The Herald’s Editorial asserting that the ARC’s transport plan “ignores reality” for its focus on public transport is remarkable for its poor grasp of what current realities actually are.
The reality is that significant roading projects such as the revised $1.8bn Waterview extension and the $2bn+ Puhoi to Wellsford motorway have not been subject to any economic benefit-cost analysis. Projects such as rail electrification have long been established as being more effective at reducing congestion in Auckland. The need for faster, quieter, low emission electric trains was established as far back as 2002 by Boston Consulting in an independent report.
The reality is that the prioritised list comes not from the ARC, but from the Regional Transport Committee which comprises representatives from the local councils, health and safety, the police, the AA, the freight industry and cycling and public transport representatives.
The Minister of Transport has been recently calling for “joined up thinking” in relation to transport planning, but the reality is that this thinking is already well represented in the Regional Growth Strategy, ARTA’s 10 year plan and now a transport plan designed to take Auckland 30 years into the future.