Kāpiti Coast Councillor James Cootes says the District needs electric hybrid trains and line electrification to Ōtaki.
He’s backed a call for greater investment in rail in the Wellington region.
The Councillor, who holds the transport portfolio on the Kāpiti Coast District Council, says the District welcomes a proposal by Greater Wellington Regional Council for investment in a fleet of 15 electric hybrid trains and network upgrades.
The electrification of the rail line to Ōtaki would also be welcomed, he says.
Government funding vital
The $415 million proposal requires significant funding from central government to proceed.
Mr Cootes says recent and future growth will put more pressure on already-stretched public transport services in Kāpiti and across the region.
“We’ve seen growth in Kāpiti in recent years and are expecting more,” Mr Cootes says.
More people coming to the District
“The imminent opening of Transmission Gully and the Pekapeka to Ōtaki Expressway will bring even more people to the area,” he says.
“We are going to need a modern and resilient transport system if we are going to maximise the benefits and manage the risks of that growth.
“The limited public transport options for our communities is a significant disadvantage and reduces access to employment, health care, education and general well-being.
“Investment is critical and with a long lead time for procurement.”
Mr Cootes says the Greater Wellington plan meets many government priorities including lifting well-being and providing alternatives to private cars and is well-supported by neighbouring councils and other transport agencies.
“The government has committed to using its balance sheet and low-interest rates to invest in infrastructure projects. This plan needs to be one of those projects,” says Mr Cootes.