New Zealand has agreed to a plan to build two new high-speed rail lines that will help ease congestion in the country’s cities and provide a reliable and affordable way to get around.
The project is the latest of several in the South Island nation to plan and execute high-technology projects.
The new rail lines will be located in Auckland and Christchurch, and the capital Auckland, the government said on Monday.
The New Zealand Government said it would invest an additional $300 million over three years to build the two new lines, which will stretch from Otara to the New Zealand border.
The Government said the rail projects would also provide an alternative route for freight transport, which was a major issue for New Yorkers in recent years.
Transport Minister Rob Stokes said the new railway line will link two of Auckland’s major airports, with trains departing every five minutes.
Transport Secretary Jacinda Ardern said the railway line would connect Otara with Christchurch and would be a significant boost to Auckland’s economy.
The two new rail routes would run along the existing Central Otago railway line, which runs between Christchurch’s Central Station and the New Plymouth Airport.
The line will also link the existing Otago-North Canterbury railway line to the airport, connecting the two points.
The Government said in its submission to Parliament that the railway lines would help New Zealands “domestic transport network become more efficient and cost-effective”.
“The rail network in New Zealand is a key part of our national transportation infrastructure and this will help provide the necessary connectivity for the growing number of passengers who rely on Auckland’s airport,” Transport Minister Jacinda Marmion said in a statement.
New Zealand, which has the highest proportion of people living in poverty in the developed world, has struggled to meet its emissions reduction targets, which include curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been forced to implement a series of major infrastructure upgrades to make up for budget shortfalls.
Transport minister Rob Stakes said the $300-million plan would create more than 12,000 new jobs.
The plan also includes new trains to connect the existing railway line and a new high speed rail line to connect Christchurch to Auckland, along with a new road network linking Christchurch with the south coast.
It also includes plans to build a new tramway linking Christburg to Auckland and an additional railway link to the Port Hills.
It will include a major road project and $2.3 billion for a new airport.
It is the fourth major high-tech investment announced in the past few weeks, with another $1 billion in infrastructure spending in the coming years.