Auckland light rail back on track, Greens welcome engagement with community

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party is welcoming the announcement today by the Minister of Transport that Auckland light rail is getting back on track.

“It is really positive to see the plan for Auckland light rail back on the agenda with an establishment unit to engage with Aucklanders on what works for them,” says Green Party spokesperson for transport Julie Anne Genter.

“Auckland has demonstrated that when Government invests in fast, frequent public transport, people flock to it.

“Light rail from the City Centre to Mangere will unlock new housing and jobs, and give Aucklanders better options for getting around the city, while taking cars off the city’s congested roads.

“Ground-level light rail is the Green Party’s preferred option as it can deliver the benefits of a more expensive metro system at a substantially lower cost. That means the Government can afford to extend the light rail network further, faster, including to the north western suburbs and across the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore.

“Street-level light rail is also more easily accessible for people with mobility issues and avoids the significant property purchases and disruption that comes with tunnelling and building underground stations.

“With street-level light rail, we estimate there could be a train every four minutes at peak times, taking 40 minutes from Queen Street to the Airport. Three quarters of the journey would be separated from roads, allowing speeds of up to 100 km/h, but obviously slower though suburban centres.

“This project is about much more than travel to the airport – it’s about the liveability of Auckland. It will connect employment centres and places where people live, and enable more homes to be built near rapid transit.

“It’s crucial we act now to ensure people living in Auckland get more choice to get around faster, all while helping our largest city transition to a low carbon city.”

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