Wellington Scoop

Light rail included in $1m study of public transport from station to hospital

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

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  1. The City is Ours, 19. April 2011, 23:15

    Don’t forget to demand cycling and walking policies in the briefs

  2. Jamie, 21. April 2011, 2:35

    I will never cease to be amazed by the consistent – like a cracked record – comments by Celia and Fran, etc repeating ‘ad nauseum’ things like, ”improved reliability”, ”reduced journey times”, ”more user-friendly and efficient”, etc in relation to public transport through central Wellington. Boy, I wish I was given $1million to study such things because for very little cost and very little time I could achieve major improvements in all of the above, using all the knowledge, data and information that has been available for a long time indeed. It’s just that the WCC and GWRC have paid no attention to it – just ignored, rejected and dismissed it. If these Councils haven’t genuinely been interested in these serious matters for such a long time, if they’ve previously only paid lip service to the problems and paid no attention to part of the solution, it’s unrealistic to believe that wasting most of another million dollars will make the slightest difference.

    I mean why would anybody at the WCC or GWRC have the motivation or integrity to suddenly arise from their slumber and do some real work on the issues and put into place all the improvements that they have so far paid not the slightest attention to? I have seen no convincing evidence that the Councilors and staff in those two organizations, as well as relevant staff in NZTA, will be any more likely to do more in the future than they have in the past – that is nothing, very little or playing around with fanciful schemes such as Daran Ponter’s forcing bikes up and down the steps and in between the people standing in full buses.

  3. Daran Ponter, 21. April 2011, 9:45

    Jamie, Once again I see you are attempting to distort what I have said. Bike racks on buses are a proven technology. Christchurch, after extensive trials, have just completed a roll-out of bus racks to the majority of their bus fleet. I spoke to bus operators in Christchurch over the weekend and they found them to be no hassle to operate. The Christchurch trial was fully evaluated and deemed to be a success (usage was moderate, there were no safety concerns, and feedback from users and bus drivers was positive). The trial and the eventual roll out was done with the approval of NZTA. The bike racks being used in Christchurch are well proven and are used extensively of bus fleets in the USA and Europe.

    Bike racks on buses are an effective way of integrating two modes of transport. I look forward to the debate on this issue when the Regional Council considers this issue in June.

  4. Jamie, 21. April 2011, 11:44

    Re bikes on buses. I am not challenging some of the things relating to buses in Christchurch, although can you prove beyond reasonable doubt that people with jobs relating to public transport in Christchurch have any more ability, knowledge and understanding than those in Wellington? And of course, you can’t compare chalk with cheese. I venture to suggest that the roads, conditions, infrastructure and pedestrian environment in Christchurch and other places to which you have referred bear little resemblance to the operational-problem-beset-danger-to-pedestrians-narrow-confined-streets-malfunctioning-traffic-lights-up-to-12-buses-nose-to-tail-creating-serious-dangers-to-bike-putter-oners-and-taker-offers typifying the so-called Golden Mile, especially in the Manners Street area. [Abridged].