Posted By

Tags

Rail Link will ensure free flowing roads

April 28 was a historic day for Auckland as our new electric trains started regular services on the Onehunga line.

We chose the Onehunga line because it was Auckland’s first train line, which commenced operations in 1873.

These purpose-built, quieter and more environmentally friendly trains will go into service on our other lines over the coming year, marking a new era in Auckland transport.

Aucklanders are increasingly getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Poor infrastructure

Our transport infrastructure all over Auckland has not kept pace with our changing population and it is costing us personally and as a city in time and money.

For decades, there has been a lack of investment in transport across the region.

I have long been clear that getting Auckland moving is my top priority, so that Aucklanders have real choices between free-flowing roads, efficient and reliable public transport and good cycling and walking networks.

We are making progress.

As well as our new electric trains, we have completed the introduction of an integrated ticket, the ‘At Hop’ Card. Next on our list for this Card is price and fares review.

New rail stations

We are building new train stations and bus interchanges, and installing bicycle parking at our major stations and ferry terminals.

We have agreement from Aucklanders and the Government on the need for the Central Rail Link to connect the different lines, make Britomart the through-station that it was designed to be, and allow faster journeys.

But the conversation that we need to have as a community is how we pay for fixing Auckland’s neglected traffic system.

Rising costs

Even with the latest investments and infrastructure improvements, including $55 billion committed over the next 30 years, we are short of funds to meet the transport needs of a growing population.

Based on existing funding sources, we will face a gap of around $12 billion over the next 30 years, or $400 million a year from 2015.

This gap is partly the result of historic underinvestment but of a rapidly growing population, nearly 3000 more Aucklanders every month moving around our city.

How we make up the difference between what we have and what we need is the most important debate Auckland is going to have in the next decade.

Influential Group

Last year, an independent and influential group of transport, business and community leaders took a close look at the problem, and put forward two broad options for funding our transport future.

Put simply, we were told that we can either have higher rates and fuel taxes for all Aucklanders or look seriously at the option of road pricing, which includes tools like congestion charges or tolls.

This month that Group has got back together to look at options in detail so that the Council can make fully-informed decisions early next year as part of the review of our 10-year budget and work programme, the Long-term Plan.

We are determined to find an Auckland solution to an Auckland problem as we work to get Aucklanders moving.

Len Brown is Mayor of Auckland. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement