Is Wellington about to get moving?

Published on 1/10/2021 at 11:24 am.

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Wellington’s future mass rapid transit system could see routes to both Miramar and Island Bay, according to leaked maps seen by Stuff. Miramar and Island Bay have previously each been floated as likely routes for the transit system being built by Let’s Get Wellington Moving, but this is the first indication that both could be included in the same package.

The maps are understood to be among a number of options that have been designed for the programme during the business case process.

The maps will not necessarily be among the short list of options that are eventually presented to the public, but they do offer a clue as to what Let’s Get Wellington Moving is considering.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving is set to release options in early November for the route and mode of the transit system, including a realignment of the Mount Victoria tunnel and Basin Reserve.

The mass rapid transit will be either an electric tram system or an articulated bus running on dedicated lanes, the transport planning group confirmed this week.

The first map shows a dual transport spine splitting near the Basin Reserve and heading to the east and south:


A new tunnel under Mount Victoria would run directly to Cobham Drive catering to both mass rapid transit and general traffic, while the existing tunnel and Ruahine St would be converted for walking and cycling.

It also suggests the Terrace Tunnel would be duplicated and Arthur St would be fully underground from the Basin Reserve to Cuba St, with a new city park built on top, extending the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

A second map shows the mass rapid transit line running to Island Bay, with an enhanced bus service to the eastern suburbs through the existing Haitaitai bus tunnel:


The second map also shows a “long tunnel” from The Terrace to Cobham Drive – though the tunnel is understood to have already been ruled out.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme director David Dunlop was unable to confirm whether the options in the maps would be included for public consultation but said a shortlist would be released in early November.

“As part of the business case investigations for mass rapid transit, Basin Reserve improvements and an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel, we are considering a range of potential programme options and assessing these against our objectives,” he said.

“Until this business case work is complete and endorsed by our partners, we’re not able to rule any options in or out.

“The Indicative Business Case for mass rapid transit and strategic highway improvements is due for completion in the middle of next year.

“Ahead of that, from early November this year, we plan to engage with the public on a shortlist of programme options. Feedback from the public will help our partners agree on a preferred programme to take forward for detailed investigation.”

Let’s Get Wellington Moving is a joint $6.4 billion programme run by Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The 20-year project is designed to fix the capital’s transport woes, with a specific focus on reducing car dependency and carbon emissions.

This article was originally published on 30 September 2021 on Stuff.

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