Aucklanders’ train use shows they need City Rail Link now

News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.

Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September, Aucklanders took 12 million train trips against the 11.9 million taken in Wellington. It said 5,000 more Aucklanders were taking the train daily per day than in March. When the Britomart Transport Centre opened in 2003, just 2.5 million trips were made on trains each year.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is meeting Prime Minister John Key today and said the key requirement for Auckland was to fix its transport and that meant investing in the infrastructure to allow more people to use trains.

“Auckland is now the train capital of New Zealand,” Green Party spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

“What they desperately need is the City Rail Link and other investment in rail to support this high use. Investment should be in rail, not motorways.

“The Government’s own advice shows that vehicle use on roads has been in decline since 2006, while rail use is rising dramatically.

“Len Brown said he is confident there will be 15 million rail users in Auckland by the second half of next year. That means the network will be at capacity.

“It will take five years to build the City Rail Link and National has no plan to start until 2020 at the earliest.

“By dragging the chain on the City Rail Link, John Key is condemning Auckland commuters to more years of gridlock.

“John Key’s new Government needs to get its head out from under the car bonnet and start directing transport spending to what people want and need. The budget needs to be redirected now,” Ms Genter said.