Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
A study of the best options for a high quality public transport route through Wellington City has moved a step closer with government funding approved for the study on Tuesday. Tenders will be called for the study within the next few weeks.
The Public Transport Spine Study is being carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council, in partnership with Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency. The study will assess the feasibility and merits of a range of long-term options for a high frequency, high quality public transport system between Wellington Railway Station and Wellington Regional Hospital, including possible connections to the north and south-east. Options investigated will include light rail and bus.
The $1 million study is part of the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan and its findings will feed into a review of that plan in 2013.
Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, says a high frequency, high quality public transport system is crucial for this part of Wellington. “We know that the bus network is already near capacity particularly along the Golden Mile where various routes meet, creating significant delays especially at peak times. The need to identify longer-term solutions to make public transport through this corridor as fast and convenient as possible is a crucial element of the overall approach agreed through the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan.
“The innovative solutions, such as more suburban hubs and interchanges, that are being developed as part of our Wellington city public transport review will also be a valuable contribution to this study.”
Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington, says many Wellingtonians choose public transport for their journeys to work, education or recreation. “Now we must improve its reliability and cut journey times. Light rail, as one option, has additional potential to bring in investment along its route, as shown in many cities overseas from Nottingham to Portland. Efficient public transport is crucial for our economy.”
NZTA Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd said the study would be an excellent investment towards improving the performance and uptake of public transport in Wellington City in the long-term.
“Public transport plays a critical role in Wellington’s transport network, and this study will help us identify opportunities to make public transport more user-friendly and efficient. This study is an important component of the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor plan, which once fully implemented, will result in a well performing multi-modal transport system that improves travel throughout the city for all users.”
Public consultation is expected to take place in May or June next year on the various options that are identified and assessed in the study.
More information is available at www.gw.govt.nz/pt-spine