Early buses connecting to intercity rail

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The most valuable land near a rail station is within the 500m walking catchment. With city taxes being linked to the value of land and what is built on it, spending $2,246,000 ($21,000 per car park) on car-parking and then allowing these parks to be used for free is a cost to everyone and will please no one: we all know that demands for car parking can never be satisfied.

Old Chruch building remove to provide more car parking

In the ‘start-up passenger rail service, Business Case – Engagement Register’ the NZTA discussion notes say (p212) ‘Potential to have Orbiter from start-up – bus service supporting rail service’ but add that ‘most people drive private vehicles’. We see NZTA has funded ‘building 100 car parks’. NZTA goes on to say ‘the Transport Agency will be interested in the mode neutral, rather than access via car focus’. Is there any evidence NZTA will fund an earlier start for an Orbiter bus connection from start-up?

The same ‘Business Case’ from Waikato Regional Council (WRC) says (p60) ‘Existing local bus services can easily be re-routed and timetables altered to integrate with the Start-Up service’ … (p65) WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when is finalised … (p67) The Orbiter and Northern Connector bus services will be reviewed to provide a bus connection to The Base station. WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when is finalised … (p68) The Northern Connector and Huntly-Pukekohe bus services will be reviewed to provide a bus connection to Huntly station. WRC will ensure that the existing bus services integrate well with the rail timetable when finalised’. Are we going to see any evidence WRC is planning to start early connector bus services to rail stations?

If Regional bus services start earlier, a third of Hamilton’s area will be within 300m of a morning bus connecting to the Hamilton to Auckland rail service. This would not only include the Orbiter route but would mean that all along the Te Awamutu, Cambridge and Huntly routes people could park and ride at a much lower cost to the tax payer. When car parking is spread under such circumstances, it does not cause the type of congestion generated by a hundred cars leaving a single car parking facility at same time.

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