3 Jun 2012

No subsidy for loss-making commuter train service

7:00 am on 3 June 2012

The head of the Transport Agency says no public money will go towards subsidising the struggling Capital Connection train service.

KiwiRail is threatening to axe the weekday commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington, which lost $479,000 in the first ten months of this financial year.

The Wellington and Manawatu-Whanganui regional councils have said they will commit to subsidising the service if the Transport Agency does the same.

Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield says it will not subsidise the service as it does not relieve congestion.

He says a subsidy would cost $2700 per passenger a year, and that's not a wise use of public money.

The Green Party says the agency's decision is short-sighted.