Treasury not yet convinced about fancy train set for Auckland CBD
Auckland’s CBD Rail Link is not over the line yet – with a Treasury review finding more work’s needed on the business case before the project could proceed.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce released the review today, which was conducted by the Ministry of Transport and the Treasury in conjunction with the NZ Transport Agency.
“In short, the review says more work needs to be done to determine the full future transport needs of central Auckland before proceeding with a project like the CBD Rail Link,“ said Mr Joyce.
“However, the review suggests that in the meantime, it makes strategic sense for Auckland Council to move to protect the route, and I agree with that.”
The review found:
• That the estimated construction costs for the CBD Rail Link are largely sound – at a total of $2.4 billion.
• Transport benefits of the project are estimated at $387 million rather than the $1,319 million assessed in the business case.
• The project would have only a modest impact on traffic volumes and likely remove up to 1,400 cars (2,000 people) of the estimated 29,000 cars (41,000 people) travelling into the CBD during the morning peak in 2041.
• Wider economic benefits of the project as estimated in the business case ($3.3 billion) were very significantly over-stated and were in fact more like $305 million – which was still high relative to the transport benefits when compared with similar large international transport projects.
Steps have been suggested to help the Auckland Council improve the case to develop the rail link.
These include implementation of the Auckland spatial plan and City Centre Masterplan to establish and quantify CBD growth projections.
Treasury has also suggested council implements large-scale residential developments along the rail corridors to capitalise on the current upgrade and electrification.