A new $60 million rail and bus interchange is being hailed as part of a goal of creating a rapid transit connection between Auckland Airport and east Auckland.
Mayor Phil Goff and Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced at the weekend that the new Puhinui Station Interchange will connect rail and buses to the Airport and Manukau.
It will be opened in early 2021 and is being delivered in two stages, the first of which is an “early deliverable” of the Airport to Botany rapid transit project.
Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross said he welcomes news of progress being made toward a rapid transit connection between Auckland Airport and Botany.
He’s advocated in Parliament for the project and obtained a commitment from Minister Twyford that he would work with Ross on it.
“A bus and rail interchange at Puhinui Station starts the process of improving connections,” Ross said.
“The next stage of major transport infrastructure for East Auckland must be to connect the Eastern Busway, via Te Irirangi Drive, out to Manukau and the Airport.
“It’s logical to connect Botany to Manukau and then Puhinui Station via a dedicated busway.
“Eventually there should be a rail connection between Puhinui Station and the Airport.”
Ross said he’s been campaigning for the creation of a dedicated busway down Te Irirangi Drive for some time.
“The Eastern Busway, which is now under construction, shows we can move forward, but have to keep up the pressure on the mayor and Transport Minister to step up further.
“This Puhinui Station announcement is a good move, but we still need more commitment.”
Goff says the Puhinui Station Interchange project creates a new southern gateway to the city and the station will be a landmark building.
“This project allows for congestion-free travel to the airport and its employment precinct for people across Auckland. It will be welcomed by workers and visitors to the city.
“It provides a modern, safe and weather-protected environment to allow people easily and conveniently to transition between road and rail services.”
The Airport to Botany rapid transit project is being led by Auckland Transport (AT).
It forms part of the wider Southwest Gateway programme which also involves the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Airport.
The Southwest Gateway programme will see the three organisations work together to deliver transport projects that improve access to the airport and its surrounding area to benefit workers, travellers, tourists, and freight movements.