$6.4b overhaul for Wellington public transport

Traffic in central Wellington. Photo: RNZ
Traffic in central Wellington. Photo: RNZ
A new $6.4 billion transport project aiming to free up traffic in Wellington CBD will combine a mass transit system with an improved bus network, the government says.

The Let's Get Wellington Moving project was announced this morning by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Wellington's city and regional mayors Justin Lester and Chris Laidlaw.

The government has confirmed it will support the $6.4 billion budget for the massive overhaul of public transport in Wellington over two decades.

In a written statement, Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw said it was an opportunity to build a system centred on public transport, walking and cycling.

"We know that simply building yet more roading capacity is no longer an option. That is mid-20th century thinking.

"What's needed is a shift in the balance between the private car and public transport. That is why mass transit needs to be introduced alongside a bus network that is given far more priority within the city than it currently has. Work on bus priority needs to begin immediately while we finalise the best option for mass transit."

Wellington City mayor Justin Lester had earlier touted the project as a "transformational" multibillion-dollar investment in Wellington infrastructure.

He had signalled it would particularly affect the area between the CBD and the airport.

"You compare side by side the Basin Reserve flyover with what our proposal for that part of the city looks like and it's chalk and cheese," he told Morning Report this week, "when you see what will be proposed I think people will be astounded. It's a vast improvement."


Here we go again. Set a budget and then begin to develop the plans. Any guesses on what can delivered for $6,400 million?
Is this all just endless bike and bus lanes or does it include the cost of running buses for a few years? Typical rubbish announcement, no facts just spin and wind.
If this is more than just white board think tank guessing then tell people what the plans are now.

Experience tells us that a white board guess at X value usually becomes X times 2 or 3 when anything is finally delivered. Auckland rail tunnel and Pt Chalmers bike ways are just two simple examples.