The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Wellington including investments in light rail, an expansion of regional passenger rail, and fast-tracking improvements to buses.
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 very proud of our record in Government having helped secure billions of dollars in investment to modernise Wellington’s public transport, cycling, rail, and pedestrian infrastructure,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.
“This plan for Wellington is part of our nationwide focus on addressing the climate crisis by changing how we get around our towns and cities.
“Our plan now is to deliver on the best parts of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving agreement, ensuring light rail to Newtown and the eastern suburbs is the first cab off the rank.
“Light rail will provide a fast public transport service from the eastern and southern suburbs able to carry thousands more people than the current bus services.
“As more people come to live in the inner city suburbs we need a high capacity public transport system to avoid our streets being filled with cars, congestion, and pollution.
“The Wellington region will benefit from our nationwide investment in fast inter-city passenger rail.
“As part of our investment in the post COVID-19 economic recovery we are proposing a large-scale expansion of fast, electric passenger rail services to Palmerston North and the Wairarapa. More frequent daily services will also benefit commuters along the Kāpiti and Hutt lines.
“As an immediate priority next term we will accelerate the roll out of bus priority upgrades across Wellington.
“Bus priority means continuous bus lanes, priority at traffic lights and rationalised bus stops. These improvements are estimated to reduce the average travel time by a third.
“Bus priority measures will be targeted at services running to Newtown, Island Bay, Miramar, Brooklyn, Karori, Kelburn, Johnsonville, and between Petone and Upper Hutt.
“We remain committed to the programme agreed in Let’s Get Wellington Moving, but our priority will be to see light rail, bus, cycling and pedestrian improvements prioritised before new urban motorway projects.
“A second car tunnel through Mt Victoria should remain the last cab of the rank as it is expect to shave just 30 to 60 seconds off the drive to the airport and cost close to a billion dollars.
“A new light rail tunnel out east will have eight times the capacity of a second car tunnel and we can improve access for people walking and cycling from Hataitai by expanding the existing pilot tunnel through Mt Victoria to become a dedicated walking and cycling route.”