Panmure’s new transport interchange will make life a lot easier for commuters with the walking time between buses and trains now taking less than a minute.
The new bus and train station has been opened today by Mayor Len Brown and Associate Transport Minister, Michael Woodhouse.
“This will be the gateway to Auckland’s newest high frequency busway and is a significant step towards better transport connections for Auckland’s eastern suburbs,” says Mr Brown.
“Our new fast, efficient electric trains start scheduled services within the next few months and I can’t wait to be on the first service to Panmure in August.
“And I know everybody in the east is waiting for the new busway with real anticipation. They’ve been waiting for better public transport links with the rest of Auckland for way too long.”
The $17.5 million interchange allows easy and direct transfers between rail and bus, benefiting those living and working in the area as well as those who travel through Panmure as part of their daily commute.
Associate Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Woodhouse says the opening of the new Panmure Station is an exciting milestone for the first phase of AMETI and builds on extensive Government and Auckland Council investment in the rail network.
“The Government is committed to ongoing improvements to Auckland’s transport network, and addressing issues in the AMETI area is a key focus.”
The interchange is part of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) and its completion marks the first stage of the Southeastern Busway between Panmure, Pakuranga and Botany. The next stage will see the creation of the busway lanes along Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road to a new bus station at Pakuranga town centre.
The busway will offer passengers faster and more reliable travel times by freeing buses from traffic congestion. It will better connect people in the area to trains to the city and the south.
Auckland Transport's Chief Executive Dr David Warburton says the new interchange will become an important transport hub for Auckland and is a significant step towards improving Auckland's public transport system.
“This is a good example of the progress we’re making in terms of connectivity and faster travel times” says Dr Warburton. “The interchange layout is designed for easy transfers which is also enhanced by the new AT HOP card allowing people to travel seamlessly between public transport modes and operators.”
The NZ Transport Agency is investing $152m in the total AMETI investment to 2015 of $290m, and as a co-funder of the project it says the Panmure Transport Interchange is an example of its strategy to give people with more travel choices.
“A great facility like this is one part of a much bigger transport picture for Auckland,” says the Transport Agency’s Regional Manager for Planning and Investment, Peter Casey. “Encouraging greater use of public transport – and other facilities for those who walk and cycle – provides more travel options and helps ease congestion on our busy motorways and roads so that journeys for people and freight become safer and more reliable.
Mr Casey says the Prime Minister last year identified AMETI as part of the Government’s programme of transport projects to be accelerated in Auckland.
“The Transport Agency invests hundreds of millions of transport dollars in Auckland and this new interchange and the AMETI project as a whole is a great example of where we team up to work co-operatively and successfully with Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to grow infrastructure that is a key to the city’s growth. “
Panmure is currently one of the busiest rail stations in the region with approximately 1700 passengers per day. It has grown rapidly since 2003 when it was used by less than 100 passengers per day.
Features include a new central pedestrian plaza linking both sides of the rail tracks, two lifts, escalators to both platforms and four sets of stairs at the main access points. Ticket machines have been installed on both platforms with a staffed ticket office on the ground floor.
AMETI is Auckland Transport’s largest construction project which on completion will see the delivery of the first major infrastructure in the area for a number of years. This major project will see an integrated approach to improving transport - with work on roads, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure.
The next stage of the project will unlock further benefits for transport in the area once the Panmure roundabout is removed and a busway from Panmure to Pakuranga town centre is built.
The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council are major funders of AMETI.