Council decision pending on Pukekohe promise

Auckland Council will make a decision this week on authorising a $207 million purchase of 17 new electric and battery powered trains.
Mayor Phil Goff said, “New electric and battery powered trains will have major benefits for commuters living south of Papakura in the high growth areas of Drury, Paerata, Pukekohe and potentially Pokeno. It will also honour a commitment I made at the last election.
“The purchase of the new units which can operate on lines not yet electrified allows us to eliminate aging, less reliable diesel trains currently used on the Pukekohe line.”
Electric trains would result in the removal of the transfer at Papakura station, making travel quicker and more convenient. It would also be a cleaner form of transport, eliminating diesel emissions and providing a reliable and comfortable trip for commuters.
“The result is a more attractive public transport system which will help tackle growing congestion levels, especially on the southern motorway,” Mr Goff said.
“The units could ultimately be transferred to the Kumeu-Huapai line when the Southern line is electrified in 2025.
“The purchase of 17 new units needs to be made now to meet the greater than estimated demand for rail travel. Demand has increased by 17 per cent over the last year and within months will achieve a record 20 million passenger trips a year in Auckland”, Phil Goff said.
“This is ahead of forecast and a decision to purchase the units needs to be made now to deliver them by late-2019 and head off capacity constraints expected by that time.
“The estimated cost of the units is $207 million though cheaper options are also being examined. This will create challenges in council’s debt to revenue ratios which can be met by minor reprioritisation of AT expenditure. The purchase decision is also contingent on an expected contribution from NZTA to meet half the cost,” Phil Goff said.
A meeting will be held on Wednesday 26 July to determine the outcome.
In relation to the article above, The Post recently received feedback from a member of the Waiuku community who says that they cannot count the number of times they have missed the connecting bus to Waiuku from Pukekohe train station, due to the ridiculously short time they have allocated to get over the bridge.
“After a 12 hour day away from home this is highly unacceptable. I feel really strongly about this point, as public transport is definitely the way forward in cutting down on the horror that is Auckland traffic. Coming from the UK, I have been used to using public transport all my life.”
What are your thoughts? Will the electric trains reduce congestion and make you want to use the public transport? Email news@thepost.nz
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