Auckland Transport still spending money as if they have lots of it

Ratepayers are likely to be hit with a multi-million dollar bill following an order from Auckland Transport that all buses have to be painted the same colour.

The cost has been called “insane” by a ratepayers […] group, but the move is being defended by transport bosses who say it will help to market Auckland as a whole.

It’s not known exactly how much painting the fleet the generic grey and blue will cost due to a combination of factors – contracts out to tender, new operators entering the market and buses being replaced – but an industry insider said it would cost upwards of $5 million.

The decision was made in 2014 to launch a “consistent brand” across Auckland’s buses, trains and ferries under the Regional Public Transport Plan.

Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokeswoman Jo Holmes said the move was “insane” and a “waste of money”.

“There are a lot more transport issues we could be spending that money on instead of painting buses.”

A consistent brand eh?  What’s the point when they cover the buses with large advertisements, more or less obscuring the “consistent” brand. 

Last week, Mrs Goa had a meeting with Auckland Transport bus manager Brendon Main and she told the Herald while she felt she was listened to, it was apparent they were unlikely to change their minds.

Mrs Goa said she suggested co-branding so the buses could stay orange and cream but also feature the AT Metro logo, but she felt that idea was not warmly received.

The petition is supported by Northcote MP Dr Jonathan Coleman, who said in his 11 years in local politics, he had never received so much feedback from one issue.

“It’s a shame to stamp out all this local character across this city when there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to do so.”

Birkenhead resident Krysia Drecki thought that the paint jobs were “ridiculous”.

“Especially how much money they’re spending in the project. The yellow buses are so familiar to me now, it’s the only way I know what bus to catch because any Birkenhead bus takes me home. It’ll be a sad day when they are all painted blue.”

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said having buses all marked with one brand meant operators could bid for services outside of their traditional brand.

For example, Howick and Eastern won a big contract to operate in South Auckland and operating under the AT Metro brand meant “there is no confusion for its new customers”.

AT Metro is the single unified brand for the region’s public transport system across rail, bus and ferry.

Mr Hannan said a common naming convention, brand and colour scheme would define Auckland’s public transport for both locals and the increasing numbers of tourists.

Dr Coleman urged anyone who took issue with the paint jobs to contact the chief executive of Auckland Transport, Dr David Warburton.

Auckland Council have been trying to do the same with signs for street names.  Apparently we must all have been lost and confused for decades as different colours and styles were used in the east, the west and other boroughs.

Those signs, and the buses require a policy where replacements will be of a new unified colour and style.  The fact we have leaders that think nothing of wasting over 1,600 rate payers’ annual rates on a colour change for buses need to be kicked to the kerb.


– NZ Herald

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