Greens announce bold transport plan for Christchurch to tackle climate change and congestion

The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Christchurch including new investments in commuter rail, a high frequency bus service to the airport, and cycleways.

This comes as part of a nationwide transport announcement from the Greens aimed at addressing the climate crisis and making it easier to get around without a car.

“We are proud of the gains we’ve secured for sustainable transport in Christchurch in Government, including the $125 million recently announced to complete six major cycleways”, Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.

“This plan for Christchurch is part of our nationwide focus on addressing the climate crisis by changing how we get around our towns and cities.

“The people of Christchurch sent a very clear message after the earthquakes that they wanted a more people-friendly city with modern public transport and safe cycleways.

“Yet Christchurch has missed out on investment in commuter rail and busways that have been key to making public transport attractive in Auckland and Wellington.”

The Green Party’s plan for Christchurch includes:

  • A new commuter rail services connecting Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Belfast to the CBD
  • A new commuter rail service to Rolleston
  • Extended fast passenger rail services out to Ashburton and eventually further north and south
  • A new high-speed bus rapid transit service, linking the commuter rail lines to the city, University, and airport
  • New funding to expand the city’s major cycle routes.

“We are proposing to electrify the rail lines to provide modern commuter rail similar to what is currently available in Wellington and Auckland.

“A train between Rangiora and the city would take less than 30 minutes, making it significantly faster than the average commute time of 44 minutes by car.

“We would also invest in a high frequency bus service connecting the rail line to the city, university and airport. This service would run every five minutes and have its own right of way to provide a fast service that can by-pass congestion.

“We are also proposing to extend commuter rail services to inter-city passenger services, similar to what operates in the Wellington region.

“This would see multiple trains a day running between Ashburton and Christchurch, a journey that would take just 47 minutes by train with improvement to the line.”

“It’s possible to build an electric passenger rail service between Rangiora, Christchurch and Ashburton, capable of travelling at 110km/h, for around $350 million, a fraction of the National Party’s proposed $1.5 billion highway to Ashburton.”

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