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Bouquet for the Govt support for public transport

Bouquet for the Government’s support for public transport

20 August 2009

There is good news for public transport in the Auckland region in the National Land Transport Programme released today, says ARC chairman Mike Lee.

The National Land Transport Programme anticipates $2.8 billion transport expenditure in Auckland over the next three years. The lion’s share – about 80 per cent - will be spent on roads, compared to 18 per cent on public transport and 2 per cent on walking, cycling and travel planning measures.

Mr Lee says: “Setting aside our concerns about the lack of funding for electric rolling stock, Auckland’s public transport capital projects are otherwise well-supported, with the programme indicating that central government will help the region to fund integrated ticketing, ferry terminal upgrades and rail stations.

“The ARC is always ready to call it as we see it, and to be frank this is better than we thought it might be. A large number of people will benefit from new rail stations at Newmarket, Avondale, New Lynn, Grafton, Manukau, Kingsland and Onehunga.

“Given this is a three year programme, the lack of money for a Parnell station is disappointing. While there is funding for the design phase of a new rail station for Parnell, we are going to have to go to bat to get the rest.

“Overall we are pleased Aucklanders will continue to see tangible improvements to public transport facilities over the next three years.”

Mr Lee said initial analysis did raise questions about whether there would be enough operational funding to keep pace with the growing demand for public transport services, “but it will take us take us time to drill down into the detail, especially as some funding categories have been changed since the last programme which makes it difficult to compare these with previous allocations. And of course we are still awaiting funding for electric trains.”

Aucklanders took 58.6 million trips on public transport in the year to 30 June, a 7.7 per cent increase on 2007/08.

ENDS

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