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.  Read more »

Actually Heather, we won’t

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.

Read more »

Auckland’s deliberate and slow plan to rid itself of cars

Every big and booming city in the world is partly a construction site.

People working in the central business districts are accustomed to negotiating road cones and detour warnings. Auckland has been no exception, but now the central city is entering years of greater upheaval than it has probably previously endured.

Preliminary work has started on the underground rail link that will require Albert St to be dug up as far as Wyndham St, and a tunnel drilled beneath it to Aotea Square and beyond.

Already traffic is beginning to feel the squeeze. Besides the rail link, work is getting under way on SkyCity’s international convention centre and is due to start this year on a 52-storey tower of hotel rooms and apartments planned for the long-vacant site at the southeast corner of Albert and Victoria Streets.

The Downtown shopping centre is to be demolished and redeveloped and at the Herald’s former location at Albert and Wyndham Sts, a 30-storey hotel and office tower is planned.

The city is going to be a navigational challenge for the next several years.

The rail link alone will be disruptive enough. The practical difficulties of digging an underground railway in the confines of a commercial valley have not featured in public debate over the merits of the link.

It is to be hoped traffic planners have given the challenges enough thought. Confidence on that score is not encouraged by the plan to reduce Queen St to one lane of traffic each way to accommodate exclusive bus lanes.

City planners keep stealing the roads that we’ve already paid for. Where we had two or even three lanes, now we have given those to cycles, buses and, soon, even light rail.

Whereas councils can’t just turn parks into homes or factories, or start reclaiming the harbour for housing, there appears to be no limit to their ability to keep stealing roads from motorists.

There appears to be a steady and deliberate plan to turn the problem of getting around in a car into a self-fulfilling prophecy, to which the answer is: even less space for cars, and more space for people to walk, cycle, bus and train.

It’s not something ratepayers have been asked about, and I consider it a kind of theft.


– NZ Herald

Len Brown’s war on cars enters the next phase – steal some of the road

Len Brown has no idea what a liveable city is…one thing is for sure it isn’t one where the road gets stolen to make more room for his stupid buses.

Bus lane fines in Auckland are on the increase as the city’s transport agency prepares to put in 24-hour bus corridors around the CBD.

Aucklanders handed over $2.3 million in bus lane penalties last year, 10 per cent up on the previous year and 18 per cent more than in 2013.

The $150 fines are often incurred when left-turning motorists inadvertently cross into the bus lane too early, and the Automobile Association (AA) says the new 24/7 lanes will catch more people out.

It’s calling for simpler rules and a reduction in the hefty fine.   Read more »

Government makes move against Len’s trains: double decker buses


More than 50 double-decker buses are to roll out across Auckland from this October to July next year, after a rule change to allow heavier vehicles on city streets.

That will provide the Super City with capacity to carry 5000 more bus passengers at peak times.

The rule change, announced by Transport Minister Simon Bridges this afternoon at Tauranga-based Kiwi Bus Builders, will allow double-deckers with up to 91 seats to run on city streets. Read more »

U-Turns getting fashionable amongst Greenies

The latest green taliban member to do a u-turn is Celia Wade-Brown, over light rail…which is far superior that silly train-sets that greenies are keen on.

The thing that amuses me is that these muppets continually think that no one will remember their previous positions.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s support for a bigger and better bus rapid transit system through the city has left Greater Wellington Regional Council chairwoman Fran Wilde “gobsmacked”.

Ms Wade-Brown, who campaigned three years ago on a promise to push for light rail in Wellington, shifted her support towards the bus rapid transit system this week after a study showed light rail would cost $940 million.  Read more »

Nice upgrade in Onehunga

A friend of mine, was recently approached to collaborate with Auckland Transport and the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board to create designs as part of the new transit centre at Onehunga.

This is a prime example of how community engagement can work and should be a model for further engagement in other communities. Amanda lives, works and plays in Onehunga, and is a real advocate for the area. The designs incorporate local historic landmarks, events personalities, past and present.

I reckon she did a real top job….they look great.

If you want some top design work done then contact Amanda.

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Forget about the cats Gareth it is buses you need to worry about

via the tipline

Its the buses that are taking out all the Kiwi. This one has accounted for 75 alone, and the bugger is proud of it too:

Buses kill Kiwis

Clearly we need to ban all buses to protect our native environment. And don’t get me started on trains – if they are not taking out native species then it’s defenseless women in wheel chairs. Ban them.  Read more »