Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ride the Wind

Today's edition of The Wellingtonian leads with an article on The Green Party's transport policy for the Wellington region, dubbed "Ride the Wind" (the details are now available on the Greens' web site), and it sounds like a bold and positive package. The key points are:
  • Convert the Johnsonville and Hutt-Melling lines to light rail.
  • Extend light rail from the station, along Featherston St to Courtenay Place, and eventually to the hospital and airport.
  • More trolley buses.
  • Upgrades to train tracks, stations and ticketing mechanism.
  • Power all the above with wind turbines (2 wind turbines could power 60 trolley buses).
  • No more than minor upgrades to roading.
They estimate a cost of $600-700 million, and a timeline of 10-15 years. It's hard to say how much of this will be politically feasible, and I haven't seen any detailed policies on urban form that will deliver the densities required for mass transit (by the way, the DomPost published my letter on Transmission Gully and sprawl today), but here's hoping!


At 1:01 pm, July 28, 2005, Blogger Hadyn said...

What do they mean by "light rail"?
Subways? That may be the only way you could get a train to Courtenay Place.

Could they get more of those trolley-buses-wot-don't-break-down? Those are the best kind.

At 4:18 pm, July 28, 2005, Blogger Tom said...

Light rail = trams, basically, though unlike some traditional trams, the rolling stock should also be able to use existing rail corridors. That way, commuters will be able to go all the way from Johnsonville or the Hutt to Courtenay Pl without changing. As well as modern trams, they're planning to bring back some of the old trams for a waterfront/CBD tourist loop.

As for the trolleys, yes, their plan calls for new trolley-buses and upgraded wires.


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