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Greens announce light rail for the Capital in a decade

Greens announce light rail for the Capital in a decade

The Green Party today announced a plan to work with councils to deliver light rail from the railway station to Wellington airport by 2027 and fast track a fully-electric bus fleet for the city.

The Green Party’s transport plan for Wellington includes commitments to work with councils to:
• Build an electric light rail line, running separate from traffic, from the railway station to Newtown by 2025, and to Kilbirnie and the airport by 2027.
• Fast-track a wholly electric bus fleet for Wellington, including retaining the existing trolley buses and infrastructure, by 2030.

“Light rail will transform Wellington, by making the city quieter and more people-friendly and allowing thousands of people to travel quickly to work, back home again, and beyond,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“Light rail will mean around 60 fewer buses on Lambton Quay during peak hour, which means less noise, fewer diesel fumes, and more space for people to walk and cycle.

“While National promises more roads and more traffic, only the Greens are committed to delivering light rail in the next decade and real transport choices for Wellingtonians.

“The cost of light rail has fallen in recent years, so we’re budgeting between $630 - $700 million, depending on the chosen route. We’ll wait for the community and experts to have their say before committing to a particular route, but obviously that will influence cost.

“We’ll also work with councils to fast-track a fully electric bus fleet for the city. The existing trolley bus infrastructure means Wellington is well placed to be the first city in New Zealand with 100 percent electric public transport.

“The Greens will provide a one-off investment of between $30 - $50 million to upgrade underground trolley bus infrastructure, rather than wasting money pulling down the near-new overhead wires and converting trolley buses to diesel-hybrids.

“Our Wellington transport plan also includes a commitment to consistent, ongoing funding for the Capital Connection, and maintenance and double tracking on the Hutt/Wairarapa line.

“Our plan for light rail to the airport in Wellington follows on from a similar announcement we made in Auckland. The Green Party has been the only consistent voice in Parliament pushing for modern public transport solutions for our cities.

“We will bring that record and expertise to the Beehive offices from September,” said Mr Shaw.


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