The intensity of the Unitary Plan ended up distracting us a bit from the discussion around alternative transport funding, although perhaps that was intended. Submissions on the funding options close today so this is a quick recap and explanation of my submission. Submitting is very easy, just go to the Keep Auckland Moving site and scroll to the bottom of the page. If you want you can just change the appropriate check boxes, fill in your details and submit.
First a quick recap. When the government merged the various councils to create the now Auckland Council, they required that a 30 year spatial plan be developed that would guide the city. Effectively it is the vision for the city and it became known as The Auckland Plan - this was then used to guide detailed rule book that is the Unitary Plan. However transport seems to be one area that politicians can’t help but get distracted by and the Auckland Plan deviated away from just providing the high level strategy, goals and objectives to listing specific projects. Seemingly too scared to anger anyone, it seemed like every single project ever thought of was added in to one massive wish list with just some horse trading to decide which projects should have the highest priority.
The problem though is that this wish list wasn’t cheap and estimates suggest that after taking into the expected funding available from existing options, there would be a $10-15 billion shortfall that would somehow need to be addressed. Raising that kind of money isn’t going to be easy so Mayor Len Brown set up a consensus building group (CBG). The CBG was made up of members from a wide variety of organisations including Cam from the CBT and the intention was for them to come to an agreement as to how we could raise the revenue needed. Despite the rhetoric from certain politicians, this wish list wasn’t a massive spend up on rail or PT but around 60-70% of the funding was actually going to roading projects.
At the same time, and in conjunction with the work going on with the CBG, Auckland Transport created the first iteration of the Integrated Transport Programme (ITP). One of the key things the ITP did was to effectively take the massive transport wish list from the Auckland plan and put it through some modelling analysis to see the impact the projects would have. Unsurprisingly the results weren’t pretty and the results showed that even if we spent the extra $10-15 billion above what we already were planning congestion would continue to get worse.
Unfortunately the CBG, they weren’t allowed to re-litigate what projects were on the list and so had to look at funding sources in isolation to seeing whether projects on the list would actually make things better or worse. Had that been able to occur, it is likely that many of the projects on the wish lists would have dropped off or been put off significantly. The CBG started the process with a list of potential options which were:
- general rates
- targeted rates
- development contributions
- tax increment financing
- regional fuel tax and road user charge/diesel levy
- tolling new roads
- road pricing on existing roads (i.e. some form of network charging or congestion charging)
- additional car parking charges
- visitor taxes
- airport departure tax
From there they whittled it down before announcing two options to meet the funding shortfall. It is also noted that the road pricing in option 2 is likely to have a much greater de-congestion benefits than option 1 as it would more effectively manage travel demand.
But, there is a lot more to this than just how we pay for these projects. As we have shown recently, there are some significant shifts occurring in our society at the moment. Per capita vehicle ownership, kilometres driven and even the number of people getting driver licences are all in decline. Further these trends are likely to only get stronger if we implement the measures above in a bid to raise money. The very process of raising enough money to cover the transport wish list, especially with the road pricing option, is likely to remove much of the demand and therefore the justification for many of the roading projects. This brings up the question of whether we should just go ahead and implement these measures anyway, even if just in a cost neutral way.
We have also seen recently that the way we measure congestion hasn’t been ideal. We have traditionally compared traffic speeds on a road with what is possible in a free flow scenario however we should really be comparing traffic speeds with the speed at which a piece of road is at its most efficient and moving the most vehicles. This is a significant shift in thinking and has some potentially massive impacts as most projects are justified based on time savings. Projects like the CRL which add significant capacity perform much better that a project which shaves just a few seconds off a drivers time but that doesn’t actually make a road more efficient.
With this in mind, here is a summary of the feedback I am providing.
- Of the two options presented I support option 2.
- We should consider implementing road pricing in a cost neutral way in advance of the need for additional funding mechanisms so we can more accurately measure the impact it has on the transport network.
- Before any additional funding scheme is implemented, all projects need to to be put through a robust process to properly determine their economic impact along with the impact they will have on the entire transport network, not just on the specific area they are located in. The projects then need to prioritised according to which ones have the most positive impact.
- Additional funding should only be obtained for projects that will make a positive impact to the transport system and the exact impacts need to be made clear to the general public.
- Assessing projects based on the how fast they can move a single occupant vehicle is not a good measure of success, we should instead be taking into consideration projects that add the most capacity to the network.
As mentioned earlier, the consultation period closes today so if you are interested in how we fund our future transport needs then please make sure you make your voice heard.
There was an excellent op-ed in the Herald yesterday by Auckland Chamber of commerce chairman Michael Barnett related to the Integrated Transport Programme as well as the debate surrounding the issue of funding. The herald piece missed off the last few paragraphs so here it is in full from the Chamber of Commerce website.
If a business plan was signed off by the Board of a listed company knowing that it set out an investment programme that would deliver a negative result, there would be one outcome – they would lose the confidence in their investors.
The just released Integrated Transport Programme predicting worsening congestion in Auckland even if we find the extra $400 million a year needed to finance the Auckland Plan’s transport projects falls into that category. It charts an unacceptable future for Auckland.
The document that was signed off by the Boards of both Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) should concern Aucklanders and have them look at our political masters, who signed off a 30-year Auckland Plan from which the transport programme has been compiled. Isn’t their job to provide the leadership for building a thriving Auckland, and for which transport is set out in the Plan as an enabler?
The one saving grace of the Programme is that it is honest. It plainly states that even with the $25 billion invested to build by 2021 projects like the Central Rail Link in the central City and AMETI and East West Link in south Auckland, within 30 years Auckland’s road congestion will be worse than current levels in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, which already have much larger populations.
But it offers no solutions. At the moment Auckland cannot even fund the transport infrastructure investment programme we have agreed and want to do, let alone the further initiatives needed to head off the worsening congestion long-term.
Auckland needs and deserves the certainty of knowing we have a transport plan for the long game.
As I view our situation, at all levels, the decisions that need to be made right now are business-like leadership decisions – and the ground has never been as well prepared as it is now for a leader to step up to the plate and make the big calls required.
There are four things that need to happen – and fast.
First, while Aucklanders debate how to fill the $400 million a year shortfall needed to finance the immediate Auckland Plan transport projects, Auckland Transport and NZTA – our transport infrastructure and service providers – need to be demanding and seeking a much improved business-like performance from the existing transport system.
Train and bus services must be re-organised to run on time and become reliable; they must lift their game and not leave passengers waiting at stations and stops. Auckland Transport must quickly introduce integrated timetables between train, bus and ferry services, provide secure parking for cars at suburban bus and train stations, and ensure train fares are paid. They must micro manage a much improved performance from the bus and rail systems.
With some trust and certainty that these micro improvements make a real difference, I am confident thousands of Auckland commuters would leave their cars at home – and would be keen to do so.
Second, the funding shortage debate must be brought into the real world.
The debate has quickly revealed a preference for a user pay approach – network tolls or a cordon – rather than increasing rates. There are two parts to the debate – to find revenue to ensure major projects are built within the Plan’s timeline, and to bite the bullet with congestion management scheme by 2021 to head off the predicted worsening gridlock.
However, we are starting this debate without knowing what we are going to invest in or what level of return we will get from making this investment. We are not planning the funding solution in a business-like way.
The business case for the major projects has not yet been done, so there is no informed way to confirm what the measurable benefits of the projects will be.
It is remiss, surely, to promote a debate on options to raise the $400m/yr to invest with no idea of the likely return. It is like going to a banker seeking a loan for a million dollars without disclosing what the money will be used for.
Of course, the first question the bank will ask is: What do you want the money for? And the next question will be to determine whether the return on the investment is sound – does it stack up?
Third, there is no way of knowing what the rate of return to the economy has been from the billions of dollars invested in Auckland transport infrastructure in recent years – either roads or public transport – the work to make this assessment has not been done.
In general, returns on investment will depend on the nature of the projects themselves.
Judging from improved traffic flows where new motorway links have been built, suggests that the investment has been value for money. The Western Ring Route corridor benefits were calculated to be $1.40 for every $1 invested and something in the order of 1500 jobs.
Similarly, shifting Auckland’s main railway station into Britomart has seen a big jump in passengers regularly using rail.
But even though some $1 billion a year has been invested in improving Auckland transport infrastructure since about 1990, there is no firm, quantitative basis for claims about the impact of this investment on Auckland’s economy and growth. We don’t really know what it has done to boost Auckland growth and productivity.
Fourth, we must stop talking about the cost of transport infrastructure and manage it as an investment.
Auckland’s contribution to New Zealand in dollar terms is significant. A 2006 study indicated that some $18 billion in revenue being paid from Auckland against which about $14 billion was returned to Auckland in services and investment.
There is no argument from Auckland about the huge central government investment going towards the Christchurch rebuild. But when you look deeper into the NZ Inc performance, you see that its economic engine room – Auckland – which generates a third of the nation’s GDP and provides a third of its employment, is still performing well below the bottom line.
Next week’s Budget is expected to confirm NZ Inc is on an official track to budget surplus by 2014/15, a stable government (i.e. business-like leadership?), and low-levels of public debt compared to our peers in the Northern Hemisphere.
And if we deduct the cost of the investment NZ Inc is contributing to the Christchurch earthquake recovery, then the country as a whole is doing fairly well.
Assuming the business case for Auckland’s major transport projects show a positive return for the Auckland economy, it is then reasonable to ask why central government shouldn’t underwrite a fair share of the investment – which is what it is, an ‘investment’ in Auckland and New Zealand’s growth-led future.
The scale of the investments required is clearly beyond Auckland Council’s rate payers. A substantial central government input will be required, and that is the call our Mayor and Councillors should be focusing on – encouraging government to do what it is obviously going to have to do.
They have a choice. They can let Auckland’s transport congestion get progressively worse and only act when the problems become intolerable, or they can take a business-like response and plan, invest and advocate for investment in delivering a long-term solution.
We all know the problems. We all know the solutions. We all know what actions are needed. And we know who should be in charge of taking the decisions.
And dare I say it again – it’s urgent!
As Michael kind of notes, the real problem and funding gaps stem from the Auckland Plan. The Auckland Plan is meant to be the vision, the document that lays out the out level outcomes that we want to achieve and rough strategy we need to get there. For the most part it does this very well however when it comes to transport, the politicians couldn’t help but fall out of the sky and start naming individual projects that needed to happen. This left us with a massive wish list and more than a few projects that are likely never to be justifiable and/or that actively work against many of the goals set out in the plan. Because these projects were specified in the Auckland plan, they were then fed into the Integrated Transport Programme unsurprisingly poor results.
Those same projects also created a funding gap of $10-$15 billion. This led to the creation of the consensus building group (CBG) who were tasked with finding the best solutions to bridge that gap however the CBG were unable to question the projects on the Auckland Plan wish list. To me that leaves the entire exercise seeming almost like a waste of time.
As Michael suggests above, we need to actually go back to the start and work out which projects we can build that will lead to a positive outcome. It is likely to mean that many projects on the existing list simply get chopped off or replaced by different ones that provide a better overall outcome. We also need to acknowledge that we simply cannot solve congestion by building more roads. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t improvements to the existing roads that we could make to make them more efficient but it won’t solve the long term issue, as Patrick said yesterday what we feed grows. Only with a proper reassessment of our transport projects can we really then start to have a conversation as to how much extra funding, if any, is needed. At that point the work already done by the CBG will come in handy.
Overall I think it is an excellent piece from Michael and there is only one small part that I don’t agree with him on which is the part about ensuring carparking at train and bus stations, an issue Stu addressed last week.
At today’s Board Meeting Auckland Transport approved the Integrated Transport Programme – a 30 year strategic transport document for Auckland which gives effect to the relevant matters of the Auckland Plan. Here’s the press release:
For the first time Auckland has a comprehensive programme outlining action for delivering on the city’s transport issues.
Auckland Transport’s Integrated Transport Programme sets out the 30 year investment programme to meet the transport priorities outlined in the Auckland Plan. The programme has been developed by Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency in collaboration with Auckland Council. It aims for the management of transport in Auckland as One System.
The programme covers state highways and local roads, railways, buses, ferries, footpaths, cycleways, intermodal transport facilities and supporting facilities such as parking and park-and-ride.
The One System approach will result in:
• Better use of use of existing transport networks
• Better alignment of transport provision with changing patterns of land use and demand
• A safer, more resilient national and regional network, where a greater range of resources and options is available to deal with unexpected events or future changes
• Better alignment of effort between network providers and elimination of overlap and duplication
Auckland Transport chairman Lester Levy says the programme is visionary. “It is not just aspirational, it is a realistic programme of work to be delivered over the next 30 years as we push to make Auckland a vibrant city with close to two and a half million people.”
The cost of fully funding the transport programme over the next 30 years is estimated at around $60 billion in 2012 dollar terms. Given current funding sources there is an estimated funding gap of between $10 billion and $15 billion to deliver the fully funded programme.
The costs peak over the next ten years due to major investments in projects such as the City Rail Link, the Western Ring Route, AMETI in east Auckland and the East-West Corridor.
Dr Levy says “Funding will be a key issue in successfully addressing the challenges of growth in the years ahead.”
The programme compares scenarios in 2022 based on full funding and committed funding. For instance the current 70 million a year passengers on public transport would double to 140 million in 2022 with full funding and would reach 103 million with committed funding.
The number of annual public transport trips per capita would rise from the current 44 to 84 with full funding and 66 with partial funding.
Walking, cycling and public transport share of morning peak would rise from 23 per cent currently to 32.2 per cent in 2022 under full funding and 31 per cent with committed funding.
In the first decade of the 30 year period all the scenarios assessed show service performance generally improving.
Obtaining the full benefits of the investment programme will progressively require greater use of network and demand management. These measures can only be successfully introduced when people and businesses have access to realistic transport choices.
Such choices depend on delivering integrated infrastructure, and improvements to public transport and rail freight services in the first decade. Given the long lead times involved, planning needs to start in the first decade alongside completing strategic road, public transport and active mode networks.
In the second and third decades those improvements can only be sustained through investment in new capacity. The levels of congestion forecast for Auckland by 2041 are well in excess of the current levels experienced in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
Road network use will need to be prioritised to increase the productivity of the network by means such as more freight and transit lanes. And stronger transport management will be needed to reduce congestion by encouraging more use of improved public transport and walking and cycling.
The Integrated Transport Programme will be revised and improved to respond to Auckland’s changing transport network over time.
As Matt said the other day, there are a huge number of outstanding questions in relation to this document – which seems to be saying that even if we spend the vast sum of $60 billion on transport over the next 30 years we get an outcome that’s significantly worse than what exists today. I agree with Matt that the most likely reason for this terrible outcome seems to be the amount of sprawl proposed over the next 30 years in the land-use assumptions made by the document, as well as most of the money going towards new motorways rather than onto improved public transport.
It will be fascinating to see how the narrative of this document is received by the public. $60 billion is a heck of a lot of money.
Aside from the rather depressing patronage news, the most interesting report on the March agenda of the Auckland Transport Board is the Integrated Transport Programme (ITP). We saw some snippets of this document at last month’s Board meeting, but this is the first time we’ve seen a document that seems fairly critical in filling in the details of giving effect to the transport section of the Auckland Plan. The whole document is a fairly lengthy 100+ pages, excluding the Appendices (which aren’t on the AT website anyway for some odd reason), so it might take a few posts to get our heads around it completely.
A useful place to start is what’s called the “ITP approach” – which lays out the two major strategies which sit behind the ITP, as well as a kind of “where to from here” discussion:So it seems like the document is likely to pretty much always remain “live” and a work in progress. This is probably a very good thing, as the gaps in it become increasingly obvious as we read on.
One of the key initiatives appears to be what’s referred to as the “four stage intervention process” – which really just highlights that we should do everything we can to use what we have better before we go and build new stuff. Given the Auckland Plan approach of “just build everything and do it as quickly as possible”, this is a welcome breath of sanity and – if applied properly – should lead to things like more bus lanes (to optimise the use of existing road space for people throughput) and hopefully fewer expensive and stupid motorways.
However, all this talk about optimising existing networks seems to get flung out the window when it comes to the ITP’s investment profile over the next 30 years, which lumps a huge amount of spend into the first decade:
By way of comparison, the ITP notes that since 2000 there has been around $7 billion of total spending on transport in Auckland – which means that this plan is based around the assumption that spending in the next 10 years on transport will be more than triple what we’ve spent in the last 10 (or so) years. Even given inflation that seems rather optimistic.
So what results do we get from this massive spend-up? Well, pretty rubbish to be honest if you use congestion as you key measurement of success. I can actually start to see why the government is sceptical of Auckland’s approach to transport if these really are the outcomes (although they’re solution of building more roads is just likely to make things even worse):Presumably the weird result of inter-peak congestion ending up worse than peak congestion, which theoretically means we need to come up with new names for them, is just a bizarre quirk of the transport modelling as to my knowledge there’s nowhere else in the whole entire world that finds its roads busier off-peak than during the peak. Which does call into question the validity of all the modelling results in my opinion, but let’s set that issue aside for a minute.
Another way in which Auckland’s future transport investment seems to completely fail in terms of delivering the outcomes we want is in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The table below is, quite frankly, pretty embarrassing reading:
The obvious question from all of this is “why are the results so bad when we’re spending such a massive amount of cash on transport?” This leads to further questions about whether the mix of projects is right, whether we’re measuring the right things, what hasn’t yet been looked at in terms of policy initiatives (road pricing, stronger travel demand management, less urban sprawl) and what impact on these results individual proposed projects might have. For example, the amount of increased congestion in the CBD or the growth in CO2 emissions resulting from building another harbour crossing.
Turning to the project mix, the map that was in the version of the ITP presented in February – which seemed to be riddled with errors – has now disappeared to be replaced by something much vaguer in terms of projected costs. Here’s the roading map:
While it’s possible that some of the numbers in the February version were incorrect, it’s worth refreshing our memory to highlight the vast bulk of future spending on new infrastructure over the 30 year span of the ITP is proposed to be on new roads:
The final image to highlight is where and when the ITP thinks that growth will occur over the next 30 years – which seems to be the base ‘input’ to the transport modelling and is fairly alarming to anyone other than Nick Smith:
So now that we’ve confirmed a land-use growth pattern based largely on sprawl and a transport investment plan based largely on building more roads will deliver really bad outcomes can we please get around to doing what’s supposed to be the Auckland Plan vision: a quality compact city with a vastly improved public transport system?
Because, to be frankly honest, this plan is rubbish.
A question I often ask myself is, what transport projects would I build if I had $10 billion to spend? (say over a 10 year time frame). Well in this post, with the help of the list of projects in the ITP, I will attempt to answer that.
First up though, it is perhaps worth mentioning that $10b over the next 10 years is not an unrealistic figure. The current National Land Transport Programme tells us that over the next 3 years alone, $3.4 billion will be spent on transport. Included in that amount is money for maintaining roads and running public transport however with a little extra funding, as is being investigated as part of the consensus building group, $10 billion seems about right. Further The major road and PT projects listed in the ITP, a 30 year document, come in combined at just over $31 billion so $10 billion over a 10 year time frame is not an unrealistic figure.
ITP Major Project Costs
So what would I spend it on?
Believe it or not I do actually support a couple of roading projects. Waterview and the upgrade of SH16 are already under way and should really be finished. I think there is value in “completing the motorway network” and would consider these the last major state highway project in the region. Next I think it is quite important that we still do work to improve some of our local roads through projects like AMETI and as pointed out a few days ago, removing rail level crossings. All up lets allocate $2.5 billion towards those. This would mean that there would need to be some serious prioritisation of roading projects which would likely upset some groups
Walking and Cycling
This seems to be the forgotten cousin of transport and it wasn’t even mentioned in the ITP presentation. One of the great things about improving the walking and cycling network is that by comparison it is cheap to do and a little money can go a long way. Spending decent amount of money can give us a pretty kick arse network so lets bite the bullet and get it done.
With those other two areas budgeted for, that leaves us with $5.2b to be spend on improved PT infrastructure. The first project on my list is obviously going to be the CRL. The costs for it listed above are inflation adjusted and include other projects like grade separation and extra trains so lets stick with the actual construction cost that we know about which is ~$2 billion.
From my post about how we could run trains post CRL we would need a branch line to Mt Roskill. Seeing as the route is already designated, and most bridges already built with it in mind, it would likely only cost in the vicinity of $100 million. At the other end of the network we know the business case for electrification to Pukekohe stacks up so we will add in the $140 million listed above.
The last project on this list is rail to the airport. What surprised me was how cheap it was for the northern link compared to the eastern link. The more I have thought about it, the more I wonder if perhaps it excluded the connection to Onehunga so lets bump up the cost to $700 million, like was suggested a few years ago. These four rail projects, along with the trains needed to run on the tracks come in at a combined $3.9 billion.
There are a number of small items on the list, ferry terminal upgrades, integrated ticketing, upgrading the real time system and so on. Lets allocate $100m to these and other small PT infrastructure projects. That leaves us with about $1.2b for buses.
We know from the CCFAS that even with the CRL, we will need to improve bus infrastructure in the city and the ITP suggests that we need $250 million for that. Dominion Rd is a pretty important bus corridor and post upgrade is expected to have the bus lanes almost to the quality of a full busway. However we know from when the upgrade was announced that it is now only budgeted to cost $47 million so I’ll use that figure.
On the North Shore I think we definitely need to extend actual busway infrastructure to Albany, the ITP suggests that the $750 million listed is to get it all the way to Silverdale. I don’t see the Albany to Silverdale section being needed in 10 years so I’m going to to make a guess and suggest $200 million to get it to Albany. We also need the South Eastern busway from Panmure to at least Pakuranga. As mentioned in the ITP sheet above, the costs largely come under the roading project but for the purposes of this I will include part of the bus costs separately, lets say $500m. That leaves us with around $150m which can be used for new bus lanes around the city, although some of that may also come as part of local road projects
So to review. Below is a rough guide of what I would spend. Over a 10 year period it would leave us with a completed motorway network, a kick arse walking and cycling network, a largely completed rail network with exception of rail to the shore and finally some massively improved bus infrastructure. What gets dropped off the list is a lot of the big and expensive motoway esk arterial upgrades like the Mill Rd corridor and many of the motorway widening projects
- Waterview – $2b
- Local roads – $2.5b
- Walking and Cycling – $300m
- Rail – $3.9b
- CRL – $2b
- Mt Roskill branch – $100m
- Electrification to Pukekohe – $140m
- Rail from Onehunga to the Airport – $700m
- Bus – $1.2b
- City Centre Bus improvements – $250m
- Dominion Rd – $47m
- Northern Busway Constellation to Albany – $250m
- South Eastern Busway – $500m
- New buslanes – $150m
- Other – $100m
I’m interested to hear what projects you would go for if you had $10 billion to spend.
At the Auckland Transport board meeting yesterday, one of the topics discussed was a presentation on the Integrated Transport Programme (ITP). It wasn’t put online before the meeting so we couldn’t talk about it earlier but I popped along to the meeting to find out more. While the Auckland Plan provides the 30 year vision for Auckland, the ITP sits under that and is described as the programme that “Coordinates the investment and other interventions of network providers over the next 30 years”. Its a piece of work that has been put together by both Auckland Transport and the NZTA, and the intent is that the transport system works as one rather than all the agencies working in isolation. This plan will be used to form the next RLTP and LTP as well as various more detailed lower-level strategies.
The first part of the presentation talked a lot about challenges that the city faces over the coming decades, all of which relate to population growth in the city. As a reminder, it is expected that even with medium growth predictions (which are based on a lower level of growth than we have seen over the last few decades), there will be significantly higher population growth in Auckland than the rest of New Zealand combined. Auckland is expected to grow by over 700,000 residents while the rest of the country combined sees growth of around 400,000.
The Auckland plan also sets out roughly where both the residential and business growth will occur, and this has been fed into transport models to determine where the destination demand is. This is shown below and shows that the biggest demand and growth is for trips to the city centre.
Next up in the board meeting they discussed traffic and PT volumes. As you would expect, the traffic graph showed all routes flattening off in recent years. For PT, one thing that annoyed me was the comment that the big drop in PT trips was attributed to the opening of the motorways, with no mention of the simultaneous closing of the tram network.
Coming on the ITP itself, AT has split the various aspects of the programme into what they call the Four Stage Intervention Process which determines what actions will be taken to manage the transport system. How this works is described below, with the second image showing the amount of money budgeted in each category over the next three decades.
The impact of the various investments has then been compared back to the the goals set out in the Auckland Plan, and the currently committed funding.
All up it sounds like an important document but perhaps not one that will get many people excited. There was however one slide that I found really interesting. It contained two maps showing the major transport projects – one with roading projects and the other with PT projects. Attached to each map was a table that included AT’s estimated cost of each project. The writing is too small to show properly on here so I have reproduced the tables below.
I did have to make one change to the table – the note attached to the Southeastern Busway says that the costs weren’t included in the totals, but they had been. Also the map lists rail to the shore as $1b yet it isn’t shown in the table at all. Going through the lists a couple of things really surprised me:
- Rail to the airport from Onehunga is listed at only $491m, an absolute bargain compared to earlier estimates of up to $1b.
- Not including the current Waterview and SH16 widening projects, there is $2.5b attributed just to motorway widening.
- The cost of sprawl is shown with the cost of upgrading state highways, local roads and PT infrastructure in greenfields areas as a combined $3.4b.
- For just a fraction of the cost of all the massive roading projects, we could have a pretty kick-arse PT system.
The full plan comes out next month so we will have to wait till then to see what it looks like.