Light rail, gondolas under microscope

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Queenstown’s transport boffins are asking the Government to loosen its purse strings so it can investigate mass transit options, including a light
rail system.

About 70 people turned out to a public meeting on Monday night to hear about the various transport projects in the works for Queenstown, under the
umbrella of Wakatipu Way To Go.

That’s the partnership between the district council, NZTA, and the Otago Regional Council.

At the meeting, district council infrastructure boss Peter Hansby outlined how a mass rapid transport option would be needed within 10 years.

More funding had been requested to investigate options further, including light rail, gondolas, and trams.

A graphic shown at the meeting appeared to show a potential light rail route from Frankton to the town centre along the edge of Lake Wakatipu.

In response to questions from Mountain Scene following the meeting, Hansby says ”the comparison of light rail, monorail, trackless trams and gondolas
is the work that needs to be done and is a follow on from the current business case work”.

Further details were unavailable ”until this work is complete”.

”Funding and timing for this is currently with the New Zealand Transport Agency.”

Gondalas have dominated the mass rapid transport discussion in recent times, thanks to developer Alastair Porter’s ambitious plans for a gondola
between The Remarkables ski area and Remarkables Park.

Meanwhile, community engagement’s also begun on the range of transport projects, and will run until April 22.
In a press release Mayor Jim Boult said ”the challenges facing Queenstown and Frankton are unique and incredibly challenging”.

”Getting it right relies on insights and ideas from the people who travel around the Wakatipu area every day.”

Full details and feedback forms can be found at letstalk.qldc.govt.nz