The Government and Auckland Council have released the recommendations of the Auckland Light Rail team which Cabinet will consider later this year, says Transport Minister Michael Wood.
“When I announced we were getting the project back on track earlier this year, I acknowledged Aucklanders had been shut out of the previous process. We’re continuing to be transparent by being upfront with Aucklanders about this city-shaping project,” Michael Wood said.
“We took a manifesto commitment to the election to get on with Auckland light rail and it’ll help Auckland’s economic recovery by supporting up to 16,000 jobs.
“The business case draws a clear conclusion that Auckland light rail is a necessary investment to lessen congestion and further future proof our biggest city. It is a critical piece of infrastructure to support more housing, to give people real transport choices, and to build a linked up transport network for Auckland.
“It will provide the base and first stage of the additional Waitematā Harbour crossing and a line out to the North-West, beginning a city-wide transport network, so it’s important that we make the best decision for the long term.
“The Auckland Light Rail team has engaged with more than 115 stakeholder groups and there was strong support from communities along the proposed route. Aucklanders want more jobs and housing as well as reduced congestion and emissions – we know we have to get on with it.
“The options range from Melbourne-style modern tram to a London-style underground metro. We’re being open about the pros and cons across the options, like disruption to businesses, value for money, the shape of our public transport network, and the ability to open up housing along the corridor in Mt Roskill, Onehunga and Māngere. These will all be factors we consider before making a decision,” Michael Wood said.
Mayor Phil Goff says the rapid transit corridor will enable the housing and job growth the city needs for the future.
“This area will cater for an additional 66,000 homes housing nearly a quarter of Auckland’s population growth over the next 30 years. It already provides a quarter of Auckland’s jobs, connecting the two biggest employment hubs in the city,” he says.
“The rapid transit connection is vital to enable this growth and address problems of congestion and carbon emissions. It is as much an urban development project as a critical transport connection.
“I welcome the government’s commitment to it and to listening to the views of the Auckland community,” Mayor Goff said.
Once the Government makes decisions at the end of the year, detailed planning and design work is expected to start in early 2022 and the project would be delivered as a partnership between the Government, Auckland Council and Mana Whenua.