Aucklanders set to get faster route to airport with 'efficient, modern' rail option

Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff have jointly launched a project which promises rapid transport to the airport for Aucklanders.

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The Transport Minister and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff jointly unveiled plans for rapid transport to the airport. Source: 1 NEWS

They touted plans today to transform Puhinui rail station into an "efficient, modern and user-friendly rail and bus interchange".

Mr Twyford said the project, which is one way central and local government was working together through the 10-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project, was addressing Aucklanders' need for better transport.

"One of the first tasks I asked the Transport Agency to take on when we came into government was rapid public transport from Puhinui station to the airport," he said.

"It’s going to unlock huge network benefits by allowing people from all over our region who have access to the heavy rail network to take advantage of a 10-minute rapid bus connection."

Travel times from Puhinui Station to Auckland Airport will be 10 minutes in priority lanes; 22 minutes to Manukau; and 46 minutes to Britomart Station.

"It will be a bus service to begin with and in the future, it will become part of a rapid transit route connecting to Manukau and Botany with a dedicated busway or possibly light rail," Mr Twyford said.

Mr Goff said the new Puhinui station would be "an impressive and world-class building, creating a congestion-free link and guaranteed travel times for Auckland's growing number of visitors".

He also said it would increase the number of workers and commuters employed at the airport commercial precinct.

"It's another step towards easing congestion and creating a 21st Century transport system with rapid transit from the airport, eventually linking it with Manukau, East Tamaki and Botany, joining up with the Eastern Busway to Pakuranga and Panmure."

A large share of the $60 million cost will be covered by NZTA and funded centrally, as well as from the Regional Fuel Tax.

Mr Goff said the it will be completed within 18 months and would "ease the pressure on our transport system that events like hosting APEC will provide".

The Puhinui station will be closed to the public on September 28 while construction is underway, with a free bus service taking passengers to Papatoetoe rail station for onward journeys.