Park-and-ride ruled out

Auckland Transport is not constructing a park-and-ride facility as part of the Eastern Busway project. Times photo Wayne Martin

Park-and-ride facilities will not feature as part of two major public transport projects being delivered in east Auckland.

Auckland Transport (AT) spokeswoman Natalie Polley says they were previously considered as part of the two projects but are not currently proposed.

In 2019 the then-MP for Botany, who has since been replaced by the National Party’s Christopher Luxon, publicly advocated for a park-and-ride facility to be constructed in the area, saying commuters won’t get out of their vehicles and onto public transport “unless they have access to handy and affordable car parking”.

Polley says Auckland’s public transport network is built around a ‘hub and spoke’ model where customers can use feeder bus services to access ‘hubs’, or interchanges, to transfer to other bus, train or ferry services.

“Pakuranga and Botany Town Centres will be an example of a public transport hub which connects many local and frequent bus services,” she told the Times.

“In the future, Botany will provide a connection for local services and two rapid transit corridors – the Eastern Busway and the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit corridor.

“AT’s strategy is to locate park-and-ride facilities on the outskirts of the public transport network, for example in low density semi-rural areas, to serve people who cannot access public transport hubs or rapid transit stations using feeder bus services.

“This extends the catchment of the public transport network while encouraging people who can do so to walk, cycle or use a feeder bus.”

Polley says such a strategy helps to discourage traffic from town centres that are already congested and enables available land there to be used for housing.

“Key to the success of the Eastern Busway will be ensuring it is attractive to, and able to be accessed by, a wide range of users,” Polley says.

“It will be required to connect people to the places they want to go to and to be convenient, reliable efficient, and comfortable.

“Although park-and-ride facilities are currently not part of the Eastern Busway Alliance’s scope, we’re investigating opportunities to increase access to the busway stations via all modes, including walking, cycling, local buses and short-term drop-off facilities.”