Auckland mayoral candidate Viv Beck wants cheaper bus transport options, not light rail

Centre-right candidate for mayor of Auckland, Viv Beck, wants the rollout of express bus lines, instead of the proposed $14.6 billion light rail system.

In another part of Beck’s transportation policy, she believed a bus rapid transit network could be in place within a decade, proposing some projects and launching cheaper alternatives than others. .

Beck said light rail was no longer feasible at present, and proposed bus lanes across the isthmus to the city center as a viable solution for the next decade or more.

For the growing North West, Beck proposed a separate bus route to Westgate that she said would cost $2.5 billion and could be built in five years with little disruption.

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<a class=Buses in dedicated bus lanes or a network of dedicated bus lanes is Viv Beck’s preferred approach to rapid transit. (file photo)” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Ricky Wilson / Stuff

Buses in dedicated bus lanes or a network of dedicated bus lanes is Viv Beck’s preferred approach to rapid transit. (file photo)

Beck’s plans for the northwest would require skipping over work that has begun on a $50 million temporary bus lane using existing freeway shoulders with new interchanges at Te Atatu and Lincoln Rd.

Other items include advancing $110 million in north bus lane upgrades that are currently planned but not funded, and advancing bus rapid transit from the airport to Botany.

“It’s about building a real rapid transit system that people in all parts of Auckland can benefit from,” Beck said.

“My plan is to open up a lot more of Auckland to real and compelling public transport alternatives, and build a network that can serve the city in the future.”

Beck said a longer-term option for the light rail route to Mt Roskill and Māngere could be street level light rail or bus rapid transit to Mt Roskill and improved bus lanes to the airport.

Todd Niall / Stuff

The first journey through Auckland’s Northern Busway Extension on May 6, 2022.

That would keep the costs much more realistic,” said Beck, than the light rail project which she said would exceed $15 billion.

She said bus projects like Airport to Botany, and across the Northwest, could be scalable to become light rail at some point in the future.

Other candidates’ views on transport include a pledge to free public transport from Efeso Collins, backed by Labor and the Greens, and Leo Molloy wanting a 12-month trial of the idea, funded by the levy regional on fuels.

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