Public transport

The liveable city becomes less liveable as greedy Auckland Council tries to tax park and ride

Auckland Transport is unbelievable.

They want everyone to ditch driving themselves in order to fill up public transport. And so people do, encouraged by the council.

What happens next?

Auckland Transport has released a draft parking strategy today that also includes extending residents-only parking areas and lobbying the Government to raise infringement fines.

The agency said the recommendations were designed to reduce dependence on car travel and support development in town centres.

Its parking services manager Russell Derecourt said people using park-and-ride services at train and bus stations could be charged a small fee if certain criteria are met.   Read more »

How about that public transport?

Yesterday Julie Anne Genter was using a little bit of rain to push her political agenda and suggesting the solution to our problems was more public transport.

Now I’m not sure about anyone else but that public transport solution hasn’t worked so well for Wellingtonians this morning:

Commuters planning on travelling within the Wellington region tomorrow morning have been advised to consider alternatives to their usual morning commute.

The suspension of train services until at least midday tomorrow is likely to result in congestion on the roads.

The NZ Transport Agency is advising Wellingtonians that the best way to steer clear of congestion is to plan around it and work from home, travel outside of peak times or commute on foot or bike.

Commuters are advised that before making travel decisions tomorrow, they should check the Metservice website and check traffic conditions online at www.nzta.govt.nz, www.tfw.govt.nz, or on the @nztawgtn twitter feed.

Read more »

Len Brown’s world – where a 2.5% ‘cap’ actually means 9.9%

Len Brown and the Council might be hoping that with a new day the dust has settled on yesterday’s announced rates increases.

Wishful thinking, Len.

While the Green Party green lobby group Generation Zero is keen to enable Len Brown’s high rates agenda, the Ratepayers’ Alliance is standing firm against them.

Youth organisation, Generation Zero, welcomed the extra spending in the 10-year budget, specifically the focus on essential cycling, walking and public transport projects.

Spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh said: “This budget prioritises the essential public transport, walking and cycling projects that Aucklanders have called for, and is another step in the right direction for our city.”

“Aucklanders have called for greater transport choices and the council has responded with this budget. We now call on the government to get on board with Auckland’s agenda and to begin funding the City Rail Link in this year’s budget,” he said.   Read more »

Sensible options for public transport instead of Len’s Loop

Trains are vastly expensive. They cost massive money to build the networks and they are so limited in where they go. In Auckland they aren’t even fast. If you have harbours and hilly topography like Auckland then they cost even more to expand.

Trams are nice and have much better reach but they still cost a bomb and whilst they can be closer to where people go, they are still limited.

Buses are possibly the cheapest way to obtain mass transport and they can go anywhere. But the pinko green Taliban don’t like them because – like cars – buses emit dirty carbon emissions.

Or do they?

Let’s be clear – the number one reason for the left of everything prefer public transport and want trains and so on is because they hate cars and that is because of the emissions issue, global warming and purported certain death for us all.

But the car industry is filled with innovation and survivalists. They have already started cleaning up their fleets with hybrids and efficient cars and of course electric.

It’s of no surprise that there are also electric buses. London already has hybrid electric busses. Many other places do too.   Read more »

Auckland Council has no city wide plan for public transport so what is it doing?

Auckland Council has boxed itself into pushing on with an agenda to build a public transport network entirely based on three strings of rail corridor and the CBD. The key plank in this plan is to build a tunnel in the CBD that is 3km long and costs $3 billion or more.

Now that there are cracks appearing in the form of budgetary constraints the Council has taken the drastic step of reducing capital budgets to keep the rail tunnel alive. And it’s coming at the expense of affordable housing and other transport projects. But why?

There are plenty of arguments for and against the tunnel itself. The Auditor General has warned Auckland Council about committing to the tunnel without resolving its full funding package. The Government is unconvinced that the tunnel is needed and has set targets on patronage for the Council to achieve before it will even bother thinking about it.

But the question is whether the tunnel is the best first expenditure for Auckland Council to make if it intends to build a public transport network.

The planning around this whole idea sprung from Len Brown who politicised the tunnel as an election promise. It didn’t come from analysis and cost benefit analysis as it should. It’s a politically driven project not a needs driven project.

But even then, there isn’t even a sound plan for how public transport should be developed over a period of time in Auckland. The planning is piecemeal, uncoordinated and lacks any complete picture of what the city is going to do over 50 or 100 years.

And that’s an important matter to consider.    Read more »

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? [POLL]

A Taranaki man with cerebral palsy and partial blindness says he is dismayed at the treatment of disabled people on New Plymouth buses.

Bell Block local Brendan Cresswell, 27, had to grab hold of a pillar to steady himself when the bus took off in a hurry on Tuesday.

He said the bus driver was running late and didn’t care that he had not yet had a chance to sit down.

Cresswell said public safety should be paramount.

“When I rang the bus depot, a manager told me that in their opinion it is crucial for the buses to be on time, but my opinion is that it should be about public safety,” he said.

“The problem I have is that I feel bus drivers are not waiting enough for people to sit down,” he said.

Who do you side with?   Read more »

Despite warnings from Auditor General Auckland Council commits millions in loans for Len’s train set

Despite warnings from the Auditor General about staying works before having the means to pay for the rest of the Rail Tunnel – Auckland Council is about to start works down the bottom of town.

Big traffic and public transport challenges face downtown Auckland from construction starting in less than a year for the $2.5 billion underground railway to Mt Eden.

Auckland Transport disclosed yesterday that it hopes to start digging trenches across lower Queen St in January, meaning rerouting buses such as the Northern Express fleet.

That is expected to require the relocation of 16 bus stops.

The council body also expects to close the main entrance to Britomart Station, through the old Central Post Office, for about three years from March.

Temporary ticketing machines and gates will be installed at the eastern end of the station to cope with peak crowds of about 4000 passengers an hour.

Albert St, one of the main bus feeder routes into downtown Auckland, faces some disruption from October as a stormwater main is moved to make way for a pair of “cut and cover” rail tunnels to be dug from Britomart as far as Wyndham St in a package of early works likely to cost about $250 million.    Read more »

12 working days in Auckland traffic?

So Auckland is more congested?

I think that would already feel most obvious to commuters in Auckland but the question is why? And is this survey to be followed by the usual calls for public transport?

I have friends who have commented in the last few months that their work commutes have suddenly changed in terms of trip time.

Last year they were taking around 25-30 minutes on average but this year are finding that those trip movements have jumped significantly to 45 minutes and upto an hour for a cross town trip from East Auckland towards the airport.

What caught my attention is that they followed their observations with a cynical comment that their increased trip times have coincided with Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan survey on transport.     Read more »

Typical socialists, they always want a subsidy

Why do socialists always think subsidies are a solution?

Keeping the Capital Connection running could cost ratepayers less than previously thought.

An internal Ministry of Transport memo released under the Official Information Act casts doubt on the amount of public money needed to keep the commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington going.

KiwiRail has said it will cease running the train from July this year and has no plan in place for a replacement service.

For the Capital Connection to continue, the two regional councils – Horizons and Greater Wellington – need to convince the New Zealand Transport Agency to shift the Connection to a Wellington Metro service, which would mean it could receive a subsidy from the two councils and NZTA.

The Ministry of Transport report estimates the cost of the subsidy needed at about $250,000 per annum.

[…]     Read more »

Len’s loopy train set delayed for two years

Spain-train-crash

The councillors at Auckland Council have decided they would rather be re-elected than vote to ratchet rates up even further in order to pay for Len Brown’s loopy train set.

The Auckland Council has voted to put back a start on the City Rail Link by two years.

Mayor Len Brown told a governing body meeting today that a 2015 start was considered too much of a stretch by the Auditor-General.    Read more »