New trains may boost trips - mayor
Mayor Len Brown is confident that rail patronage will increase and bring work on the City Rail Link forward.
But figures show Auckland is not on track to meet that goal. A rise in city centre employment and annual rail use of 20 million trips would see construction start before 2020.
Auckland Transport forecasts only 13.8 million trips will be reached by 2015/16.
Mr Brown says the new rail network will boost patronage.
"I think the big change for rail will be the electrification of the rail route and basically we will have, on track, 58 trains operating on full commercial route within the next 12-odd months.
"I think that will be a massive change."
"Every year we'll change those patronage numbers depending on how we're going.
"We will just keep an eye on that.
"I think Auckland Transport is going through a culture shift, a major culture change, of really understanding what it is to not just put in place a public transport network but how you connect the people to it and talk to them about the changes in it and what's available, what's not and how you promote it.
"This is still an early part of the journey."
Mr Brown says he is positive about the growth of the public transport network as a whole.
Electric trains service 80 per cent of Auckland.
And Mr Brown says he is confident the North Shore will get light rail.
"It's just about when. It's all about timing."
The link will connect under Britomart, Albert, Vincent and Pitt streets, Karangahape Rd and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds St before emerging above ground to join the western line near Eden Tce.
It would be built in two 3.5km-long twin tunnels up to 45 metres below the city.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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