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Green Party announces massive investment in public transport

Green Party announces massive investment in public transport

The Green Party will invest over $10 billion in new public transport projects and rail over the next decade, transforming how New Zealanders get around our largest cities.

The Green Party’s ten year transport plan, announced today, will cost less than the Government’s corresponding ten year transport plan, create more jobs and invest in the transport projects that New Zealanders have said they want.

The plan is the next component of the Green Party's economic priority this election: Building a smarter greener economy that really works for all New Zealanders. Smarter transport will get us there.

The key policy points in the Green Party's transport plan are:

1. A $10.4 billion investment in new public transport projects and rail over 10 years delivering buses and trains every few minutes at peak hour, decongesting our cities’ roads, and reversing the neglect of our rail network.
2. A $2.2 billion dollar government investment in seven key public transport projects in Auckland, including $1.3 billion in funding for the Auckland City Rail Link to start immediately.
3. A 300% increase in walking and cycling infrastructure including separated walking and cycling infrastructure in New Zealand’s small towns and big cities.
4. A $423 million increase in funding to regions to contest for projects that will best serve their transport needs.
5. A Student Green Card to provide free off-peak travel to all tertiary students and apprentices. We will investigate options to lower fares for everyone, and implement smart, integrated options for monthly and annual passes.

“National’s transport budget is focussed on expensive low value motorways, at the neglect of the smarter greener transport projects New Zealanders want,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Recent surveys have shown New Zealanders want to see more being spent on public transport – that is what the Green Party will deliver.

“National is wasting taxpayer’s money on poor value motorways that will actually increase traffic congestion, increase pollution, and make commuters vulnerable to rising oil prices. We need fresh thinking about ways to help New Zealanders get around.

“The Green Party has a different vision for our cities and towns - a smarter, greener transport plan that will benefit everyone.

“We will switch from wasteful motorway spending and invest instead in trains and buses, and we will build infrastructure so people can safely walk and cycle to work or school. We will also invest in making roads safer by upgrading our State Highways. Over 10 years we plan to spend $3 billion on projects to improve state highways, making safety the number one priority.

“The result will be quicker, smarter, cheaper and greener transport that gives people real choice about how to get around.

“The Green Party’s plan will deliver more for less - more projects, more jobs, at less cost less than the National’s current spend.

“Auckland aspires to be a world class city. To bring Auckland into the 21st century we need a public transport system to fit, yet National won’t invest in essential projects like the City Rail link.

“We will build a comprehensive transport network with integrated trains, buses and ferries that will make getting around Auckland faster and easier for everyone,” said Dr Norman.

In Auckland, the Green Party will implement the Congestion Free Network plan. By 2020, we will:

1. Complete the City Rail Link, cutting train travel times by up to 28 minutes per trip
2. Build a rail extension to Mt Roskill (with further rail extensions to the Airport by 2025 and the North Shore planned by 2030)
3. Electrify the rail network from Papakura to Pukekohe
4. Build a new bus lane on State Highway 16
5. Extend the Northern Busway to Albany and Newmarket
6. Establish a new high quality bus service across the upper harbour
7. Extend the AMETI Busway into Ellerslie and Manukau

The plan includes a $1.3 billion capital investment into the City Rail Link (60 percent of the cost), and $825 million into dedicated busways and city bus centre improvements.

“We also have ambitious plans for Wellington and Christchurch which we will announce in the coming weeks,” Dr Norman said.

The Student Green Card announced earlier this week will make off-peak public transport free for tertiary students and apprentices.

“For the cost of one kilometre of National’s Roads of National Significance, we can provide 325,000 tertiary students with free off-peak transport for a year,” said Dr Norman.

“The Green Party will also invest more than $1 billion dollars over ten years in new safe, separated walking and cycling infrastructure in New Zealand small towns and big cities.

“The regions will be the biggest beneficiaries from our funding switch from motorways.

“Transport is the life-blood of the regions but they have been starved of funding under National. We will bump up Regional Transport funding so regions can contest for projects that will best serve their transport needs, whether road, rail or port projects.

“We will reverse the neglect of our rail network, the transport backbone of New Zealand.

“The Green Party’s transport plan will give people what they want - vibrant, greener cities, where public transport is fast, clean and affordable, and where kids can walk and cycle to school safely.

“Our transport policy is about giving people choices about how they get around. National’s outdated plan is almost totally directed at a few motorways. On September 20, voters can vote for the type of transport system they want.”

For a copy of the Green transport policy please see: : https://www.greens.org.nz/transport


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