Generation Zero’s has launched its 50/50 campaign, which is calling for the Government to allocate a greater share of its transport spending to “smart transport” options such as public transport and cycleways.
Wellington public transport commuters got a surprise this morning when 40 young people stripped down to their underwear on city trains to “expose the Government’s unbalanced transport budget”.
They travelled to Wellington Railway Station, where they set up a physical bar graph showing the Government’s plans to spend approximately $14 billion on new highways over the coming decade compared with just $0.5 billion for new public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure combined.
Smart Transport is heartened by Generation Zero's actions for a smarter, less car-centric approach to transport investment. Silvia Zuur says:
“Younger generations are smart, sustainably minded citizens. They understand that transport investments significantly influence their opportunities as well as their quality of life. Increasingly, younger generations are moving to places where they can get around without the burden of owning a car. The New Zealand government must recognise this generational shift and begin to change its priorities to smart transport. Otherwise younger people will increasingly vote with their feet from the nearest airport terminal.”
Generation Zero is a youth-driven organisation working for immediate action towards a zero carbon Aotearoa before 2050.
“Transport accounts for over 40% of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions, and Kiwis are suffering from rising oil prices due to a lack of practical alternatives to driving,” we’re headed down the wrong road, spending $14 billion on new highways and locking ourselves into a high-carbon economy.”
Generation Zero is relatively positive about local government efforts, saying:
“Our local councils are generally trying quite hard to move in the right direction,” said Mr Young-Drew. “Unfortunately, the Government’s Roads of National Significance programme is blowing the budget and there’s little left over for the smart transport choices that people want. We aim to change that with 50/50.”
Generation Zero has recently made submissions to local councils around the country as part of the National Land Transport Programme process, which will allocate funding to transport projects for the next three years and is due to be completed in August.
James Young-Drew said: “It wasn’t the nicest weather for stripping down to our undies, but we’re willing to expose ourselves to expose this very important issue.”
TV3 News 29 May: Youths Strip Off for Smarter Transport - Article
TV3 News 29 May: Youths Strip Off for Smarter Transport - Video