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AMETI busway up for the chop?

One of the most positive transport stories in Auckland over the last number of years has been the changes that have occurred to the AMETI project. The project was originally conceived following the demise of the eastern motorway proposal. It was intended to instead make improvements to the local roading network and for some time remained extremely roads focused. In the last few years however it started to transform and the current project seems almost light years away from what it started out as. A key feature of this transformation is the development of a busway that is intended to eventually extend from Panmure Train Station, all the way to Botany. Here is what is proposed:

You can see more about the proposal here.

So it is extremely disappointing to see that due to funding constraints, it is the busway that looks first set for the chop:

The future of a new 7km busway in Auckland, hoped to relieve some of the country’s most congested roads, is in jeopardy due to significant funding constraints.

The announcement came yesterday morning as the Transport Committee of the Auckland Council discussed the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI).

The South Eastern Busway, which was due to begin no earlier than 2015, was expected to carry 5.5 million passengers a year when completed and cost about $1.5 billion.

Auckland Transport Major Projects Manager Rick Walden told the committee the project was “at risk because of an inability to be able to commit funding to it”.

“Unfortunately we won’t be able to start work on it until we are able to commit to the construction of the project,” he said.

Walden said the second stage from Pakuranga to Botany was now unlikely to start for more than a decade.

I wonder if these funding pressures are due to recent changes to the to the NLTP in which funding for local roads and PT infrastructure is being cut to help finance a couple of motorways out in the countryside. It is probably also a victim of our flawed evaluation models which don’t count PT users as important as car drivers. As I mentioned, it is extremely disappointing to see this happen as we will probably see all of the roading parts of the project still occur. Even if the roads are also scaled back, they might be in a way that makes it much more difficult and expensive to build the busway in the future so I really hope we find a way to get this built right the first time as the eastern suburbs have probably the worst autodependence in all of Auckland due to a pretty much complete lack of quality alternative options.

82 comments to AMETI busway up for the chop?

  • Malcolm

    The RONS strike again….

  • Or we could trash the CRL and build the busway (although on a route like that I’d still prefer to see trains)

    • Peter M

      Yeah and feed thousands of people onto the rail network that can’t run more than one train every 10 minutes. Hope that platform at Panmure is wide enough for them all to wait on for half an hour before a train comes along that they can finally fit on.

      • As much as you might wish that the CRL changes the capacity of the Eastern Line – it doesn’t. So you’re either still stuffed with it going in, or there is no issue. Either way you’ve got no argument.

        • Peter M

          CRL enables a doubling of train frequency across the network. Including the eastern line.

          • Cool – keeps being said, now draw the path those extra trains are going to take to double the capacity of the eastern line and you’ll see that you’re full of it.

            It doesn’t make eastern line a loop nor add any capacity to the lines that run that direction.

          • Peter M

            East to Onehunga. West to south. Both via the CRL tunnel. Both operating at 12 tph each way (or near it).

          • conan

            Karl, read here

            http://transportblog.co.nz/city-rail-link/crl-benefits/increasing-rail-capacity/

            rather than putting up silly arguments with no factual basis.

            There’s even a handy link at the top of the page about the CRL so people can educate themselves on the project before making uninformed comments.

            The eastern line constraint, like the rest of the system, is Britomart’s 20 trains an hour. And as Peter points out the Eastern line is already a loop. And is capable of a train each way every 3-4mins technically.

            With a Britomart as a through station you can run higher frequencies on all lines with no additional track infrastructure.

        • Bryce

          Karl, I suggest you have a read of this. Go straight to page 28 if you don’t feel like reading estimates of PT use and how the whole region is going to change.

          http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/improving-transport/city-rail-link/Documents/crl-business-case-report.pdf

        • Here is an image for you with a possible future routing pattern showing what kind of frequencies that could be achieved with the CRL

          • Thank you all for abusing me while totally proving my point.
            As per the links provided above (on page 28) the CURRENT capacity of the waterfront line is 12 tph.
            As per Matts diagram above the FUTURE capacity of the waterfront line is (wait for it) 12 tph

            Wow look at that extra 0 trains per hour really unlocking the public transport nightmare.

            With friends like you PT in Auckland is f*cked – thanks guys.

          • Karl – Yes the line has capacity for 12 tph at the moment but it is limited to only having 6 tph because the rest wouldn’t get into Britomart. The point of the CRL is that it unlocks that available and unable to be used capacity out east, same as it does for all of the lines.

          • Except that is being solved by the Electrification Signalling System – not the CRL.
            Refer docs as provided previously.

          • No the new signalling system gives the capacity on the lines but doesn’t increase the capacity of Britomart which is the constraint only has enough space for 20 tph which has to be shared across all of the lines. The post electrification plan at peak is 6tph on East, West and South with 2 tph on Onehunga. If there was more space available it would be used up.

          • Svartmetall

            This is possibly a stupid question, but can the Onehunga line really support 12tph without double tracking or is the diagram above taking into account more than simply the CRL being constructed?

          • Bryce

            I suggest you go back and read the posts Karl. The only person dishing out abuse has been you. The rest were people trying to give you information on how the current network is constrained and how it will look post CRL. If that is abuse then so be it.

          • Bryce

            Yes, the capacity of the Eastern Line is 12 tph however, they will be using the Britomart end of the line to enable capacity for the Southern and Western lines, therefore reducing actual capacity of the Eastern Line. If they use the full 12 tph on the Eastern Line then that leaves 8 tph into Britomart for the rest of the network. This is about unblocking the whole network, not just using the Eastern Line.

          • Svartmetall – Not in its current state but the CRL costs of $2.4b includes double tracking the line.

          • Steve

            How are there 48tph through the CRL tunnel? Shouldn’t it be 12 tph (green line) + 12tph (red line) = 24tph, same as the section from Newmarket to Penrose?

          • Yes it would be 24 per direction, this is an old map and I was just trying to find one that showed the pattern rather than the numbers

          • Yes not probably the best pattern and a confusing map because it seems to be counting both directions for the CRL but only northbound on the Southern Line main section…. ?

          • I think Karl has misunderstood the effect of the CRL as it is Britomart that is the bottleneck on capacity, not the lines.

            However, Karl’s point does raise again a discussion we have had before about possibly having the line from Henderson to Manakau/Onehunga/Papkura go straight through Newmarket as a through line.

            You then have a separate train shuttling back and forth between Newmarket and Britomart (via the new Parnell station).

            What I see that doing is getting rid of the Britomart bottleneck of 20 trains per hour on the Henderson to Manakau/Onehunga/Papkura. You could run 12 tph on that line no problems especially once electrification and double tracking is complete.

            You could then have 8 tph on the Eastern line from Britomart to Westfield via Glen Innes. That would allow 12tph to run from Newmarket to Britomart.

            This is NOT a proposal to scupper the CRL. But if we could get the numbers looking dangerously/embarrassingly (from the Brownlee/Joyce POV) good for PT it would make the CRL case even stronger.

            I think the Northern Busway has already dented the anti-PT rhetoric and if this configuration was successful, it would prove the “build it and they will come” philosophy of Auckland PT. Also it would show that the train is not just for people going into the CBD. I could live in Ellerslie and work in Kingsland no problem with a 20 min train journey.

            The beauty is that zero extra dollars are needed (I think) from the Luddites in Wellington. It is just a matter of a (I imagine massive) rejigging of the timetables. Maybe some works at Newmarket to allow a smooth flow through from the Western line to the Southern line?

            Please feel welcome to shoot this down, I am just a lowly lawyer not a transport engineer, so just an idea. Obviously changing trains at Newmarket would be a pain but if there is a 12tph service between Newmarket and Britomart, it wouldnt stop me making my normal commute to Britomart from Ellerslie, especially if the trade off is 18tph (possible???) from Ellerslie to Newmarket.

          • goosoid – I can definitely understand the reasoning and do support the transferring model but I don’t think it necessarily the best option to do when the vast majority of passengers on both the southern and western lines are going to Britomart as their destination. It wouldn’t be such an issue if we had a more grid like network like in the Munich post but then that’s what the CRL is about.

            BTW I’m not a Transport Engineer either.

          • Matt L – sure I understand your point. I guess having just come back from Europe in the last year, I find the frequency the most infuriating part of the current system. I often had to change trains in European cities to get to my destination and it didnt greatly worry me. Turning up to a station to find the next train is in 30mins however is unacceptable in a modern city. Even in Ellerslie the frequency is woeful on weekdays outside of peak times (and SO much worse on the weekends!!!!).

            This would solve the frequency problem at least.

            What about changing the routing of the train at peak times? Having some through trains to Britomart via Newmarket then but the rest of the time have the trains going straight through from West to South?

            When I think that the 20tph limit will remain on Britomart until (optimistically!!) 2020 when the CRL is finished, I am afraid that PT train momentum will be lost maybe by putting a busway/bus tunnel band aid on it. If fuel prices keep rising, who knows what the cost of the CRL will be by 2020. Of course, we will have a nice shiny (empty?) motorway to Wellesford. But for some reason I dont see that helping Aucklanders get to work any faster.

          • A variant on the map above works elegantly but probably requires more than the double tracking of the Onehunga line, ie its extension to the aiport where I figure it would loop between the terminals.

            This is quite a ‘loopy’ service pattern where Southern Line trains enter the CRL either via Grafton or Newmarket, and return the way they came. Remember that Aotea, the most important station is exactly equidistant either way from Newmarket. Absolutely requires a full junction at the southern end of the CRL. No ‘east/west interchange’ station required at Dom Rd. Western and Eastern Line services run through to form one ‘line’ between Man City and Swanson.

            12 tph on the Western/Eastern to Man City via CRL, Britomart and GI.
            12 tph on the Southern Line through the City Parnell, Briotmart, Aotea, K’Rd, Newton, Grafton Newmarket, back to Papkura
            12 tph from Airport Onehunga Grafton etc clockwise and return.

            3 branded ‘lines’, of course actually services on a shared network. East/West, Southern+City, and Airport.

            The CRL and two sections of the Southern line get 24 tph in each direction a train every 2.5 mins! A lot of service on the those southern line sections, but that is unavoidable in order to serve the rest of the network, and a great boon for those using those stations. Everywhere else gets 12 tph; one every 5 mins. Including the Eastern Line, the Western, Parnell and Grafton, south of Manukau City, and the Airport Line.

            A pattern to build up to if it is too many for early demand.

            Ultimately this pattern is all set up for the Southern Line to connect through ‘The Cross’ [Parnell-Aotea-Wynyard and across the harbour to Akoranga for connection with the busway at an interchange station] scheme. Which would then free the CRL for higher capacity on the Western/Eastern and which ever of the Southern services doesn’t use that new route. Newmarket would then be the capacity inhibitor.

            With regard to before the CRL but with the EMUs I suggested a direct Hendo-Man City ‘line’. And running the Swanson-Britomart services skipping Newmarket. Commenter Andrew drew this elegant version:

            6 Green
            6 Red
            6 Yellow
            4 Orange
            2 Blue

            20 tph at Britomart, 12 Newmarket, 10 Man City, 16 Otahuhu, Parnell 14

            Of course it would be good to see the AMETI busway on there as well for the full RTN network but will we?

          • So basically the CRL argument relies on the argument that everyone is going to the CBD so we can’t have trains not going via Britomart (otherwise we have services going direct Western-South as suggested above and East-South without stopping at Britomart); but that stopping at Britomart isn’t required for the CRL either because it’s moving the CBD to Aotea.

          • Karl – I think to have a PT system that excluded the CBD would be considered pretty backward. I can imagine Danish and Dutch city planners just quietly sobbing into their hands. What I am proposing is only for the sake of getting demand up to show that Aucklanders do want to use PT if it is good reliable and frequent, despite what Joyce/Brownlee may have heard from Ken Shirley and the Road Transport Forum.

            It isnt that the CBD will move to Aotea but it will be a very important station. To have only one CBD station is just crazy. Frankly, right now, Auckland isnt a city. It is a collection of country towns revolving loosely around a CBD. We need a real city if we want to take this country forward.

          • conan

            Karl, did you take the time to read the links above? Britomart remains as a station for the CRL and all trains are likely to go there. Aotea is likely to be the busiest station by passenger volume. Pretty sure the CBD will remain unmoved through all this.

          • Karl it is increasingly difficult to understand your argument. Currently the network is very Britomart focused, the CRL will turn it from being a terminus based in and out system to a through routing system. Britomart will still be a very important destination but is likely to be second in sheer numbers to Aotea, but this is in the context of both places attracting many more users than just Britomart does now. And by turning Briotmart into a through station we instantly double the number of trains that can use its eastern portal as well as connecting east to west and south to west. This in turn enables a far higher frequency on all other parts of the network than is possible before the CRL is built. So the eastern for example can go from 6 tph to 12. And yes the CBD is the most important destination because that’s where higher volumes of people want to go, but remember those people come from all over the city to go there so to say it is only about the CBD is to only look at half of the journey. Also the CRL will open up the system for many new cross town journeys that don’t begin or end in the CBD, say like someone going from Meadowbank to Eden Park, or GI to Henderson, or Sylvia Park to New Lynn. Also both Britomart and Aotea are in the CBD so its not about moving the CBD anywhere, but it does offer additional city destinations for greater convenience and volume. Is that clear?

          • Conan – did you? I spent a lot of time working through it, hoping to find something to prove me wrong. However there is nothing that supports the concept that Britomart after the CRL will be able to support more than its current 21 tph. In fact it would imply the extra tph above 21 will pass straight through without stopping.

            Which is something we could do right now by bypassing Britomart altogether – the exception being the CrL would allow a stop somewhere other than Britomart in the CBD (classifying Nmarket and Parnell as not being CBD stops)

          • Goosoid – do you consider Sydney backward for having a number of its major lines excluding Central station? More importantly is it backward for not having Central actually in the CBD?

          • Mr Anderson

            The CRL not only fixes the Britomart problem, but also the Newmarket problem to a much greater extent by removing the reversing manoeuvre. I realise that the track diagram in Patrick’s post does the same, but it also requires us to run an absolutely huge number of trains on the Penrose to Newmarket section of track – a part of the system with relatively low demand.

            In the most simple sense, the CRL has three big benefits:
            - It doubles the capacity of the whole rail network, allowing far more trains to run around the system without pulling trains away from the city centre.
            - It vastly improves rail access to the whole city centre
            - It vastly reduces rail travel times to the city centre from the west

            There are ways to squeeze a bit more capacity out of the rail system, as per Patrick’s diagram above, but there really aren’t ways of achieving the other two without building the CRL. And remember that the CRL is not just about solving rail capacity problems, it’s about solving a huge future problem of a general lack of transport capacity throughout Auckland. The CRL allows rail to become the backbone of a transport system with far more capacity than what we have now. Half-baked solutions don’t achieve that.

            It’s a good debate to have though – although I wish Karl was a bit less offensive in his remarks.

          • Yes Mr A, that running pattern above is in no way instead of the CRL, it doesn’t have a fraction of the advantages of it, but rather is a way to get the best out of the half-pie network we have leading up to the CRL. A way of building up to the CRL.

            Regards to the frequency on the Penrose north section of the southern line above, of course some red line trains could use the Eastern Line, especially if AMETI were fully built and therefore Panmure took of as an interchange station there could well be the need. Otherwise under this model a highish frequency is required at Newmarket as there will be a portion of transferrers from and to the ‘Crosstown’ line.

            Note it looks like there will be a new Uni Campus at the old Lion Brewery, between the Newmarket and Grafton Stations [especially close to Grafton] so yet another high PT using generator on this route.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10832276

          • Karl – Yes the capacity of Britomart is limited at around ~20 tph because any train that enters needs to exit again so takes up another slot in the tunnel. With the CRL the routes can be linked together so while the tunnel itself can still only handle a similar number of movements per track, it doubles the frequency available as the trains are heading on through

          • Bryce

            Karl. Taken from the business case document I linked. Note: 30 to 60 services per hour.

            “The operational evaluation indicates that, with base level signalling, 15 trains per hour in each direction could operate through the Rail Link, increasing to 30 trains per hour with enhanced signalling. This provides for between 30 and 60 services per hour through the CBD stations. This compares with a maximum of 21 trains per hour currently able to access Britomart. The CBD Rail Link provides significant capacity to move passengers – between 23,100 and 46,200 depending upon the changes to signalling.”

          • Bryce – correct except that the excerpt would seem to indicate that is the case for movements “through” the stations – not for stopping at all the stations. It also doesn’t indicate at all that this includes stopping at Britomart as one of the “CBD stations”

            Matt – the doc would indicate that this is due to the platforms – not the tunnel. Page 28:
            KiwiRail has estimated that the maximum practical number of trains which will then be able to
            be operated into Britomart is around 21 trains per hour (tph), comprised of 9 tph from Newmarket
            and 12 tph via the waterfront line from Glen Innes. This imbalance in train paths results in there
            being only two platforms at Britomart to service trains from Newmarket compared to three for trains
            from Glen Innes.

          • Mr Anderson – apologies for the comment at 10:36; it was more abrasive than warranted.
            However your comment would seem to indicate there was more than this that you have taken objection to?

          • Mr Anderson raises the perfect point that I’m in agreement with:
            In the most simple sense, the CRL has two main benefits:
            - It improves rail access to the whole city centre
            - It reduces rail travel times to the city centre from the west

            Note I’ve cut the increase in capacity to the network as per his admission that there are other ways to achieve this.
            In terms of the other 2 I still continue to argue that these shouldn’t outweigh the benefits of other routes.
            Is a reduction in travel time to the CBD from out West really a better goal than increased reach (EG to out east where there is sod all PT)?
            Is an increased coverage of the CBD really a better goal than increased reach (EG to out east where there is sod all PT)?

            or increased coverage towards the Airport. Or a busway across the estuary…?

            My issue isn’t the building of the CRL per se – but building it before all the other things that I think are higher priorities with far lower cost profiles.

            And shouldn’t something like connecting Manukau to Pakuranga while there is vaguely some free land be considered? The cost of that route is only going to massively escalate rapidly – where one would argue the CRL land cost has already been raised. Elsewhere on this blog the transformational effect of the harbour bridge was mentioned and the reasons as to why this was. Shouldn’t we be aiming for somewhat the same with our PT?

            I’d point out that I’m personally not affected nor benefited by any of the options that I’m presenting as my most favoured; I’d be interested in others also declaring their standpoint when advocating the CRL.

          • Trains would stop at Britomart on the way through, not bypass it, most likely it is just a terminology thing.

            As for the practical number of trains, work has been going on since that document was written to improve things. Since then bi directional signalling has allowed trains exiting the station to use either track which helps things greatly and the turnouts have (or are this Christmas) been changed to give direct access for Newmarket trains to platform 3. Once a train is in the station, that platform is taken up so no other trains can use it until that same train leaves again, with the CRL that train leaves out the other end of the tunnel.

            As for Mr Anderson’s comment about capacity. He is referring to squeezing in a few extra trains here or there, i.e we might be able to get one more into Britomart or we could run a couple going west/south but the majority of the demand will remain to the CBD which is the one area we can’t do anything about without the CRL. Without that extra capacity we can’t add new train to the network to allow for any extensions like rail to the airport be successful. It is expensive but it is kind of like the the one key thing that is needed for other development to take place.

            I do agree that we should at least be buying land for routes while land is cheap but there is only so much money to go around and if we did all of that buy up we wouldn’t have the money to actually build anything.

            As for conflicts of interest. Many of the bloggers on here don’t use the network frequently as they live close to town so bus, I do use it and have stated many times that I would benefit from it as I live out west.

          • So every platform will unload and load a train every 5 minutes; and each line will service 30 trains per hour while maintaining 4 minutes distance between each. Wow colour me impressed.
            However I disagree there is anything in the doc that indicates all those trains are actually stopping at Britomart.

            Page 29:
            The current configuration of Britomart appears to provide adequate capacity into the CBD for rail passengers in the future; however, Britomarts position on the northern periphery of the CBD effectively limits the catchment for CBD rail journeys to those passengers travelling to destinations within 400-500m distance of Britomart.

            This would in fact indicate to me given that Britomart is actually seen to have sufficient capacity that this is all about getting rail coverage of more of the CBD.

            Except I really don’t see why so many households should be indebted to make your trip to work a few minutes faster. Transformational projects like rail to Pakuranga, a Botany link, Airport link, Harbour crossing fine – incremental improvement to existing coverage not really.

            (Apologies this post was way longer but lost on posting; and not typing in full again!)

          • “Without that extra capacity we can’t add new train to the network to allow for any extensions like rail to the airport be successful. It is expensive but it is kind of like the the one key thing that is needed for other development to take place”
            You raise this strawman again – but there is nothing in your reference doc that actually supports this assertion; it still all points to that only being accurate as a statement about trains to the CBD. It is shown explicitly that by routing some services around Britomart you can achieve most of the same capacity utilisation benefits.

            We need to start addressing some of the concerns raised by posters other than just me:
            Offpeak frequency
            West – South travel time (and vice versa)
            PT options to the East

            CRL is not required in any way for any of these; but instead cripples any chance of them occurring in our lifetime.

          • Ok Karl, so now you’re taking the piss, if you really don’t understand how the CRL increases capacity after reading the comments above you’re too thick to help. More likely you’re just concern trolling and have taken advantage of contributors fair intentions on this site. Bye for now.

            As for conflict of interest Ha! That’s funny. How exactly might we profit from advocating public transport? You’ll note there aren’t even ads on this site. Your cynicism is telling.

          • Mr Anderson

            OK let’s make this simple.

            Without the CRL we only have one rail entrance to the CBD – so we can get around 20 trains per hour into the city. With two rail entrances that doubles – so around 40 trains per hour. As there are now fewer conflicting movements (trains not having to reverse) we can probably squeeze a few more in. So the CRL doubles the capacity of the rail system in terms of access to the CBD.

            Now for some reason Karl thinks that the CBD is irrelevant, or completely separate from the rest of the network. It seems he’s suggesting that we can run 12 tph on all the lines as long as we don’t add anymore trains going into Britomart. The only real way to do that is to run more west to south trains – as shown in Patrick’s diagram. There’s a couple of big problems with this approach:

            1) It ignores the absolutely massive future problems with providing sufficient PT capacity for CBD bound trips. Radial bus services to the CBD will still need to be provided by the bucket load, eating up bus resource that could otherwise be redeployed to service parts of Auckland outside the rail catchment or for non-radial trips.
            2) There’s unlikely to be sufficient demand for so many trains on the rail network if half of them can’t actually access the CBD. Something like 60% of current trips on the rail network begin or end at Britomart – that would quite possibly increase with the CRL as more of the CBD would be within easy access of the rail network. This means we end up with a pretty inefficient rail network. With the CRL the whole of Auckland can leverage off the super-high rail frequency that is partly justified by CBD-bound trips and partly justified by crosstown trips.

            I’m starting to think that Karl is concern trolling too. What’s your point?

          • Sorry to disappoint – but not trolling; just look at the same figures and come to completely different interpretations.
            Case in point Mr A’s “Something like 60% of current trips on the rail network begin or end at Britomart”

            To Mr A this indicates that the CBD and PT traffic to it / through it is one of the most important goals. To me I’d say given the CBD centric orientation of the entire network, schedule and fare structure if only 60% of trips are going to / from Britomart then the rest of the network is even more critical.

            Picking on the fare structure for more elaboration – even though I use the trains two ways every work day its still cheaper (about 20%) for me to get 10 ride passes than a monthly; because it’s so highly CBD commuter centric.

            I’m also giving Mr A the benefit of the doubt that he meant journeys rather than trips – otherwise taking a journey centric view would make the CBD stop even more irrelevant.
            And that’s before the introduction of the Parnell station that would already function to pull a reasonable amount of that traffic (considering it’s site behind Carlaw park which was the most popular student parking site even prior to the Owen Glen Business buildings means you just lost about 60,000 CBD visitors from figures quoted elsewhere on this blog).

            The main thing that would seem to make my posts troubling to you is it highlights that the CRL is about the CBD and the arguments about capacity elssewhere on the network are a red herring because the CRL is only necessary if they transit the CBD. (Yes – some work would be required on the interchange point where the Southern and Eastern Lines meet because its not currently possible to bypass Britomart; but one would hope this is being addressed regardless, and would in my mind be orders of magnitude smaller than the CRL spend).

            I’m not denying that the CRL is likely to make sense at some point – I just don’t agree that it should be the top rail priority.

          • Bryce P

            Karl, are you suggesting having Parnell as a final stop for some trains?

          • Karl – Yes the CBD benefits the most from the CRL but it is due to the demand to it that will justify higher frequencies on the rest of the network which will have its own benefits e.g. it would be almost impossible to justify having higher frequencies on the other lines on their own but because that demand exists to the CBD the higher frequencies mean trips between other locations become more practical e.g. Henderson to New Lynn. If the whole purpose was about running as many trains as possible then yes we could do other things but there is no point doing that unless the demand exists or we will be wasting our money. Adding any other trains to the network that avoided Britomart would require travelling through Newmarket and at the moment that junction is pretty much at capacity too due to western line trains having to turn around there (with the CRL this wouldn’t happen).

            On the Britomart stopping issue you mentioned earlier, the docs linked do also don’t mention stopping at any of the other stations on the network but it doesn’t mean they will skipped. You will have to take my word for it but I have seen some of the post CRL operational plans and they definitely include having all trains stop there.

            On Parnell, yes it will probably be popular but not excessively so. It is estimated to become the 5th busiest station on the network before the CRL is built. To put that in context, AT do an annual passenger count of boardings per day (not the most reliable way of doing it but its all we have for the time being). Based on the last one I saw (which was a while ago), Britomart had over 12,000 boardings but 5th busiest would put it at only around 1800 so there is quite a difference.

            Another thing to think about is the patronage impacts. By 2041 the rail network with the CRL is expected to be carrying about 45m trips per year which is about double what can be achieved without the tunnel. By comparison the AMETI busway is expected to be carrying 5.5m trips (the northern busway carries 5.9m per year now). That is a vastly different scale of impact to the overall system.

          • @Bryce P – Yes I’m suggesting that some trains could stop at Parnell – although Newmarket would be a more likely terminal stop; or just continue down the Southern.
            The key is just the recognition that if Britomart itself is the bottleneck for the network then it’s possible to unleash a bunch of the benefits currently attributed to “only” being possible with the CRL without it.
            Especially when you remember the introduction of the Parnell station.
            But it does require the discussion around how essential all trains going to the CBD station is.
            Which incidentally I’d argue it would be better to follow through on the closing of O’Connel Street etc to cars and the removal of on street carparking virtually everywhere in the CBD for bike/bus lanes to achieve a better CBD system at far lower cost than the CRL

          • @Matt L – Thank you for acknowledging that the discussion that I’m trying to start here is more about the importance of routing trains via the CBD, than actually being about the CRL being required for capacity realisation on the rest of the network. Once the positioning is accepted that the CRL is about the CBD with some ancillary benefits through the network rather than being about the rest of the network with ancillary benefits to the CBD then we can have a real debate.

            Agreed that the Newmarket station layout was a stuff up – primarily due to the same obsession with getting trains to go to Britomart – rather than having the option of an extended station ala Europe that just turned the train back around and relied on the North / South line to complete the trip directly.

            Given AT’s spectacular failure at being able to measure reliability through their network I really wouldn’t put much store in their passenger counts – which either way would double count West – East and East – South passengers at Britomart

            And as mentioned before when you have a schedule and fare structure that is optimised around getting people to Britomart is it any surprise that it dominates?

          • @Matt L – Also it would be good if the numbers being spooled out in support of the CRL from an “increased capacity” perspective were consistent and backed up by the docs put forward.
            It is repeatedly stated by commentators here that Britomart only supports 21 tph (accepted) so the CRL doubles that to 42 tph. Except the docs indicate the CRL itself only opens this up to 30 tph; and that a more advanced signalling infrastructure would take it to 60 tph. However not explained is the effects of the advanced signalling on the current Britomart setup (which would seemingly not be nil); and the addition of platform to increase the 21 tph to 24 tph without the CRL is also ignored (despite also forming part of the initial increase to 30 tph).

            So much obfuscation makes it impossible to believe any of the assertions made at face value – and to be frank if you can’t convince someone like me who is an avid supporter of trains and network expansion then there is a whole lot of work to be done to convince anyone outside the echo chamber.

  • Stu Donovan

    or we could vote for a new government? I might do that …

  • DanC

    Really? for F’s sake. The power people love building roads. They sold this project to us as a roading AND a public transport project. Now the roads all go but the public transport which I was welcoming with open arms as a vital link to catch the bus from Botany to the Panmure train station is being pulled. Why do we just get roads in this country. Petrol prices are so high and public transport is so slow. Currently it takes over an hour to take the bus from Sommerville to the CBD. (22 kilometres) It takes half that time using the car which costs so much to park and run / maintain. I’m angry.

  • This really bites it really really does especially with all this work going on at Panmure currently.

    I am going to look at something that I have kept on ice for 6 years now but if I am thinking what I am thinking – The Eastern Highway using Option 3.5 from the EASTDOR report is going to come back and bite us on the ass.

    BTW any one going to file an LGOIMA request to see where the money is gone?

  • conan

    $1.5 billion for a busway? I think Stuff maybe confusing the overall project cost with the extra cost for providing a proper busway as part of the overall project. That cost is around $200 million.

    • Peter M

      Good point. Most of AMETI’s cost is stupid stuff like duplicating the Pakuranga bridge so four lanes rather than two feed into to SH1 bottleneck.

      • While I would agree its crazy that AMETI starts from part way down mt Wellington highway at van dammes lagoon instead of actually connecting to Waipuna road, its actually about feeding into GI et al, not SH1.

        And while any new bridge should really have rail on it – if you think there isn’t a need for extra capacity across the estuary you obviously don’t travel that way often!

      • Peter M

        I am not talking about the Panmure phase. I am talking about distant future phases.

  • From reading this it looks like the first phase is unaffected, which includes the buslane across the Panmure bridge. Is that correct?

    • My understanding is that the first phase is just to the bridge

    • The diagram says first phase includes the bridge and busway… From the briefing we had I think phase 2 is more likely to be delayed as that was the phase that required the most property to be bought. From memory it was hundreds of houses.

      • I guess it depends on what they are defining as phases and what as stages (and we know how much the media mix things up). The busway was being done in two stages as the diagram above shows but within those each of those stages there are different phases. The new bridge is in phase 2 of the first stage and wouldn’t have been due to start until at least 2015 so it really depends on the definition. Will have to wait for the presentation to be put online till we know exactly what was said.

  • Stu Donovan

    I’m crying little tears about this busway being deferred while those outrageous RoNs zooming ahead. To anyone reading this who voted National at the last election can I just say: Please don’t vote for them again.

    Their transport policy is consigning NZ to the scrapheap of history.

    • Ingolfson

      Stu, it’s worse than this – if they actually defer the first stage of the busway as well, we will have a huge new road, and no public transport facilities out of this.

      If they are “only” deferring the works east of Panmure Bridge, it’s still worrying – and a sign of the RoNS times – but may still be “salavgeable” as the first stage of the busway & bridge would still be a key improvement.

  • Svartmetall

    As a former resident of Botany, I can quite categorically state that I am not surprised one bit by this. Public transport in the eastern suburbs has continued to be neglected. My family who still lives in the east, one of whom doesn’t drive, simply never goes to the CBD because it is too much trouble. This busway was going to change that, but instead it means the east will get an ugly flyover, more priorities for cars and no PT improvements.

    That said, it does just say “at risk” rather than axed completely. Wait and see game I guess…

  • AC

    This is really upsetting. The one thing this area desperately needs is better PT infrastructure. Unbelievable.

  • Ingolfson

    The Transport Committee minutes talk about there being a PowerPoint presentation given by Rick Walden (which sparked all this): See Point 5.2

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/committees/transportcommittee/meetings/transportcommitteemin20120905.pdf

    The presentation does not seem to be up yet (despite the minutes saying so), or can anyone find it?

  • Sharon Hunter

    Hello. No the Busway is not set for the chop. The journalist was corrected yesterday.
    Hello. The journalist was corrected yesterday. The facts are:The Busway is progressing. Auckland Transport was referring to the Pakuranga to Botany component of the Busway which is an item included in Auckland Council’s Alternative Funding Package. The Panmure to Pakuranga component of the Busway is progressing.
    Sharon

  • Stephen H

    Isn’t the Pakuranga to Botany component the most congested, with the largest passenger catchment? I’m astonished that stage 2 can be considered optional- it surely is the point of the the whole busway.When Flat Bush (another 40,000 people) comes online there will be HUGE pressures on Ti Rakau Drive. A rough analysis based on 2006 CAU data shows that 13,800 people live near stage one, but 47,200 live within a quick bus ride of stage 2. Building both parts is essential to unlocking the potential of all the good work that is going on in Panmure.

    • Ingolfson

      Thanks Sharon, good to hear.

      Stephen – tell the people who keep reducing the public transport funding (NZTA/Ministry of Transport in Wellington)! Council is struggling to pay for AMETI as it is, seeing that all the NZTA funding is going into Waterview, Western Ring Route, Puhoi-Wellsford, adding extra lanes to SH20 and SH1 in southern Auckland etc…. I am aware that the AMETI project managers would like to proceed with the eastern bit rather sooner than later, but with NZ’s transport funding being 2/3rds (!) controlled from Wellington, and 1 3/rd by local Councils, their flexibility is not that big when the people down there tell us that we don’t need PT!

      In case your question is about staging – well, I think it kinda makes sense to work from the inside out, rather than do the eastern busway bit first, because that on it’s own may not have such a huge benefit, if buses are then caught up all the way between Pakuranga and Panmure after having had a great ride on the new busway further east.

  • Sharon Hunter

    Hello no- its not about being considered optional- it’s all about finding the funding for that part of the project-hence that aspect sitting in the alternative funding package. But we can progress that first part as a start. AMETI is a huge project- one of the biggest in the region at around $1.5B.

  • Jeff H

    Several comments referred to limitations in the number of trains per hour that are able to run on the Eastern Line through Panmure. This alone is not a measure of passenger capacity. Assuming the AMETI busway will eventually be built surely peak service trains can be increased from 3 to 6, or even 9 car sets.

  • Trev

    6 Car sets yes. 9 car sets no – the trains would be too long for the platforms, including at places like Britomart and in the CRL tunnel where extending platform length just won’t be feasible.

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