The case for buses not rail for Auckland

Below I blog some documents from Tony Randle, who makes a strong case that the best way to improve Auckland’s transport problems is a bus tunnel, not the CBD rail loop. Tony has done a 93 page critique of the business case for the CBD rail loop, and found numerous flaws in it. He says that the bus tunnel option has never been properly considered by the Auckland Council, and it should be. His conclusion is:

The Alternatives Paper also hides the fact that the Central Bus Tunnel option carries far more commuters on congestion free PT corridors than the CBD Rail Link option while being cheaper to both build and operate. The Central Bus Tunnel option is much fairer in providing a Rapid Transit service to more PT commuters across more of Auckland than any passenger rail system. In recommending the inferior rail tunnel option, the business case fails in meeting any objective to identify the best rapid transit solution for central Auckland.

He also notes:

The deceptive elimination of the superior Central Bus Tunnel option has reduced the debate on to whether or not the rail tunnel should be built. Aucklanders do not know a Bus Rapid Transit tunnel is the superior third way to improve CBD Public Transport being. The consistent misrepresentation of passenger rail over Bus Rapid Transit is difficult to understand . . . until of course you read the title page and recognise the Auckland CBD Rail Link Business Case was “Prepared for KiwiRail and ARTA”.

So the paper which recommended rail over buses was partially commissioned by KiwiRail? And this is what the decisions were made on, rather than an analysis commissioned by someone with no vested interests?

It is also worth considering the lessons from the Rugby World Cup. One broken down train clogs the entire track. A broken down bus results in a few minutes delay only.

I hope the media seriously look at Tony’s work and we have a genuine debate on what is the best way to reduce congestion in Auckland. The Herald has already done a small story here.

Auckland CBD Rail Link BC Review T Randle – Summary Only 111026

Above is Tony’s Executive Summary. But he has done a huge amount of work backing up his conclusions. And remember Tony is no politician, with a vested interest in the conclusions. Likewise he has not been paid by anyone for his analysis, so there is no issue of it being an analysis to suit the paymaster. He’s just someone who wants the best public transport system for NZ cities.

His full 93 page analysis is here – Auckland CBD Rail Link BC – Bus Tunnel Cost Review final DRAFT 111026. It’s incredibly comprehensive.

He has also provided the detailed costings calculations which Auckland Transport refused to release until ordered to by the Ombudsman- Alternatives Cost Model v4a

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