Reviving the scrapped light rail system, introducing new electric buses and retaining a fleet of trolley buses are part of the Green Party’s $500 million vision for Wellington’s transport system.
The policy, released today, calls for money earmarked by the current National Government for upgrading and expanding the capital’s roading network to be spent on public transport, Green Party transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said.
Wellingtonians could be taking light rail from the railway station out to Kilbirnie by 2020, and the airport and Miramar by 2025 under the plan, she said.
I can understand the Greens supporting light rail as a possibility before it was fully explored as an option. But the two Wellington Councils and NZTA commissioned a study of light rail and even Mayor Celia now agrees it is unaffordable and ineffective.
So why are the Greens still backing it? Because it is about a near religious belief in rail. It is nothing to do with enhancing transport.
Light rail was costed at $940 million, and providing benefits of just $30 million. The business to cost ratio is close to zero – 0.05. The Greens are proposing to waste around $3,000 per Wellington household. If you live in Wellington think about what you could do with $3,000 instead!
The Greens would also retain the city’s ageing trolley buses, at a cost of $70m for their upgrade.
That’s $70 million which won’t reduce congestion by one passenger. In fact it will make congestion worse. The new non trolley buses will make a commute five to ten minutes faster. The Greens are against this!
I’d love us to have light rail and trolley buses if they were even marginally cost effective. But they’re not. The Greens are unable to accept reality, and are flogging dead horses. Except that if they are in Government we’ll be paying for those dead horses.Tags: Greens, public transport, rail, Wellington