The Auckland city center program was completed and celebrated today, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in attendance to mark the occasion.
The six projects delivered by the Downtown program reflect an investment of $ 350 million by Auckland Transport and Auckland Council, of which $ 42 million was provided by the government.
The program has created a generous and welcoming waterfront destination that is recognizable by Tāmaki Makaurau. The space is designed to strengthen people’s connection with Waitematā Port – a dynamic and transformed environment for all to enjoy.
Mayor Phil Goff said: “This $ 350 million modernization of downtown Auckland has created a world-class waterfront that is vibrant, friendly, attractive and accessible.
“It is a meeting place where the land connects with the sea and where people can gather and admire our beautiful Waitematā harbor in the heart of the city.”
He says it’s a place to take in the ambiance created by our heritage buildings, landscaped parks and public spaces, and experience shopping and dining in the new Commercial Bay neighborhood.
“The creation of the new Te Wānanga space and Te Komititanga waterfront plaza, the restored main post office, Amey Daldy Park and the fantastic Wynyard and Viaduct Basin area, as well as the Britomart area, make our absolutely world-class waterfront and downtown area. It will be enjoyed by Aucklanders and visitors from across the country, and when our borders reopen, will welcome tourists from all over the world.
“Our new ferry piers that form Te Ngau o Horotiu will have improved accessibility and greater operational flexibility, providing a better customer experience for the 4 million people who use it each year. Bus and train connections also make it the most accessible area of the city by public transport.
“This new downtown area will be appreciated for generations to come. It’s fantastic to open it for Aucklanders today.
Auckland Transport Board Chair Adrienne Young-Cooper said the region is now a world-class meeting place for Aucklanders and visitors and a hub for connections to d other parts of the region.
“With new infrastructure for ferries, buses and short-haul trains, connections with public transport are easier than ever. Currently, nearly 9,000 people use our ferry services daily. It is the fastest recovering mode of public transport since the lockdown, with ridership nearing nearly 90% of pre-COVID levels.
“This ‘beating heart’ of our public transport system sees 20,000 people per day using the bus services in the Lower Albert Street bus interchange and 30,000 people traveling to the newly redeveloped Britomart station. It would not be uncommon for many travelers using our services to be transferred between these modes.
“When you combine this with the Quay Street cycle path and the widened trails now positioned together, this part of the city is well prepared for growth and an asset for the thousands of people who live, work and travel to and from the city. every day.
Eric Van Essen, program director for the Downtown program, explains that the transformation of Auckland’s waterfront has involved a design partnership with Mana Whenua who interprets local identity, culture and history.
“This is what the city center represents today, a place with stories, a sense of history and a unique identity. A place that showcases Auckland that we can all be proud of ”.
The program began by strengthening the sea wall on which Quay Street rests, protecting the city for the next 100 years from sea level rise and seismic events. At the same time, he revitalized Quay Street and Galway Street to be more people-oriented. There are now wider trails and a protected bike path on Quay Street, as well as a growing urban forest (ngahere) and native plantations providing shade, shelter and carbon absorption.
The Quay Street ngahere connects with Te Wānanga, the new public space in the city center. Seeming to float above the harbor, this new public space was designed to resemble a tidal plateau, forming a living hinge between land and sea and shaped to mimic the rocky edges and sandstone promontories of Waitematā.
A new bus interchange is now operating on Lower Albert Street, serving some of Auckland’s busiest bus lines and providing easy connections to the recently reopened Main Post Office building at Britomart Station. Six new ferry piers form Te Ngau o Horotiu, built on the east side of Queens Wharf. These new piers are designed for customer growth and the future introduction of electric ferries.
Mike Horne, Managing Director of Fullers360, said: “We are delighted to be involved in celebrating this milestone today – which represents a significant and critical investment for Auckland’s ferry network. The six new piers at Te Ngau o Horotiu mean we can now operate our ferry services from bigger, better and purpose-built infrastructure, enabling Fullers360 and other operators to deliver an enhanced customer experience for all . This puts us in a good position for our future transition to electric and hybrid vessels. “
Saturday free of charge
To celebrate the opening of the city center, the completion of the Karangahape road improvement project last month and Matariki, Auckland Transport is hosting one of its free days. On Saturday July 3, all buses, trains and some ferry services will be free from the first service of the day until the last.
Customers will need to use an AT HOP card to tag and deactivate – they won’t be charged.
At alert level 1, all customers on public transport are required to wear a face cover. Customers are reminded to also use the NZ COVID Tracer app to track their travel.
Changes to ferry service
With the six new docks now completed as part of the Downtown program, Auckland Transport is making changes to some ferry services.
From Monday July 5, a new numbering system will be introduced at the downtown ferry terminal. Ferry services will operate from the new docks, with some schedule changes.
Visit the Auckland Transport website to learn more about the Downtown, No-Fare Saturdays schedule and for more information on upcoming ferry service changes.