We've made a submission guide to help you make your own submission on the four big-ticket transport proposals for Let's Get Wellington Moving. This guide will take you through each question on LGWM's submission portal, from 1 to 6, with our answer to each question. Our submission guide is aimed to help you call on LGWM to deliver bold action on housing and the climate. These are only suggested answers: feel free to copy, expand on, cut out, and adapt these suggestions any way you please - so you can submit in a way that best represents your view! 

Follow this link here to make your submission on Let's Get Wellington Moving's website, where you can also see all four options they propose. If you're shorter on time you can go here to make a quick submit on all three current consultations. Consultation for Let's Get Wellington Moving closes on December 10th. Happy submitting! 

 

Submission Guide

Q1: What do you think is most important for the future of Wellington? 

I believe that LGWM offers us a once in a lifetime opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, provide rapid transit connecting our entire city, and create a liveable city for all people. We’ve ranked our most important priorities in LGWM's survey from 1 to 9. 

  1. Reducing carbon emissions                                                                
  2. Reliable public transport that comes every 10 minutes or less                           
  3. Safer and connected cycleway network for cyclists   
  4. More housing closer to where you work and play                                                                                                   
  5. Making it easy to get around without using a car                                                                                                  
  6. Safer and more convenient walkways                                                                                                                   
  7. Connecting people to areas for shopping and socializing                                                                                        
  8. Making it easy to get to key destinations like the airport or hospital 
  9. Fewer transfers between public transport services     

 

Q2: What do you like about these options?

Everyone deserves a decent affordable place to live, to be able to get around easily and safely, and a stable climate. The best option for delivering these outcomes is Option Four.

What do we like about Option 4 (South coast light rail via Taranaki St). 

I believe that Option Four is the best fit with Let’s Get Wellington Moving’s goals. It will reduce reliance on private motor vehicles, enable more housing, and cut carbon emissions. Other options fail to reduce traffic, waste money, support less housing, and would add more carbon in the construction period. 

For mass transit, the Taranaki St light rail route is superior. It serves more people and destinations in the central city. A Kent Terrace route would skirt the central city, serve fewer people, and support less housing density. 

The Taranaki St route ensures that mass rapid transit would be within a 5 minute walk of all points along the Golden Mile. It also bypasses the Basin Reserve, simplifying any changes made there.

 

Q3: What don’t you like about these options?

I believe the options that rework the Basin road network do not align with LGWM’s goals to "reduce the need to travel by car" and "reduce our carbon emissions".

Options 1, 2, and 3 include a massive reworking of the Basin road network. This will be a costly, and highly disruptive construction effort just to shave off a couple of minutes in travel time, when compared to option 4. We’re talking about nearly a billion dollars spent on a new Basin tunnel that will delay the construction of mass transit - since roading will need to be completed before any work can be done on getting mass transit through. This money would be better spent on improving frequency, reliability, affordability, and coverage of current public and active transport. 

These new tunnel plans also carry with them the highest embodied carbon emissions to essentially build more roads. 

If we’re going to measure up to the government’s proposed 20% VKT reduction by 2035, we need to act now. It’s essential to cut carbon emissions this decade to ensure a stable climate; we should be prioritising mode shift to public and active transport, rather than making driving cars more attractive.

 

Q4: Is there something missing? 

Dedicated rail lanes

Light rail to southern suburbs requires dedicated lanes to operate efficiently. This can be achieved by reallocating road space from on-street parking, and moving motor vehicles to parallel routes.

Low traffic neighbourhoods

To enable walking and biking within neighbourhoods, design low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) with traffic calming, safe speeds, and more green spaces. 

Nature

The project must be delivered in line with nature and prioritise construction and operation practices that can reduce harmful impacts. There is potential for the infrastructure to make a positive contribution to the environment, such as by providing ecosystem services or natural capital management, if done right.

The final option should incorporate nature-based solutions aligning with the city’s Green Network Plan. Among the benefits of nature-based solutions within the design would be mitigation of stormwater and flooding impact on our urban water and wastewater systems and integrating and adding to the green network for the city.

Accessibility

I want LGWM to promise that any option they choose to build will also make it easy for disabled people to use, and that they will engage in a co-design process with the disabled community to ensure it is easy and accessible to use. Those involvedinvovled in this co-design should be paid for their time and mahi too.

Decolonisation

I want every option to protect the mana of Mana Whenua. 

I want LGWM to engage in a co-design process with Mana Whenua to ensure their mana is upheld and supported and Te Tiriti o Waitangi honoured. Mana Whenua should be paid for their time and mahi in the co-design process. 

 

Q5: Which type of mass rapid transit do you prefer? Why?

I believe that light rail offers better quality, comfort, accessibility, travel time reliability, and lower operating costs. It’s a better option for the busiest routes. It has higher capacity than buses, so can move more people efficiently. Light rail enables more density because a fixed route encourages investment. 

Bus Rapid Transit risks being limited by it’s low capacity if housing growth or mode shift along the Island Bay route exceeds LGWM’s projections. Switching to LRT would be too expensive and challenging, so we would be left congesting the route with more buses to meet demand. 

Bus rapid transit is also subject to change. If a government with different priorities comes into power (favouring car transit) then the “Bus priority lanes” can easily be repurposed. Let’s lock in light rail and create a foundation for a city for people, not cars. 

 

Q6: Did you find this information useful for giving feedback?

I believe that LGWM has not actively sought to center the opinions of those most immediately affected by this climate and housing crises: indigenous peoples, disabled people, low income groups, and young people. We need input from diverse lived experiences to make sure any mass rapid transit option works for everyone - and the changes need to start now.