Waterfront Trams: Will Money Be Found In Time?


The plan for the waterfront trams is moving forward but there’s no certainty that the funding will be found, before the Auckland Transport agency takes over in November. And it needs to be sorted by then, to have any chance of happening.

ARC Chair, Mike Lee, who has been enthusiastic about the idea, has written for it to be progressed in the ARC annual plan and tells me he has “demanded we continue to progress it.”

But after the Queens Wharf cruise ship terminal saga, one can only hope that there will be a way found to get the millions needed to make it happen. One estimate for the cost is $30m, which includes six old Melbourne trams, but some suggest it could be done cheaper  and there is also a council faction that think buses are all you need.

Trams around the waterfront would be.. romantic

Both Motat and the CBT have pushed for the trams to roll through from Britomart to the Tank Farm (now known as Wynyard Quarter), as being an appealing attraction to both those who live there and tourists.

The suggestions have been for a route starting in Daldy and Jellicoe Sts, then along Guant and Halsey Sts and later around the southern and eastern stages of the viaduct.

The idea is for trams every 20 minutes , using passing loops on a single track around the Tank Farm and duplicate tracks around Quay St and Britomart.

We could be like Christchurch |Photo: Willuknight

Those developing the Wynyard Quarter development have said the hope  is for 70% of transport needs to be met by public transport, and that that will include trams running along the waterfront and across the permanent Te Wero Bridge.

Everyone loves the MOTAT trams

The proposed $47.3 million Te Wero bridge won’t be built until 2016.

Waterfront trams are too good an opportunity to miss. Let’s not screw this one up.

ALSO: Plans for Wynyard Quarter

ASB building kicks off Tank Farm revival




  1. rtc says:

    ARC minutes note funding is the main stumbling block at the moment - let’s hope they get the money and get this started before they disappear!

  2. rtc says:

    It should be noted that if such a system is at all like ChCh’s then it will not help at all in making 70% of trips in the quarter being by PT - ChCh’s trams are expensive for starters and were never intended to integrate with the general PT system.

  3. Nick R says:

    Single track loop with one tram every twenty minutes will not allow for 70% of trips by public transport!

  4. Luke says:

    For this to be successful it cant just be about tourist trams.
    This has to be about shifting people between britomart and the tank farm.
    I worry that if it does go ahead, it will be on the cheap so, it will not be future proofed to ensure it can evolved into a mass transit link.

  5. curtissd says:

    Be so good if the bridge was already there…, get trams running back and forth over the bridge from Jellicoe Street to Britomart with a stop at the Martime Museum. And more frequent than every 20 minutes, it needs to be every 10 minutes at maximum. The tram could then be expanded to form a loop as previously mentioned. The Wynyard Quarter could be such an amazing part of the city if done right.

  6. kel says:

    I think trams wouldn’t suit Auckland at all. Trams should be kept in Christchurch and Melbourne where they suit the local feel of the city and have a specialness about them. They’d look out of place in Auckland because Auckland is a city that’s definitely modernizing and advancing - new train stations, under ground metro, motorways, bridges etc. It’s obvious Auckland doesn’t know what it wants to be yet (as compared with Wellington and Christchurch), but heading back into the old days with old style trams running down streets is going to distort it’s current direction and make it look like a ghastly circus.

    Also one tram every 20 minutes is NEVER going to entice people to use them. Who’s going to stand on the street for that long and wait for a slow old tram? The tracks won’t be very long and in 20 minutes you could just walk to wherever you’re going.

    I’m very much positive about Auckland’s current developments and future proposals, but I’m very worried about this one. Curious to know if anyone agrees or if anyone can prove me wrong…

  7. Willuknight says:

    I remember being a kid in Auckland and walking along the railway lines on Quay St. Trams definately do have place in Auckland, look simply at Motat. I have to admit though, it does seem that Auckland does not seem to have any idea what exactly it wants. There are so many projects going on, and it seems like most of them are being halfarsedly.

  8. max says:

    Trams don’t fit Auckland because they aren’t MODERN enough?


    Well, maybe heritage trams won’t, but Mike Lee is only advocating for them because that is the only way he can see any chance of getting them at all.


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