Greens’ bold light rail plan

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

The Greens say they will build for light rail be­tween Auck­land air­port and the CBD in time for the Amer­ica’s Cup in 2021 if elected.

There are al­ready plans for light rail on the route un­der the cur­rent gov­ern­ment but not for an­other 30 years.

The Green Party will fast-track the cur­rent plans for light rail be­tween the Wy­nard Quar­ter and the air­port by mak­ing the project a $2.3 bil­lion project of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance.

The party has pre­vi­ously said it want light rail in place be­fore 2025 but have now moved it up in re­sponse to the Amer­ica’s Cup, which will likely be held in Auck­land.

Greens trans­port spokes­woman Julie Anne Gen­ter said many Auck­lan­ders be­lieved air­port rail was due.

‘‘A new rail line will give peo­ple the free­dom to by-pass con­gested roads and travel from the city to Do­min­ion Rd and the air- port easily and quickly.

‘‘There is al­ready a very de­tailed plan. We just need the po­lit­i­cal will.’’

It would look into ad­di­tional fund­ing sources to get that $2.3b, in­clud­ing cap­tur­ing some of the land value in­crease that light rail would bring to ar­eas it touched.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges said ear­lier this week that some in­fra­struc­ture projects could be brought for­wards in time for 2021, but he doesn’t be­lieve get­ting light rail in time is fea­si­ble.

SUP­PLIED

An artist’s im­pres­sion of light rail on Auck­land’s Queen Street.

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