Forty-six councils are set to receive funding to implement more local transport options as part of the Transport Choices package 2022-24.
Transport Minister, Michael Wood said the Government was upgrading New Zealand’s transport infrastructure system to make it safer, greener, and more efficient for now and future generations to come.
He said the $350m Transport Choices package aims to provide people in communities across Aotearoa with a wider range of efficient, cost effective and sustainable transport options.
“Our Government’s commitment to infrastructure investment continues to play a critical part in securing New Zealand’s economy and supporting communities to thrive,” Mr Wood said.
“Our Transport Choices package will help make our towns and cities more people-friendly places to live, work and visit. It will support more people to choose different ways of getting to where they need to go safely and enable more kids to get around under their own steam.”
The package will fund additional bus stops, bus prioritisation lanes, new cycleways, improvements to transport infrastructure around schools and improved walking access for neighbourhoods.
“Delivering on projects such as these helps address our current infrastructure deficit while also meeting future needs caused by population growth and climate change,” the Minister said.
“The ambitious Transport Choices package will help people in communities across the country get to where they need to go more safely and efficiently, and help to reduce emissions, supporting us to meet emission reduction targets as set out in the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan released in May 2022.
“It’s just one initiative within our decarbonisation plan that will enable people across the country to directly help fight climate change. Emissions are not just an urban issue; we’re all going to have to work together to create a better future.
“Addressing climate change is a core part of ensuring a thriving, productive, and secure future for Aotearoa New Zealand, and better transport choices is a huge part of the solution,” Mr Wood said.
He said Waka Kotahi will now work with successful councils in a two-stage process. The first stage will further refine and scope their project proposals, with construction beginning on some projects by June 2023.