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FIT is here to talk about rapid transit for Wellington City — a high frequency, all-day every-day service, on a dedicated right-of-way:
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FIT’s Scenario A+ alternative to LGWM’s proposals offers a people-centred, not car-centred, vision for Wellington’s future. Scenario A+ fulfils LGWM’s objectives through:
The high capital cost of light rail requires a strategy that actively seeks to maximise ridership and mode share, not the passive “demand follows population growth” strategy that LGWM has adopted. Future light rail mass transit as proposed by LGWM would be difficult and disruptive to build and expensive to run. Its proposals are predicated on private cars remaining the dominant mode.
FIT sees urban rapid transit as a strategic investment that brings economic, social and environmental benefits to the country. Rapid transit plays the same role in the urban economy that expressways play in the rural economy, enabling urban development and enhancing urban form. Bringing rapid transit projects to fruition requires central government support, like that provided for RoNS.
Funding is the biggest barrier to making rapid transit happen. We’d like to encourage the government to play an active role. This could include facilitating innovative funding mechanisms, such as the recent proposal from Sam Stubbs of Simplicity that KiwiSaver funds are a good fit to infrastructure investments. In countries such as Canada, pension funds have been investing in urban rapid transit since 2000.
One option may be to set up The NZ Infrastructure Bank as a subsidiary of KiwiBank. The Bank would:
We believe these proposals are consistent with the government’s transport and environmental policies. How can Wellington do this? Should we be asking you to brief Minister Twyford or should FIT offer to brief him? What’s your advice and how can we best help?