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Last month, the Green Party announced it would allocate $10 million a year for five years to establish commuter rail options from Rangiora to Christchurch and Rolleston to Christchurch.
The Greens also announced spending $250 million on establishing a rapid transport network in the city, which may include light rail and buses.
Green co-leader Metiria Turei welcomed Labour's support for a Green policy.
''Light rail is an important part of our transport plan. I am looking forward to working with them on that when we are in government together,'' she said in an interview.
Labour leader David Cunliffe said the earthquakes changed the shape of Christchurch forever. The population to the north and west of the city was growing rapidly.
The extreme congestion on the northern corridor was the result of the transport network not matching the new shape. Rangiora commuters routinely spent an hour in traffic at either end of the day.
''As the upgraded commuter rail systems in Auckland and Wellington have proven, there is huge latent demand for this option.
''It appeals to people who don't want the hassle of driving and it makes the commute easier for people who do by reducing the number of cars on the road and reducing congestion.''
A city the size of Christchurch needed a rapid transit network to be economically efficient. Commuter rail would use the existing lines with only relatively minor and inexpensive upgrades needed, he said.
The aim was to have a commuter rail service up and running within a year.
''This is not a short-term project or a pilot study,'' Mr Cunliffe said.
''It is an investment in the public transport network that will serve Canterbury for the next century.''
At a glance
• Labour and the Greens want commuter rail options from Rangiora to Christchurch and Rolleston to Christchurch.
• Labour will invest $100 million on rapid transit system in Christchurch, including network of local railway stations, with park and ride facilities, pathways and cycleways.
• The Greens will spend $10 million a year for five years on Rangiora, Rolleston and Christchurch links and $250 million to establish rapid transit system in Christchurch.