Mayor Calls for Rapid Progress on Better Public Transport

18 June 2013

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has called for action on implementing the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) through the transport spine from Wellington Railway Station to Wellington Hospital.

The BRT emerged as the strongest option of three finalists along Wellington’s public transport spine in the Public Transport Spine Study, a joint study between the NZTA, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council.

“Wellington City Council has been consistent in its desire to promote better public transport and strong urban design in the Capital,” says the Mayor.

“On the evidence presented, Bus Rapid Transit has benefits similar to light rail, at a more affordable cost and with the added flexibility to expand the network to outer suburbs. There will be opportunity for people to critique any assumptions and conclusions in this study.

“High-quality, high-capacity, low-floor vehicles that can service places including Miramar, Kilbirnie, Island Bay and Karori are a real game changer. A BRT system allows the public to reach those suburbs more quickly without needing to change buses or modes of transport.

“It’s really important that higher-capacity vehicles along the Golden Mile are quiet and low-emission,” Mayor Wade-Brown says. “The very first steps are to designate the public transport corridor and get on with bus priority lanes.”

Councillor Andy Foster, Wellington City Council’s Transport Portfolio Leader, says the Public Transport Spine Study identified the best potential ways to boost public transport through Wellington.

“We’re trying to move more people, more quickly and more reliably, using fewer vehicles, and therefore reducing congestion through the central city,” says Cr Foster.

“Decisions on the type of public transport vehicles and the roading layout are required very soon. We need to have some outcomes over the next year.

“We want to make sure we’re integrating changes to public transport with changes to the roading layout, particularly on the approaches to and around the Basin Reserve.”