Improved Bus Services, Low-emissions Ferries And Safer Cycling For North Shore In Proposed Climate Action Package

North Shore residents will benefit from upgrades to existing bus services, new low-emission ferries and increased investment in safe cycling infrastructure if the council’s proposed Climate Action Package is supported by councilors as part of this year’s annual budget.

Mayor Phil Goff says the Climate Action Package will help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging more people to use public transport and making it safer and easier to walk and cycle around the city. It will also enable more than 15,000 mature native trees to be planted across Auckland.

“Auckland Council voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019, and while we have increased investment in climate action since then, we are still not doing enough. A recent progress report on our Climate Action Plan stated that Auckland’s emissions are not remotely tracking in line with our target of a 50 per cent reduction by 2030, ”Mayor Goff says.

“If we are to have any chance of meeting our goal to reduce emissions, we need to provide more frequent and accessible public transport so Aucklanders are not forced to rely on private cars to get around.

“The Climate Action Package includes a more than half-billion-dollar boost to deliver new and frequent bus services throughout the city, which will see more than a million Aucklanders living within 500m of an improved bus route. The package will also provide for 79 new electric or hydrogen buses, new low-emission ferries and infrastructure upgrades to bring forward the decarbonization of the ferry fleet, increased funding for cycling and walking infrastructure, and urban ngāhere (forest). ”

For the North Shore, the proposed Climate Action Package will fund service improvements to two frequent and five other lower North Shore bus routes as well as the NX1 and NX2, and deliver more safe cycling facilities in Takapuna.

North Shore Councilor Chris Darby says encouraging mode shift to public transport, cycling, walking and shared transport is critical for addressing Auckland’s emissions reduction responsibility.

“A massive 40 per cent of Auckland’s carbon emissions are from transport, with private car users, largely in single occupant vehicles, the prime culprits,” he says.

“To achieve our climate ambitions we need to accelerate the provision of bus, ferry and train services that are reliable, frequent and climate-friendly to encourage more Aucklanders to climb aboard public transport. If we do, we know people will use them — the runaway success of the Northern Busway being a shining example — leaving more room on the road for those who cannot use alternatives, like freight and traditions.

Providing more bus services and improving existing ones is one of the key levers we can pull to reduce emissions. When combined with increased tree planting to cool our city, safer cycling and walking infrastructure and an electric ferry fleet we will be on the road towards a climate resilient future for Auckland. ”

The Climate Action Package will be funded by a Climate Action Targeted Rate of around $ 1.10 per week for ratepayers with a median-value property, now worth more than $ 1 million, as well as co-funding from government and fares from increased public transport patronage.

“It’s a small weekly sum but a big investment in our city and in our children and grandchildren’s future,” Mayor Goff says.

Consultation on Auckland Council’s Annual Budget, including the Climate Action Targeted Rate, is open from 28 February to 28 March. Visit akhaveyoursay.nz to find out more and have your say.

NOTES

North Shore bus improvements under the proposed Climate Action Targeted Rate (these are in addition to already funded improvements to be implemented in FY 21/22 to FY 23/24):

If the Climate Action Package goes ahead, buses will run even more frequently on these existing frequent routes:

  • NX1 Hibiscus Coast Station & Albany to Britomart
  • NX2 Albany Station to City universities
  • 97 Beach Haven & Highbury to Britomart via Onewa Road
  • 82 Milford and Takapuna to City
  • 83 Massey University to Takapuna via Browns Bay, Mairangi Bay and busway stations.

If the Climate Action Package goes ahead, buses will also run more frequently on these routes:

  • 805 – Belmont to Devonport
  • 928 – Northcote Point to Smales Farm via Northcote and NS Hospital
  • 933 – Beach Haven Wharf to City University via Verbena Rd and Onewa Rd
  • 906 – Constellation to Smales Farm via Link Dr, Glenfield, Windy Ridge, Archers Rd
  • 907 – Mairangi Bay to Constellation via Sunnynook
  • 842 – Crown Hill to Smales Farm via East Coast Rd and Shakespeare Rd
  • 843 – Constellation Station to Akoranga Station via Sunnynook, East Coast Rd, Milford and Takapuna
  • 861 – Long Bay to Constellation Station via Torbay, Albany Station, Massey University and Bush Rd

The Climate Action Package will also fund extra services on two new routes that will be created once the new Rosedale Station is operating.

The Climate Action Targeted Rate will also deliver new safe cycle facilities in Takapuna.

Across Auckland, the Climate Action Targeted Rate will deliver:

  • More than $ 600 million invested in new or improved bus services which will see 1 million Aucklanders living within 500m of an improved route
  • $ 122 million to accelerate decarbonisation of the ferry fleet, which accounts for 21 per cent of Auckland’s emissions from public transport
  • $ 228 million for walking and cycling
  • $ 13.3 million for urban ngahere, māra kai (food gardens) and tiny forests
  • 10 new frequent bus services and service improvements in every ward in Auckland
  • An additional 79 low-emissions electric or hydrogen buses for Tāmaki Makaurau
  • An additional 42km of safe cycle facilities PLUS a full Local Area Network (length not yet calculated)
  • Up to 35km of walking connectivity improvements
  • 14,800 native mature trees with a focus on areas with the most heat vulnerability and lowest canopy cover.

More details of the proposed Annual Budget and Climate Action package, including the full proposal and supporting documents, can be found here.

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