Demand for a bridge cannot be judged by the number of people swimming across a river.
Yet the Prime Minister insists that rail patronage must double before the Government commits to funding the City Rail Link, a concept that does not apply to the multi-billion dollar Roads of National Significance.
Construction of the CRL and three new inner city stations will result in far more demand for rail travel than currently. For instance, a trip from New Lynn to the new mid-town Aotea Station will take just 23 minutes at peak time – faster than a car journey and much faster than the current journey via public transport, which takes around 45 minutes. Across the entire network, capacity and frequency will at least double, benefiting all rail users and not just those employed in the CBD.
Delaying the CRL until 2020 acts as a handbrake to Auckland’s growing economy, and will be more expensive than making a start now. No other option offers better value for money. It is time for the Government to accept this and be part of the solution.