Public transport in Auckland

Public transport in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand, is served by three modes - bus, train and ferry. A relatively extensive tram system was dismantled after the first half of the 20th century. Services are provided by various transport companies, coordinated by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority under their brand "MAXX". The Britomart Transport Centre is the main transportation hub.

In 2006 the public transport share of morning commute trips in the Auckland Region was 7%. Major projects have been undertaken in recent years to improve public transport in Auckland, both smaller-scale initiatives such as bus priority measures and large-scale bus and rail infrastructure projects. A recent survey has shown that public transport growth is slow, having risen only 0.4% over all modes within the year to 2008, though in individual sectors gains were substantial, with rail passenger numbers up 11.6%. Part of the slow growth was attributed to disturbances to existing services due to the upgrade projects." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10499248 New busway a hit but numbers down elsewhere] " - "The New Zealand Herald, Thursday 20 March 2008]

Buses

Urban services

Bus services provide the bulk of public transport in the city and are mostly operated by NZ Bus, formerly Stagecoach New Zealand, and some buses are still using the old bus livery in 2008. Bus routes are mainly radial lines connecting Auckland CBD with the suburbs and the surrounding cities.

Bus services have improved in various ways during the last years, with, for example, 20 new-technology 'Link' city route buses built in 2007" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=65&objectid=10447864&pnum=0 City bus users get new fleet of green machines] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Tuesday 26 June 2007] and the introduction of bus rapid transit on the Northern Busway (opened January 2008) and the Central Connector (construction having started in mid-2008). However, buses still often suffer from long delays and a bad public image. Bus services generally stop around midnight or earlier, even on Fridays and Saturdays. A limited number of night buses serve Auckland's suburbs from the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights only.

Long-distance services

Long-distance bus operators including Intercity and Newmans link Auckland with all the main centres in the North Island. For example, in 2007 services to Hamilton (the closest large city to the south) depart around 12 times per weekday at variable intervals. [ [http://www.intercity.co.nz/bookings/ Bookings] (from the Intercity website. Accessed 2008-02-16.)]

User statistics

After a ridership plateau of just over 46 million bus trips per year in 2003, usage volumes fell for three years to 42.18 million trips in the year ending June 2006. However, users were taking longer rides, with passenger kilometers rising to 420 million. An ARTA study found a number of characteristics typical of Auckland bus transport users:" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=124&objectid=10395662 Auckland buses - fewer fares but longer journeys] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Wednesday 11 October 2006, page A15.]

*58% were female
*50% were white-collar workers
*23% were tertiary students

It also identified some characteristics relevant to the scope for future public transport measures:

*71% had other transport available (such as private vehicles)
*37% wanted service frequencies to be increased

A 2008 survey showed that while patronage on the 'Northern Express' services from North Shore City into Auckland CBD had improved markedly (by 34% in a year) due to the time gains offered by the Northern Busway, patronage over all bus services had declined by 2.2% This decline was partly attributed to ongoing constructions works.

Priority measures

Auckland has a slowly growing network of bus lanes: in Auckland City itself, there were 27 km in 2008. The Central Connector bus lane project, which started construction in the middle of 2008, is expected to substantially improve links between Newmarket and the inner city, while bus lanes are also planned on Remuera Road and St Johns Road to better connect the city with the Eastern Bays suburbs. [" [http://www.times.co.nz/cms/midweek/remuera/2008/02/art100019363.php New bus lanes for Remuera] " - "Times Online", Wednesday 20 February 2008]

The Northern Busway in North Shore City is mooted to possibly be extended further north, to serve the increasing urbanisation of the northern areas, and may eventually go all the way to Orewa and the Whangaparaoa peninsula. [References provided within Northern Busway, Auckland] The AMETI project will also include dedicated bus facilities and lanes.

Trains

Urban services

Auckland's urban trains services are operated under the MAXX brand by Veolia. Since the opening of Britomart Transport Centre, significant improvements have been made to rail commuter services in the region. In October 2005, Sunday services were reintroduced for the first time in over 30 years, as well as the addition of more peak hour trains and later services on Friday and Saturday nights.

Recent investment has resulted in strongly increased patronage, though from a very low level. Investment has focused on upgrading and refurbishing rolling stock and railway stations. Some double tracking to allow higher frequencies has been undertaken or is in planning, and has resulted in a 25% increase in frequency, and a rise in punctuality (5 minutes late or less) from 60.9% in 2005 to 83.1% in 2006..

Main lines

There are three main commuter railway lines in the Auckland Region:

* The Southern line from Britomart Transport Centre to Papakura Train Station via Newmarket Train Station, with a limited number of trains continuing to Pukekohe Train Station (Pukekohe).

* The Eastern line from Britomart to Papakura via the waterfront via Orakei Train Station (Orakei), with a limited number of trains continuing to Pukekohe. The line joins the Southern Line southwards at Westfield.

* The Western line from Britomart via Newmarket to the west via New Lynn Train Station (New Lynn) before terminating in either Swanson Train Station (Swanson) or Waitakere Train Station (Waitakere City).

Long-distance services

Auckland has only one long-distance passenger train, the Overlander to Wellington (operated by Tranz Scenic, part of KiwiRail). The service goes daily in summer and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during winter. The train is mainly tourist-oriented, but proposal have recently (2008) been made to reintroduce more services and increase emphasis towards regular users.

Current upgrade projects

In 2008 a NZ$600 million upgrading project named "DART" (Developing Auckland's Rail Transport) [http://www.arta.co.nz/arc/xxarta/news/rail-newsletter-issue-29.cfm Rail Newsletter Issue 29] (published on the ARTA website, late 2006)] is underway, managed by the state-owned enterprise ONTRACK. Project DART and other current projects include:
*double-tracking the Western Line
*upgrading stations and signalling
*rebuilding and reconfiguring Newmarket Train Station to better cater for the growing importance of the station and improve transfers between the Western and Southern lines
*constructing a new branch line from Wiri to Manukau city centre
*reopening the disused Onehunga Branch line to passengers and freight" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10428642 Delight at Government's decision to reopen Onehunga line] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Wednesday 14 March 2007]
*extension of a peak Western Line service to Helensville in 2008, with temporary stations at Huapai and Waimaukau, and a minor upgrade of Helensville station cite web|url=http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200706281554/commuter_train_services_to_return_to_helensville|title=Commuter train services to return to Helensville|author=Radio New Zealand|accessdate=2007-06-28]
*more rebuilt carriage trains, powered by DC class diesel locomotives in push-pull mode (Veolia).

In the since accepted Draft Annual Plan 2008/2009 and with funding being available as forecast and/or proposed, the Auckland Regional Council is intending to increase peak rail services to 4 trains per hour on every line by July 2008 and 6 per hour from the middle of 2010. Services are also to be extended to after 10 pm during the week in early 2009 and to after 11 pm in 2011."Summary Draft Annual Plan - Transport" - "Region Wide", newsletter of the Auckland Regional Council, April 2008, Page 4]

Electrification and Core upgrade

There have been a number of proposals recommending electrification of the Auckland rail network from the 1960s, mostly as part of proposals for electrification of the North Island Main Trunk in its entirety from Auckland to Wellington. ["The Railways of New Zealand: a Journey Through History" - Churchman, Geoffrey & Hurst, Tony; IPL Books, 2001] In 2006 the Auckland Regional Transport Authority released a study pointing to a "desperate" need for electrification. The Mayor of Auckland ["Mayor says electrification a "must have" for Auckland" - Auckland City Council, Tuesday 12 September 2006] and the Prime Minister [" [http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=28357Prime Minister's Statement to Parliament"] - The Beehive, 13 February 2007] joined a general agreement [ [http://203.99.65.121/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10424237 "Brian Rudman: Electrification battle seems to be won"] - "The New Zealand Herald", 16 February 2007] culminating in a commitment to electrification, to be partly paid for by a regional fuel tax. The goals of the upgrade are to raise rail use from 5 million passenger trips in 2007 to 30 million by 2030, with departures every 10 minutes." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10440850|title=$1b Auckland rail upgrade powers ahead] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Monday 21 May 2007]

The "Core Network Upgrade" project proposed in late 2006 is calculated to cost around NZ$1 billion, and to be completed by 2015. It would include:"Following the money" - "e.nz magazine", IPENZ, January/February 2007]
*electrification and further upgrading (beyond project DART) of 110 km of Auckland railway infrastructure
*further station upgrades
*new electric rolling stock
*better service frequencies

Further proposed upgrades

There has been growing recognition throughout Auckland over the past years of the need to invest in public transport to help ease growing traffic congestion. A number of extensions to the rail network have been proposed, some of them having been discussed for several decades:
*a central city underground railway loop linking Britomart Transport Centre with Mt Eden via a tunnel underneath Albert Street (see below)
*an extension of the Onehunga Branch line (soon to be reopened) to Auckland International Airport over the future duplicate Mangere Bridge, which Transit New Zealand has recently announced as being 'future proofed' to allow it to potentially accommodate a rail line. [" [http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/organisation/story.cfm?o_id=223&objectid=10423101 Transit opens door to cross-harbour rail link to airport] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Friday 9 February 2007]
*an airport link from the North Island Main Trunk line at Manukau City, in addition to or instead of the link via Mangere Bridge
*extension of both electrification and of commuter services to Pukekohe and eventually to Hamilton - the NIMT is already electrified south from Te Rapa) allowing inter-city service to operate at higher frequencies and at modern standards [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/metro/story.cfm?l_id=149&objectid=10495008 Electric train lines may reach Hamilton] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Thursday 28 February 2008]
*a line between Southdown and Avondale in west Auckland, primarily for freight trains to avoid the downtown area and reduce delays for both the freight and passenger trains. [cite web|url=http://www.arta.co.nz/xxarta/plans-and-policies/|title=ATRA - Plans and policies|author=ARTA|accessdate=2007-06-01] The corridor for New Zealand State Highway 20 currently (2008) being constructed through southern Auckland City already includes provision for the future railway line.Fact|date=September 2008
*a suggestion to extend rail across Waitemata Harbour to the North Shore" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10450782 Brian Rudman: Hallelujah, talk before bulldozers] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Wednesday 11 July 2007] (see Second Harbour Crossing below)
*possible conversion of the Northern Busway to light rail [http://www.nscc.govt.nz/transport_and_roads/Public-transport/NB-faq.html Busway FAQ] on North Shore City Council website. Accessed 11 January 2008]

Underground city loop

The Auckland Regional Council has prepared preliminary plans for an underground railway connecting Britomart Transport Centre to the Western Line and a new station at Mt Eden, [http://www.arta.co.nz/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=A99C6001-BCD4-1A24-9CDE-FCF8BDB29DC8&siteName=arc Auckland’s rail network tomorrow: 2016 to 2030] (PDF) (from the ARTA, August 2006)] reminiscent of plans that were proposed as early as the 1920s. [http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/auckland/Introduction/bush/chap4.asp History of Auckland City - Chapter 4] (from the Auckland City Council website. Accessed 2008-06-07.)] The 1970s plans envisaged the loop connecting with Newmarket instead of Mount Eden. The plan failed because the Muldoon National government considered it to be too costly. [http://www.britomart.co.nz/history2.html Chapter 2 - City Takes Control 1959-1995] (from the Britomart Transport Centre website. Accessed 2008-09-06.)]

Due to the significant costs and difficulties associated with a project of this size, the future of any tunnel loop project remains uncertain. Increased population density around transport corridors and sustained petrol price growth may combine to make this project more attractive in the medium term, and the decision to electrify the area network has brought the tunnel back into general discussion, while initial feasibility studies for a possible link have already been made. Current estimates for the cost of the loop are around NZ$1 billion, taking 12-16 years to plan and build. On 5 March 2008 ARTA revealed that it had begun preliminary planning for a 3.5 km tunnel between Britomart and Mt Eden, beneath Albert Street and including underground stations near Wellesley St and Karangahape Road.cite web|url=http://www.nzherald.co.nz/organisation/story.cfm?o_id=500511&objectid=10496216|title=$1b loop tunnel plan to unlock Britomart|date=5 March 2008|publisher=The New Zealand Herald|author=Mathew Dearnaley|accessdate=2008-03-05]

Ferries

ervices

A feature of Auckland transport is the popularity of commuting by ferry. A substantial minority of North Shore commuters avoid the chronic Harbour Bridge congestion by catching ferries from Devonport, Bayswater, Birkenhead/Northcote Point or Stanley Bay to the CBD. The ferries operate at least hourly, with longer hours of operation than many of Auckland's bus routes and railway lines.

Ferries also connect the city with Rangitoto and Waiheke Islands, and Half Moon Bay and Pine Harbour (both in Manukau City). Ferries to Great Barrier Island are less regular, with four-hour passages every 1-2 days, depending on the time of the year and the weather. Regular weekend ferries operate to other islands in the Hauraki Gulf, mainly for tourism purposes.

Currently, there are no ferry services on the west coast of Auckland and none are planned (there have been some historical services from Onehunga), as the city's waterfront orientation is much stronger towards the east (Waitemata Harbour) than to the west (Manukau Harbour).

The main ferry operator, Fullers Group, transports around 4.2 million passengers a year on 42,010 sailings, an average of almost 100 passengers per sailing).

Pending acceptance of the Draft Annual Plan 2008/2009 and funding being available as forecast and/or proposed, the Auckland Regional Council is intending to increase services to Half Moon Bay, Pine Harbour, West Harbour and Devonport from 2008, Gulf Harbour and Stanley Beach from 2009. A new ferry wharf is planned for Beach Haven in 2009, and one at Hobsonville in 2010."Summary Draft Annual Plan - Transport" - "Region Wide", newsletter of the Auckland Regional Council, April 2008, page 5]

Subsidies

Fullers Group has noted that Auckland ferry services are operating well for their low level of Council subsidies of around 84c per passenger and journey, half the subsidy of Brisbane ferry operators and a seventh of those in Sydney." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=10494966 Fullers floats ferry services as solution to traffic woes] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Thursday 28 February 2008]

Terminals

The Auckland Ferry Terminal is in downtown Auckland on Quay Street, between Princes Wharf and the container port, directly opposite Britomart Transport Centre. An underground link between the two, to allow easier road crossing and protection from bad weather, has been planned but not built due to cost reasons.

There are ferry terminals at Devonport, Stanley Bay, Bayswater, Northcote Point, Birkenhead, Half Moon Bay, West Harbour, Pine Harbour and Gulf Harbour, and on the Hauraki Gulf islands.

The Auckland Regional Transport Network (ARTNL), responsible for building Auckland's passenger transport terminals, in 2005-2006 invested $NZ20 million in upgrades to ferry terminals, and is trying to improve the problem of parking, especially at terminals catering for commuters to the Auckland CBD - but is limited by parking being the authority of local councils and that new parking would be hard to provide unless by provision of new parking buildings. ARTNL noted that while ferry services were often full, a combination of low profits and uncertainty about losing services to other bidders has made providers reluctant to invest the large sums necessary for new ferries." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/organisation/story.cfm?o_id=414&ObjectID=10119476 Ferry terminals offer tickets to ride] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Saturday 9 April 2005]

Britomart Transport Centre

Opened in July 2003, Britomart is a central hub for public transport in Auckland - buses at ground level, trains underground in a terminal station and ferries close by. During its planning period it provoked much controversy spanning multiple mayoral terms, mostly for cost and capacity reasons. New rail transport investment in the Auckland Region, both planned and recently started, will increase the importance of the centre.References provided within this same article (Trains) and in Britomart Transport Centre]

The local government elections in September 2004 centred largely around candidates' policies on public transport, with the incumbent Auckland mayor John Banks promoting the "Eastern Corridor" motorway plan, and his main rivals (former mayor Christine Fletcher and businessman Dick Hubbard, the eventual winner) supporting public transport alternatives like light rail and improving existing bus and rail services.Fact|date=June 2007

Long-term trends

Historical

Historically, Auckland had an extensive tram network, but this removed in the 1950s, with the last line ceasing operation in late 1956. [ [http://www.motat.org.nz/artefacts/December06.htm Auckland Tram - Number 11] (from the MOTAT website)] "A Wheel on Each Corner", The History of the IPENZ Transportation Group 1956-2006 - Douglass, Malcolm; IPENZ Transportation Group, 2006, Page 12] Ambitious rail transport schemes for the city and region were mooted several times in the 20th century. In the 1950s, these were ignored in favour of a Master Transportation Plan emphasising motorways, and the influential De Leuw Carter report of 1965 and the passionate championship of mayors like John Luxford and Dove-Myer Robinson could not achieve funding for the proposed rail extensions.

Public transport in Auckland is influenced by Auckland's decentralised, relatively low-density urban area, where private motor vehicle transport has outpaced public transport. However, the growth of the city and of car use have led to serious traffic problems, which, together with the lack of good public transport, have been cited by many Aucklanders as one of the strongest negative factors in living there. [cite web|url=http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/auckland/transport/ctc/theproject.asp|title=Central Transit Corridor Project|author=Auckland City Council|accessdate=2007-06-28] Since car usage costs fall slightly with decreasing urban density while public transport costs rise sharply (even for less capital-intensive services like buses), Auckland's public transport will for the foreseeable future have to cope with a handicap compared to cities of similar population but higher density.citeweb|url=http://www.uitp-pti.com/back_iss/TPI19991E01.pdf|title=Density of urban activity and journey costs|author=Vivier, Jean, UITP - "Public Transport International", 1/99|accessate=2007-06-28] "Optimisation and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation" - Mohring, H - "American Economic Review", 1972] .

A long history of political lack of interest in public transport had by the 2000s left Auckland with substantially underused and underfunded bus and rail systems, with research at Griffith University concluding that in the 50-year period from 1955 onwards the Auckland area had engaged in some of the most pro-automobile transport policies anywhere in the world. This is alleged to have been based not on rational (or indeed public) choice alone, but also due to policy tools being strongly weighed to produce favourable results for road projects when assessing transport spending. [" [http://www.griffith.edu.au/centre/urp/urp_publications/Issues_Papers/URP_IP5_MeesDodsonAucklandTransport_April2006.pdf Backtracking Auckland: Bureaucratic rationality and public preferences in transport planning] " - Mees, Paul; Dodson, Jago; Urban Research Program Issues Paper 5, Griffith University, April 2006] The Ministry of Economic Development released a working paper assessing the economic benefits for public transport growth in Auckland and suggested a number of key framework issues may be responsible for the decline in Auckland public transport patronage." [http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/MultipageDocumentTOC____28641.aspx Getting Auckland on Track: Public Transport and New Zealand's Economic Transformation] " - "Ministry of Economic Development", 8 August 2007]

As concerns over urban sprawl and traffic congestion grew in recent decades public transport has returned to the spotlight, with local and national authorities in agreement that there is "a need for a substantial shift to public transport"," [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=536&objectid=10435641 Force people out of cars, says Treasury] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Monday 23 April 2007] though uptake has a long way to grow from 1998 figures of only about 5% mode share. In 2006 mode share had grown to 7%. [http://www.arta.co.nz/assets/arta%20publications/publications%20page/Auckland%20Transport%20Plan%20June%202007%20-%20section%202.pdf Reliance on private vehicles] (from ARTA's 'Auckland Transport Plan', June 2007. Accessed 2008-05-03.)]

New Emphasis

The gap between desired and provided public transport options is being countered by large new investments in bus priority and rail infrastructure.References provided within this same article (Buses) and this same article (Trains)] Regional authorities have emphasised the need for such improved provisions before measures like road tolls could be introduced. The government noted in July 2007 that a 'steady growth' [of public transport spending and infrastructure construction] is favoured over the 'rapid growth' proposals advocated by Auckland area leaders such as Papakura District mayor John Robertson, because the associated costs, raised by means like a regional fuel tax, might put too much financial pressure on Auckland." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=10451055 Push for rapid transport growth] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Thursday 12 July 2007]

A number of initiatives, especially by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and ARTA, are also trying to change the focus on motorised transport by stimulating a discussion on intensified growth (higher urban densities). [http://www.arc.govt.nz/arc/library/h48317_2.pdf Executive Summary] (PDF) (from the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy document, ARC, November 1999] [" [http://portal.jarbury.net/thesis.pdf From Urban Sprawl to Compact City: an analysis of Auckland's Urban Growth Management Strategies] " - Arbury, Joshua - MA Thesis, University of Auckland] Associated groups like those in the 'Auckland Transport Strategic Alignment Project' (a project of the government and Auckland authorities) have noted that even an eventual completion of an additional harbour crossing and the completion of the Western Ring Route will barely keep up with the expected traffic growth. Further expansions of the roading network beyond those measures would be prohibitively expensive or even impossible, because of "geographical constraints" and "increased community and environmental impacts". Therefore, future traffic growth would need to be covered via public transport. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=536&objectid=10435636 Brian Rudman: Think a bit smaller and fix the bus-stop signs] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Monday 23 April 2007]

A better integration of public transport across providers and types and with other modes remains a major goal of the Auckland Regional Council. As one of the major steps, and integrated smartcard ticketing system is to be introduced in late 2010, preceded by a simple fare structure in 2009/2010.

Critical views

Despite the call for increased density to boost and sustain public transport, Wendell Cox, a US public policy consultant, has stated that this policy was unrealistic: "Downtown Auckland would need to look like Hong Kong for Auckland Regional Council's [transport] goals to be achieved." Despite the negative perception of public transport, he noted in 2001 that Auckland CBD "public transport's work trip market share is 31%" compared to Wellington's 26%. Cox further stated that no other centre in New Zealand achieved as high a market share in public transport as the Auckland City centre, but also noted that CBDs are no longer the dominant employment areas. cite web|url=http://www.demographia.com/db-wlgtext.htm|title=Urban Transport Planning in New Zealand: From Fantasy to Reality |author=Wendell Cox|accessdate=2007-06-28] . This qualifies the public transport share of the CBD, as public transport percentages for the whole Auckland Region hover around 5% of all journeys. This figure is comparable to numerous North American and Australian cities. [http://www.transport.govt.nz/mode-of-transport/ Mode of Transport, Figure for New Zealand Regions] (from the Travel Survey Highlights 1997-98, New Zealand Ministry of Transport)] [ [http://www.publicpurpose.com/ut-intl-cityshare.htm Private Vehicle & Public Transport Market Share: International Urban Areas: 1990/1991] (from the Wendell Cox Consultancy website)]

An article in the "The New Zealand Herald" by Owen McShane, director of the Centre for Resource Management Studies, notes that large parts of the Auckland Region 'barely have roads, let alone buses', and that comparing Auckland as a whole to metropolitan areas in other parts of the world is misleading. He also criticises public transport use as a sustainability measure (as promoted by the ARC), arguing that private cars use less energy than buses. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=250&objectid=10427807 Some plans heading down wrong road] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Friday 9 March 2007] This claim, in which he does not detail what bus and car occupancy rates he is using, is countered by estimates that a bus carrying 19 passengers uses less than a quarter of the energy of a typical car carrying one person. ["Divorce your car" - Alvord, Katie; via climatechangecaravan, Mount Allison University, Canada] .

Public advocacy

Groups like the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) aim to be advocates for alternatives to the private car, including public transport, cycling and walking. The CBT is both a successor to the former 'Campaign for Public Transport' and a new umbrella group which will include representation from the Light Rail Transit Association, Cycling Action Auckland and various community groups opposed to motorway extensions.Fact|date=June 2007

Disabled access

Access to public mass transit services for the disabled, elderly and infirm are considered very limited by some groups. Some services have signage indicating that seats are reserved for those who need it. However, unfortunatly there is little active support for adequate access. For examples, Fullers have a sign on som of their ferries indicating that seating near the doorways is reserved for the disabled and infirm. However, the signs are behind the seats and crew keep rubbish bins in front of the signage. Also Fullers run services where access in and out of the ferries is through a hatch on the foredeck which is not easy to negotiate for the disabled. StageCoach buses provide good services(eg kneeling buses for access to wheelchairs and the infirm). However once aboard disabled passengers are likely to have to stand the journey as there is no signage to encourage to today's sollipsistic generations to offer a seat to those who may need it. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=10494722 Fiona Barber: Stop the bus to let manners on board] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Wednesday 27 February 2008]

econd Harbour Crossing

During 2007, various plans were mooted to build a second crossing over the Waitemata Harbour, currently a major barrier for traffic. Proposed bridge or tunnel options included substantial provision for public transport, including for light rail, with some proposing to keep the new crossing reserved solely for public transport. [References provided within Auckland Harbour Bridge]

Commentators like Brian Rudman have noted that it would make the most sense for a possible new Waitemata Harbour Crossing to be dedicated to public transport only, possibly connecting with a rail tunnel from the Western Reclamation to Britomart Transport Centre, providing an alternate way of making Britomart a through station." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10450782 Brian Rudman: Hallelujah, talk before bulldozers] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Wednesday 11 July 2007]

In 2008 it was decided to shortlist the harbour crossing options to the general Auckland waterfront area, and it was announced that due to the reduction in costs for the boring of multiple small tunnels compared to single large ones it was likely that public transport would receive a dedicated tunnel, with potential for light or heavy rail. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=348&objectid=10507632 Four cross harbour tunnels preferred option for Auckland] " - "The New Zealand Herald", Friday 2 May 2008]

ee also

* List of Auckland railway stations
* Public transport in New Zealand
* Transport in Auckland

References

External links

* [http://www.arta.co.nz/ Auckland Regional Transport Authority] the region's public transport policy and funding organisation)
* [http://www.ontrack.govt.nz/ ONTRACK] New Zealand Railways Corporation (Rere Totika), the government rail owner
* [http://www.getmoving.org.nz/forum/ Auckland Transport Discussion] , an online forum of the Campaign For Better Public Transport


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