INDEPENDENT NEWS

Strategy pushes public transport

Published: Tue 18 Oct 2005 04:45 PM
Strategy pushes public transport
17 October 2005
The strategy adopted for Auckland's transport system over the next 10 years represents a significant shift towards more investment in public transport.
The Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS), which details the way forward for the region's transport system over the next 10 years, was adopted by the Regional Land Transport Committee today. It outlines what is needed to deal with the additional demands placed on the land transport system by more people and business.
The RLTC confirmed the 'High Passenger Transport' option was its preferred strategy, which was also supported by the majority of submitters.
It will see a total of $11 billion spent on the transport system: $6.81 billion on roads, $3.8 billion on public transport and $420 million on travel demand management.
Regional Land Transport Committee Chairman Joel Cayford says the increase in public transport spending will give people more reliable services and a greater choice in how they travel.
"We expect this will result in a greater proportion of trips made on public transport in peak periods.
"There's no quick fix or simple solution to Auckland's transport problems. The strategy recognises we need to do things differently than in the past.
"However there is a strong for Government to align its funding policies with the RLTS so the aspirations of the region can be met. We, along with local councils, will be advocating for this." Cr Cayford says.
A total of 224 submissions were received on the Draft RLTS, the majority supported the 'High Passenger Transport' option. A hearings sub-committee considered the submissions in September.
Cr Cayford says that following strong submissions from people in Franklin and Rodney rural transport issues are more comprehensively addressed by the strategy.
"The RLTC has also recognised the need for the RLTS to address the risk of increasing fuel prices. The strategy discusses the possible impacts this could have on the transport system."
The results expected from the 'High Passenger Transport' option include:
* Substantial progress in the planning and completion of key links in the strategic road network.
* Increased provision of public transport, with improvements to bus and ferry services in addition to continued upgrading of rail.
* People will have a greater choice of travel modes and it will be easier to change between them with the introduction of integrated ticketing.
* Continued development of travel demand management, including measures such as walking school buses, business travel plans and support for walking and cycling.
* By 2016 at least a 20 per cent reduction in emissions to air which are harmful to health.
* Forty nine per cent of motorised trips into the CBD by public transport, compared to 32 per cent now.
* Opportunities for people with disabilities to access the transport system will be significantly improved.
ENDS

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