Transport Minister Michael Wood today marked the completion of upgrades to State Highway 20B which will give Aucklanders quick electric bus trips to and from the airport.
The State Highway 20B Early Improvements project has added new lanes in each direction between Pukaki Creek Bridge and SH20 for buses and vehicles carrying three or more people. A shared path has also been built to give Aucklanders more options for getting to the airport, work, schools and the shops.
Michael Wood said any Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport.
“Thanks to the SH20B upgrades, the travel time between Puhinui Station and the airport on the Airport Link electric bus will only be around 10 minutes. Work to upgrade Puhinui Station to an efficient, modern and user-friendly rail and bus interchange is expected to finish in June.
“Vehicles carrying three or more people will also be able to use the bus/T3 lanes, which will encourage people to carpool and ease congestion.
“The airport is one of the largest employment hubs in Auckland with more than 900 businesses around it – these upgrades will make it easier for thousands of Aucklanders to get to and from work. It’ll also help Kiwis and visitors avoid pre-flight congestion as air travel picks up.
“The quick bus service the project enables is the first step to connecting up South and East Auckland with good public transport. The route will eventually become part of a rapid transit route connecting to Manukau and Botany with a dedicated busway or possibly light rail.
“Electric buses are going to be exclusively used on this route and we’ll be working with councils to fully decarbonise their public transport bus fleets by 2035,” says Michael Wood.
SH20B is one of two main routes to Auckland International Airport with more than 30,000 vehicles per day. The total project cost is $72 million.