If you work, live or travel through Auckland’s CBD, you will have noticed that preliminary work for Auckland’s largest infrastructure project, the City Rail Link (CRL) is now well underway.
The CRL is set to revolutionise Auckland’s transport network – doubling the rail capacity of Britomart – Auckland’s major transportation hub - and allowing for 30,000 passengers an hour at peak times.
“The City Rail Link is the most ambitious, critical and transformational infrastructure project undertaken since a motorway bridge was built across the Waitemata Harbour more than 50 years ago,” says Mayor Len Brown.
“It will rejuvenate and connect many parts of greater Auckland and unlock the productivity of our inner city, allowing us to be internationally competitive for jobs and investment.”
Why do we need the CRL?
Auckland is growing at a great pace. During the next 30 years, about 60 per cent of New Zealand’s population growth is expected to occur in Auckland.
By 2041 Auckland is expected to be home to at least an extra 700,000 residents and 400,000 additional dwellings. City centre and city fringe resident numbers are expected to double to 140,000, with employee numbers also doubling to more than 200,000.
Keeping Auckland moving in the face of this growth is a major challenge. The ability of private transport to provide for the expected additional population is severely limited by the capacity of city centre streets.
How will Aucklanders benefit from the CRL?
Britomart station can currently handle only 20 trains an hour. The CRL will provide the opportunity to more than double this, to 48 trains an hour. That’s better than one train every 10 minutes at peak (on average) for most Auckland stations.
The CRL also allows for potential future expansion of the rail network to the North Shore, via Wynyard Quarter, and the airport.
By getting more people on trains, the CRL will free up roads for those who need them and create more road space for buses in those parts of Auckland not served by rail. Without the CRL, major bus routes will be at over expected capacity by 2021.
Over the next few months, you’ll notice more works happening around the city as preparations are made for the CRL.
What to expect over the coming months
You’ll start seeing the “Build is On” campaign this month. For motorists coming into the city, there’ll be a lot of road works, fewer on-street car parks and traffic will be slower. Now is the time to think smart about how to travel into the city. Consider carpooling, catch the bus, train or ferry, walking or cycling. You could even think about changing the hours you work, or work from home.
AT has reconfigured bus routes and created new bus lanes, with more changes happening from April 17th when buses are moved out of lower Queen Street in preparation for the CRL early works.
Read more about the CRL
- Opinion: City Rail Link will transform Auckland’s economy, by Mayor Len Brown
- Unlocking Auckland’s transport network
- Mayor welcomes government announcement on City Rail Link