Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eastern Busway gets $200m funding injection

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An impression of how part of the Eastern Busway project will look once completed. File photo supplied

The Government has announced it’s putting an extra $200 million into construction of the Eastern Busway public transport project.

Once completed, the busway will provide better connections and sustainable travel options with a reliable high-frequency service every few minutes in peak periods.

It will offer passengers a 40-minute bus and train trip between Botany Town Centre and Britomart in downtown Auckland, saving 20 minutes of travel time.

Transport Minister Michael Wood says faster travel times and a more reliable bus service is coming to more of Auckland’s eastern suburbs with the extra investment in the project’s next phases.

“With this investment, 24,000 more Aucklanders will now live within 1km of a rapid transit station, providing an attractive public transport service that’s reliable and delivers an improved service to the city.

“The Government is investing an additional $200m into the project, reallocated from the Northern Pathway, to support Auckland Transport in the delivery of the busway.

“This brings the total Crown contribution to the Eastern Busway project to over $600 million.”

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown thanks Wood for listening to Aucklanders and acting quickly to back the busway’s completion.

“The Northern Busway is probably Auckland’s most successful transport project of recent years,” Brown says.

“We need to build on its success by finishing the Eastern [Busway] and get cracking on the Northwestern Busway as soon as possible.”

Wood says the new Reeves Road Flyover in Pakuranga will improve the busway’s reliability and reduce vehicle congestion around Pakuranga Town Centre.

By 2028, the busway will carry 14,000 passengers per day, more than four times the 3,700 bus passengers per day prior to Covid-19.

By 2048 it’s expected to increase to 24,000 passengers per day.

Wood says the busway will increase access to jobs and education, connect people to social and community opportunities, attract investment and growth, enable urban development, and help reduce emissions.

He and Brown say the project is an “important step” toward an agreed broader plan to future-proof Auckland with one high quality, connected transport system that includes cars, buses, trains, ferries, cyclists, pedestrians, freight and passenger rail and light rail.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown says the National Party welcomes the reallocation of $200m from “Labour’s failed Waitemata Harbour cycle bridge” towards the Eastern Busway.

“This announcement is good news for this important project.

“However it only deals with cost increases on the projects due to continuous delayed delivery over the past five years.

“Aucklanders won’t forget the fact Labour wasted $51m on the proposed cycle bridge, a vanity project no one wanted.”

Brown says the Government must finally focus on delivery, not making more announcements on transport projects.

“Auckland needs a clear plan of what the future transport networks in Auckland will be, for new freight routes, improved roading connections, and for public transport.

“Unfortunately the past five years have simply resulted in tens of millions of dollars being spent on consultants.”

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