Heather du Plessis-Allan wants us all to ride buses.
She’s a typical Wellington dweller waxing lyrical about how good public transport is there and how crap it is in Auckland and how we must all try harder to catch buses.
Auckland commuters lose 20 working days a year sitting in jams, according to the annual Tomtom survey released this week. In Australasia, only Sydney-siders suffer more than us.
Before you tell Aucklanders this would all go away if we start using public transport, let me tell you we are.
No we are not. In the recent census in Howick ward more than 92% of people stated they used the car to get to work. It beggars belief then that council is spending millions in the ward improving public transport facilities for the less than 8% of people who use buses.
We caught the bus more, we caught the train more, we caught the ferry more. All those extra trips add up to 5 million more public transport journeys last year than the year before.
Aucklanders come to the public transport party, only to find the authorities haven’t put on much of a bash. No one has fixed the train timetabling holes that turned me off using rail a decade ago.
The trains between Britomart and Pukekohe run too infrequently. Over the weekend, there’s one train an hour. In fact, nowadays you can’t even catch a direct train – you have to get off at Papakura and, if you’ve timed it badly, wait 27 minutes to continue your journey.