A historic moment for rail and public transport in Auckland as the first train to Manukau pulled in to the new station today breaking a ceremonial ribbon.
The Manukau Rail Link is the first new rail route to be built in Auckland in 82 years.
The first stage of the station was officially opened today by the Mayor. Len Brown was on board a special train which travelled to Manukau from Britomart.
Today’s ceremony will be followed by a community open day on Saturday 14 April from 11.30am to 2pm, giving the public the opportunity to see the new station and ride on the new rail line before services begin on Sunday 15 April..
The first stage of the station fit out at platform level includes a passenger lift and escalator, CCTV cameras and HOP ready ticket machines.
Construction is continuing above ground on the second stage, a $95 million tertiary campus with an integrated transport hub at ground floor level. This is joint development between Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Auckland Transport and Auckland Council
Len Brown says it’s an exciting day because it marks the extension of the network into a community that has not yet really experienced the benefits of rail transport.
“We want the Manukau city centre and the surrounding area to be places that are easy to get to and get around. This development will play a big part in achieving that.
“It’s all part of an ongoing programme to give Auckland integrated transport choices and includes the introduction of our new $500 million electric train fleet, the $1.5 billion Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) and the Central Rail Link.
These are all initiatives designed to unclog our roads and unleash the potential of all of Auckland.”
”Auckland Transport Major Projects Manager Rick Walden says it is an exciting development.
“From 15 April people will see a high quality station at platform level, which is below ground. But passengers using the station will notice construction work continuing on the development of the integrated transport hub and tertiary campus.
“They can also look forward to a really impressive station and campus building opening next year, which will make it easy to change between bus and train.
“It is expected to drive future development and investment in the Manukau city centre area.”
Dr Peter Brothers, Chief Executive Manukau Institute of Technology says “The new campus will be a catalyst for growth of the city.
“It allows us to plan for the future and to expand our offerings to potential learners in a much more accessible way.”
The NZ Transport Agency is providing significant funding for the station. Regional Director, Stephen Towne, says the agency is pleased to be involved with the development of this major enhancement of passenger transport services in Manukau.
“The centre will rapidly establish itself as a vital and much used transport hub for the area and will further vitalise the district as well as the shopping and commercial precinct.”
Initially, Manukau Station will have three trains an hour in peak times and one train an hour at other times.
The 580 bus service from Botany, Flat Bush and Redoubt Rd will be extended to Manukau Station, and services increased, to provide a connection between trains and these suburbs.
Further bus services will be extended to the station next year, with it expected to eventually become the main bus hub for Auckland south.
When the tertiary campus and station are complete in 2013, the new station entrance will be on the ground floor of the Manukau Tertiary Centre. When this second stage opens it will have high quality facilities, including a ticket office, cycle facilities with easy connections between trains and buses from just outside the station entrance.