Light rail in Auckland will be one of the slowest public transport airport links in the world, a new lobby group says.
Paul Miller, of the Auckland Airport Smart Transport Group, said our biggest city has a “horrendous history” of short sighted transport projects, and light rail was not a “rapid” solution.
The newly formed group has calculated that at 45 minutes Auckland would have the fourth longest trip from the city centre to the airport out of 71 international cities.
Thanks to the Waterview tunnels, the trip by car is now often just 20 minutes or so.
“There are no airports with 40 million passengers that have a tram link to the airport as their primary connection,” he said.
Minor detail I am sure.
“When you get off from a 12-hour journey to the airport, do you really want to travel at 32kmh – or just jump in an Uber?”
Miller said few international cities have light rail as their primary airport link, and the Government should instead look to connect to heavy rail on the southern line.
The Government had been “hijacked by a tram lobby”, and although light rail down Dominion Rd was a good idea – it shouldn’t be extended to the airport, he said.
Call me old fashioned but I think you go for the option with the best BCR.
But Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the planned light rail was not about making an express service, but about building a rapid transit network across the city.
“It’s not primarily about getting people to catch a plane, or for tourists,” he said.
So they want light rail to the airport, but it’s not primarily for the millions of people who catch planes. Beyond weird.
The Auckland Airport Smart Transport Group was a group of concerned citizens, local politicians and transport experts, from across the political spectrum, Miller said.
Auckland councillor Mike Lee helped the group come together, he said.
Lee seems to be one of very few independent thinkers on Council.