It’s finally out. The business case for the Auckland’s CBD rail loop. And what a compelling case.
The pure transport cost-benefit is 1.1 (at the standard Treasury 8% discount rate). But the wider economic cost-benefit take it up to a whopping 3.5.
As it says, “the benefits of the CBD Rail Link far exeed the travel time savings due to enhanced transport efficiency”. It “increases CBD employment by 20,000 to 25,000 without requiring additional road capacity or using scarce CBD land for additional parking. This enables the Auckland CBD to become a much more vibrant and exciting pedestrian environment … .”
The overall impact will be a “more exciting and vibarnt sense of place enable Auckland to serve as New Zealand’s outward facing global city for retaining and attracting the highly educated younger workforce that will underpin productivity growth (and also international competitiveness) in the future”.
Now compare the figures with Joyce’s Holiday Highway. It has a transport cost-benefit of 0.8 – less than a dollar back for every dollar spent.
And the wider benefits? Just 1.1. Pathetic versus 3.5 for the CBD loop. We certainly need to upgrade SH 1, it’s just that we don’t need to do it with a brand new motorway.
How can Joyce justify spending up to $2 billion on that road when this case is so compelling.
Our rear-vision minister will need to be creative with his figures to justify his spending.