Q1. What policies will your party implement to increase public and active transport and reduce carbon-emitting transport?
Transport is a key area for emissions reductions focus. National will invest significantly in public transport. This includes:
- expanding the Auckland rapid transit network
- expanding the Auckland rail network
- upgrading the East-west ferry link
- introducing new trains between Wellington, Masterton and Palmerston North
- introducing rapid transit between Wellington’s CBD and airport in the form of rapid buses or trackless trams
Public transport policies for other parts of the country will be released in due course.
Transitioning to low emissions and electric vehicles is a crucial part of working towards our zero carbon goal, and our action on tackling the long-term challenge of climate change. Labour has backed the transition towards low emission vehicles in New Zealand with a number of initiatives over the past three years.
We’ve made an unprecedented investment in public transport and walking and cycling improvements. Compared to the previous government, public transport investment is up 163 percent and investment in walking and cycling is up 227 percent.
We’ve invested through the Low Emissions Vehicle Contestable Fund, which is delivering more infrastructure for low emissions transport. As of February 2020, the Fund had contributed $23.8 million in government funding to 139 projects which will accelerate the uptake of electric and other low emissions vehicles. In total as of February 2020, we had committed co-funding for over 1,000 EV chargers nationwide.
We’re also supporting government agencies to transition their light vehicle fleets to zero-emission alternatives. We’re tracking the average carbon emissions for each government agency’s fleet of light vehicles, and by 2025/26, virtually all new light vehicles entering the Government’s fleet should be emissions free, with the exception of specialised vehicles where there are limited emissions-free alternatives.
The Green Party is the only political party that will stop building unnecessary motorways which create urban sprawl and confine people to polluting cars. In Government, we’ve reprioritised low carbon options in transport planning. In the recent New Zealand Upgrade Programme, we negotiated $1.6 billion for sustainable transport, cycling, and walking infrastructure. We’ve secured funding for iconic projects like the SkyPath over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, discounted e-bikes for
those working in the public service, and $220 million for “shovel-ready” cycleways nationwide. Next, the Green Party will:
- Connect our cities and provincial towns with fast, modern passenger rail.
- Make buses, ferries, and trains frequent and affordable, and build new, rapid bus and train services in our major cities to avoid traffic and make it faster to get around.
- Design people-friendly streets that are safer for walking and cycling, particularly around schools.
- Expand electric vehicle charging stations across Aotearoa.
- Introduce fuel efficiency standards for cars and a clean car discount to make electric cars cheaper and reduce pollution.
- Make our supply chains carbon neutral by moving more freight on rail and incentivising zero emission fuels for heavy vehicles, including hydrogen and biofuels.
- We plan to announce more detailed transport policy in the coming weeks.