With Transmission Gully’s opening just around the corner and Kāpiti growing rapidly, it’s vital that public transport infrastructure keeps pace with that growth. Unfortunately Ōtaki has not been well served by public transport for a long time, and that has to change.

This is why I’m calling on the Government and Greater Wellington Regional Council to commit to fund and start construction on electrifying and double tracking the rail line to Ōtaki, as well as designing and building upgraded Matangi train units, so frequent, fast, and reliable commuter rail services can be extended to Ōtaki as soon as possible.

Extending commuter rail to Ōtaki will have benefits for communities from Waikanae all the way up to Levin. In Waikanae, it’ll take pressure of commuter car parks and remove traffic from the old State Highway. In and around Ōtaki, it will provide better access to important services and connect locals with jobs and opportunities in Wellington. Further north in Manakau, Ōhau, and Levin, it will enable the growing number of commuters from these towns to catch the train from closer to home, meaning they won’t be adding to Wellington’s traffic woes.

All of this will also help reduce Kāpiti’s carbon footprint, helping both the Kāpiti Coast and New Zealand do our part in combating climate change.

Patronage on the Kāpiti line has already been increasing faster than anticipated with growth of 7 percent from 2018 to 2019. With more people deciding to call Kāpiti as Transmission Gully and the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway get ready to open, we need the Government and Greater Wellington Regional Council to make the extension of commuter rail to Ōtaki a priority.

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