Wellington Scoop

Subway and light rail included in eight options for Wellington public transport

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Eight options, including bus, light rail and underground heavy rail, will be investigated further as part of the Wellington Public Transport Spine Study.

The study is looking into the merits of long-term, high quality public transport options for the ‘spine’ between Wellington Railway Station and Wellington Regional Hospital. It’s being carried out by consultant AECOM for Greater Wellington Regional Council in partnership with Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency.

An inception and scoping report produced in February identified 88 possible options, combining a range of routes and a range of modes (systems) from heavy rail through to personalised rapid transit ‘pods’.

The list of 88 was then broken down into six possible public transport modes and five possible alignments. These were assessed against specific criteria including accessibility, attractiveness to users, ability to meet future passenger demand, and engineering and financial viability. Compatibility between various combinations of modes and possible alignments was also tested, and a ‘medium list’ of eight options were identified to take forward to the next stage of evaluation. 

The eight options are:

·          Two high quality on-street bus options along a central alignment (essentially the Golden Mile) or along a waterfront alignment (essentially following the Quays), with both options then continuing south along Kent/Cambridge Terraces, through to Adelaide Road.

·          Two bus rapid transit options along the same two alignments as above. Bus rapid transit involves buses running in an entirely separate space on the road from other traffic

·          Two light rail options along the same two alignments as above.

·          A heavy rail extension underground along an alignment to be determined.

·          A heavy rail extension at street level along a waterfront alignment.

Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, welcomed the latest step in the study. “We’ve now got some tangible options and it will be interesting to see how they stack up in the next round of more detailed assessment. High quality, highly efficient public transport along this crucial spine is imperative, not only for the future of Wellington City but for the entire region.  Excellent public transport means less reliance on cars and less congestion, making it a lot easier to get to regional destinations such as Wellington Station, Wellington Hospital and the airport.”

The study milestone was also welcomed by Jenny Chetwynd, NZ Transport Agency’s Regional Director Central “We’re very pleased at the noticeable progress the study has made in creating a medium list of options for consideration. The study team is keeping an open mind and has looked at dozens of overseas examples of public transport systems. We’re confident this will help us and our council partners to identify the best potential long-term solutions that provide good value for money and fit well with the needs, the opportunities, and the constraints of our city.”

Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington, says she’s very interested in how the eight options will be assessed to improve transport choices and urban form. “Good transport choices must include economical, efficient and pleasant public transport. Wellington’s compact form combined with its population already sympathetic to walking and catching public transport provides a great opportunity for future investment.

“Improving the public transport links between the Hutt Valley, the Western corridor and Wellington’s CBD and beyond to the eastern suburbs and the Airport is important for economic and environmental success.”

More information about the evaluation of the various options is available in the attached Q & As and more information about the study generally, including the report on the identification of the eight options, is at haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/ptspinestudy  .

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1 comment:

  1. Eastie, 2. May 2012, 19:03

    The main question I have to ask with any of these options is: where is the dedicated bike route through the city? Where are the Copenhagen type bike lanes with special light signals at intersections allowing bikes to travel faster than cars through the city?