Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced today.
Phil Twyford and Phil Goff turned the first sod on construction that will transform the Puhinui rail station into an efficient, modern and user-friendly rail and bus interchange.
Phil Twyford said the Government understands Aucklanders need better transport, and any Aucklander with access to the rail network will have a fast and convenient 10 minute bus connection to the airport.
“One of the first tasks I asked the Transport Agency to take on when we came into government was rapid public transport from Puhinui station to the airport.
“It will be a bus service to begin with and in the future, it will become part of a rapid transit route connecting to Manukau and Botany with a dedicated busway or possibly light rail.
“This project is another example of central and local government working together through the 10-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project to unlock Auckland’s potential,” Phil Twyford said.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “The new Puhinui Station will be an impressive and world-class building, creating a congestion-free link and guaranteed travel times for Auckland’s growing number of visitors as well as the increasing number of workers and commuters employed at the airport commercial precinct.
“It’s another step towards easing congestion and creating a 21st Century transport system with rapid transit from the airport, eventually linking it with Manukau, East Tamaki and Botany, joining up with the Eastern Busway to Pakuranga and Panmure.
“While a large share of the cost will be met by our partners in NZTA and funded centrally, Auckland’s share of the cost will be met from the Regional Fuel Tax, which makes the project possible.
“The project will be completed within 18 months and ease the pressure on our transport system that events like hosting APEC will provide.”
The Puhinui station will close to the public on September 28, with a free bus service taking passengers to Papatoetoe rail station for onward journeys. The station closure will help construction be completed as quickly as possible, and remove any health and safety risks to the public.
Travel times from Puhinui Station to Auckland Airport will be 10 minutes in priority lanes; 22 minutes to Manukau; and 46 minutes to Britomart Station.
The Puhinui interchange forms part the wider Southwest Gateway programme, in which the Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport are working together to deliver transport projects that will improve access to the airport and its surrounding area to benefit workers, travellers, tourists and freight movements.
The total project cost is $60 million. The Government, through the NZ Transport Agency, is contributing funding for the project, with the remainder coming from Auckland Council and the Regional Fuel Tax.