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Auckland-Hamilton train rubbished as a 'Sim City' fantasy

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 6:19p.m.
The Taxpayer's Union says that it would be cheaper for people to book an Uber. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A passenger train trial between Hamilton and Auckland has been rubbished by the Taxpayers' Union.

The five-year trial will start in 2020, transporting around 150 passengers each way.

Commuters will pay around $12.20 to travel from Papakura to Hamilton.

The Taxpayer's Union's Louis Houlbrooke told Larry Williams the cost to taxpayers will be huge.

"The average taxpayer is forking out another $185 on top of that per trip."

He says that is a conservative estimate that relies on the train being full.

Houlbrooke says that it will be a three hour commute, which they say will be slower than driving there.

"If the Government just booked you and your mate an Uber, that'll work out quicker and faster."

He says that we don't have the right level of population or concentration to make it work.

"It feels like our city planners and our politicians have been playing too much Sim City."

The plan has been met with enthusiasm from local and central government. 

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King said the rail service would be a great boost for the region.

"This is a significant and welcome contribution to supporting population and economic growth in the Hamilton to Auckland corridor, and it's an example of partnerships and collaboration producing great results," King said.

"We look forward to seeing the details of the Board decision and the next steps."



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