, as opposed to flight passengers as Minister Wood suggested. So aside from the hike from trains to buses and vice versa, connections are not that time critical.

      1. Airport workers are a big part of who it will benefit but why do you think air passengers wont. The transfer is hardly a hike and escalators/lifts make it easier. It’s also likely to be far more reliable than driving to the airport

        1. The transfer is currently mapped as a short hike; but as Callum mentions below, this will be corrected in a couple of days.

        2. Yes Molly I’m aware of that. This was in response to Keith who seems to be suggesting the station won’t be much use to air travellers

        3. Matt, the reality is most passengers require or want quick reliable transport to get to the airport. Generally they are carrying baggage as well. So unless you live close to a railway station on the southern or eastern line or close to Puhinui itself, the chances are you will have to get to a bus, transfer from a bus, wherever in Auckland’s CBD that may terminate, (or nearest station) otherwise get to Britomart on a train, get off at Puhinui, walk however far and find the airport bus, get on, eventually making it to the airport. None of this will be seamless, especially off peak, humping around luggage. Plus the train system is not overly reliable at the moment nor has it been for some time.

          Or the logical options will be, 1, get a lift from someone you know direct to the airport, 2, drive your own car and either ParknRide it or park at the airport, 3, Uber or similar, 4th and least desirable option, take the walk/bus/walk/train/walk/bus system.

          If the train was a direct connection to the airport it becomes more attractive.

          As a user of the southern line a while back Puhinui was the least safe platform especially at night and that was saying something, although obviously it’s quite different now.

          It will easily be the slowest least reliable option, hence I thought it was aimed at local workers.

        4. PT is actually the *most* reliable option. It’s the only congestion free way to get from the city centre and with traffic being so unpredictable, the journey time is very unreliable. I once took over 2 hours to get from Albany to the Airport in the middle of the day on the weekend due to a crash. That sort of thing is much more common on the roads than on a busway or railway.

        5. It’s designed for whoever wants to use it, doesn’t really matter whether it’s a worker, passenger or someone who wants to play minigolf at Treasure Island.

          If passengers weren’t one of the target markets they wouldn’t have bothered putting a space for luggage on the buses.

        6. Keith, if not near any station on the southern or eastern lines (two-thirds of the network) getting an uber/zoomy or dropped off at a station, or a ferry from the Shore to britomart, is now a really great option for stress-free, cheap, and reliable journey to the airport. So much easier, quicker, cheaper than driving/being driven all the way through congestion.

          I’ve been using the tain/bus option for years and can see why the transfer at Papatoetoe was a barrier for most people. A long exposed walk between train and bus. The new Interchange at Puhinui completely solves that problem, plus the new shorter, more direct, and mostly seperate frequent e-bus to the terminals is fantastic.

          Essentially arriving at Puhinui is arriving at the airport. You’re there, you’re just not yet at your terminal. I’ve spent way longer, and often with much more difficulty (looking at you O’Hare), getting between terminals at airports the world over than this sweet seemless journey between Interchange and Terminal.

          You suggest airport park n ride, that’s much worse; you’ve had to drive almost all the way through congestion, but still not get there, you pay huge sums to store your car, yet still have to transfer to a bus.

          Train/bus = $6 v drive/bus + ~$60.

          No brainer.

        7. @sailor boy: in theory: yes, in practice in Auckland: no.

          2 hours by car seems bad because you can make it in under an hour on a good day. 2 hours by PT is… just about average. Even if you get an hour of delay when driving it will still not make you as slow as public transport. You’re lucky if you have a headway better than 30 minutes in the weekend.

          Reliability of Skybus used to be so bad that taxi drivers just drove the same route as the bus to pick up stranded passengers. I think they fixed that by avoiding Queen Street.

          Driving is much more reliable than PT. When was the last time we had to lower the speed limit on the entire motorway network to 40km/h because of maintenance? Or when did the motorway network shut down over the weekend? You have accidents but not nearly as often as “track faults”. I don’t know why this is but it is a reality we have to live with over here.

        8. @Keith

          Look, we do live close to a train station… about 11 minutes if you walk it… but you’re seriously overstating the hassle.

          When we went to London several years ago now (2018), we did it two ways.

          On the way in, we drove to the train station and bundled out with the luggage. Obviously, some of us stayed behind with the luggage, while others took the car home and then came back to the station. There is no reason you can’t do this same thing but have the return leg done by bus rather than walking… or get a friend/relative to do the initial drop off with their car… unless the station has poor “kiss and ride” provision. Then we hopped in the train, went to Papatoetoe and caught the Airporter. Extremely cheap, very limited hassle.

          On the return leg, we caught the bus back… oddly enough there’s a stop at one end of our street… and then just walked the, what, 200m to our door.

          The only actual problems are if the bus you would take is massively busy or you don’t live close to a bus stop.

          Air Passengers don’t use PT to get to the Airport because they don’t think of it, not because it’s hard or because they’re flying at a time where they’re not going to get snarled up in traffic. (We picked my grandfather up once from his flight and then drove up to Remuera to meet up with additional family members that live there. That was insane.)

          @roeland

          The trains are no where near as unreliable as driving. Can you honestly say you’re 90% certain that your car trip during peak periods is going to be x minutes long, give or take five minutes?

          For most of the last half decade, every line in Auckland has been doing that or better. It’s this track stuff since Covid that’s made things bad. Though, frankly, I’m not sure you’d beat even the Southern Line’s 60-odd percent driving.

          https://at.govt.nz/media/1985733/10_auckland-transport-monthly-indicators_board-report-march-2021_attachment-1.pdf

          Track faults and so on /are/ frequent, yes, but their actual impact was previously contained at, what, 10% of trips tops (and usually more like 5%). And unlike the road network, these delays don’t cause travel times to balloon by 70% or more (i.e. a 100 minute drive becomes a 170 minute drive), which is the point that AT officially designate road to be congested. Newsworthy accidents happen twice a week… what of all the little ones that clog up a local neighbourhood? a single road? etc? You never learn the cause of traffic, just that it exists. Consider this:

          https://imgur.com/a/FI6d8bH

          What was going on? No idea. Sunday rush hour? Is that a Thing now? Did it last long? Well, it’d been worse at half past, so that’s at least twenty minutes. What kind of delays and impacts did this unknowable, non-newsworthy thing called “traffic was bad today” have throughout Auckland? no idea. But they would’ve existed… it’s just no-one’s measuring.

          Now, you might say “well, that’s all artificial since it was accomplished by letting the tracks degrade”… to which I say, “If KiwiRail can’t do its job, then maybe KiwiRail shouldn’t have it”.

        9. A 100 minute drive is basically Auckland to Hamilton. More likely your 20 minute drive will balloon to, say, 40 minutes, which is OK because PT would take more than an hour even on a good day. It is not that I can pin-point my travel time down to 5 minutes, but I’m 98% certain that despite whatever congestion I’ll still be much faster than PT. And yes I know rush hour to the CDB is an exception but I don’t work in the CBD.

          This perpetual rush hour is a thing, I can totally confirm that. Around Albany on the motorway you’ll hit congestion any time during daylight. Weekend or not. However while it looks bad it will probably set you back maybe 10 minutes or so.

          The variance on PT not only comes from buses or trains that are late. It is also the headway. If you miss a train in the weekend your travel time balloons by 20 minutes.

          Since you are a regular train user — what is the deal with these track faults then? Is it just one train disappearing from the schedule?

        10. Keith, the reality is *all* passengers require or want quick reliable transport to get *anywhere*. Airport, work, school, doctors appointment, dinner date, whatever.

          You don’t think people who work near the airport want a quick trip to work, they don’t need to be at work on time??

        11. Whirstler

          According to Callum Mcleod who seems to be in the know;

          ” …mins STH+AIR, or 56 mins EAST+AIR due to the times they arrive.

          Southern Line arrivals have a 8 min connection till the next AirportLink bus, Eastern Line have a 1 or 11 min connection depending on how fast you can run from the platform, or if you get an early train. If you get lucky on a fast Eastern Line train you could do it in 47 mins.”

          The best possible scenario from Britomart only, not further out like many will be, dependant on your fitness is comfortably slower than any other option than traveling from deep North Shore for example. And you a reliant on the varying modes of public transport actually arriving either on time or at all.

          But at least PT is an option, not that it wasn’t before this upgrade was built.

        12. Keith, Callum has a touching faith in AT and KR’s ability to keep to timetables. Us users know this is misfounded. Happily timetable faithfulness is made completely irrelevant when service frequency is turn-up-and-go level. Which it is here, for both bus and train.

          I have been using the pre-Puhinui version of this service via Paptoetoe and have never had to run or wait for either connection. Sure I have been on the long walk over the tracks and seen a train pull in then depart, but never worked up a sweat though either anxiety or running, as I knew they’d be another along in five mins, just enough time for me to get to the platform comfortably.

          Now, with Puhinui, there is now no long exposed walk, just an escalator or lift up and down, all undercover, to adjacent platform/stop. There will still be no need to sweat or stress, or need to consult timetables, just turn-up-and-go.

        13. Chris, “turn up and go” off peak is every 15 minutes. Whether that syncronises with the bus to the airport, who knows. And Monday to Thursday the trains cease around 10.30 pm and there is no peak frequently on weekends.

          And it’s 46 minutes from Britomart to Manukau via a single mode as a comparison, using the train, so Callum’s numbers seems quite accurate.

          Plus this is simply originating from Britomart, not further afield.

          By all means use it but there are far quicker ways to get there with less hassle and with alternative routes if needs be.

        14. PT from the North Shore to anywhere south of Britomart is stupidly slow, and for casual users it is almost impossible to figure out where to get off your bus and get on the next. It will probably remain that way until AT figures out how to through-route buses through the city centre.

          Taking PT to the airport will be 3 to 4 times slower than driving. even from just north of the Harbour Bridge. It has the advantage that you don’t have to find a car park. Downside is that for short trips parking is cheaper than PT for multiple passengers.

        15. Downside of driving is that it’s driving. It’s being the traffic. It’s being the climate change. It’s being the road danger to people walking and cycling.

          And it’s unavailable to the 1/4 of NZers who don’t have drivers’ licenses – except by paying someone else to do it, and present all those problems, too.

          What’s everybody harping back to a comparison with driving for? Those who insist on driving will drive. Everyone else now has a better option.

        16. Heidi, there a 3.6 million driver license holders in NZ according to MOT stats so that not three quarters who don’t have drivers licenses now is it?

          And we have just spent $68 million on this station and yes the bricks and mortar are fantastic looking but true to form it makes PT the slowest least efficient option because of the last (or first) link in the chain, buses, which is an absolute pity because, had it of been direct rail linked to the airport, it would have made a substantial difference to the attractiveness and usability and all the benefits PT can offer. And to me that is what escapes planners, making a service an undeniably attractive alternative to the private motor vehicle.

        17. For those without driving license, having someone with a car give you a lift is like teleportation. You get transported to places that are normally an hour away within 10 minutes or so.

          If you know someone without a driver license it is really disheartening to see just how bad a handicap that is. Going out is so cumbersome that they’re basically home bound. It is just sad.

          And I don’t know why it is not obvious but people are not willing to spend unlimited time underway. There is this concept of a 15 minute city for a reason. Very few people will take a 45 minute bus ride if they can drive in 15 minutes.

          (and yeah I know, we were talking about the airport but honestly when was the last time you went to the airport?)

        18. We could spend $1.5 billion on a rail connection to the airport and it would still be quicker to drive from most parts of the city.

        19. Chris – I’ve definitely had to break a sweat off peak when I’ve been heading to Ellerslie thus an Eastern line train is of no use!

        20. So others don’t think Keith has misquoted me, I corrected my comment from 3/4 to 1/4 before he hit “Post Comment”. I had worded it the other way around originally and then forgot to change the figure.

          We need to design and plan for all NZers, and there are more than 1/4 of NZers who don’t drive, plus all those who don’t want to or who don’t want to for this particular connection.

        21. “If the train was a direct connection to the airport it becomes more attractive.”

          Can we please all stop banging on about “heavy trains” to the Airport. It is not going to happen. The Light Rail project ( as promised by the Labour Govt as an election bribe ) includes an option for the LRT to go from Mangere to the Airport.. Meantime, take the train to Puhinui Train Station and transfer to one of the new electric AirportLink shuttle buses.

      2. I’ll be using it. I’ve recently relocated to Taranaki to work remotely and fly back at my own expense, so the train-bus is my preferred mode.

    2. Hi Molly,
      Yes the new station access hadn’t been mapped in Open Street Map which we use for the journey planner walking routes so it’s currently showing an odd route. We’ve made some changes to the map as a short term fix which should show up in a couple days.

      1. Great, Callum. Does the team have a way to pre-empt changes on Open Street Map so that whenever a circulation change is made, the launch can be with correct wayfinding?

        1. Hi Heidi, not currently no. OSM is crowdsourced data and often the community addresses any changes like this. For example the new ferry piers at Downtown were updated by community contributors when they opened earlier in the month. This is one of the benefits of using OSM data.

        2. While my OSM knowledge is limited, I have attempted to update the access-ways and station to help

        3. Thanks Grady! Myself and another colleague have made some further updates this morning.

        4. I don’t actually think that’s a functional approach.

          Correct wayfinding needs to accompany any new station opening, street circulation change, bus network change, etc.

        5. “Correct wayfinding needs to accompany any new station opening, street circulation change, bus network change, etc.”

          Following several restructures within the CX Division at AT, ( to improve efficiency and save costs ? ) there seems to be no one left who is in charge of correct wayfinding, or communicating changes to the network. Things only seem to get updated when a complaint is made.

    3. Anyway waiting 20 minutes outside with a cold windy weather conditions.

      To connect from warm bus and warm train..

      Are there any warm spots for waiters?

  2. Henderson is also due for an upgrade as part of the CRL, would be great to see bigger elevators to accommodate bikes. The ramps on the stairs work for some but not all. Also a 24/7 pedestrian crossing that doesn’t require a massive detour late at night or during rail replacement weekends.

    But from what I can see CRL are only adding in 2 more platforms, one as a terminus… Which as GA have posted before may be better used for Swanson, so that Sturges and Ranui see some uplift in frequency too…

    1. Yes, I think some quality engagement is required at Henderson to get the access right. The train line needs more active mode crossings, and currently the station provides this service, but access isn’t reliable.

      1. Yes to bigger lifts and also better bike rails. Could use those at Otahuhu, Panmure, just about every train station with stairs.

        While we’re at it, there also needs to be better, more secure bike racks, in many cases nearer the trains. In line of sight of the CCTV would be great, on the station platforms wherever possible.

        1. I asked the engineers at pukekohe when they did the upgrade there about bike rails, the reply was that it was too expensive and not enough room in the design and to use the lift.

  3. So what’s the potential of te huia to Puhinui becoming a regular Hamilton to Auckland airport service.

    1. One of the Waikato councils put a bid in for covid shovel ready funding for $10m to build new platform and a short section of 4th track so it could terminate there but didn’t get it. I know they’re working on how to get it funded

  4. It is just a shame that the area surrounding Puhinui station has been nerfed of intensification potential due to the Auckland Airport protecting their flight path – everything north of Puhinui Road has a maximum density of 1 dwelling per 400 m2 and no new dwellings are enabled (prohibited activity!) south of Puhinui Road.

    1. Does the Government Policy Statement on intensity around rapid transit ‘trump’ the airport overlay?
      Station looks great though – will be using it for a rail-bus airport connnection in about 2 months time.

      Slightly ironic that most would have driven to a new train station opening as no trains running that weekend though.

        1. Risk mitigation yes. But not physical risk, political risk.
          It’s the same story all over the world, Heathrow for instance, build airport, suburbs sprawl into flight paths, people complain, stronger and stronger restrictions on flights get passed.
          It’s a huge risk to the airports profit and function.

      1. The NPS allows the protection of infrastructure to trump the six storey minimum requirement, so it will…

        The Airport overlay is mostly to minimise the operational risk of thousands of people complaining about airport noise (reverse sensitivity effects). There is also the height limit designation, but I wouldn’t expect that to be less than six storeys in that location (its about 15 storeys in Manukau, for example).

        1. The NPS allows infrastructure protection to trump the enabling, but it doesn’t allow infrastructure protection to prevent all development. Council could (and should) make really high levels of soundproofing and passive ventilation mandatory in any new builds under the flight path to mitigate the effects of noise, then enable the medium density development mandated by the NPS.

        2. Sailor Boy, the AUP already requires noise insulation and ventilation for all dwellings in this area, but still requires density to be limited to 1 in 400 m2. I agree that the NPS UD could lead to Council challenging the Airport on the need for that density restriction (and the prohibited status for dwellings in the highest noise areas), but realistically I can’t see Council doing this, as they know that the Airport will be appealing to the Environment Court.

        3. The council should change it, even knowing that the airport will go to the environment court to appeal. The council should stand up to the corporate bullying and do the right thing.

    2. Existing houses in the ‘burbs are allowed to be 3 storey within a 10m height plane. I’d sort of hope that no plane would be flying lower than that… given that Puhinui is over 7km away… Surely THAB housing up to 10 or 12m high would be allowed?

      The relevant case to remember is the El Al jet that crashed into an apartment building in Amsterdam, 20 years ago. Over 100 dead. Is that what Auckland Airport are worried is going to happen?

      1. Mostly for noise issues…. People complaining about noise from an airport when they build/move next to….an airport….

  5. There is a letter in the Herald today saying the eastern entrance was closed and people attending the opening were directed by an embarrassed security guard to walk almost 1km to get in.

  6. If you visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul you will walk into the huge cavern of the cathedral and your eyes will be drawn to the Islamic hanging panels. Of course this is not an accident its art. My first thoughts were well they copied that from the Manukau MIT station building. Just kidding but if any station in New Zealand deserves is to be called a cathedral it would be Manukau. The hanging panels compliment the central open space. The exterior with its pure white diagonal beams is equally as distinctive. Give the trees in Haymen park 40 years to mature and I think the whole area including the Bus station will become much loved. Westfield will need to up their game though else they will be left behind. Maybe something along the lines of the Galleria in Milan could be arranged. Apparently that was the worlds first shopping mall.

  7. Great to have this facility and as a fly-in visitor from Christchurch to Auckland I we’ll definitely use as opposed to the over priced air porter bus service and SOV taxis & ubers. It will be nice to no longer tiki tour to Papatoetoe.
    One day I would like to use as part of a trip to visit to family in Hamilton.

    1. The Western Line not stopping at Parnell hasn’t been a thing since 2018, so I don’t know why it’s still shown on the map.

      1. “The Western Line not stopping at Parnell hasn’t been a thing since 2018, so I don’t know why it’s still shown on the map”.

        ANSWER. The people who used to update these maps within AT have all been made redundant.

    2. Now the busway network is growing it’s time AT displayed RAPID TRANSIT maps, showing the whole top end system, not train maps and bus maps.

      Say when the Eastern Busway stage 1 opens we could have decent system maps showing both existing and underconstruction (greyed out) ? NX1 NX2 Devo ferry, Rail lines, Airporter, EB, plus the underconstruction CRL, NW, NB extension.

      1. ‘Now the busway network is growing it’s time AT displayed RAPID TRANSIT maps”

        The team within AT that used to prepare these maps have been made redundant, as part of AT’s push to phase out printed wayfinding and passenger information.

        1. If AT’s pushing to phase out printed wayfinding then why were the maps on the platforms at Britomart already updated to reflect the Airport link and reopening of Puhinui?

          From what I’ve seen at stations they are reasonably onto it, looks like the electronic version is more out of date.

  8. The journey planner has been updated on the AT website. So it appears it will take 32 or 35 minutes to go from Britomart to Puhinui train station. Worse case scenario one has to wait 10 minutes for the bus and it takes 10 minutes to get to the airport.

    Therefore, it will take up to 55 minutes but probably more around 50 minutes to go from Britomart to the airport.

    Not the fastest, however, it will be consistently that time which is important when catching a flight. The next time I fly I might use this option.

    1. Yep once we get the OSM paths updated I’m expecting 54 mins STH+AIR, or 58 mins EAST+AIR due to the times they arrive.

      Southern Line arrivals have a 7 min connection till the next AirportLink bus, Eastern Line have a 10 min connection.

      1. Ah got that a little wrong, it should be:

        52 mins STH+AIR, or 56 mins EAST+AIR due to the times they arrive.

        Southern Line arrivals have a 8 min connection till the next AirportLink bus, Eastern Line have a 1 or 11 min connection depending on how fast you can run from the platform, or if you get an early train. If you get lucky on a fast Eastern Line train you could do it in 47 mins.

        1. Callum best practice is to assume an average transfer time of 50% of frequency, ie 5 mins off peak, 2.5mins peak. Real world either service will be late or early, is pointless to expect timetables to be accurate. This is not Japan or Switzerland.

          This is serious problem with the journey planner, why i never use it, by aiming for precision it fails to be accurate. Its settings are structurely wrong, and always pesimistic, for PT and bike.

  9. A delightful slow trip to the airport. Hope they don’t call it “rapid”! Rapid is a modern fast rail link to the airport in under 38 minutes.

    We’ll spend billions on motorways to save 15 minutes journey time. We should invest in a modern rail connection. Remember, the bus still crawls at 50kmph on Puhinui Rd and only 60 on the bus lane.

    1. Cheap and ontime is more useful to more people than fast, expensive and variable. Anyway that option already exists, it’s called driving or being chauffered. Also you’re talking about a couple of minutes difference, are you so sure your time is that well spent and valuable?

      Cabinet ministers get stuck in traffic like the rest of us. This no-emissions, hands-free, few bucks option, is pretty flash actually, by comparison, for many. When people try it, i thgink they’ll find a bunch hurdles have now been removed. It will continue to be improved too. I suggest giving it a go.

      1. “It will continue to be improved too.” What improvements are planned in the next 12 – 24 months, or for that matter 48 months? Much fabled light rail to Botany is now in 10 or 20 years away.

        Again, why do you eagerly accept second rate public transport investment when roads get billions to save 2 minutes?

        At least with fast modern rail link we’d have seamless transport across the network, and still get to Britomart 13 – 20 minutes faster.

        Be aspirational. Not accepting ho-hum slow buses with massive 10 minute wait times on top.

        1. I agree we should be spending billions on PT but there’s a number of places I’d start before putting a rail connection into the airport.

          Without re-litigating a discussion that has mercifully been absent since Covid hit any airport train is only likely to run at 20 – 30 minute frequencies so any benefit will be limited to those who arrive at the platform at the right time.

        2. Because there are far more valuable PT projects to fund than making the Britomart to airport trip 13 to 20 minutes faster. It’s a distraction from much more important projects.

          What is unacceptable is the lack of bus lanes all the way to the airport, stopping at the bridge before it. But thats a different point.

        3. We are spending billions on PT. I’m as impatient as anyone for this change but i can at least recognise when it’s happening. And yes there are near term additional improvements to the airport service, better priority in the airport area is coming, it got delayed by covid shock to their budgets. The bus is great, don’t be hung up on vehicle type, it’s service level that matters…. LR will be great too, there’s things here now, and more coming across the city that are worth using and celebrating.

        4. “What improvements are planned in the next 12 – 24 months, or for that matter 48 months?”

          The CRL: doubling of rail frequencies to reduce wait times, bypassing the slow section through Parnell on the Southern line to reduce travel time, and adding new city centre stations to improve access and offer improved transfers for people travelling from the North Shore and West Auckland.

    2. I never understand why people compare time spent driving and not much else (listening to radio/music I suppose?) with time spent sitting on PT being productive (messaging, reading, etc) while someone else drives you – they’re not apples vs apples. And as others have noted, a lot of travellers value the reliability of travel times over absolute travel times – I’m almost always going to pick a PT journey of 50-55 mins over a car journey that could be 40-80 mins. Even the very over-priced SkyBus has that going for it too, even at peak times.

      1. Of course nobody in his right mind would drive if PT will reliably be only a bit slower than driving on a good day. However such trips are quite unusual.

        If you’re talking about going to the airport, for me from the North Shore it is about 35 minutes + whatever congestion by car and about 90 minutes by PT. There’s no way driving will ever be 90 minutes, unless the Harbour Bridge gets blocked. And then PT will be blocked just the same.

        But yeah then you have to deal with your car at the airport so in this case I’d take the bus anyway.

        Last time I went to the airport the train + bus was supposedly about one and a half hour *from Britomart*. It might very well be shorter in practice but there’s no way for casual PT users to figure this out.

  10. Ok, I am looking forward to using this the next time I do Welly>Auck to visit family. Skybus is an absolute rip-off.

      1. Yep, Wgtn, Queenstown and Chch airport to/from town for $2-3 is a pretty good deal (although you have to walk for 5-10 mins with Wgtn…)

  11. Possibly controversial opinion: my favourite station is Baldwin Ave because – hear me out here – it’s surrounded by quiet, relatively low-traffic streets, which means it’s safe and easy for anyone who wants to walk or bike to the station.

    As well as that, it’s got the basics: ticket machine, shelter on the platform, bike parking (which would be even better with shelter). Also, two dairies and a bunch of interesting places to eat within a 5 min walk of the station. The dream of low-key local luxury.

    Of course I love the big glamorous “cathedrals” as well… but a humble well-appointed neighbourhood chapel can be just as good for the soul. Small places and short trips have powerful strategic value, too.

    1. and much lower cost as well, hence: many more small stations can afford to get upgrades instead of just the big ones…

    2. I agree, would love to live near there. Only downside is it doesn’t have great bus connections, bit of a walk to go elsewhere.

      That’s the model they should be following for most of the stations on the new light rail lines, compact, close, well integrated. Part of the fabric of the neighbourhood.

      Puhinui is a an exception, it is an interchange more than anything and a gateway to south auckland, so a cathedral ain’t to bad.

      1. Riccardo, I absolutely agree. Light rail, bus and light metro is absolutely dependent on a number of stations to make them work. Without passengers the operating costs increase and the most common consequence is that the operator decreases frequency.

    3. All that plus in fact an actual chapel (Roscommon).

      I caught the train to school and back from there in the late 90s, with the split platforms and lots of greenery nearby it was interesting in that rundown way most Auckland stations then were. The city bound tin shelter was covered in about a quarter inch thick of alternating graffiti and buff paint.

  12. Great to see that Puhinui has been opened – I’ll be taking it to the airport next time I fly. Really looking forward to it.

    Also really looking forward to them doing the upgrades shown in the AT video – not just the 3rd and 4th rail, but most importantly the Future Bus Rapid Transit Overbridge. Are there any renders available of the interchange when it has all its future parts bolted on? I mean, at present it has that gorgeous big glazed frontage upstairs – but it looks as though that will turn into a footpath for the Bus Overbridge one day. But it is going to look quite different (and function better) when the Overbridge goes in…

  13. AT bashing is a favored pastime of many, including myself, and it’s often deserved.
    But credit to AT on this for a job well done.
    Zen Man (from South Auckland)

  14. This looks great.

    So they didn’t build the platforms or the 3/4th lines? Overhead works?

    Seems a shame, if on-site and having closures anyway – could have been useful for freight bypassing, Te Huia and getting some of the wiring.

    But good news all in all. People moaning about the end to end journey times, not everyone starts at Britomart. This will benefit a lot of locals dotted throughout Auckland, and save some car journeys. And yes, one day if they have the guts to properly address the dwell times/doors and run at line speed, it might trim a little here and there.

  15. For those who were concerned about the walking connection in AT Mobile/Journey Planner – this is now resolved this morning

  16. I used the new connection yesterday (Tuesday). Left Pukekohe on the 9.13 am
    shuttle, and arrived at the airport domestic area at 10.10 am .
    Beats paying big bucks for car storage.

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