The Government has said it is going to spend $450 to $600 million on the Auckland rail tracks it purchased for $89 million.
Now how many people take trains in Auckland? Around just under 9,000 a day which is 0.6% of Aucklanders. If they spend $600 million that will be a spend of $67,000 per passenger. Hmmmn. Think if they spent that much per Aucklander on roads – that would be almost $94 billion on Auckland roads. Even Banksie and Aaron would be happy!
Now some will say that this investment in rail will lead to many more people using the trains. Well yes there may be some increase, but according to an ARC report only 20% of new rail passengers will come from cars, so it will mainly be bus users swapping to trains.
As the AA said in 2001, rail works relatively well in Wellington because 45% of the region work in the CBD. In Auckland it is only 13%.
I’m very unconvinced that $450 to $600 million on rail will help Auckland’s transports woes greatly.