National is calling on Transport Minister Michael Wood to step in and give confidence back to public transport users in Auckland, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
“This week Aucklanders have been told to expect severe rail disruption over the next two years due to much-needed track upgrades in preparation for the City Rail Link, but have been given little confidence about what alternatives will be put in place to keep Aucklanders moving during this time.
“The Transport Minister has also received a letter this week from transport authorities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch pleading for urgent access to foreign bus drivers to fill shortages. Like every other business in this country, they are struggling to find staff.
“The Transport Minister needs to urgently talk to the Immigration Minister to sort this problem out.
“If the Government is serious about getting people into public transport, they need to ensure people have reliable options available to them.
“While Labour likes to talk a big game on public transport and light rail, the reality is very different.
- Public transport usage has dropped significantly and is showing little sign of picking back up post-Covid.
- Severe shortages of bus drivers are causing cancellations on a daily basis affecting reliability.
- Labour has spent tens of millions on light rail but has failed to deliver even one metre of track for their pet transport project.
“The reality is that people won't use public transport if it isn't reliable, and right now it is anything but reliable in Auckland.”