Govt Money For Public Transport Projects Confirmed Amid Big Boost For Roading


highway Phew. Money for various ongoing Auckland rail projects gets confirmed and public transport gets a boost in the record level of investment in land transport announced today by the government.

The Transport Agency did indeed hand out huge early Christmas presents this morning  - $8.7 billion to be invested in New Zealand over the next three years through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

This is the largest land transport investment in New Zealand’s history, and it represents a 17 percent increase from the previous three year period.

The announcement made it clear this is not an announcement on all money for rail as that will be done by Kiwirail. But it confirms allocations for ongoing projects and the new $6m feasibility study for a CBD tunnel.

But at least while much of the allocation is for road projects, the NLTP has given a nod to public transport in its handouts by claiming:

  • a 21 percent increase for public transport ($899 million investment over the next three years) as well as the
  • a 19 percent increase for New Zealand’s state highway network ($4.5 billion investment over the next three years) and
  • a 14 percent increase for local roads ($1.9 billion investment over the next three years).

Included in Auckland’s handouts:

  • providing new rail rolling stock and planning for electrification
  • completing the Manukau rail link, station and bus interchange.
  • integrated transport improvements for east Auckland between Glen Innes and the Manukau city will be progressed
  • new or upgraded passenger rail stations at Grafton, Kingsland, Avondale and Onehunga
  • completing the central connector bus route between Newmarket and the Auckland central - And in other transport projects:
  • the State Highway 1 (SH1) Victoria Park Tunnel in central Auckland, on which construction will start this year
  • completing the central connector bus route between Newmarket and the Auckland central
  • completing Waitakere City Council’s New Lynn transit-oriented design by 2012/13
  • completing the strengthening of Auckland Harbour Bridge by the end of 2010
  • completing two major components of the Western Ring Route – the SH1 to SH20 Manukau Extension by 2010, and the SH20 Manukau Harbour Crossing by 2011 Extension by 2010, and the SH20 Manukau Harbour Crossing by 2011

Nothing new but at least we know the money’s aside and not under threat.

The new three-year timeframe instead of annual handouts in the past  does allow for longer planning which is a good move.
The 16 regional transport committees and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) contributed to the plans which meant projects we like -such as the rail projects - did get some action.

Closer scrutiny of the money will reveal what’s in and what’s out and we have to wait to see the real rail funding announcement re electrification.

On Auckland rail, the transport agency says:

While rail development remains a priority, it lies largely outside this programme and will be led by other agencies. Below track rail infrastructure such as the track, signals and platforms is funded by Crown.

It lists as major activities likely to proceed, with their estimated costs:

  • the New Lynn Transport Interchange ($28 million), connecting bus, rail, road, pedestrian and cycling networks in the town centre. This project involves lowering the newly double-tracked rail line beneath the town centre so trains can run every 10 minutes with no impact on traffic above. A striking new rail station will link with the new bus interchange for seamless transitions between travel modes. This initiative will provide more transport choices, particularly for those with limited access to cars. It will also complete critical walking and cycling routes
  • ferry terminal upgrades ($23 million): upgrades to existing terminals or new construction at Birkenhead, Hobsonville, Stanley Bay, Half Moon Bay, Bayswater, Beach Haven and Downtown. The project also includes a new wharf and services at Beach Haven and a new terminal at Bayswater in 2010.
  • the Manukau Rail Link and Station ($23 million): a new bus and rail interchange adjacent to Manukau city centre to service the surrounding road network and the yet-to-be constructed Manukau Rail Link
  • Dominion Road public transport ($90 million): investigating and designing a project to improve bus and cycle facilities along this important corridor, enabling faster and more reliable travel times between the Auckland CBD and the airport
  • the CBD rail loop ($6 million): an in-depth investigation into a route for a rail tunnel around the CBD, linking to Britomart
  • Newmarket Station ($35 million): a landmark rail station providing access to the Newmarket shopping centre and other amenities. Five tracks and improved facilities will reduce congestion
  • Avondale Station ($1.5 million) rebuilding the existing rail station to modernise it
  • Grafton Station ($5 million)a new rail station, relocated from Boston Road, to provide improved access to Auckland Hospital and surrounding areas. The station will also feature improved access to the surrounding road network, including new bus facilities on the Central Connector
  • Kingsland Station ($6 million): an upgrade to better service the Rugby World Cup and the refurbished Eden Park, including platform extensions and improved pedestrian facilities to cater for peak demand times.
  • the Northern Busway extension designation ($76 million): investigations into extending the successful Northern Busway from Constellation Drive to Orewa. In the nine months to March 2009 more than 43.6 million public transport trips were completed – the highest for any comparable period since 1985. Extending the busway will encourage this upward trend
  • a number of bus priority measures and park and ride facilities throughout the region. Bus priority components are also highly integrated into the AMETI and Flat Bush developments
  • the Central Connector ($46 million): completing bus lanes and bus priority measures between Newmarket and the Auckland CBD – part of ARTA’s Quality Transit Network. This will enable faster and more reliable trip times, create better amenities for passengers and improve cycle and pedestrian facilities

It’s good news for motorists.

It means within three years

  • Victoria Park – project complete.
  • Western Ring Route – construction started on the first stage of Waterview and the Lincoln Rd interchange.
  • Waikato Expressway – work on the Te Rapa bypass underway this year, and construction on the Rangiriri and Ngurawhaia sections within 3 years.
  • Tauranga Eastern Motorway – construction started on the Tauranga Eastern Link (if tolling is approved)
  • Christchurch Southern Motorway – construction.
  • Design work continues on the Levin to Wellington corridor as does development work on the Puhoi to Wellsford section of State Highway 1.

Now if only we could get such lightning action for rail!




  1. William M says:

    Why do I feel like there’s a catch? Something has to give?

  2. jarbury says:

    Yup there’s a catch. From my calculations the money given to “public transport infrastructure” is a $260 million cut over three years when compared to the amount that would be allocated to PT infrastructure under a continuation of the 2008/2009 NLTP.

    That might have something to do with rail being removed from the NLTP, although I’m not sure.

    More here:

  3. James says:

    I’m glad that money has been finally allocated to integrated ticketing.

    A lot of those projects looked pretty uncertain for a while with the minister dodging making definite statements on any of them.

    So today’s result seems to be a good step.

  4. Sam F says:

    “planning for electrification”

    The p-word rather scares me. After all the rigmarole, electrification is actually going to *happen*, isn’t it?


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