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ARC supports ARTA Rail Development Plan

ARC supports ARTA Rail Development Plan

12 September 2006

The ARC's Transport Policy Committee today applauded the Rail Development Plan for Auckland released by the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee (ARTA).

Committee Chairperson Joel Cayford said ARTA's plan is the result of five years solid work and provides a strategy to deliver the high quality rapid transit system the region so desperately needs.

The ARC Transport Policy Committee confirmed its support for the development of the Auckland rail system with the first electric train service in operation no later than 2012. The Committee also gave ARTA the go-ahead to finalise its interim rolling stock acquisition strategy and resolved to seek central government support for the plan.

"Building a world class transport passenger transit system for the region is not just up to the ARTA and the ARC," said Cr Cayford.

"We need to work with our partners - members of the Regional Land Transport Committee, ONTRACK, the Ministry of Transport and Treasury - before making what is essentially a 25-year funding commitment."

Today, ARC formally agreed to a joint decision-making process with Central Government.

"I welcome the constructive engagement of Central Government in the region's passenger transport planning and funding decision-making. Together with the establishment of ARTA, this collaboration is unprecedented in my experience of Auckland local government," said Cr Cayford.

The ARC Transport Committee today resolved:

1. That the report (ARTA Rail Development Plan) be received.

2. That the ARC notes its 2006-16 LTCCP funding decision to provide for the procurement of up to 13 SA/SD trains to replace old equipment and to expand rail passenger transport carrying capacity in the immediate short term.

3. That the ARC confirms that it is satisfied with the merits of investment in electrification of the Auckland rail network for the longer term.

4. That the ARC confirms its support for ARTA's plan for the development of the Auckland rail system with the first electric train service operational no later than 2012, while recognising the benefits of expediting the necessary decisions.

5. That the ARC seeks the support of Central Government for electrification of the Auckland rail system.

6. That the ARC acknowledges the constructive engagement of Central Government in respect of the Rail Development Plan, and notes Government's preliminary assessment of the plan to be consistent with its broad agenda for Auckland, including climate change and economic transformation.

7. That the ARC welcomes Government agreement that a technical working group comprising representatives of ARC, ARTA, Treasury, Ministry of Transport and ONTRACK be formed to facilitate coordinated decision-making in regard to the implementation of the rail plan and electrification, and instructs officers to contact the Secretary of Transport and progress the establishment of that working group, and a timetable for meetings so as to be able to complete its investigations by the end of 2006.

8. That the ARC supports the rapid finalisation of an agreed action plan for the acquisition of interim rolling stock during the transition to electrification, in order to meet the rapid growth in rail transport demand that is being experienced across the region.

9. That the ARC works with stakeholders to develop a funding agreement that clearly sets out the financial commitments of each party and responsibility for managing risk.

A copy of the 12 September 2006 ARC Transport Policy Agenda is available at: http://www.arc.govt.nz/arc/about-arc/agendas-minutes/

* The Auckland Regional Council sets the strategic development for Auckland transport and provides funding for public transport and sustainable transport initiatives.
* ARTA carries out the detailed [planning, is the conduit for all funding including local roads and public transport, and contracts for rail, bus and ferry services.

ENDS


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