Categories

Archives

Rethinking Airport Rail

At the Auckland Transport Board meeting earlier this week, I did a presentation on behalf of the Campaign for Better Transport on airport rail, making the following points in a “one-pager” to the Board.

1.    In our view the Jacobs “SMART Indicative Business Case | PDF” report underestimates the potential catchment of heavy rail, we assume because of the arbitrary requirement for a single seat journey to the airport.

On this point, the following from p.83 of the report shows the catchment for the heavy rail option.  It clearly does miss out stations on the Western line, as well as the yet-to-be-built K Rd and Parnell stations.

rail-catchment

2.    We consider that some of the costs of heavy rail attributed to the airport heavy rail option will most likely be incurred anyway – in particular work required around level crossings.

3.    We consider there is a high risk that the predicted Dominion Road journey times for light rail are overly optimistic, depending on the degree of separation from general traffic.

4.    Implementation of either heavy rail or light rail from the north of the Airport is likely to be decades away and very costly.

5.    Putting aside the report’s assessment of heavy rail vs light rail, we note that the three key problems identified in the Jacobs report do not have to be addressed by a single solution:

a) Constrained access to the Auckland Airport will limit economic growth and productivity;

b) Limited transport choice undermines liveability and economic prosperity for the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu area; and

c) Unaffordable and inflexible planned transport investment constrains access to the Auckland Airport and surrounding business districts and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu area

As is so often the case with any project, defining the problems you are trying to solve is paramount.  The SMART study has some useful points, but it is flawed as it is implicit that a single solution must meet all three problems.  By redefining the problem, the Puhinui solution emerges as an option to be considered.

6.    We ask the Board to take the same approach as ATAP in measuring transport effectiveness.  In the context of Auckland Airport, the measure would be the potential catchment of public transport users within a 45 minute radius of the Airport.  This should not preclude transfers between modes to meet this target and should therefore necessarily examine the option of a transfer at Papatoetoe or Puhinui.

7.    We note that the Jacobs report identified that 7,350 daily commuters originate from Manukau and the east, twice as many than that originating from the north and central Auckland.

This was the point that Patrick raised in this post back in August.  The Jacobs report helpfully included this map on p. 36.

AIRPORT Commuter movements

8.    The current Airport 380 bus service connecting at Papatoetoe to rail services yields a fastest possible PT journey time of about 49 minutes from Auckland Airport to Britomart.  However, there are a number of issues associated with transferring at Papatoetoe: frequency of service; ease and legibility of transfers, and the lack of a RTN quality right-of-way.

49 minutes is my own personal best for a trip from Auckland Airport to the CBD.  It was a bit of a fluke as the 380 arrived at Papatoetoe about 1 minute before the train arrived.  “Legibility of transfers” is a reference to the same bus stop being used for both Manukau-bound and Airport-bound directions of the same service.  Moving the transfer point to Puhinui would have a positive impact on reducing the CBD – Auckland Airport journey time, but it will be absolutely critical for any new service to be much more frequent than the current half hourly service and it would have to be in its own right-of-way to avoid the ever increasing congestion along 20B.

380bus

9.    It is timely to bring to the attention of the Board that NZTA is currently planning a widening of 20B along the Puhinui Rd alignment for general traffic.

In actual fact Auckland Transport officials were already aware of this, but in the past Auckland Transport have had to play catch-up with New Zealand Transport Agency.  Hopefully there will come a day where Auckland Transport advance public transport projects ahead of the NZTA’s road building exploits. AT have even gone as far as looking at catchments and alignments of what could be the Botany Line, which are shown in these two illustrations that were supplied to us.

botany-line-catchment2

atoptions

Desired outcomes:

1.    As a matter of urgency, AT should work with the NZTA to designate a rail corridor east of Auckland Airport on the 20B alignment with a connection to the main trunk line.  This designation work should also consider extending further east to include Botany.

2.    Immediately establish a bus shuttle service between Puhinui Station and Auckland Airport, preferably with bus priority measures.

3.    Auckland Transport should continue with designating a rail corridor between Onehunga and Auckland Airport.

That final point is important.  The residents of Mangere and surrounding areas deserve decent rapid transit as much as anywhere else in Auckland, and they really have been short-changed by successive organisations failing to plan a rapid transit corridor.  Perhaps if the main CBD – Airport connection is decided to be via Puhinui, then alternative alignments could be looked at between Onehunga and Mangere that have greater catchments and, potentially, could be a bit cheaper and quicker to implement too.

The presentation was received by the AT Board without much in the way of comment.   It will be very interesting to see how AT evaluate and prioritise a Botany – Puhinui – Airport Line against all the other transport projects going on, including Dominion Rd LRT.   When you look at the potential catchment of the Botany Line and consider that it will probably be cheaper to build, it wouldn’t surprise me if it ranked higher than Onehunga to Auckland Airport rail.  The simple service pattern that would also result from a transfer at Puhinui is also extremely compelling – every Southern or Eastern line train connects to Auckland Airport, both from the north and from the south. We will have to wait and see where this heads now.

80 comments to Rethinking Airport Rail

  • Sailor Boy

    Great post. It’s rrefreshing to see a critique of smart than isn’t drive by mode fetishism.

    • TheBigWheel

      Yes, hooray, some common sense on Airport Rail.

      Note it doesn’t have to be either/or Puhinui or Onehunga, but for faster and wider access to/from the airport itself, Puhinui (as opposed to serving Mangere etc) looks better. In the long run we’ll have both anyway.

      • Sailor Boy

        I think this is the obvious choice to get something on the ground quick and then decide how to link the north later (protect all 3 options now though).

    • Harriet

      If HR supporters want to convince people like myself & others who are open to all opens this is how you do it, reasoned arguments.

      I wish I saw more of this and less mode fetishism, because the arguments from others I have been hearing so far were honestly nothing but that.

      • Good post Cam, a reasonable and considered unpicking of the issue.

        For what it is worth, these are my two cents:
        When we talk about “airport rail” we have to consider what we are actually talking about. Is it access to the airport precinct (including the current and future plans for offices, jobs, retail), or access just to the airport terminal (for travellers, workers and others)… or is it just about getting the air travellers to the gates?
        Likewise we need to consider where these people come from, is it fly-in fly-out businessmen going to and from downtown? Is it local families going from their suburb to an islands holiday? Is it workers from Manukau getting to their jobs? Is it workers from West Auckland or the North Shore getting to their jobs? Is it local Mangere folk going shopping, for whom the airport precinct is actually the local mall, more or less. Is it Mangere folk going to the city centre?
        My view is it is all of these things, and like you are suggesting we need to consider a whole network rather than one line to meet these needs. It’s clear that any successful rail line does much more than one thing, for rail to work it needs to simultaneously serve a multitude of origins and destinations, and work for a range of trips and times of day.

        What Auckland cannot look for is rail that serves trips from the city centre to airport, certainly not just that alone. There is no way that would ever stack up. From what I can see in their statistics reports, the airport has about 20,000 passenger departures a day, excluding transits. Achieving a very solid 25% mode share would still generate only 5,000 trips to the airport a day. That’s enough to fill six trains a day. You need to be filling more like six trains an hour!
        Clearly the airport itself is only a small part of the picture. While it is an important part and an excellent anchor for a transit line, it is still only a minor piece of the puzzle. If they build out the airport campus as planned I’m sure the next station along at the office park would generate more traffic. The reality is for any rail line it is the multitude of trips along the line, between a string of suburbs and a range of destinations of which the airport is only one of a dozen or so.
        More important are trips from the likes of Mangere and Onehunga to the city and fringe, or trips interconnecting with the bus network, rail and busways. I think the “airport line” via Onehunga (whichever way it goes) is a great idea, but I think we should be thinking of it as the “southwest line”, just the fifth rapid transit line on a broad and interconnected network.
        I travel a lot for work, perhaps eight or ten times a year. But even then I’d be lucky to generate one return trip a month to the airport. Someone going to work there would generate twenty a month. Someone living further in along the line without a car and working in the city might do thirty or more return trips a month. The latter two must be the primary focus.

        Personally, I think there needs to be at least three approaches. If you do want a fast trip to the airport to catch a plane then work with what is best there. Catch a southern line train to Puhinui and take a shuttle bus (or tram) from there express over to the terminal. Upping the frequency of the 380 is an obvious way to do it. Another one might be to take the airport inter-terminal bus and parking shuttles and roll them into a single airport link bus that joins the two terminals, the main parking areas and a southern line station every ten minutes. A few bus lanes in the right place would put Puhinui ten minutes away from the gate.
        But if you are talking about local job access, then you need a bus network. There should be more than a couple of buses linking local suburbs to the airport and its job precinct. I think the plan is that these terminate at Mangere Town Centre and people hop on the rail for the last stop or two, but tomorrow, why not run the buses to terminate at the airport itself?
        However, regardless of the airport Auckland should be planning a southwest rapid transit line, (among others). This is where 90% of the use will come from and this needs the right balance between speed and coverage. I’m not concerned about squeezing 10 minutes less out of the trip from aotea to the international terminal, I’m much more concerned about putting rapid transit into six or eight suburbs in between. That’s one reason I favour the light rail option, it adds new connectivity and coverage to rapid transit. It is quite simply more network added, more new stations right across the southwest and the isthmus… but it still connects to the existing network. I wouldn’t underestimate the value of Onehunga and Puhinui in that regard, they should be very important nodes to transfer between lines.

        • Bigted

          Very well put Nick and for those reasons you mentioned my preferred first choice for the south western line is HR via Otahuhu, Mangere, Airport oaks terminating at the airport terminal. My preferred alternative option is a LR corridor connecting Otahuhu, Mangere, Airport oaks, AIA, Manukau and Botany/ Eastern suburbs, possibly including Panmure or Highbrook and back to Otahuhu to complete a loop. The reasoning for Otahuhu over Onehunga is that Otahuhu allows for transfers in almost every direction while Onehunga limits the direction you can come from or go to without multiple transfers.

          The proposed LR corridor along Dominion rd completes a branch in its own right with out tacking on an airport link due to that proposal only linking into the current network at Britomart and Onehunga and as explained above why those options limit the catchment not only for the airport but also the catchments around Mangere and airport oaks.

          While I was an initial fan of the Puhinui option it only serves and an airport link while ignoring the southwestern suburbs.

      • TheBigWheel

        Reasoned argument: fastest foreseeable future route AKL CBD is via Puhinui and the Eastern Line, especially when the third main goes in.

    • tuktuk

      NIce work there Cam and yes refreshing post.

      NZTA’s proposed work on widening SH20A should be cause for alarm because of their appalling track record in destroying potential rapid transit ROWs. It is however perhaps cause for celebration as the opportunity is there for them to do much better than they have managed north of the airport and along the Northwest Motorway. If I were an AT transport planner I’d be watching them like a hawk.

      As for mode, 10 minute frequency revamped 380 buses shuttling from both airport terminals along bus-lanes to Puhinui sounds like the way to go for the fastest connection to central Auckland. With a third main line potentially stretching as far as Panmure at least, there is no reason why a train cannot do 25 minutes from Puhinui to Britomart perhaps as part of a second layer of express service to points south of Papakura. Securing dedicated corridors for the 380 buses within the airport precinct will also be essential to timely operation.

      25 minute train trip to Puhinui + 5 minute wait time + 10 minute bus to the airport terminals any time of the day sounds like a very achieve-able ambition. This is based on a little modification to add further value to current and projected regional roading and rail investments whose business case has already been established for other reasons.

  • john.keenan

    Good to see the thinking coming round to this option(s).
    Keep pushing it.

    A visual
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mfaT-zgiAxAe67CkXPzwBff0fjc&usp=sharing

  • The Real Matthew

    Here we go again.

    Another correspondent obsessed with Heavy Rail who can’t see the wood for the trees. We don’t need a hugely expensive, white elephant, heavy rail line to the airport. Sydney can’t make it work and neither will we especially given the first thing many tourists do is drive out of Auckland. We need to take the people from the airport to the already existing rail line. Just like what happens at both New York airports with the airtrain service.

    The second point is how the heck does a special interest group get invited to do a presentation for the AT Board? We have huge problems with Auckland Council being run by bureaucrats, not elected Councilliors. Yet it seems the plan is to get rid of Councillors off the AT Board and hand the Board over to Special Interest Groups. Unreal!! Even Patrick Reynolds is getting involved. God help us.

    • Give the First Union were also presenting and that pretty much any member of the public can present upon request to the open session of the AT Board you might need to layoff the Victory Gin a little bit.

    • Alex F

      What do you mean Sydney can’t make it work? Sydney’s Airport Loop was built prior to the 2000 Olympic Games under a PPP. It’s patronage numbers took time to increase but so has the advent of horrendous traffic surrounding the airport. The NSW Government are thinking of purchasing the remainder of the line which may see a reduction (or complete abolition) for the Domestic and International transport levy ($15AUD if I remember).

      Once more the Airport Loop doesn’t just serve the airport it serves two huge residential/commerical areas Green Square and Mascot. Any Auckland rail link will be no different. Right now we have one low frequency public bus, an expensive private bus (Skybus), even more expensive taxis and sprawing park and rides.

      And as for tourists, the airport isn’t just for tourists!

    • Alex F

      We need two frequent services from both Puhinui and Onehunga stations. Preferably on separate bus corridors. 380, if kept, can remain a distributor route. This should be the first step towards addressing airport connections.

    • There would be buggerall tourists who drive straight out of Auckland. For those who are *travelling* straight out of Auckland, they would most likely take another flight. But tourism in Auckland is huge, so a large share would be heading into the city where most of the accommodation is.

    • Fess up, you didn’t read the post did you. It is quite clear it is arguing for the relatively cheap and easy solution of bus priority and frequency to Puhinui in the short term to connect with the rail network. It then advocates for designating rail corridors to the airport from both the north and east, these corridors could be used for whatever HR or LR scheme was viable at sometime in the future.

    • Josh

      Sydney’s doesn’t work? First I heard of that, I know it works from a customer perspective, even with the airport surcharge!

      • Luke

        Im a cheapskate, i get the 400 bus from the airport to rocklea and get the train from there unless im in a hurry.

      • spartan

        Yep caught it a couple of weeks ago, International Terminal to Green Square, was around $10 AUD I think. Didn’t have to wait long for a service and it was only a couple of stops. Got back to Auckland and sighed, thought I was in a third world country

    • Stephen

      What do you mean Sydney can’t make it work. Every time I’m in Sydney I use the train to get to Chatswood and it is so much faster than any other option it’s not funny. And even during the non peak it is used quite a bit.

      And as for the options of RTN to the airport I really think we need links that follow both 20A and 20B.

    • SDRidley

      What do you mean Sydney can’t make it work. Every time I’m in Sydney I use the train to get to Chatswood and it is so much faster than any other option it’s not funny. And even during the non peak it is used quite a bit.

      And as for the options of RTN to the airport I really think we need links that follow both 20A and 20B.

  • Thank you Cameron and CBT for the presentation to the AT Board.
    At least it has them acknowledging short comings of the Jacobs report and a review of that at the minimum.

    As to the Botany Line (as I call it) now those are some options on the table there. I know Sailor Boy told me Option 1 and 2 combined forms the ultimate but comes down to cash. I agree and believe Option 1 modified so it follows Te Irirangi to AUT, snakes down the Great South Road and rejoins the original Option 1 route passing the Manukau Train and Bus Station. This way AUT (a major trip generator) is captured into the RTN mix of the Botany Line.

    Now to widen the net I would also do Option 4/4a forming a short round loop that captures the bulk of the Panuku Transform Manukau area so that 20,000 projected residents plus jobs have access to a separated RTN system that connects them to either the Botany Line or the heavy rail system. Yes do a LRT loop as that means we dont need a Link bus type situation tying up road space that can become street space.

    Again nice work there Cameron and lets hope AT push this through as priority one alongside or just post CRL.

  • kelvin

    Once botany to airport line is established, the AMETI project connecting panmure to botany would need to upgrade the bus lanes to rail.

    Shall AMETI be more ambitious to build something that can be easily upgraded into rail?

  • Alan J

    The Botany line option only makes sense if it continues to run north and links with the eastern line at Panmure. Otherwise isn’t it disconnected from the rest of the network ?

    • Sailor Boy

      There is already an RTN line proposed from Panmure to Botany.

    • Harriet

      The idea is LRT rather than HR so doesn’t need to connect.

      Remember lots of people in the South work in the South especially in growing employment areas of Manukau, Wiri, and around the Airport which are linked by this line. With the New Network transfers are part of the network, you can transfer to the Airport from the HR Network.

      This option connects them, should it eventually go to Panmure sure, but as France Underwood said in House of Cards “How to you devour a whale, one bite at a time.”

      • JimboJones

        That might be true – but if it only takes a few minutes to drive (as they are probably mainly going against the traffic), will that many people decide to use PT?

        • Sailor Boy

          Where are these magical journeys in Auckland that are quiet in any direction at peak?

          • JimboJones

            Actually I kinda ignored the fact that you have to park – so PT would probably make a lot of sense for airport employees even if driving isn’t that slow.

          • Sailor Boy

            I always hear that SH20 is rammed both ways whenever I listen to the radio in the morning…. PT is going to be faster than driving very soon if not already.

  • jacobpearson

    Question, would Manukau not be a better starting point for getting to the airport via 360 bus and just not go to Papatoetoe?

    – You’ll shave off some time compared to now once the new interchange is built (no circling around the mall and the streets) and no need to divert to Papatoetoe.
    – Will connect to local buses once that interchange is built.
    – Connects to trains – only one train stop more for train users.

    Sure it will mean a little more travel for train users if coming from north or south compared to just an Airport Puhinui idea, but it opens up a lot more connections. We can still run it up Puhinui road via dedicated bus lanes and have it stop at the Puhinui train station, but possibly increase in patronage would demonstrate merit in investment in the area?

    (I guess the only other pain point is that stupid bridge near the station at Puhinui…. too difficult for buses?

  • JimboJones

    I think the most important aspect of Airport rail is ease of use. Having to change trains while carrying bags is a pain in the butt.
    Whether it takes 35 minutes or 45 minutes is really not that important IMO.
    So I still think light rail via Dominion Road is the best option in terms of ease of use and bang for buck.

    • I agree one seat ride is the ultimate with bags as a visitor, but there is a lot more to airport transport than just visitors. There are Auckland residents who may not live anywhere near the Dom Rd – Mangere corridor so would need to transfer anyway, and also airport workers who are not carrying suitcases.

      I’m not sure I agree that at $1.5b light rail via Dominion Rd gives the best bang for buck, while it would be a good route for visitors and people living on or near Dominion Rd it’s very expensive.

  • So what proportion of expected users will have more than a cabin bag? The family going off to Surfers for a week (with lots of bags) have incentive to use Park & Ride/carpark/taxi/friend drop-off vs short-term business visitors, and airport workers on commute.

    • Sailor Boy

      It costs $130 to park for a week at the airport if you don’t want to take luggage on a bus or train. I think that is a big incentive to not drive.

      https://www.aucklandairport.co.nz/parking/tariffs.pdf

      • There’s plenty of cheaper options in the area. Some of them cost as low as $35 per week. And they have free shuttles to the terminal. That’s a pretty competitive price if you’re not alone.

        For that price, from almost anywhere in Auckland it’s not worth bothering with PT, with all the additional hassle, additional travel time, and uncertainty if it will actually get you to the airport.

        • Guy M

          The Skybus is normally faster than a taxi (as it uses bus lanes) and only costs $16 one way direct from airport to CBD. I have no issue with that as PT !

          • Mm not sure how the new route works. It used to be absolutely terrible when it started from the wharf. It was so unreliable you often ended up in a taxi anyway. If you bought online, too bad, at least you can still use the return trip.

        • Sailor Boy

          Those cheaper options all require you to catch a bus. Perhaps you could consider reading comments before replying to them?

          • Disagree, $80 is about the maximum I have ever paid for a weeks parking at Auckland Airport, no shuttles involved and about 5 mins walk from check-in. They appear to use a demand management system, similar to the airlines. I usually book as soon as I’ve booked my flights, and it’s often pretty cheap if you book well in advance.

          • Sailor Boy

            Wasn’t aware that you could book in advance for airport parking!! Still far more expensive than PT fares although the convenience factor would be a big plus.

          • It’s usually between $50 and $80, so depends on how much you value your time. For two of us with luggage from Ellerslie it would need a train and a bus, and probably leaving the car on the street near the train station so I think it’s worth it, probably even if they increased the 380 frequency and priority. You are correct though, it’s much cheaper by PT, especially if it is just one person.

          • Sailor Boy

            I definitely think the calculus will change with big improvements to the 380 as described in the post. $3.10 per person per direction, guaranteed journey time would be a big attractor even if it meant having to pay $15 each end for a cab to get to the station. $42 and no stress vs booking in advance to drive in traffic and paying $60 minimum including running costs.

      • Or if you actually enter your requirements on ‘Book a Carpark’, and get a bunch of cheaper options. For instance for mid-November (Saturday to Saturday), Auckland Airport offers Park & Ride for $50, or parking from $62. Off-site Park & Ride I assume is a bit cheaper (for a lower level of service).
        Compare with HOP fares for a family, and it’s an option for some.
        Has the airport mentioned average checked bags per passenger (number of passengers with checked bags is possibly harder to determine)?

        • Sailor Boy

          Those cheaper options all require you to catch a bus. Perhaps you could consider reading comments before replying to them?

          • Errol’s right, might pay to do a bit more research before slagging others off.

          • Sailor Boy

            That’s a fair criticism.

          • Groups have the option to drop all but the driver, plus bags, at the terminal curb if using Park & Ride (plus shuttle). Depending on the group/airline, it might be practical to start the check in before the driver returns. The shuttles are generally buses fitted out for the role (so good luggage areas), or vans (with luggage loaded by the driver) – quite a different experience from changing to a generic train or bus on the network.
            I’m just saying be aware of paying a lot more to make the PT better for a relatively small proportion of transport users in the airport/Mangere area. Short-term business travelers and workers in the greater area care a lot less about single-seat convenience (especially if connections are good) than those with checked luggage. Even those with luggage have other options that will continue to make sense in some instances regardless of how good the PT is. As “we” decide if it is worth a multi-year delay and however many hundreds of millions extra to provide a better experience that is important to X thousand users, can we get some visibility on the value of X?

  • mfwic

    Thank you Cameron. I agree with virtually everything especially the over optimistic assumptions AT have made about travel times on Light Rail.

  • Anna Phillips

    As an interim solution I wish they’d improve the 380 bus from Papatoetoe by running it every 10-15 mins (or adjusting the timetable to connect with the trains like Waiheke buses connect with the ferry) and actually promoting it to people. It’s the fastest (and cheapest) way to get from Britomart to the airport. Especially now that the SkyBus doesn’t leave from Britomart any more (you have to catch their shuttle bus which is slow and inconvenient because it doesn’t have a timetable or tracking). Also you’re forced to buy a ticket on their website (HOP return fare is $6 more than their online return fare).

  • Andrew

    An airport shuttle bus running from the International, via Domestic, and through to Manukau Bus Station makes the most sense.

    I’d propose that the bus run from the airport, along Puhinui Drive, then join the SH20 motorway south, where the shoulder can act as a bus lane, then get off at Lambie Drive, straight along Manukau Station Road and into the bus terminal. (This is a 13 minute trip for a car). From there, users could catch connecting buses to a variety of destinations thanks to the Intercity buses, or walk across the street to catch a 40 minute train to Britomart.

    A lick of bus lane paint and a couple of buses, shouldn’t break the bank!

    I recently did a trip to London where I caught the Piccadilly Line train (not express), and then switched trains a couple of times to get to my destination. Not sure why people are complaining about changing between modes here for an ultimately shorter journey.

    • Guy M

      Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to central London takes 3/4 hour. Heathrow Express train takes 15 minutes. I know which one I prefer.

      • Sailor Boy

        Presumably the Piccadilly line at 1/5th the price.

      • Dave B (Wellington)

        There is also the “Heathrow Connect” service which runs the same route as the “Heathrow Express” but stops at a few intermediate stops and costs half the price.

        Here are all the Heathrow->City options:

        Heathrow Express
        • Frequency 15min
        • Journey time 15min (Terminal 2/3 to Paddington)
        • Single fare £22.00

        Heathrow Connect
        • Frequency 30min
        • Journey time 27min (Terminal 2/3 to Paddington)
        • Single fare £10.20

        Piccadilly Line
        • Frequency 5-6min
        • Journey time 47min (Terminal 2/3 to Piccadilly Circus)
        • Single fare £6.00

        The Piccadilly Line gives a much greater range of 1-seat destinations.

  • bjfoe

    Nice try, but the airport prefers a gold plated solution that may never eventuate. Their perfect is the enemy of your good

  • Dgd

    Excellent post, The need for the HR rail designation from Otahuhu to AIA needs AT’s attention now.

  • What are the figures of international vs domestic ? My guess is that there would be a higher proportion of domestic visitors to Auckland – and their primary destination would be the CBD. International visitors would be more likely to transfer to the domestic terminal to catch a flight to Rotorua or Queenstown, or the rest would travel to the CBD to find accommodation. But there is a lot of us domestic kiwis going to Auckland who are sick of going in taxis, and want a better class of service than the bus.
    Talk of taking one mode of transport for part of the way, and then transferring to another mode is just silly. I’ll back anything that is fast, frequent, direct, and cheap. Preferably not something that uses roads and gets stuck in Auckland traffic.

    • In terms of passenger movements there are slightly more international, about 800,000 last month verus 700,000 for domestic. https://corporate.aucklandairport.co.nz/news/publications/monthly-traffic-updates However that includes domestic-international and international-international transfers which aren’t broken out separately. Presumably there is a lot of domestic to international transfers (and a few international-international), which are people that don’t leave the airport but get counted twice in the above figures.

      • Anthony

        A good portion of both require accomodation, hotel or backpackers, the bulk of which are in the CBD.
        Once the journey stretches out beyond 1/2 hour, PT will start to lose to taxis and cars. This is for most potential passengers.
        The LRT has been described as only 5mins slower but the total journey time has got to a point where its not appealing.
        This is why I still think HR via Onehunga should be designated. Failure to do this is reason for the cost blowout due to the arrangement of Kirkbride and buildings in proximity to what should have been the designation. I also agree that the route connecting to Wiri should be designated.
        I also think ommitting the costs of the Dominion Rd LRT is not painting a true picture.

        • Sailor Boy

          LRT is faster, the same as, and slower compared to HR to travel to each of the 3 CBD stations.

        • Sailor Boy

          Although I agree that omitting the enormous positive benefits of Dominion Road section is unfair to LR.

        • I doubt many of the international transfers would require overnight accommodation as they generally try and avoid coming through Customs. Most of them are Air NZ fly Aus – Nth and Sth America and vice-versa and the connections are usually pretty good as it is a market Air NZ try and target.

          As for domestic the majority of arrivals are before 6pm, which I would imagine would mostly have same day connections, those arriving later may well need a night in AKL and you are right would probably prefer a taxi. However, I think the hotels and motels out by the airport do pretty well out of this market as they often provide a free shuttle.

          • Note that AKL require you to go through a security check when making an international transfer. This is still an improvement on a NZ bugs & food check followed by the full NZ exit process (after a hotel overnight).

  • SJC

    This is excellent seeing a push for this again. It may cost a bit more, but the potential is so much greater. especially if it has the possibility of directly linking with the south. By south I mean intercity services to Hamilton and Tauranga. Especially Hamilton where many are currently commuting by road vehicles to the airport. These services could have the potential of continuing on to at least Newmarket, if not the soon to be CRL stations if powered by electric traction.

  • Sacha

    Labour’s now backing Dominion Rd trams to start earlier, which swings towards that airport route option I guess: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85883576/labour-promises-to-fasttrack-light-rail-in-first-salvo-of-mt-roskill-byelection-in-auckland

    • Bryce P

      I think using the Dom Road route for Airport is an error as a more logical route for Dom Road is to get right to, and maybe past, Richardson Road.

    • JBM

      John Key and Steven Joyce have swiftly scoffed at any idea of light rail on Dom Road any time soon (if ever). They still remain the government.

      • I didn’t realise Key had, I thought it was just Joyce. I imagine Key would have been wise enough to stay out of it and keep a close eye on how it polls as a single issue. Either way it will likely be built well before any airport rail is.

  • Vance Barrett

    If the track had been laid across the Manukau Harbour when the new Mangere Bridge was built and then finished in stages we would have probably been at Kirkbride road by now.

Leave a Reply