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Auckland can, and will, have better transport

Auckland can, and will, have better public transport

2 October, 2007

The Auckland Regional Council welcomes the Land Transport Management (Transport Services Licensing Act) Bill tabled in Parliament today.

"The Regional Council wants to deliver a more coordinated, holistic system where buses, ferries and trains work together to carry significantly more passengers," ARC chairman Michael Lee says.

"This must be done to keep up with population growth, ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and simply make this city easier to get around."

"The public transport system has also got to be much more cost-effective, if ratepayers and taxpayers are to continue to support it."

"Aucklanders are already investing heavily in public transport though their regional rates - over half of every dollar collected in rates. The Auckland Regional Council is committed to giving the public value for their investment. Under the current legislative model, we are just not able to do that."

"More than a third of the region's passengers are currently carried on services over which the Auckland Regional Transport Authority has no influence in respect of service levels, punctuality and value for money. ARTA has had one hand tied behind its back.

"The region can, and will, have to do better."

In 2006-07 public transport patronage rose by 1.2 million trips to more than 52.4 million. The region's goal is to double that to 100 million within a decade, putting the region on a more sustainable path.

"Aucklanders want a decent public transport system, and the law changes proposed today are part of the Government's response to the region's call for fundamental improvements. Electrification of the region's commuter rail network is the next step."

The ARC must now assess the proposed legislation, and will work closely with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority and transport operators as it does so.

"We need to make the most of this opportunity to make a real difference and are confident that Parliament and the public will back necessary law changes," Mr Lee said.

ENDS

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