A light rail line from Wynyard Quarter to Dominion Rd costing $1 billion to $1.3b is a top priority for Auckland mayoral candidate Phil Goff.
The Labour MP today announced his transport policy, which includes a plan to bring forward construction of a light rail system on the Auckland isthmus and possibly all the way to the airport.
Last week, his main rival on the right, Vic Crone, promised to fast-track construction of a second harbour crossing with council chipping in $750 million for rapid public transport.
Neither project has any funding. Both candidates are promising to broaden funding sources from the Government and private sector to pay for their promises. Goff is also keen on a regional petrol tax and congestion charges.
Goff wants the council to sign off a business case for an isthmus light rail system in time for the next long-term budget in 2018. He concedes work on building light rail would not start until the 2019-2022 term at the earliest and take years to complete.
He wants to build an initial light rail system from Wynyard Quarter, up Queen St, Symonds St and down Dominion Rd to Denbeigh Ave in his Mt Roskill electorate. Depending on the evidence, light rail could extend to the airport.
Eventually Goff would like to expand light rail to East Tamaki, Botany, Pakuranga and Panmure, across the harbour to the North Shore and other old tram routes on the isthmus.
"With bus lanes due to hit capacity, such as Queen and Symonds Sts, we need to look at rail as an alternative form of transport. Light rail can carry up to 450 passengers at a time and is a quick, efficient way of moving people around the city," Goff said.
Public transport projects will be the priority and will free up the roads for those who don't have alternative options,
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He said initial cost estimates of light rail from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill were $1b to $1.3b.
Goff wants to make a busway on the Northwestern Motorway a priority, extend the Northern Busway north from Albany, electrify rail to the Pukekohe (estimated cost $120m), improve park and ride facilities, speed up work on the Ameti project in east Auckland and convert the council's 800-strong vehicle fleet to electric.
Goff said he would trade in Mayor Len Brown's Holden V6 official car for an electric car. In 2014 Brown rejected a more fuel efficient car just weeks after launching a strategy to cut the city's greenhouse gases.
"Auckland's worsening congestion is costing the city billions of dollars so tackling the problem has to be a priority for the incoming council.
"Public transport projects will be the priority and will free up the roads for those who don't have alternative options," Goff said.
Goff's transport policy
Bring forward light rail on the Auckland isthmus
Prioritise a busway on Northwestern Motorway
Electrify rail to Pukekohe
Convert council car fleet to electric
Crone's transport policy
Fast-track second harbour crossing to early 2020s
Bring forward the northwestern busway
Build Penlink and Mill Rd projects earlier
Electrify rail to Pukekohe
Speed up work on Ameti
Deliver more local transport projects
Reform Auckland Transport
Restore $113m of transport funding cuts
Focusing council investment in a few new centres along transport spines
Reduce congestion by ensuring people live close to work