And this is what Len wants for Auckland?

Len Brown and other useful idiots like Nikki Kaye are pushing hard for extended rail, trams and other expensive things that people won’t travel on. Have a check at the pain Sydney is going through:

BEFORE the government allowed weekly and pensioner transport ticket holders free rides on light rail this year, Sydney’s only tram line was in a slump.

Figures released this week by one of the investors in the light rail company showed patronage on the Central to Lilyfield line fell last financial year, while usage of Sydney’s monorail line has also been tumbling.

The private owner of the two lines, Metro Transport Sydney, does not release its patronage figures. But the annual report of one of Metro’s investors, Australian Infrastructure Fund, described the fall.

In the year to July 2008, there were 6.5 million journeys on both light rail and monorail. But in the year to July this year, there were 5.8 million journeys. In contrast, patronage has grown over the rest of Sydney’s public transport system.

The largest drop has been on the monorail line, which charges $4.90 a trip for every passenger over the age of six. The Australian Infrastructure Fund puts the monorail patronage drop – more than 4 per cent for two years in a row – down to a dip in the tourism industry.

…While Metro will not reveal the extent of the patronage increase since then, industry speculation suggests that at least 25 per cent more people are riding the tram line. If the patronage keeps growing, the company will come under pressure to put on more services as trams start to fill up.

However Metro does not have any more trams available to let it increase frequency. It will only buy more trams when the state government has approved and commissioned the delayed extension of the light rail line from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill.

The government has capped the compensation it will pay to Metro for MyMulti and Pensioner Excursion holders using the line at $2 million a year.

Just like here they bribe the greedy oldies with free travel and then when they take it up in huge numbers they cap the subsidies for the operators.

Any service that needs a subsidy to operate should be closed down, it is clearly unprofitable.


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  • In my experience, Auckland’s public transport is slow, expensive, noisy, and smelly – and that’s on a good day.

  • Hans Versluys

    Tolls on every highway outside Auckland since we subsidise all that?

  • Markmcdonald

    Just checking the comments can work from the iPad now?

  • NZ Groover

    Woo hoo

  • MrV

    Disagree. A few points: the monorail is a tourist thing.
    The problem with Sydney LR is they didn’t build the route as orignally intended ie between two existing rail stations,( which they are now building via an extension). It terminated a Lilfyfield, where there were no bus connections or adequate parking for commuters. Thus it restricted who could actually use the thing
    There is a huge push to have it extended into the city owing to alleviate the Sydney problem of bus jams, where there are litterally hundreds of buses jamming up the CBD, which is now not just a peak hour phenomenon.

  • Pdubyahnz

    “Any service that needs a subsidy to operate should be closed down, it is clearly unprofitable”

    Amen! can include in that the NZ Fashion Show

  • Sam Hood1

    Once again I recommend that you visit Britomart at rush hour, then form an educated opinion on whether we need the CBD Link (its not a loop btw) to increase capacity to cope with the 35000 people each day who ALREADY use the rail system to quickly get to work.

    Its a lot of cars off the road, a lot of people who can get into the city without crawling slowly for hours, and no doubt a few less huge motorway widening projects than we would otherwise have needed

    • diabolos

      First sensible analysis i’ve seen so far.  Thank you.

      Just came back from down south and had to share the road with incredible numbers of gigantic monolithic trucks that when they go past you feel like an earthquake and literally suck the surrounding air from around you.  I know – i got out a couple of times on the side of the road to check on what i was towing.

      Its a great pity that the “brighter future” we are all marching down a dark tunnel toward – doesnt include an open mind toward commonsense and all options.  Its a “joycer” future – populated with people like collins and bennett and parata … and others too numerous to mention.

      Here’s hoping that the former head of the “whatever it was organisation” it was who upset mihinarangi forbes (the only female journalist with both a speech and reverse sexism impediment – and a terminal lack of not taking herself too seriously) was actually right – and that certain unspecified gender-related problems may cause a sudden drop in productivity.  At least New Zealand will get some few days each month respite from the depredations of this political hen-party.  Cluck cluck cluck – i sense a policy egg coming soon.

      We are already “trucked” – and we are approaching something that sounds very much like it …