The full potential of two major public transport initiatives in East Auckland will only be realised if a park and ride facility is established in the area.
That’s the view of Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, who’s pushing for a park and ride to be created as part of the Eastern Busway and the proposed Botany to Auckland Airport rapid transit project.
The Botany to Airport busway will travel via Manukau and is being led by Auckland Transport (AT).
Ross says he strongly supports the project but that insufficient consideration has been given by officials to the parking needs of passengers who would use the service and the Eastern Busway.
“We aren’t going to get commuters out of their vehicles and onto public transport unless they have access to handy and affordable car parking.
“That’s why there needs to be a park and ride facility in Botany. There is considerable support for such a facility being established in the area.”
Ross says he’s written to Transport Minister Phil Twyford to draw his attention to a property in Botany that he believes could serve as a prime spot for the busway interchange, a park and ride facility and an appropriate commercial or residential development.
He’s also pushing for the Botany busway to run along Te Irirangi Drive and eventually be connected to the Eastern Busway.
Ross says he’s used his voice in the Parliament to question Minister Twyford several times this year about progress being made on the project.
He says using Te Irirangi Drive as a rapid transit corridor will benefit local public transport users and alleviate congestion by getting people out of cars and onto buses.
“Reducing the appalling traffic congestion on our local roads is one of my main priorities.
“I’ve talked to thousands of locals on their doorsteps this year and the most common issue people raise is the lack of public transport options in East Auckland.
“East Auckland has been left behind when it comes to public transport for too long.”
A new public transport interchange is being built in Puhinui as an “early deliverable” of the Botany to Airport busway.
The interchange will be open in 2021 and will connect buses and rail to Manukau and the Airport, which is rapidly becoming one of Auckland’s major employment hubs.
Auckland Transport said it is still investigating options, and a range of matters for Botany Station. This includes the future bus network, site for the station, integration with commercial and residential development – as well as opportunities for improved access from park and ride facilities and active modes.