Greens announce $1b for cycling nationwide

Julie Anne Genter, Green Party transport spokesperson.
Julie Anne Genter, Green Party transport spokesperson. Photo credit: Supplied

The Green Party has announced a plan to bring rapid public transport to Christchurch. 

The announcement came alongside a commitment to fund nationwide cycle networks by $1b over 10 years.

The Greens would fund cycling by reallocating money from "low-value motorway projects". 

"A $1 billion investment in cycling right across the country is equivalent to the cost of just 3km of National's planned east-west motorway in Auckland," transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

As for Christchurch, two new passenger rail services and an airport bus line are promised. The bus would go from the city to Riccarton, the University and Airport.

Greens announce $1b for cycling nationwide
Photo credit: Green Party/Supplied

A northern rail line would go from Rangiora to the city, and a southern line would connect Rolleston to the city. 

"The Airport Line will connect the university to the city, support more medium density housing close to the city and help ease traffic congestion in Riccarton. The route will be protected and able to be upgraded to higher-capacity light rail over time," Ms Genter said.

Ms Genter said a northern rail line would allow people to get from Rangiora to Riccarton in 30 minutes or less. 

The package for Christchurch includes a bike-share scheme that would operate across the central city and inner suburbs. The Greens say people would likely subscribe to an annual pass and be able to make unlimited 30-40 minute trips before incurring a small charge. Around 250-350 bikes would be rolled out, with 10 drop-off points per kilometre.

The Greens have already announced a plan to provide free public transport to all New Zealanders under the age of 19.