Increased funding key to Green’s transport plan for Auckland

Solving Auckland’s transport problems will be a priority for Auckland Greens elected to the next Parliament, says Keith Locke, number 7 on the Green party list.

“Most Aucklanders know what is needed, a massive expansion of public transport,” said Mr Locke, who is also party spokesperson on Auckland transport issues.

“The system is so inadequate that only 7% of Aucklanders now use public transport to go to work.

“Auckland local bodies are agreed on where we need to go. There’s a consensus that we need new bus or rapid rail systems along all major transport corridors; and that the services have to be more frequent and coordinated with each other.

“The Greens also favour innovative options to reduce car travel, such as home delivery, tele-working and carpooling. We also favour reclaiming local streets as safe spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. More children could then walk or cycle to school, reducing traffic jams around schools.

“More money is the key to advancing public transport. Some of the funding will come from Intrastructure Auckland.

“But to really break the log jam, Transfund must come to the party in a big way. At present only 5% of Transfund’s $900 million national budget goes to public transport, with $20 million of this coming to Auckland to support bus and rail.

“Green MPs will be promoting a moratorium on motorway construction so that Transfund can divert the millions required into capital expenditure on public transport, particularly in Auckland, where the crisis is the greatest. For example, the $150 million Transfund set aside for the Eastern Highway, now stymied by Auckland City, would be spent public transport infrastructure.

“The first major rapid transit system ready to be constructed, the North Shore Busway, is being held up because Transfund hasn’t yet come up with enough money.

“Without urgent action on public transport, proper residential and commercial development of Auckland cannot occur. Concentrations of new housing can only sensibly occur in areas well served by rapid transit. New enterprises must be easily accessible to prospective employees,” said Mr Locke.

Some key Green priorities for developing the public transport system are:

A rapid rail and busway system along the northern, western, south-western, southern and south-eastern corridors. Immediate action should be taken to secure rights to all corridors not currently secured.

A new Britomart scheme, to become a key rapid transit link between rail, bus and ferry services.

New feeder routes, including cross-town services, to “stations” with park-and-ride facilities.

Coordinated timetabling for quick transfers between services.

A single multi-use ticket for all Auckland transport modes.

More frequent commuter services, to every 5 minutes where possible, along key arteries.

Bus priority measures on all main roads, including bus lanes, right of way and lights pre-emption. For a bus lane over the Harbour Bridge as planned in the North Shore Busway project.

The public transport network to be developed hand in hand with a network of cycle lanes and cycleways.

Promoting a walkable city, with walkways and pedestrian friendly traffic crossings.

Integrating Auckland’s transport strategy with its growth strategy, developing communities around nodes established by efficient public transport access.