Transport Plan for Auckland envisions core light rail link to the airport

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CFN Final Map

NEW ZEALAND: Greater Auckland, an independent volunteer-run analysis and advocacy platform, has released a Congestion Free Network 2 (CFN2) plan to improve transport in Auckland.

“Auckland needs and deserves a bold transport vision. We need a realistic alternative to get around that is fast, reliable and attractive. We need a network free from congestion, a Congestion Free Network,” the group said in a press announcement.

The Congestion Free Network forms the backbone of Auckland’s future public transport network, supported by further bus and ferry networks. As the name suggests, the key purpose of this network is to provide a way of travelling that is free from congestion. This means rail, light-rail and bus services operating in their own right-of-way that are fast, frequent and reliable.

CFN2 builds on the original Congestion Free Network launched in July 2013, most of which has been adopted by both Auckland Council and Central Government, through the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.

CFN2 has seven key routes: two light-rail, two heavy-rail, three bus rapid transit (BRT), and three enhanced bus routes.

New and improved light rail lines connecting the North Shore, Northwest, the Isthmus and the airport have been identified as key strategic routes. A Central Line forms a spine for Auckland’s public transport system, running from Orewa in the north to the Airport in the south. The line would operate 66 meter long vehicles, carrying up to 500 people each and travelling at up to 110 km/h when possible. The cost for the light rail line (Isthmus - Airport) is estimated at $1.15 billion.

E. South-Eastern BRT line connects the Airport with Puhinui (to link with the rail network), Manukau, Flat Bush and Botany. It provides a fast route to the Airport for people living in south and southeast Auckland and supports the growing metropolitan centre of Manukau. The cost for this line (Airport - Botany - Howick) is estimated at $444 million.

According to the Greater Auckland, the focus now is to make CFN2 happen, which means working with the Central Government with the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport playing key roles in the decision making process.