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Budget invests $249m extra in transport priorities

21 May 2015

Budget invests $249m extra in transport priorities

The Government is delivering on its transport priorities by providing an additional $248.9 million for key transport projects over the next four years, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

This brings the Government’s total spending on transport in 2015/16 to $4.27 billion, including $3.01 billion from the National Land Transport Fund.

KiwiRail receives $209.8 million capital in 2015/16 from the Future Investment Fund. A further $190 million will be funded in Budget 2016.

“KiwiRail is integral to New Zealand’s land transport system,” Mr Bridges says.

“This funding will allow it to deliver services and maintain the national network to a safe and reliable standard.

“The Government is committed to supporting the company’s progress towards meeting operational and performance targets over the next two years. But KiwiRail must continue to drive significant efficiency and productivity improvements to reduce the ongoing level of Crown funding required.”

In addition, a total of $6.5 million will be available over the next three years for KiwiRail to complete signals upgrades on the Wellington Metro Rail network.

The SuperGold Card off-peak public transport concession scheme will receive an additional $10.2 million of operating funding for the 2015/16 financial year. This will bring total funding for 2015/16 to $28.1 million.

“Considering that the number of eligible card holders has grown by over 150,000 since the scheme was introduced in 2008, and they made 11 million trips last year alone, I’m pleased we can continue to deliver this service,” Mr Bridges says.

Budget 2015 also provides additional operating funding of $6.5 million over the next four years for the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC).

“Recent experience shows TAIC needs a boost to help with its increased workload, complexity of investigations and growing public expectation. This will ensure the ongoing effectiveness of its investigations,” Mr Bridges says.

Additional funding of $15.9 million over the next four years will allow MetService to replace its meteorological forecasting system, establish a new disaster recovery backup facility and provide free weather forecasting services for the recreational aviation sector.

“Transport systems and transport users rely on accurate weather forecasts. They’re essential for businesses, government and the public to minimise risk to life and property from weather events.

“This investment in the transport sector will strengthen the system – particularly increasing safety and reliability, improving resilience and ensuring older New Zealanders have continued access to public transport,” Mr Bridges says.


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