12 Mar 2021

$31 billion transport initiative for Auckand - Tāmaki Makaurau announced

2:17 pm on 12 March 2021

The government and the Auckland Council have announced a $31 billion transport investment for Tāmaki Makaurau.

Mayor Phil Goff said Auckland was experiencing its worst drought on record.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The 2021-2031 Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) is designed to help the city meet the challenges of climate change and housing.

Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the ATAP largely reflected and built upon the $28 billion 2018 package, with $600 million more than previous package for walking and cycling initiatives, plus $500 million more for buses and ferries.

The project is focused on encouraging a shift from private cars to public transport, walking and cycling, and is predicted to increase the number of public transport trips by 91 per cent.

Minister Wood said this would reduce transport emissions.

"For the first time we're turning around transport emissions rising in Auckland. The ATAP 2021-31 package alone would result of around 13 per cent decrease in emissions per capita when compared with the previous package, and is projected to increase public transport trips by 91 per cent.

"Alongside our recently announced policies to reduce transport emissions, ATAP could help prevent up to 3.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions in Auckland over the next decade. This is a good first step, but we know we have to do more," he said.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the package, and said the city has a huge backlog from years of underinvestment.

"At $31 billion this is the largest capital programme ever allocated for Auckland transport infrastructure and services," he said.

The investment will also fund new trial called Community Connect will entitle Community Services Card holders to a 50 per cent discount on train and bus fares.

Goff said this will help 200,000 low-income earners.

"This is important to the council's goal of Auckland being inclusive for all its people and will have the further benefits of helping to address traffic congestion and carbon emissions," he said.

Wood said ATAP will help build key infrastructure to support the Auckland Housing Programme.

"The package will support the delivery of over 17,000 Kāinga Ora homes across Tāmaki, Mt Roskill, Oranga and Mangere that would not be able to happen without this investment. This includes intersection upgrades, bus priority measures, walking and cycling bridges over SH20, additional bus lanes in Mangere, and upgrading Middlemore Station."

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