Transport Benefits

Light rail will bring a dramatic improvement to the quality of public transport services in the Wellington region.

Light rail will complement and strengthen the existing public transport system of trains, buses and trolleybuses. A light rail system will not just add new capacity it will create multiple opportunities to greatly improve public transport services regionally. 

At present the region’s public transport network is severely compromised. Wellington station is located at the edge of the CBD. This means that the three rail routes that converge on the terminus disgorge their passengers short of where the majority of passengers actually want to go, into the CBD, to Courtenay Place and destinations such as the Regional Hospital.

Tram-trains are light rail vehicles that can operate on both central city streets (like trams), and on heavy rail lines (like our existing suburban rail network). Tram-trains are a feature of many overseas cities that have introduced modern public transit systems. Tram-trains are the ideal way of marrying the existing suburban rail network with a new light rail route through the city centre to Newtown and the airport.

Public transport services across the CBD are increasingly dysfunctional and this has an adverse impact on public transport patronage on the Wellington region as a whole. Put simply, if the core Golden Mile route does not work then public transport within the region is significantly handicapped. The poor quality of service through the CBD is a key factor in explaining why peak period public transport patronage in the Wellington region has stalled in the last three years. The cross city route is near saturation as a bus route and it is difficult to see how it will cope with the anticipated growth in regional population. With its much superior capacity light rail will overcome this problem.

Light rail will provide a fast, frequent, non-polluting and comfortable service.   Multiple doors and street level loading (ie no steps) means that vehicles carrying up to 200 people can load and unload rapidly. Excellent accessibility is of particular value for those with disabilities.