Mayor Phil Goff says today’s light rail announcement is critical to Auckland’s future, and its ability to deal with congestion and emissions-reduction challenges, and provide for intensive housing to meet future projected population growth.
“City Centre to Māngere Light Rail is the critical link needed to develop a rapid transit network around the city to prevent future gridlock,” he says.
“It enables future rapid transit to the northwest and a third harbour crossing to the north. It will create a linked network which will also connect to the east via the planned Airport to Botany rapid transit route and the Eastern Busway, which is already under construction.
“For more than half a century, Auckland’s rapid population growth has not been matched by a corresponding investment in transport infrastructure. The result is congestion and more than 40 per cent of the city’s carbon emissions coming from transport.
“These are two of the biggest challenges facing the city, and can only be addressed by transformational change, which the light rail project is part of.
“The city’s other major challenge is for more and intensified housing to stop sprawl. The light rail corridor will enable housing intensification, which will cater for 200,000 additional people within the city, a quarter of the city’s projected future growth.
“It will also enable access to a forecast 97,000 extra jobs which will be created in the corridor,” Phil Goff said.
“This investment is the biggest ever made in Auckland’s transport infrastructure. It needs to be—to ensure a transport system that is future proofed.
“The investment is critical to addressing the productivity costs of congestion in the city, conservatively estimated at $1.3 billion a year and growing. And while the investment is large, it will be offset by not having to invest similar sums in the future to provide infrastructure for greenfield developments for a sprawling city.
“This is a project that will be transformational for this city and our nation, and I thank the Government for its foresight and commitment,” Mayor Goff says.
Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore says, “As well as transforming our transport network, Light Rail is an opportunity to shape Auckland and continue our progress towards building a quality compact city and addressing our housing challenges.
“It will unlock urban growth and employment opportunities—including up to 66,000 new homes and 97,000 new jobs—while improving access to new intensive housing developments and the rapidly growing Auckland Airport employment precinct.”