Minister of transport Michael Wood has welcomed the opening of the tender processes for Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project. “These two crucial projects represent a huge investment in a growing Auckland, allowing faster trips and reduced emissions, made possible by this government’s firm commitment to shape Auckland into a thriving city where people have real options to move around the city safely however they choose to travel by car, on public transport, by bike or on foot,” he said.
“The progress on these transformational projects follows the government’s announcement in late January to bring forward planning of the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project to ensure a fully integrated transport network for Auckland, with faster trips and reduced emissions.”
The Auckland Light Rail project will provide a 24km route with up to 18 stations or stops from the City Centre to Māngere and the airport, running every five minutes and capable of carrying up to 15,000 passengers per hour at peak. The route will include tunnelled light rail from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, continuing above ground to the airport running parallel to the SH20 motorway, with the provision of walking and cycling options along the corridor and with connections to all stations.
The light rail route will also be integrated with current train and bus hubs and the City Rail Link stations and connections. “City Rail Link is the heart of Auckland’s transport network, and Light Rail will form the spine of what will be a fully integrated rapid transport network that will lead us into the future,” said Wood.
He added that light rail can also be extended to the North Shore and North West without having to transfer from one line to the other.”
The tender process for Auckland Light Rail is being co-ordinated with the tender process for the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project.
The Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project will provide transport options across the harbour, expanding the city’s existing rapid transit network, completing a strategic walking and cycling link for Auckland, and making the urban roading network more resilient. Planning work on the Waitematā Connections project will begin later this year, with a preferred way forward determined in late 2023.
“Auckland’s population is projected to rise to two million by the early 2030s,” said Wood. “In order to move two million people around our largest city safely and efficiently, we need well-planned and connected infrastructure. We’re not going to repeat the previous mistakes of ad hoc planning and be left scrambling to build infrastructure when it’s too late – this rapid transit system is about making sure Auckland is able to flourish as it grows.”