As part of the review of the City Rail Link’s business case in 2011, a problem definition and a series of project objectives were agreed between all parties. They are helpful to the process of assessing alternatives and also when assessing whether the CRL is a worthwhile project.
Problem definition: Project objectives: The project objectives do seem perhaps a bit too city centre focused, which represents a criticism of how the project has been analysed by officials, rather than of the project itself. But generally the picture is fairly clear – the CRL and any possible alternatives need to be considered against some key criteria:
- Does the option contribute to improving Auckland’s economic performance – by significantly improving transport accessibility, encouraging economic agglomeration while protecting Auckland’s amenity value and its ‘points of difference’?
- Does the option provide significant additional transport capacity across the region, to cater for increased transport demand in the future?
- Does the option address network constraints, particularly in relation to access to and through the city centre?
- Does the option help reduce negative environmental, social (and economic should be added there too) effects that arise from the use of fossil fuel powered vehicles – not just in the city centre but also across Auckland?
- Is the option good value for money?
The “City Rail Link Alternatives” page analyses how a variety of different transport projects could help achieve the projects objectives and help solve many of the issues outlined in the problem definition. It becomes quite clear, from analysing these matters, that the CRL does the job best.