Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Bus, Light Rail, Heavy Rail…What Will It Be?

28 November 2000


BUS, LIGHT RAIL, HEAVY RAIL…WHAT WILL IT BE?

Buses, light rail and conventional heavy rail are on Auckland City Council’s short list of technologies to be considered for the rapid transit network planned for the region.

Buses and light rail have been short-listed for a new rapid transit corridor proposed between downtown Auckland and Boston Road in Mt Eden, via Queen Street, Wellesley Street and the Grafton hospital site. Light rail and conventional heavy rail are on Council’s short-list for the existing rail corridors.

The short listed options include a number of variations, for example:

Buses could include conventional buses, or newly developed “hybrid” buses that look similar to light rail.

Conventional heavy rail could include commuter rail (carriages hauled by a locomotive, Diesel or Electric Multiple Units (self-powered vehicles as operate now in Auckland), or lightweight railcars.

Light rail refers to steel wheeled vehicles able to operate in a rail corridor and on tracks on the streets.

Not on the short list are systems such as monorail, metro rail (underground), automated guideway transit and personal rapid transit. These have been ruled out as unrealistic for Auckland because they are either unproven, would cost too much, would not carry sufficient people or would take a very long time to implement.

The technologies short-listed will go forward for detailed study as part of a regional process to select what will run on the rapid transit network. Other Auckland councils will also put forward their preferences over the next week or so.

The aim is for the region’s Councils to make a final decision by April next year.

Chairwoman of the Auckland City’s Transport and Roading Committee, Councillor Catherine Harland, says that next to gaining access to the rail corridors, decisions on what transport systems will operate on the rapid transit system are the most important the region will make.


MORE

PAGE 2

“Mode – more than any other aspect of rapid transit – will influence people’s decisions about how they will travel and where they will live, work, shop and go for entertainment in the next 70 years. We must make a decision and on get with it.”

Council considered whether buses should be further investigated as an option for using the western rail line and rejected this.

“Buses are not legally permitted on the corridor by the existing designation or the lease that Tranz Rail holds with New Zealand Railways Corporation,” says Cr Harland. “Changing the designation would involve at least two to three years of a public process under the Resource Management Act. It would affect many people with homes or businesses along the route and there would be no guarantee that at the end of the process that buses would be permitted to run in the corridor.”

In the 1980s there were three separate occasions when the Auckland Regional Authority proposed replacing rail services with buses. One proposal was to replace rail on the North Island Main Trunk Line with buses operating on-street, another was to replace rail with buses west of Henderson and a third was the Comprehensive Transport Study published in August 1988 where the Western and Southern rail corridors were to be converted to a busway.

“On all occasions the hostile community reaction resulted in these initiatives being dropped so learning from our past, I would conclude that it is extremely likely that changing the rail designation would encounter considerable opposition.” says Cr Harland. “Rodney residents have already presented Councils with concerned petitions about preserving rail services to Helensville and beyond, so years would be wasted with no improvements on the ground.”

“Further buses are not compatible with conventional rail or freight trains and converting the rail corridors to allow both operations would be complex and have significant impacts on adjacent land uses. I am not aware of any city in the world that has replaced an operating passenger rail service with a busway along the same corridor and no cities exist where a busway and freight rail share the same space.”

Cr Harland says, “Strategically it makes no sense to move away from rail. It is the technology that ultimately has the highest people carrying capacity so once major public investment occurred in converting to a busway it would be extremely difficult to convert back to rail in the future.”

ENDS

For more information contact

Cr Catherine Harland
Ph 636 8464

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election