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ARC Welcomes Land Transport NZ Funding

ARC Welcomes Land Transport NZ Funding
29 June 2006

The Auckland Regional Council has welcomed Land Transport New Zealand’s increased funding commitment to high priority transport projects in the Auckland Region – notably the duplicate Manukau Harbour Crossing and the North Shore Busway project.

Joel Cayford, Chair of the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee says Transit should be congratulated on the progress it has made across the Auckland region on major roading projects, and he welcomes the alignment its 10-year program for Auckland has with projects emphasized within the region’s Land Transport Strategy.

“There is a limit to the amount of funding that is available for transport projects in the Auckland region and the ARC is anxious to ensure that highest priority transport projects are built first,” says Dr Cayford.

“It is appropriate that Transit commit to state highway projects which have the greatest regional support. The Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy provides a planning platform for the next 10 years and it’s great to see we’re both on the same page.”

The ARC plans to spend $145 million on passenger transport priorities over the 2006/07 financial year – a four-fold increase from the $35.7 million set aside in 2001/02.

“We are spending about half of our total rates take over the next year on public transport - $63 million. Our subsidiary company, Auckland Regional Holdings, has set aside another $82 million,” says Dr Cayford.

“Given our contribution is matched by central government, we can count on $300 million for passenger transport in Auckland this coming year. That’s good progress!”


Transport Funding Notes for Editors
- The ARC Group proposes investing $1.6 billion in public transport and related activities over the next 10 years, made up of $1.076 billion of operating funding and $545.6 million of capital funding. This will deliver enhanced bus, train and ferry services across the region and will also allow the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) to invest in more trains, better stations, ferry terminals and other bus facilities, along with integrated ticketing and real-time passenger information systems.

- The ARC has included in its 10-year plan a potential funding arrangement to support the introduction of currently unfunded public transport services, and to fund up to half of the cost of staged electrification of the Auckland rail network. Implementation of this funding arrangement is conditional upon the ARC being provided with additional funding sources and the ARC being satisfied with the merits of investing in electrification.

- Support for the introduction of currently unfunded public transport services will require the ARC to receive an additional $20 million in funding for each of the 10 years of the plan. This funding would also need to be matched by equivalent funding from Land Transport New Zealand.

- Providing support for half of the capital cost of the staged electrification of the Auckland rail network would require the ARC to raise debt of approximately $250 million over the period 2009 to 2016. The ARC would need $16 million per annum to repay that debt and would therefore need additional funding sources able to generate up to $36 million per annum to allow it to put the funding arrangement in place.

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