Cullen says ditch light rail for buses

The Herald reports:

The Labour Government’s plans for light rail in Auckland have come under fire from an elder statesman of the party, Sir Michael Cullen.

In his last two columns in the Weekend Herald, Cullen has raised concerns about the enormous cost and disruption of light rail and suggested electric buses are a better solution.

“It looks like an idea whose time has passed,” said the former deputy prime minister and finance minister when talking about light rail.

Cullen has also taken a pot shot at supporters of light rail, saying they have airily dismissed the enormous cost and disruption as of little consequence and arrived at the solution before adequately analysing the problem.

On this issue I hope they listen to Dr Cullen.

It is not clear what a $10 billion-plus tram line will add to a bus network, said Cullen, saying nobody can make the light rail project have a positive benefit-cost ratio, whatever heroic assumptions about inner-city redevelopment are made.

This means the benefits from light rail will be dwarfed by its costs.

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