Auckland Light Rail’s indicative business case and shortlist of options is an encouraging light at the end of the tunnel for Aucklanders, Infrastructure New Zealand General Manager Claire Edmondson says.
“Light rail is a massive catalyst for economic development, will create jobs, reduce travel times and connect Auckland’s communities, including some not currently on the public transport network. It will help make Auckland an even better place to live, work and play.
“Auckland Light Rail Group was required to submit to Transport Minister Michael Wood in a relatively short period of time. To present this compelling case in such a short period makes it even clearer light rail is a no brainer and a very necessary investment as part of an integrated public transport network in our biggest city,” Ms Edmondson says.
“It’s encouraging that all three shortlisted options of light metro, light rail and tunnelled light rail have positive benefit-cost ratios. There is still lots to do to get to the delivery phase and we need the Government’s decision to keep this moving forward.
“Aucklanders need certainty that this is going to happen. Light rail is an important circuit breaker to reduce public transport congestion, and without it, Aucklanders are likely to start opposing planned congestion charges. Auckland will be home to about 2.4 million people by 2050, and congestion will only worsen.
“Light rail between Auckland’s city centre and Māngere will provide the backbone for future light rail to North and North-west Auckland making it all the more important that a second crossing across the Waitematā Harbour includes provision for light rail,” Ms Edmondson says.
“Light rail is a vital step in resolving long-standing issues and future-proofing Auckland and we need to get cracking,” Ms Edmondson says.
Claire Edmondson at email@example.com or on 021 272 7879.
Infrastructure New Zealand held a well-attended event on the Auckland light rail project earlier this year which enabled members to ask questions and also provide feedback directly.