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IA Offers Further $6.4 million for Auckland Rail

IA OFFERS FURTHER $6.4M FOR AUCKLAND RAIL

Statement made by John Robertson, Chairman Infrastructure Auckland

Infrastructure Auckland (IA) offered up to $6.4 million today to the Auckland Regional Transport Network (ARTNL) for constructing three ‘signature’ rail stations and to assist with the purchase of trains from Tranz Rail.

IA has offered a grant of $6 million for the ‘signature’ rail stations on the condition that the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and ARTNL complete and agree to a final Business Plan for interim services.

Under its exceptional circumstances provision, IA offered a grant of up to $444,000 to assist ARTNL to purchase 19 Tranz Rail trains which will be refurbished for use on the Auckland rail network. This grant is subject to special conditions and will be paid in monthly installments.

Today’s grants bring IA’s total granting programme for the region to date to $169 million from a programme of $950 million over the next ten years.

This grant will allow rail stations to be built to a quality that the communities around them would expect of a modern, safe public transport system. The new stations will be a major improvement on current facilities and an attractive part of their respective communities.

The three ‘signature’ stations will be built at Ranui (Waitakere City), Glen Innes (Auckland City) and Papatoetoe (Manukau City) and will co-incide with the opening of Britomart in July 2003.

The purchase of the trains is urgent as they provide the region with the ability to preserve continuity of service between the withdrawal of Tranz Rail as a service operator and the introduction of a new operator. The purchase of the trains also allows their refurbishment programme to be completed.

IA is pleased to be able to contribute to the rail project as it assists the region towards an integrated passenger transport system and benefits Auckland communities for the long term.

The applications are part of ARTNL embarking on a series of rail infrastructure refurbishment projects to improve rail services throughout the region to 2006.

The rail stations will include new platforms, buildings, access facilities and amenities.

The new buildings will include a new platform lobby, Automatic Fare Machines, Lighting, increased security, rubbish bins, and new seating. Access facilities will be significantly improved by Park and Ride facilities, Kiss and Ride facilities, bicycle storage and disabled access. New amenities will include bus and train information, public address systems, locality maps, landscaping and fencing.

There is still progress to be made on the completion of a regionally agreed business plan and IA urges that the current momentum continues so that further progress is made.

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