Mayor calls public meeting over Capital Connection
August 8, 2012
Mayor calls public meeting over Capital Connection rail service
Kāpiti Mayor Jenny Rowan will host a public meeting this evening to add weight to calls for the continuation of the Capital Connection rail service.
The meeting is being held at Ōtaki Railway Station at 6.30pm. A free return shuttle bus service will be provided from Waikanae railway station at 6pm.
Mayor Rowan says she hopes Kāpiti residents will turn out in force to show their support for the Palmerston North to Wellington service and for affordable public transport in the District
“Continuing this service is a must for Kāpiti, Horowhenua and the Manawatu. One of the stronger points is that it provides commuters with affordable weekday public transport to and from work; loss of the service is likely to mean a loss of jobs.
“It also reduces the demand for car parking at both Waikanae and Paraparaumu railway stations; reduces congestion and improves road safety on State Highway 1 north of Waikanae, as well as reducing peak-time crowding on other Kapiti rail services.
“The Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils have now submitted their business case for the continuation of the service to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee who is considering it. The case argues that the Connection should be jointly funded by the two regional councils and NZTA – I agree.”
The Capital Connection is the only unsubsidised public transport in New Zealand – other similar services such as the Wairarapa to Wellington commuter train are subsidised.
The service has been struggling since the extension of the Metro rail service to Waikanae in 2011 and needs an estimated $435,000 a year to be shared between the three parties to continue.
Tonight’s meeting is expected to be attended by Greater Wellington Chair Fran Wilde, Horizons Chair Bruce Gordon, MPs Nathan Guy and Iain Lees-Galloway, Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy, and representatives of the Otaki and Waikanae Community Boards. NZTA has declined an invitation to attend.