Mass rapid transit

Later this year we’re making some big decisions about the future of Wellington, mass rapid transit, improvements at the Basin Reserve and an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel as part of our multi-billion dollar plan to move more people with fewer vehicles, enable more housing, and help reduce emissions.

Latest Project Update

In November and December 2021, we asked people for feedback on four options to help transform the capital, focused on mass rapid transit, improvements at the Basin Reserve and an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel. This is an update on how the decision-making process works and how we’re tracking with recommendations for Wellington’s transport and development future. 

To make good, big, and expensive decisions we need to look at, and test all the evidence. We’ll select a preferred option from the four options we shared with the public in November and December last year.  
The engagement feedback, while critical, is one of six key inputs our partners will consider when deciding on a preferred option in the middle of this year. 

Inputs that will be used to select the preferred mass rapid transit option


What happens next

Next steps involve working through all the other decision-making elements before getting a recommended preferred option to our partners to consider for approval in the middle of the year. 
As part of that decision all the evidence behind the recommendation, will be published and sit alongside the public engagement insights on this website. 

If our partners endorse the preferred option, it will move forward in a detailed business case, and once that is approved, further design, engagement and consenting can begin.

About this project

Let’s Get Wellington Moving is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape Wellington’s future, align transport and urban development, move more people with fewer vehicles, and address the climate crisis. 

It’s about the way we move, supporting the way we live. 

By 2050 we’re expecting 50,000 to 80,000 more Wellingtonians, and 25% more people coming into the central city each workday from across the region. 

That’s a big challenge. 

As Wellington’s population grows, we’ll need to build more homes that we can afford and are closer to where we need to be. And we need to act now on climate change. To do this we need state-of-the-art public transport, powered by New Zealand’s renewable electricity, that can move more of us around Wellington more quickly and reliably.   
More people will be able to live centrally, close to where they work or study. Getting around will be safer, easier, and healthier, without relying on cars. You’ll have higher-quality and more reliable public transport, walking and cycling options. There’ll be better and more frequent connections between the region, the hospital and airport, and between the central city and the suburbs.  

View the proposal

The proposal

We know from cities like ours overseas that mass rapid transit encourages economic growth, more housing and urban development, and helps suburbs flourish and grow. It transforms how people live their lives. 

We’ve researched which kind of transport is right for the people using it, the climate crisis, and best meets Wellington’s challenging geography and geology. 

We are looking at four options with a mix of different transport modes. The modes are modern electric vehicles with lots of space and a smoother ride. 

We are considering two types of modern electric vehicles: 

  • light rail
  • Bus Rapid Transit

And, we're looking at big changes along two routes:

  • To the south - from the Wellington Railway Station past the Wellington Regional Hospital and on to Island Bay, with big potential for new housing and neighbourhood growth. 
  • To the east - from the Basin Reserve through Mt Victoria, on to Miramar and the airport, with some potential for new housing and urban development.

These routes will help us easily get to the places we need to go and transforming our future city. We're also looking at enhancing the Basin Reserve and an extra Mt Victoria tunnel.



Approval was given to proceed to more detailed investigation of programme of projects.


  • Initial project assessments
  • Community feedback received
2021 - 2022 (current)

  • Early assessment
  • Traffic modelling & specialist assessments
  • Community feedback sought
  • Affordability checks
  • Preferred option selected
2022 - 2024

  • Preferred option concept development
  • Detailed surveying & impact assessments
  • Community feedback sought
  • Preferred option selected
  • Project investment decision
2024 - 2027

  • Design work continues with feedback from the community, businesses, and our funding partners
  • Project mitigations designed and agreed on
  • Land acquisition

  • 8-15 years depending on the chosen option

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