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Integrated ticketing, transport fund delights city

Integrated ticketing, transport funding delights North Shore City
June 30, 2006

A commitment by ARTA to introduce an Auckland-wide electronic ticketing system for use on buses, ferries and trains by 2008 has delighted the North Shore City Council which welcomes the “joined up thinking” and regional co-operation.

Mayor George Wood heard the ‘integrated ticketing’ pledge this morning when Transit NZ and ARTA addressed a who’s who of political leaders to outline the 10-year State Highway Forecast and the Auckland Land Transport Programme, setting out faster action in upgrading transport infrastructure.

“I liked what I heard from Transit, ARTA and Transport Minister Annette King,” says Mr Wood who has lobbied for integrated ticketing since 2000.

“We’ve all to play our part in facing up to, and funding, the transport challenge but it’s heartening to see central, regional and local government working together.”

Two of the major projects identified in the work programme which caught George Wood’s attention impact more directly on his neighbouring cities rather than his own.

Transit announced that the Victoria Park tunnel project, formerly known as the harbour bridge to city, will be ‘substantially constructed’ by 2011.

Mr Wood says this is great news for the Northern Busway project which is a regional partnership starting in North Shore City and crossing into Auckland City and through the Vic Park tunnel.

“This will be a further boost for public transport and will also fast-track commuters with three or more people in their vehicles,” he says.

The other project is the Hobsonville Deviation (SH18) which forms part of the proposed Western Ring Route. It’s also identified in the ‘substantially constructed’ category but is subject to Auckland’s support for tolling.

North Shore City’s third-term mayor says the Government’s recent budget announcements show national leadership on a critical issue.

“We praise the Government for its commitment and our regional partners for their collaborative approach.”

George Wood had to leave the briefing to get back to Takapuna to chair his council’s meeting which set the budget and work programme for the next 10 years. North Shore City Council is investing a further $711 million in transport alone – a major contributor to its 9.5 per cent rate increase in the 2006-07 year starting tomorrow.

ENDS

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