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Auckland transport plan includes light rail

A NZD28bn (EUR16.5bn)transport plan for Greater Auckland was launched by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff on 26 April, heralding the country’s biggest ever civil engineering works programme.

Christened ATAP 2018, the plan is “intended to create a 21st Century transport system for the city region” said Mr Twyford. Mr Goff said he hoped “to double the use of public transport over a short period of time”.

Included in the package is NZD8.4bn (EUR4.93bn) for rapid transit, including commuter rail enhancements, a light rail system and a busway linking Panmure and Botany.

The NZ Government is already financing the NZD1.4bn (EUR822m) 3.4km (2.1-mile) City Rail Link from Britomart under the city centre to Mount Eden. This will convert the suburban rail system to a through operation rather than terminating at the Britomart stub station. Electrification will be extended south from Papakura to Pukekohe.

The light rail proposals include a line from the city to the airport (but designed to serve more than airport traffic) and another to serve the Northwest Corridor (City – Lincoln Rd – Kumeu). Both are designed to support population and employment growth, and relieve congestion, with recommended investment of NZD1.8bn (EUR1.06bn). In the longer term there is potential for light rail to the north shore (Albany and Orewa). Design work is already underway.

Funding for the plan will come from rates and development contributions (NZD8.45bn/EUR4.96bn), a regional fuel tax (NZD4.4bn/EUR2.6bn), the National Land Transport Fund (NZD16.3bn/EUR9.58bn) and Crown Infrastructure Partners (NZD360m/EUR211.5m).