Click on the subjects below for the relevant questions and answers.
Britomart Transport Centre
Information & Ticketing & Costs
Britomart Transport Centre
Q. What is the Britomart Transport Centre?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre, also known as �Britomart� is Auckland�s new transport interchange for bus, train and ferry passengers � as well as pedestrians and shoppers. It is the most significant �link� in the region�s development of a rapid transit network to date. The Britomart Transport Centre serves local and Auckland regional bus services, local and main trunk rail services and provides links to local and regional ferry services.
Q. When does Britomart open?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre officially opened on July 25th 2003.
Q. How will the Britomart Transport Centre make travel easier for me?
A. The new Britomart Transport Centre is situated close to the CBD, ferry terminals and central city bus stops, making it easier to connect to all services. Passengers will be able to purchase a bite to eat and a newspaper or browse the retail stores in a secure, safe environment. Information is also a key focus for the Britomart Transport Centre, and passengers will not only be able to view arrivals and departures on electronic displays, but also have access to current timetables and an information help desk.
The retail area of the Britomart Transport Centre will be open from late September.
Q. What's the schedule for the upgrades to other departure points/stations along the train route?
A. Stations along the network will be improved over the coming years. Improvements include better lighting and improved security such as continually monitored closed circuit television. Real time information displays are planned for most stations. Some stations may be relocated to better support future land developments. All stations are currently part of an Auckland Rail Business Planning process that will determine which, if any and when stations will be upgraded. No decision has yet been reached.
Q. What's the difference between Britomart and Downtown?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre, or simply �Britomart� is Auckland�s new transport interchange which includes underground train platforms, the old CPO building and bus precinct with cover and security. �Downtown� is an area stretching from the Viaduct area west to the proposed stadium in the east where the old rail workshops used to be. Britomart is the region�s latest step toward an integrated transport network, providing better connections between buses, ferries and trains.
Q. What provisions are in place for people with disabilities?
A. Full access for people with disabilities is available. The developers have consulted extensively with groups representing people with disabilities and have included tactile platform safety strips, elevators for wheelchair access and audio and visual information systems for those with sight and hearing difficulties.
Q. Are there escalators for old people? How do people with prams, suitcases or shopping trolleys get up and down?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre has several large lifts and escalators.
Q. Are taxi ranks handy to the exits?
A. Yes, a taxi rank is located in Galway Street with three stands which will be operated to ensure taxis are standing ready to take passengers from the Britomart Transport Centre as well as other people moving in and around the area. There will be a call point within the CPO for shuttles and special requests.
Q. How are current train and bus services affected by Britomart opening?
A. Train services that previously stopped at the Auckland Station on Beach Road started entering and exiting the Britomart Transport Centre from July 7th , adding approximately 2 minutes onto journey times.
In addition to the ADL refurbishment programme, the ARC is leading a project to upgrade six carriages imported from NSW for use on Auckland suburban services. When they enter service in Auckland they will be used to form two trains of three carriages, each hauled by a locomotive, from Papakura and operating supplementary services timed to coincide with school start and finish times around the existing waterfront loop thereby maintaining the existing operating pattern.
Platform 4 at Auckland Station on Beach Road will remain open after Britomart Station opens and renamed 'The Strand' as access will be from The Strand only. This is specifically for the services operating these locomotives. Operated around the �loop� (entering the city from either Orakei or Newmarket and returning to Papakura in the opposite direction), these trains will relieve the loadings on other trains operating to and from Britomart and retain a direct rail connection between the Eastern Suburbs and Newmarket.
Many bus services were affected by the relocation of bus stops to the Britomart Bus Precinct on August 3.
We are also working with operators to ensure that there are frequent buses services to coincide with train arrivals at the centre, connecting passengers to their destinations.
Q. Is there a risk of air pollution, because Britomart is enclosed? Is it healthy? Is the ARC measuring the air quality in the underground rail station and how does it measure up?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre has a state-of-the-art ventilation system capable of extracting fumes even at the busiest times, and air quality will be constantly monitored by an elaborate computer system called SCADA. The atmosphere will be as healthy as outside.
Q. Are there toilets?
A. Yes, toilets are located at the west end of the concourse and in Queen Street, opposite Galway Street.
Back to top
Q. What time do trains start and finish?
A. A new train timetable was introduced on June 9th.
Key points to note relating to the new timetable are:
� Trains now depart the CBD later in the evening allowing greater flexibility for passenger travel times (previously services ceased around 6.30pm).
� Pukekohe travellers now have additional early morning and evening service, and for the first time a mid-morning and mid-afternoon service.
� There are now earlier trains on the Eastern line, running half hourly from 6am (regular morning services previously started at 7.15am).
� All other services have had their timetable slightly altered to take into account the additional running time to and from Britomart Station.
Q. What service improvements are planned in the near future?
A. Following the opening of Britomart, services will be improved over time as more resources become available. Over the next 12-18 months, the ARC is aiming to have services operating every ten minutes including additional express services during the peak on the southern line, in the weekends and public holidays and into the night to 11 pm. In the west, the ARC is working to deliver additional peak services to New Lynn as well as weekend and night services to 11 pm.
Q. Why can�t all these services be put in place at the same time as Britomart opens?
A. Because extra trains require extra drivers, we must ensure that there are enough qualified drivers available by June in order to provide the full range of service improvements. The ARC has commissioned Tranz Rail to train more �DMU� train drivers to support the service requirements. It takes up to 31 weeks to qualify a new DMU driver and because of the intensive instruction required only 4 drivers can undergo training at any one time.
Q. Why can�t services be improved in the west in the same way as the south (i.e. every ten minutes in the peak)?
A. The western line is primarily single tracked with a lengthy section between Henderson and Avondale that has no section of dual track where trains can pass one another. In normal operations it takes 15 minutes for a train to traverse this section of track making the round trip 30 minutes. This represents the best service frequency achievable.
However, with proper signalling, by sending one train slightly after a Waitakere train it is possible to run an extra train as far as New Lynn and reverse it ahead of the train running from Waitakere - thereby providing a 15 minute service from New Lynn to the city. Only when full double tracking has been constructed will it be possible to run a service at 10-minute intervals in the west. The ARC regards double tracking of the western line as the single most important rail infrastructure improvement required. This project is currently under consideration as part of the Regional Rail Business Planning process. No decision has yet been reached.
Q. Where do the trains actually stop inside the Britomart Transport Centre?
A. Trains stop at the five platforms at the far end of the Britomart Station (at the rear of the former CPO). Trains will generally operate from the same platform each day, however changes may be made from time-to-time for operational reasons. Any platform changes will be highlighted through the Passenger Information Display and public address system.
Q. How significantly will the train services be improved with the opening of Britomart?
A. Initially, there will be a modest improvement to train services (implemented in June prior to the opening of Britomart), and subsequent service improvements will be made in stages over time. As a result of the changes made in June 2003, there has been the introduction of trains departing the CBD later into the evening � until 9.10pm. Pukekohe travellers now have additional early morning and evening service, and for the first time a mid-morning and mid-afternoon service. There are now also earlier trains on the Eastern line, running half hourly from 6am (regular morning services previously started at 7.15am). In October, evening services will be extended to 11pm/midnight and Saturday waterfront services and Saturday services will increase to weekday off-peak levels. The ARC is also working to deliver additional peak services from New Lynn to Britomart.
Q. There seem to have be a lot of breakdowns in the trains lately, what upgrades are being done on the trains themselves?
A. A high proportion of the delays during summer did not result from the rolling stock but were been due to speed restrictions imposed by the LTSA as a precaution in hot weather.
The present DMU fleet is a mix of older 1960s model ADK units and newer (1980s) ADL units. The ten ADL's are considered to have at least ten years more useful working life remaining and the ARC has embarked on an $8.5 million refurbishment programme to modernise their appearance and make them quieter and more comfortable. All ten ADL�s are planned to be refurbished by around the time Britomart opens. While the ADL's are removed from service to undergo refurbishment, there is an increased reliance on the older, less reliable, ADK's.
Once this programme is completed, a limited refurbishment will be carried out on the 9 ADK units to freshen up their appearance. These DMU's have reached the end of their economic life and are only considered suitable for peak use for about two to three years.
Q. Will all buses or trains be leaving from Britomart now? One of the considerations for me is if I miss the one train to Pukekohe there is one bus I can catch but it leaves from another downtown location and there's no way for me to get to it in time.
A. Firstly, with the new rail timetable, there will be two afternoon/evening trains to Pukekohe. Secondly, not all bus stops will be relocating to Britomart, although services operating in similar areas as the trains (such as in the east, west, and south) will depart from the Britomart Bus Precinct. Therefore passengers will have more choices whether they use bus or train. Also note that the timetables will be changing accordingly � e.g. train @ 5.27pm, bus @ 5.40pm, train @ 6.10pm this provides more options for passengers traveling to Pukekohe in particular.
Q. If trains are cancelled, will buses be put on instead for passengers?
A. Yes. In the event of cancelled rail services, buses and/or taxis to replace trains will be available. (However, please be aware that buses and taxis cannot maintain the same trip times as a train).
Q. How do I get from Britomart up to K�Road as quickly as possible, and is this included in the train fare?
A. The quickest way from Britomart to K�Road is to catch one of the 015 � 045 buses that depart for Queen Street immediately outside the CPO entrance to the station. These buses run every 5 minutes weekdays and every 10 minutes evenings and weekends. This service is free for Tranz Metro monthly pass holders, otherwise 50cents.
Q. Can I take my bicycle on board the trains?
A. Yes, room permitting. There are no separate storage facilities for bicycles on current trains, although provision has been made for flip-up seating to allow bicycle storage as part of the refurbishment. There is a charge of $1 for taking a bike.
Q. When will Pukekohe station be upgraded?
A. �Signature stations� � infrastructural upgrades at key points � are underway for Papatoetoe, Glen Innes and Ranui. All other stations are currently part of an Auckland Rail Business Planning process that will determine which, if any, and when stations will be upgraded. Pukekohe will form part of that process. No fixed time for an upgrade process has yet been reached.
Back to top
Q. How much will the bus routes/bus stops differ?
A. The opening of the Britomart Transport Centre meant many CBD bus stops moved from their temporary locations. Since 3 August 2003 buses have been arriving and departing from their new stops within the Britomart Bus Precinct.
But not all stops have relocated - so, if you travel by bus to and from the CBD you need to check whether your buses are affected.
If you catch buses to and from West Auckland, Eastern Bays and suburbs, howick, Pakuranga, South Auckland and Western Bays (via Queen St) you will need to check the precinct map for your new arrival and departure location. Also changing are the Three Kings/Mt Eden Road services, the 283 Hospital buses, the City Circuit and the Link.
Not all bus stops are changing. If you catch buses to and from the North Shore, Hibiscus Coast, Waikowhai or Te Papapa your bus will continue to arrive and depart from the same stop as previously. There are also no changes to the stops for New North Road, Sandringham Road, Dominion Road, Benson Road and Manukau Road (302 - 315) buses.
Due to incomplete streetscaping work, the Remuera Rd and Three Kings/Mt Eden Rd bus stops did not reloacte on schedule. Until further notice the Remurera Rd buses will depart from Commerce St and the Three Kings/Mt Eden Rd buses will continue to depart from Commerce St.
Q. What other changes are there to bus services?
A. From 3 August 2003, some bus routes will have minor changes.
Western Bays services no longer travel to the old Auckland Station in Beach Road. Instead they commence and conclude their trips at Britomart, allowing them to continue to provide the rail/bus connection up Queen Street to Karangahape Road.
The Downtown route for the City Circuit free inner city bus has changed. The City Circuit now travels via Britomart rather than the current Albert/Quay/Hobson Streets loop.
South Auckland buses travel via Anzac Ave.
You can click here for our brochure to find out where your bus now arrives and departs.
Q. Do all buses and trains end up at Britomart?
A. No. Some buses will stop within the Britomart Bus Precinct (the streets surrounding the Britomart Transport Centre) while others will continue to terminate at mid-town and the Civic Centre, depending on where they have originated from and where their final destination is. The Link bus (anti-clockwise) will travel through the Britomart Bus Precinct as part of its route.
Some peak trains will be using the �old� railway station in Beach Road (to be known as 'The Strand station) and not going into Britomart.
Q. My bus used to leave from the old Britomart bus terminal before they tore it down and we always used to get stuck in traffic on Customs St heading towards Albert St. Will buses be relocating to leave from the Britomart Transport Centre?
A. Many buses that are currently leaving from Downtown Auckland will be relocated to new points within the Britomart Bus Precinct. Keep checking the Britomart page on this website as we will be publicising any changes to stops, routes and services well in advance.
Q. Will there be bus lanes to get out of the city faster? (For those who catch the bus at Victoria Park and other bus stops).
A. There won�t be any new bus priority measures with the opening of Britomart. However, there are some existing bus priority measures between Britomart and Victoria Park. For example, passengers catching buses in Lower Albert Street and servicing the North Shore via Onewa Road will find that their bus can bypass the other right turning traffic onto Fanshawe St. There are also a green bus lanes between Nelson St and Victoria Park.
The councils of the region are working to a long-term strategy that aims to provide a seamless, integrated network with fast frequent and reliable services. The Britomart Transport Centre is just one part of Auckland�s solution to provide an integrated transport network.
Q. What has been done to prevent buses getting stuck in the traffic once they leave Britomart?
A. The Britomart Bus Precinct has been designed to minimise traffic congestion on bus operations. Auckland City Council is developing a programme of bus priority measures for the CBD including one-way access, bus lanes, and GPS activated traffic lights to ensure traffic is dispersed quickly, providing priority to buses for exiting Britomart.
Q. One problem at the moment is buses getting caught up on Queen Street and resulting in passengers being late for trains. Is part of the planning taking into consideration increased congestion on Queen Street ?
A. Work on bus priority measures in the CBD and improvement of traffic signal timings should improve this situation. Now that the train station will be located Downtown, the option of walking from buses to the station will be more feasible and probably quicker than catching a bus.
Q. Will the bus schedule be re-aligned with the train schedule?
A. We are working with operators to ensure that there are frequent bus services to coincide with train arrivals at the centre, connecting passengers to their destinations.
Q. If buses are late, will trains wait for connecting passengers?
A. No. Delaying train departures would have a ripple effect throughout the network leading to delays on all other train services.
Q. How do I get to the airport from Britomart Transport Centre?
A. Airbus will depart from the corner of Quay and Queen Streets outside HSBC House. This will be identified on the Precinct map.
Q. Will there be any changes to Night Rider services?
A. Some of the bus stops around the Civic Centre where the Night Rider buses commence were intended to be temporary stops only while the buses were unable to use the Britomart Transport Centre. Night Rider buses using those stops will therefore have to use different stops. These will still be in the Civic Centre area and these services will continue to use all other current stops along the route. Full details will be available on on this website.
Back to top
Q. How will timetable changes be communicated to bus and train passengers?
A. The ARC launched a public information campaign to make sure all public transport users knew about the changes to their services. We put up posters, issued information leaflets, advertised in local papers and put our officers out on the streets to answer your questions.
Q. Will the operating times of public transport be extended?
A. The hours of train services will be extended. In the months following the opening of Britomart (July), the next significant improvements will be evening services extended to 11pm/midnight Monday to Saturday initially, Saturday waterfront services and the frequency of Saturday services increased to that of weekday off-peak levels. Sunday services are set to commence on January 2004.
Bus service improvements for the West/Central areas were effective from August, South/East area improvements will be effective from November � however there will be no major time extensions. These changes will be publicised on this website.
Q. Will timetables be changing? How will I know where to get a new one?
A. Timetables for rail will be changing. Click here for the latest timetables, effective from June 9th.
There are some changes to bus timetables. These are for the West and Central areas which see minor changes and improvements to services in line with recent reviews of these areas. These were implemented on August 3.
Many bus stops relocated on August 3rd following the opening of the Britomart Transport Centre on July 26th. We�ll be advertising this information on buses and at bus stops.
Q. How long do I need to allow walking to Britomart from various points in the city so I don't miss my ride?
A. Rideline�s online �Journey Planner� can work this out for you � click here to find out how far you need to walk and how long it will take. Or call Rideline on 366 6400.
Q. Where do I go to for more timetable information and timetables?
A. Thiis website has the most up-to-date timetable information for buses, trains and ferries.
Back to top
Q. How safe is it i.e. (security, fire etc.)? What security is there after dark?
A. The Britomart Transport Centre has 24-hour security, with all public areas monitored by closed circuit television monitors and security officers. It is also electronically monitored for fire, and has been designed so that all staff and passengers, even at peak times, can be quickly evacuated in the event of fire.
The Britomart Station has a fire protection system and international standard emergency and evacuation procedures.
Q. Is Britomart a 24 hour facility or does it open and close at a certain time?
A. While the Britomart Transport Centre is monitored 24 hours a day, train services run only between 5.50am and 9.10pm.
Q. Where's the lost property? How do I report something lost on a bus or train, or in the station?
A. If you have lost something on a bus, you should contact the bus company. For items lost on metro train services, you should contact Tranz Metro. For items lost in the Centre, ask for help at the information centre in the old CPO building.
Q. Will there be any extra car parking at Britomart? What about park & ride?
A. No. As Britomart is a destination station at the heart of the region�s public transport network, it has not been designed to include a park and ride facility. Short-term pay and display parking is available outside the bus precinct, and there will be a drop-off and pick-up zone with a maximum parking time of 10 minutes on Commerce Street.
Q. Will there be facilities such as vending machines on the departure platforms?
A. We are currently investigating this. There will be food and other retail outlets in the old CPO entrance to the station at gorund level.
Q. Will the new departure area be non-smoking?
Q. Where can I lock up my bike? Is it secure?
A. Unfortunately there will be no facilities where you can lock up your bike. However, there are some bike racks in the Britomart Bus Precinct.
Q. Are there lockers available to store personal belongings i.e. luggage, if I have caught a train to work and will be catching a ferry in the evening?
Q. Who removes graffiti?
A. As the day-to-day operator of the Britomart Transport Centre, Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited (ARTNL) is responsible for keeping the Britomart Transport Centre clear of graffiti.
Q. Are there recycling facilities in the station?
A. Rubbish will be sorted for recycling.
Q. Will there be EFTPOS machines?
A. Yes, as well as ATM machines.
Back to top
Information & Ticketing & Costs
Q. Will the price of bus, train and ferry tickets be going up?
A. There are no plans to increase fares.
The price of tickets on contracted bus, train and ferry tickets is subject to a regional maximum fare schedule. Operators may charge any fare up to the specified maximum fares. The maximum fare schedule is reviewed annually through an independent auditing process to ensure that these fairly reflect the cost of providing the services since many are publicly subsidised.
The operators also provide a significant number of bus services without subsidies from the ARC and there are no restrictions on the fares charged on these commercial services. As these commercial services are fully self-funded through the fares, the operators may charge any fare they need to recover the costs of operation.
Q. Do I buy tickets on the trains or is there a ticket counter or machine?
A. There will be a ticket counter within the CPO, although single journey tickets may be purchased on the trains from the train staff (cash only).
Q. Is there a weekly/monthly/daily integrated ticket pass that will allow me to go from bus, train or ferry or vice versa? How much does it cost and which services does it cover?
A. The $12 Auckland Discovery Pass allows passengers to use almost all bus train and ferry services for a 24 hour period. Stagecoach also has daily and monthly tickets that can be used on inner harbour ferry services as well as Stagecoach and Link buses. Holders of Tranz Metro monthly passes can use these to travel to Karangahape Rd on Stagecoach buses (within the inner-city fare boundary).
Q. Will there be digital displays so that I can see when the train is due? Are there audio cues as well as visual signs to say when trains are leaving?
A. Yes. Electronic visual displays will be at the train platforms and bus stops to show the next scheduled service. These will also be used to show any delays to services, emergency messages etc. Audio announcements will be introduced in the near future.
Q. Where are the service timetables?
A. Timetables for all services will be on display at the bus stops in the precinct. You can also seek help from the information counter in the old CPO building. Or you can pick up timetables online at Rideline www.rideline.co.nz.
Q. Is there an information desk? What hours is it open?
A. There is an information counter in the old CPO building which will be open during train operating hours.
Q. Can I purchase tickets from a machine using coins and notes? Or can I use my credit card?
A. At present, there will be no ticket machines at Britomart. A ticket counter will operate with facilities for EFT-POS and credit card transactions.
Q. Is information available in different languages?
A. Internationally recognised symbols will be used to help guide people through the Centre � bus, train, ferry, toilet, information etc. and will be easy to identify for anyone.
Back to top
This page updated August 8, 2003