The NZ Transport Agency has approved $1.14m in funding to help in the design of a significant upgrade of one of Auckland's busiest commuters routes to improve travel for bus passengers to and from the CBD.
The $1.14m is a 53 percent share of a $2.16m design project led by Auckland Transport to improve a 4.2 kilometre-long public transport corridor along Dominion Road, a key section of the bus route between Auckland International Airport and the central city.
The Regional Manager of the NZTA’s Planning and Investment group, Peter Casey, says the NZTA has identified the Dominion Road upgrade as a strategic project to help improve Auckland’s public transport system.
“Supporting Auckland Transport and Auckland Council deliver key projects like this has winning advantages for people. They get more choices about how they travel, and improvements in public transport will help reduce the number of cars on roads and motorways and ease congestion,” Mr Casey says.
The design phase of the project will take about a year. In that time, plans and costs for the upgrade will be finalised. The key feature of the project will be an extension of dedicated bus lanes already in place along Dominion Road. The upgrade is planned to deliver several benefits for people:-
Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy welcomes the NZTA’s funding announcement.
“Dominion Road is one of Auckland’s iconic roads and Auckland Transport is delighted to have received NZTA funding to enable us to move into the detailed design stage of the project. Once complete, the Dominion Road upgrade will see bus services improved, village centres upgraded and through the parallel cycle routes, improved safety for cyclists travelling to and from the City,” Dr Levy says.
Mr Casey says support for this first stage of the upgrade complements other public transport projects the NZTA helps fund like the improvements to the city’s rail system and the introduction of integrated ticketing.
In the three years between 2012/15, $3.4b will be invested in the Auckland region’s transport systems through the National Land Transport Programme. The NLTP is a funding partnership between the NZTA and local authorities like Auckland Transport and Auckland Council. The region’s committed and recommended investment includes $1.6b for state highways, $968m for local roads and $890m for public transport. The investment includes funding for Dominion Road when re-construction of the route starts.