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A map of the Southwest Gateway programme, which incorporates three projects – Airport to Botany rapid transit, 20Connect, and Auckland Airport precinct developments

New Southwest Gateway programme to improve transport in south Auckland

Aucklanders will soon be able to have their say on a series of projects that aim to improve access and travel choices, connect communities and support growth in the southwest and southeast of Auckland, including Auckland Airport.


The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Airport are working together on the Southwest Gateway programme to deliver three projects to create an integrated, 21st century transport system to move people and freight between the city’s southeast (including Botany), southwest (including Onehunga and Mangere), as well as the south (including Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe).

NZTA chief executive Fergus Gammie says the programme will work alongside other initiatives, including Auckland Light Rail and the City Rail Link, to ensure a connected transport system that was identified in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).

“In the short term, we are upgrading Puhinui Station to provide a quality transport interchange that enables seamless connections between bus and heavy rail, and will then enable people to connect with a modern bus service to take them right to the airport terminal,” Mr Gammie explains.

The upgrade of the interchange will be accompanied by fast, frequent services into and out of Puhinui, starting with priority lanes along State Highway 20B to increase efficiency and reliability. This will also include new direct bus services to run on the priority lanes between the airport, Puhinui Station and Manukau, as well as improved walking and cycling facilities. This work will be finished in stages in 2020/21.

Longer-term plans

In the longer term, NZTA and AT are working on a rapid transit service from Botany and Flat Bush through Puhinui to the airport, which could also include links to and from Manukau. This will integrate with the City Rail Link and a third rail line through Wiri for express trains from the new Britomart Train Station in the city centre. Light Rail will then create yet another route to open up connections between Botany, Manukau, Mangere and then stations between Onehunga and the CBD.

Mr Gammie says this will give more people across Auckland access to a reliable and frequent connection to the employment hub of Mangere, including the airport.

“While getting air passengers quickly and reliably to and from their flights is important, data in ATAP suggests they make up only 4% of overall travel demand. Far more people need frequent, reliable options to get to work, education and other daily activities across the southwest and southeast.”

Improved journey reliability

AT chief executive Shane Ellison says the Southwest Gateway programme aims to improve journey reliability and public transport options to and from Auckland Airport and the surrounding areas.

“By working with our project partners NZTA and Auckland Airport, AT is investing in a number of new public transport options to provide improved travel choices and enhanced accessibility to the airport and its surrounding areas. By upgrading public transport in southern and eastern locations, Aucklanders and visitors will have better travel times and more reliability.”

Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s chief executive, says the Southwest Gateway programme will help support the airport’s significant investment in its transport network to better accommodate the increasing number of vehicles and buses that will travel to and from the airport in the future.

“We’re investing $100 million between now and 2022 to upgrade our transport network as part of our 30-year vision to build the airport of the future. This will ensure that we have the right transport infrastructure to allow people efficient access to our terminals and businesses in and around the airport precinct, as well as surrounding areas. Our partnership with NZTA and AT is greatly contributing towards a better outcome for passengers, staff and freight.”

Have your say

NZTA and AT are now asking for public and stakeholder feedback to ensure customer and communities are at the centre of investment decisions. Take this survey or visit the AT project website to find out how you can participate.


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