Greens offer Aucklanders a way to fund electric rail system

The Greens are applauding draft plans to extend and electrify the Auckland train network and are proposing a postponement of some motorway developments to pay for it.

The draft plans of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), made public today, are for an underground rail extension from Britomart to Mt Eden and an electrification of the rail network, including buying 50 new trains.

“This bold plan is just what Auckland needs to combat gridlock, but it is clearly going to be expensive,” Green Party Auckland Transport Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

“However, the Greens believe we can afford it, by rejigging our transport spending priorities.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars could be freed up by getting Land Transport New Zealand to shuffle some of its motorway work further down its timetable.

“The Government would also need to come to the party with extra cash from the surplus Mr Cullen says he has. Much of the $400 million new transport funding announced recently could be diverted into this project.

“Right now, major spending on rail rather than motorways will do the most to unclog our roads.”

The Greens will be launching ‘Getting There’, their Auckland Transport Plan, at Britomart on Monday. This follows the launch of ‘Ride the Wind’, their Wellington Transport Plan a couple of weeks ago.