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21st century public transport for Auckland


JOINT MEDIA RELEASE:
Auckland Regional Council
Auckland Regional Transport Authority
17 May 2007

21st century public transport for Auckland

Today’s budget begins a new era for Auckland by providing secure and ongoing funding to modernise the region’s public transport services.

The Government has given the green light to electrify commuter rail and to increase train, bus and ferry services across the region, putting Auckland on target to ease economic constraints caused by congestion.

ARC chairman Michael Lee said the package represented the most significant transport development since the opening of the harbour bridge. The ability to double public transport patronage on fast, frequent and reliable services within a decade was fundamental to, not optional for, the region’s success.

“Today’s decision to electrify Auckland rail is a landmark date for the region. The Government has recognised that fast, clean, quiet electric trains are a necessary component of a modern public transport system. It’s all on from here – we are rebuilding the public transport network.

“Forty years ago Auckland missed the chance to build ‘Robbie’s Rapid Rail’. In 1976 the Muldoon government vetoed the Auckland Regional Authority’s plans to build a modern rail network. Aucklanders have been paying for those missed opportunities ever since. This Government is prepared to say, ‘Yes’. It’s a great day for Auckland and a turning point in the city’s development,” Mr Lee said.

The budget proposal enables a regional fuel tax of up to 10 cents a litre. Of this, up to 5 cents will be available for the Auckland Regional Council to use for public transport.

The tax is likely to be phased in, and will be collected by Land Transport New Zealand.

ARC chairman Michael Lee said the regional council’s priority to support public transport. Additional revenue from a fuel tax of five cents a litre allowed the Auckland Regional Transport Authority to complete its strategic programme.

Mr Lee thanked the Government for its funding initiatives. “We have at last been given the tools. Now let’s get on with the job.”

Auckland Regional Transport Authority Chairman Mark Ford said ARTA is well positioned to move ahead quickly now that the financial impediments have been removed.

"The challenge we now have is to get better and more frequent services, especially at peak times, that commuters know are reliable. We're in a ‘can do’ mode. We're moving from years of planning to implementation of more convenient services that the public can rely on.

“Electrification is an enormous project, and we will work closely with government agencies to meet the public’s expectation that it is delivered on time and within budget,” Mr Ford said.

Regional Land Transport Committee chairman Joel Cayford said the forward-thinking budget decisions allowed Auckland to implement the public transport measures called for in the region’s 10 year transport strategy, which had the backing of the region’s seven local councils.

“The strategy calls for a significant increase in public transport across Auckland. Not as an end in itself, but as a tool to shape the future direction of Auckland’s development, to reduce transport energy costs and to provide transport choice.

“The Auckland Regional Transport Authority can now translate this strategy into action. Will this persuade Aucklanders to get out of their cars? Internationally the answer is yes - if public transport is faster than a car, if it’s comfortable and safe, if it takes people where they want to go reliably. Then they will use it.

"The start-up services of the Northern Busway are a great example. This sort of service is now achievable on the region’s train services.

“Today’s decisions herald the end of car dominated town centres and land hungry sprawl into green fields. They will enable Auckland to take positive steps toward being a better place to live, work and play. They mean Auckland’s transport systems and land use patterns can now develop in a modern, efficient, more people-friendly manner,” Mr Cayford said.

Attached: Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s Plan of Action

Media inquiries

ARC: Deborah Diaz, communications adviser, 021 643 602
ARTA: Sharon Hunter, communications manager 09-379-4422 ext: 9074 or 021 545 230

Auckland Regional Transport Authority: Programme of Action 2007-2016

2007-2010
Train
• Electrification Programme begins from today, May 2007
• Proposals for new stations at Parnell and Park Rd are in development
• Sylvia Park station (funded by Kiwi Income Property Trust) completed June 2007
• Trains running every 15 minutes at peak times from Henderson to Britomart from July 2007
• Papakura station upgrade completed July 2007
• Mt Eden station upgrade completed September 2007
• Sturges Rd station upgrade completed January 2008
• Second platform at Ranui station completed January 2008
• Second platform at Swanson station completed January 2008
• Trains running every 15 minutes at peak times from Swanson to Britomart from March 2008
• Avondale station upgrade completed October 2008
• New Lynn station redevelopment completed June 2009
• Newmarket station redevelopment completed July 2009
• Re-opening of the Onehunga line for commuter services by December 2009
• Trains running every 10 minutes at peak on the western line from July 2010
• ONTRACK projects in this period include completion of western line double tracking, the redevelopment of the Newmarket rail junction, construction of the Manukau spur line, re-opening of the Onehunga line and the construction of electrification overhead wiring and power-supplies.
Bus
• Strengthen services in Mt Wellington, catering for new quarry development, in August 2007
• Opening of Northern Busway with additional bus services from February 2008
• This includes new stations at Sunnynook, Akoranga and Smales Farm by February 2008
• Services to airport from Manukau City, supported by train connections, from August 2008
• Improved services to Flat Bush, Highbrook, Albany and Mt Wellington from August 2008
• Increased services to Orewa and Whangaparoa from August 2008
• Increased local services on the North Shore, connecting to the Busway, from August 2008
• More cross-town services throughout the region from November 2008


• Bus services direct to the airport from Auckland cbd, prior to Rugby World Cup, from July 2009
• Improve western services and connections with trains from July 2009
• Improve southern and eastern services and connections with trains from November 2009
• Trialling rural bus service improvements from March 2009
• More bus services to Hobsonville from July 2010
Ferry
• Improvements to passenger waiting facilities at Half Moon Bay in 2007
• More frequent services to Pine Harbour from July 2008
• More frequent services to West Harbour from November 2008
• More frequent services to Devonport, Bayswater, Birkenhead from November 2009
• Additional services to Half Moon Bay from March 2009
• Ferry wharf and associated services for Beach Haven from November 2009
• Ferry services from Hobsonville from March 2010
Ticketing
• Interim paper-based ticket for North Shore bus services by February 2008
• A single ticket for bus, train and ferry services by November 2010
Customer Information
• Real time public transport information available across the region by 2010
2010 - 2016
Train
• Electric train services commence when ONTRACK has electrified the rail network, no later than 2013
• Later evening train services during the week - extended to 11pm by July 2011
• Ten minute peak services to Manukau City by July 2011
• Upgrade stations at Remuera, Greenlane, Ellerslie, Penrose, Otahuhu, Mt Albert, Te Mahia. Takanini, Waitakere and Pukekohe by 2013
• Proposed Drury and Kumeu station upgrades, still in development, completed 2012 to 2014
• Increased service frequencies to Pukekohe from 2013
• Commuter services for Kumeu, with possible extentions to Helensville, from 2013


Bus
• Increase frequencies on rapid transit, feeder and local services from August 2011
• More services to and from Silverdale from March 2011
• Improvements to rural services from March 2011
• More local services to and from Takanini from November 2011
Ferry
• Ferry wharf and associated services for Te Atatu March 2016

ends

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