Auckland is over a third of New Zealand’s economy and its population.
And if you agree with Bill English, the whole of Auckland’s real estate is going down an apocalyptic gurgler.
But at least in transport, there are a few developments altering things for the better.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s coming in 2016:
- HOP card and fares will improve, because you will be able to go from New Lynn to Onehunga and all points in between in one zone.
- Vector and others are installing recharging points for fully electric vehicles.
- The trains work, are electric, and actually turn up on time. That’s a fifty-year first.
- Every major train station, and every bus (as routes are retendered), will have free WIFI.
- More flash rail stations open in Otahuhu, Parnell, and Pukekohe, and an enormous bus station gets underway in Manukau.
- Construction on the City Rail Link starts in earnest, alongside huge urban renewal projects.
- Double decker buses really get rolled out on the North Shore, Dominion Road, and to Botany Downs.
- Anyone with a Gold Card can still get all the way to Waiheke Island – and indeed anywhere on a bus as well – for free, traveling off-peak.
- You will get to and from work or uni from Glen Innes to town, or Avondale to town, on a dedicated cycleway, by late 2016. If they get their diggers going fast.
- And for the majority who love their cars, by the first quarter of 2017 you get groovy tunnels to drive to the southern employment areas via SH16 and SH20, rather than having to grind through Spaghetti Junction.
- Deep in the pipeline we are likely to get a view on a dedicated light rail system as well, though I fear a smelly BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) will land on the Mayor’s doorstep.
Most of the above is well beyond any one political term to achieve.
And there’s plenty still wrong. That’s for other posts (TransportBlog covers them in detail).
For next year though, some things will improve.