28 Jun 2016

Auckland airport rail link at least a decade away

12:20 pm on 28 June 2016

The chair of Auckland's transport agency admits speeding up travel to the city's airport will not happen as soon as some people would like - estimating it will take at least a decade.

Commuters wait to board a south-bound train. A new timetable at the end of the year is expected to boost weekend services.

An Auckland Transport train heading to Onehunga. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

The agency has ruled out a commuter rail link to the airport, saying a light rail or tram system is likely.

Its chair, Lester Levy, told Morning Report heavy rail would cost about $2.4 billion, while light rail would cost half that.

He said he understood there was unlikely to be a solution as quickly as people would like.

"You just cannot build this infrastructure in a very short period of time, so realistically this will not be ... in this next decade." he said.

Mr Levy said they were trying to catch up with a significant infrastructure deficit, but there were plans to develop a viable rapid transit system in Auckland.

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