Labour has announced it would invest $100 million into commuter rail services in Canterbury, if elected to government.
Party leader David Cunliffe said the earthquakes in the region had led to a shift in population and caused traffic congestion that is frustrating drivers.
Mr Cunliffe said commuter rail was the most cost-effective way to reduce that congestion, using existing tracks with a few upgrades.
The rail system proposed by Labour would link Rangiora and Kaiapoi with Christchurch, and the urban stations would stimulate urban renewal in places like Hornby and Papanui, he said.
"The money will come out of currently unallocated funds within the Land Transport Fund. It will not mean cutting any other projects."