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Mayor unveils plan to revamp public transport

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Staff Reporter

14 May 2024, 8:02 PM

Mayor unveils plan to revamp public transportAuckland Mayor Wayne Brown announces proposal to improve public transport, focusing on fare caps, network optimisation, and driver safety.

Mayor Wayne Brown has announced a comprehensive plan to revitalise the city's public transport system, aiming to make it faster, cheaper, and more reliable.

The proposal, to be considered by councillors this week, includes a $50 weekly fare cap for buses, trains, and inner-harbour ferries, as well as an expansion of Auckland Transport's Fareshare scheme to support businesses in subsidising staff travel costs.

"I'm listening to Aucklanders who asked for more spending on public transport in the LTP consultation. It's time we got on with making buses fast and reliable. That will ensure a smooth transition to Time of Use Charging, which is needed to decongest our roads," Mayor Brown stated.

The plan allocates $5.8 billion in funding for Auckland Transport's operating expenses over the next decade, alongside $14 billion in capital investment.

This includes additional funding to protect existing bus routes, essential track maintenance, and initiatives to deliver dynamic lanes and low-cost network improvements.

Bus driver safety is also a priority, with $6.5 million set aside for the rapid installation of security screens on AT buses.

Auckland Tramways Union president Gary Froggatt welcomed the proposal, stating, "We welcome this because something needs to be done. Drivers will be pleased this has been progressed in the Mayor's final proposal."

The proposal further provides funding for the removal of railway level crossings in Takanini, a crucial step in realising the full benefits of the City Rail Link.

The Budget Committee, comprising all 20 councillors and two members of the Independent Māori Statutory Board, will meet on Thursday, May 15, to consider the mayor's final proposal.