Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Greens on transport

The Greens announced their transport policy today: a massive re-prioritization from roads to public transport:

The Green Party's policy would prioritise getting people out of their vehicles and onto public transport by building better networks, increasing the amount of services and making it more affordable.

The party pledged to invest $10.4 billion in public transport projects and rail throughout the country over the next decade, promising more trains and buses at peak hours and decongesting the country's roads.

It would focus on implementing the Congestion Free Network plan in Auckland by 2020 through seven key projects costing $2.2 billion.

There's more details here. Auckland features heavily, as you'd expect - they're our biggest city with our biggest transport problems. But they'll be talking about Wellington and Christchurch in coming weeks, and the latter in particular has scope to reshape its public transport network in the wake of the earthquake.

There's a strong element of planning for the future here: peak oil and climate change mean the days of cheap cars (and therefore of massive motorways) are numbered. But it also reflects the changes we're seeing now. Road usage is already dropping, while Aucklanders are crying out for a better rail system so they can escape gridlock. The Greens will address these problems, and shift our transport infrastructure to deal with our needs. National, OTOH, simply seems to want to build more roads for its trucking-industry cronies.