Auckland aligned for future

Auckland Transport and government set course for next three decades with alignment project

Auckland aligned for future
The ATAP already has significant bus improvements on the books, including road infrastructure investment

The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) final report has been released, signalling the start of the next 30 years of Auckland’s public transport system.

The ATAP already has significant bus improvements on the books, including road infrastructure investment, and a busway from Westgate to Te Atatu.

The main feature of the project is increased investment, which will help Auckland’s public transport systems cope with a large population increase expected in the coming decades.

Finance minister Bill English says previous investments have built a foundation which will assist in future development.

"Over the last 15 years, the Government and Auckland Council’s combined annual transport investment in Auckland has increased from $500 million to $2.1 billion," he says.

"This has allowed us to keep pace with the challenges which have stemmed from strong population growth.

"However, Auckland’s population is set to grow by 700,000 people in the next 30 years and our findings show congestion is set to get worse under current plans."

In February, during planning stages for the project, transport minister Simon Bridges said stakeholders would benefit from a more technologically connected transport system.

Bridges now echoes those statements with the release of the plan.

"Technology also has the potential to play a critical role in influencing travel demand," he says.

"Emerging transport technology is fundamentally reshaping the way transport is provided and used.

"It is important that we make sure Auckland and the rest of New Zealand is well positioned to take full advantage of these opportunities."

More immediate changes being introduced to Auckland’s transport system are taking place within the next couple of months, as new bus contract negotiations have been announced and a new network is planned for south Auckland.

Ritchies Transport and Pavlovich Coachlines are the preferred tenderers for Auckland’s western buses and – assuming negotiations go smoothly – will be in charge of services from May 2017.

The most immediate changes for Auckland will be seen in August, as new routes and more frequent services are introduced through Pukekohe and Waiuku.

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