The Herald reports:
Labour MP Phil Goff has promised to make light rail a priority if he wins the Auckland mayoralty.
He said a line from the Wynyard Quarter, up Queen Street, Symonds Street and down Dominion Road is a priority.
Speaking to the Committee for Auckland today, he said the city already suffered from bus congestion and light rail will dramatically increase public transport capacity, adding it was electric and would reduce pollution.
Mr Goff pushed some form of road charging – a petrol tax, tolls or congestion charges – to raise revenue for transport and encourage a change of travel modes.
The Mayor of Auckland and the Council have no power to impose a petrol tax or congestion charging. So the only way Goff can pay for light rail is to massively increase rates even more than the last 9.9% increase.
Auckland Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas rubbished Mr Goff’s “enthusiasm for an untested and unfunded light rail system serving central Auckland”.
“Throwing support behind undeveloped and unfunded ideas has been a hallmark of Len Brown’s mayoralty,” Mr Thomas said.
“Aucklanders are still waiting for rail to Albany and rail to the airport the Mayor promised in his first election campaign. Labour’s candidate is falling into the same trap.”
Goff is looking to be Len Brown Mark II.