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Don't put brakes on public transport, urge Greens

Don't put brakes on public transport, urge Greens

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today that the Greens would be working with the Government to ensure proposed changes to public transport funding support ongoing growth in public transport use.

Transfund today released a Public Transport Funding Review document that announced the current model of public transport funding was not sustainable and looked to increase the share of public transport subsidies by local government.

"The 24 per cent increase in public transport use in just three years has exceeded everyone's expectations and we need to ensure that the funding system continues to encourage growth in public transport," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"It is important that any changes to funding do not put the brakes on that growth or reduce the incentives for looking at more than roading in transport planning.

"The Green Party will be working closely with the Government on this issue and we will be seeking to ensure that momentum is maintained.

"Public transport is a much more cost effective way of moving people than motorways and highways, and is a far more sustainable model to meet the future transport needs of New Zealand."

Ms Fitzsimons said changes to the system need to maintain incentives for a balanced transport policy.

"Congestion in Auckland would be worse without the current growth in public transport use. We need to ensure integrated transport planning is supported by the funding system.

"New motorways and state highways are funded by central government. We have to make sure if local government is asked to put more into public transport that this does not create an incentive for them to favour more highways over buses and trains."

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