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Another ‘light rail’ debacle

  • March 1st, 2016

The Economist reports on the commissioning of Washington DC’s stupid new ‘street car’ service.

No doubt in due course they’ll get the opportunity to report on Auckland’s central city rail loop in similar terms. I hope that the forgettable politicians responsible will get a mention.

Here in Wellington we can be grateful to Mayor Celia for her willingness to risk the sentimental sector of her support by at least soft-pedalling (sic) her previous enthusiasm for light rail investment.


  • RailWail
  • March 1st, 2016
  • 10:08 am

At the time Wellington was considering light rail, I recall attending a presentation by noted urban economist Ed Glaeser (ranked at the time in the top 40 economists in the world). He was asked his views on public transport. His response was that 40 years of transport economics at Harvard could be summed up in four words: “Bus good, train bad”. He then went on to explain about ex-ante capital investment, flexibility of buses etc., etc., etc. Mayor Celia Wade Brown, who was championing light rail at the time, gave the vote of thanks, muttering that “Wellington would go its own way on the issue”. Schadenfreude at its finest.

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