Well even red Mike has worked out that trains cost too much money.
Despite being a staunch advocate for them Mike Lee is choking on his cornflakes over the exorbitant subsidy to run Auckland’s rail network.
Aucklanders facing a new transport rate are paying far too much to subsidise the city’s trains, says councillor Mike Lee, a long-time champion of rail.
Mr Lee, the council’s infrastructure chairman, has calculated that Auckland trains are costing ratepayers and the Government four times more to run than those in Wellington for each kilometre travelled by passengers.
He has worked out from figures published for each rail operation that the subsidy paid for every “passenger kilometre” travelled on Auckland trains last financial year was 65c, compared with just 16c in the capital.
Mr Lee, one of two council appointees to Auckland Transport’s board, says the proportion of rail operating costs covered by fares in Auckland declined to 22 per cent last year, compared with 24 per cent in 2012-13, and 50 per cent in Wellington.
“Government expectations are that farebox ratios should be 50 per cent, but Auckland has been moving in the opposite direction,” he said in a memo to Mayor Len Brown and fellow councillors as they debated a budget which includes a new targeted transport rate of $114 per household.