Work to transform the way Aucklanders travel has accelerated with the announcement of two preferred bidders to plan and design the next phases of the city’s expanding rapid transit and multi modal transport network – Auckland Light Rail and Waitematā Harbour Connections. Waka Kotahi, and partners Auckland Transport and Auckland Council have named an alliance of four companies, WSP, Beca, SYSTRA and COX Architecture as its preferred bidder for the next phase of the Waitematā Harbour Connections project. The companies in the alliance named as the preferred bidder for the next phase of Auckland Light Rail are Aurecon and Arup. Both Alliances are responsible for the planning and design of their respective projects, which are at different phases of development. While Auckland Light Rail and the Waitematā Harbour Connections are separate projects, together they underpin expansion of a rapid transit system better connecting road, rail, bus, walking and cycling links. The projects will encourage quality growth, give people more travel choices, make the transport network for Auckland and beyond more resilient, and tackle congestion and harmful pollution. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi say work will start quickly on the next critical planning phases to expand Auckland’s rapid transit system and provide seamless travel options for Aucklanders.