Environmental Benefits

Light rail will have a big impact on the quality of life in Wellington. Light Rail is a very green way to travel!
Only the wilfully blind can now ignore the prospect of significantly higher oil prices and the need to encourage a shift away from private to public transport. A move that is given added urgency by the mounting concern about climate change.

Prudent cities are starting to prepare for a future of substantially higher oil prices and much greater reliance on public transport. International experience demonstrates that, because of its quality light rail has a strong effect in promoting the use of public transport.

Environmentally, light rail is a great option because its electric power means it is non-polluting and quiet.  On any given transport corridor light rail has a great capacity than buses. A typical light rail vehicle can approximately 200 people in comparison a typical bus will hold up to 50 passengers.

Without light rail traffic congestion and the pressure to build more roads will grow and bus services across the city will further deteriorate. Overall, without a move to light rail there will be a progressive decline in the quality of Wellington’s urban environment.

Wellington can be considered as a ‘big’ small city. Wellington City now has close to 200,000 people, with a further 275,000 people in the Greater Wellington Area. Internationally, many cities with a smaller metropolitan population than Wellington are turning to light rail.

Absolute population size is not the critical determinant of the viability for a light rail scheme. What makes light rail particularly suitable is Wellington’s geography where public transport routes converge at Wellington station and the relatively compact centre and corridor to the airport. Because of its geography and confined space, flat land will always be at a premium in Wellington. In terms of transport capacity for a given cross city route tram-train is the winner.