Auckland Transport (AT) has opened up its Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project to community feedback.
The project team is to host a number of public engagement sessions in November and December 2018, to reportedly “improve and refine” plans for the proposed project. Members of the public can also provide feedback to AT via online channels.
Part of the Southwest Gateway program – a partnership between AT, NZ Transport Agency and the Auckland Airport – the first stage of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project involves upgrading Puhinui Station to an interchange that connects rail services with new frequent bus services to the Airport and Manukau.
These services will run on new bus priority lanes, which will be accompanied by improved walking and cycling facilities. Partly funded by the Regional Fuel Tax, the this first stage of the project is expected to be completed by early 2021.
The second stage of the project is creating a new Rapid Transit Network (RTN) from Botany to the airport via Manukau and the Puhinui interchange.
The Southwest Gateway program will also include 20Connect, a state highway project led by NZ Transport Agency to improve access to and from the airport and surrounding area on the state highway network, and long-term precinct developments at Auckland airport that improve public transport and pedestrian and cycle access.
Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison said the Southwest Gateway program would provide change the way people travel around southwest and southeast Auckland.
“By working with our project partners NZTA and the Auckland Airport, Auckland Transport is investing in a number of new public transport options to provide improved travel choices and enhanced accessibility to the airport, and its surrounding areas,” Ellison said.
“By upgrading public transport in southern and eastern locations, Aucklanders and visitors will have better travel times and more reliability.”
NZ Transport Agency’s chief executive Fergus Gammie said the program would work alongside other initiatives including Light Rail and the City Rail Link to ensure the delivery of a more connected transport network in the city.
“In the short-term, we are upgrading Puhinui Station to provide a quality transport interchange that enables seamless connections between bus and heavy rail and will then enable people to connect with a modern bus service to take them right to the airport terminal,” Gammie said.