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Kapiti Should Act Now to Secure Extra Trains

Media release from Lyndy McIntyre,
Paekakariki/Raumati councillor

14 November 2007

Kapiti Should Act Now to Secure Extra Trains

“Kapiti should act now to ensure we secure the extra trains that were signalled in today’s Regional Council announcement about future rail capacity,” said Paekakariki/Raumati Councillor and Kapiti Transport Action spokesperson Lyndy McIntyre today.

“This is great news and a ringing endorsement of the commuter campaign for more rail capacity.”

GWRC Chair Fran Wilde has announced that 35 units (70 carriages) have now been ordered and the contract enables a further 13 units to be purchased within 12 months, depending on passenger volumes.

“At last GWRC is planning ahead for more demand,” said Lyndy Mcintyre. “Now it’s up to KCDC to lead the campaign to move our commuters from road to rail and fill those trains!”

Lyndy McIntyre said originally GWRC planned to order 58 carriages. Kapiti Transport Action Group and other public transport groups campaigned hard for that number to be increased. GWRC eventually increased the number to 70.

“We have continually said the 70 carriages does not allow for population growth, let alone an increase in passenger volumes as people make the shift from road to rail,” she said.

Lyndy McIntyre said there were many reasons for KCDC to lead a campaign to get Kapiti commuters to move from road to rail.

“If we are serious about climate change, we must reduce vehicle emissions. In 2005/2006 passenger volumes at peak hour increased by over 11%,” she said. “At the same time road congestion reduced by a whopping 17%. The way to reduce road congestion is to get people to take the train. If we want people to shift, we have to provide the capacity. “

Lyndy McIntyre said there were a range of ways KCDC could work with GWRC to get Kapiti commuters to chose rail.

“We need fast, efficient, attractive and affordable rail service,” she said. “We know we are getting a modern rail fleet in 2010, but we should be encouraging people to make the shift now. That means a fares moratorium until the current problems with our worn out rail service are all fixed. There should be no fares increase until the new trains arrive.”


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