Greens back upgrade to Capital Connection service

The Green Party announced today that in government it will work with councils to retain the passenger rail service between Palmerston North and Wellington and increase the number of daily services.

Horizons and Greater Wellington Regional Councils have presented a business case to political party leaders seeking $3.2 million from government, over three years, to retain the Capital Connection service while investigations are made to upgrade to a multi-trip service in 2021/22.

“While National was content keeping the Capital Connection on life support, the Greens will revive the service with a commitment to ongoing funding and more frequent trips,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“We strongly support the proposal of adding an additional morning service from Levin, which would also provide a second evening return trip from Wellington back to Palmerston North.

“The investigation should also look at electrifying the line to Palmerston North and adding additional services. The existing Wairarapa line successfully runs around six services a day in both directions.

“We have a growing population north of Waikanae, so more people travelling by train means less congestion on the motorway and less climate pollution going into our atmosphere.

“The business case shows an incredibly strong case for investing to improve the service, with every dollar spent returning nine dollars in benefits.

“The Green Party has already proposed a new passenger rail service between Palmerston North and Napier. We’re determined to revitalise regional passenger rail in New Zealand,” said Ms Genter.

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