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$38 on highways for every dollar on public transport

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, May 21st, 2013 - 44 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Key is busy explaining that his petrol tax increase won’t just be funding his pet highway projects – the ‘Roads of National Significance’. He says it’ll go on public transport, too. Well, yeah, maybe. But the truth is that National is slashing public transport funding while pouring massive amounts into the RoNS even as traffic volumes fall and public transport demand rises.

By next year, National will be spending a jaw-dropping $38 on the RoNS for every dollar spent on public transport. That ratio was $5.6:$1 when they came to power.

So, when you ask ‘where’s our petrol tax money going?’ the answer is – on a few duplicate highways that the vast majority of people won’t use.

I’ve graphed the data from the Greens’ release:

spending rons v public transport

volumes rons v public transport

 

44 comments on “$38 on highways for every dollar on public transport”

  1. Populuxe1 1

    Chalk and cheese. Public transport is mostly confined to set routes within urban populations and is really only the most efficient thing to spend money on when you have high, concentrated populations – which we don’t. Inconveniently, this isn’t the middle ages and people and product must frequently commute over considerable distances between communities and resources and in this long, skinny country of ours – geographical reality. People don’t live in die within a couple of miles of where they were born anymore, and private car ownership remains the predominant transport mode of preference.
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/public-transport/page-8
    The National party, like most neoliberal parties, is reactive and not proactive.
    I don’t have a car, and I use public transport. Most public transport in this country is commercially operated.

    • NickS 1.1

      Public transport is mostly confined to set routes within urban populations and is really only the most efficient thing to spend money on when you have high, concentrated populations – which we don’t

      [citation needed]

      Methinks you doth know sweet fuck all about how public transport works, come back when you’ve bothered doing some research sweetie.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Inconveniently, this isn’t the middle ages and people and product must frequently commute over considerable distances between communities and resources and in this long, skinny country of ours

      Most public transport is within cities, i.e, dense centres of population.

      People don’t live in die within a couple of miles of where they were born anymore,

      Which has absolutely no relevance to the public transport debate.

      …and private car ownership remains the predominant transport mode of preference.

      Yeah, that’s because we have stupid governments building for cars rather than buses and trains. The simple fact is we weren’t given the choice if we wanted PT or cars.

      • TheContrarian 1.2.1

        “The simple fact is we weren’t given the choice if we wanted PT or cars.”

        If someone asked me I’d say I’d like a mix of both. Bought my first car in 4 years just recently.

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      I suspect you’re also changing the meaning of the word commute. Not many people travel between far flung communities on a daily basis.
      OED:
      Definition of commute
      verb
      1 [no object] travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis:

  2. unicus 2

    There is only one transport mode Neo-libs are concerned about protecting – the road transport industry which stuffed up our roads in the first place .

    New Zealands geology and topography was never suitable for the trans continental road transport model developed for the flat hard plains of the USA –

    Its simply more illogical self interest from people who have no honour no moral rectitude and no courage – and yes they are New Zealanders .

    • Populuxe1 2.1

      It’s not exactly set up for rail transport either, what with all of those far flung communities and national parks and things, and those annoying mountains in the way etc. Yes, bloody self interest, how dare bloody human beings be human beings blah blah yawn sigh

  3. tracey 3

    Cutting ten minutes off the trip from Auckland to Wellsford, assists, how? Northland remains one of, if not the, highest area of unemployment and under development in our country. Getting to Auckland quicker doesn’t seem like the best fix or use of money…

    trucking companies and holiday makers from Auckland might be happier… but the later aren’t cos they just got hammered with a big bill for their sewerage system (which they are protesting)..

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      Well for one thing it means Northland is better connected to essential services and secondary production, for another it makes sense when one of your primary industries is tourism to make it easier to get from the location of your main international airport to an undervisited place of great scenic beauty.

      • tracey 3.1.1

        Ten minutes Populuxe. Don’t overstake the cost benefit of the “getting there sooner” BS.

        “better connected to essential services and secondary production, ”

        That is ridiculous if it’s the best you can do.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          plenty of property developers up north would love the highway…their property price speculation would pay off for them big time.

  4. BM 4

    Costs more to take the train to Wellington than it does to fly, by a long way

    By train:
    NZ$ 198.00 one way Auckland to Wellington
    http://timetable.railnewzealand.com/

    By plane:
    NZ starting from $42.00 one way
    http://www.webjet.co.nz/flights/auckland/wellington

    By car:
    I’d say $150-200 on gas both ways but then you have the convenience and don’t have to hire a car when you get there.

    Who the hell would want to take a train?.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      The airlines are ‘starting from’ surely you dont think thats ALL you pay

      • NickS 4.1.1

        And the biggest mistake of BM’s post, ignoring urban rail completely 🙄

        Because teh trains in Auckland and Wellington so totes aren’t heavily used…

        • BM 4.1.1.1

          Aren’t we comparing highways to trains?
          Why would I want to take the train when its so much cheaper taking a plane or car.

          Also $90 one way was the highest priced airfare.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Train travel is starved of volume and funding, no wonder its so expensive.

            Oh yeah you better count in the several thousand dollars you spent buying your car in the first place to take the drive.

            • BM 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Unless I could get a train ticket for $100.00 return I wouldn’t be interested in taking a train.

              Trains around town, great, between towns, hopeless.

              • TheContrarian

                The Wellington – Masterton line is pretty good, BM

              • McFlock

                kind of the point, really.

                Run into the ground to the point that airports, airport security, plane maintenance and jet fuel are cheaper than a train that can carry many times the load.

              • Colonial Viper

                Trains around town, great, between towns, hopeless.

                Currently it’s hopeless, but for investment equal to half of a holiday highway, it could be freakin magnificent.

              • TheContrarian

                And the rail system in Japan is freaking awesome.

                • BM

                  Yeah,they should do a bullet train between Hamilton and Auckland.
                  Stops at Huntly and Te kauwhata with the trip taking no more than 1/2 an hour.
                  Solve so many problems.

              • Colonial Viper

                Basically its the mark of a civilised society to be able to do public transport well.

            • infused 4.1.1.1.1.2

              It also takes 12hrs on train. You can drive there and back in that time.

              • McFlock

                Same as a bus though. And the ride’s better.

              • Draco T Bastard

                From Auckland to wellington and back in 12 hours? Possible I suppose – if you broke every speed limit and didn’t get hung up in traffic. Last time I left Wellington in a car it took four hours just to go the first 90km. Admittedly, that was just before Xmas when most people would be leaving on their holidays.

              • Clockie

                You could do Auckland-Wellington one way in about six hours in the wee hours when the roads are clear (don’t ask how I know this) but you’d better pray you don’t get caught. By the time you got there the roads would be filling up with traffic and you’d have to wait until midnight before you left on the return trip.

                PS. You’d be driving so quickly up the deserted main streets of small towns that you could see the exhaust pipe glowing bright red in the reflection in the shop windows.. (don’t ask how I know this)

                • ghostrider888

                  I know how (when it’s a 1000cc sports-bike) 😀

                  • Clockie

                    I was a naughty lad in my teens and early twenties 🙂 It’s a pity guys don’t get some brains to go with that first flush of testosterone eh?

                    • ghostrider888

                      used to sit on 140km as much as possible in the wee hours; nothing like the sound of 1000, or 1450cc of exhaust barking in the cold morning air. Got stopped after passing a po leece going the other way on Takapau Plains, over the tank, tapped out at 240k; talked him down to a modest fine after he turned and caught up with me.

    • tricledrown 4.2

      so you can see our wonderful country without crashing into something

  5. unicus 5

    ‘How dare human beings be human beings ”

    I have to admit Im not entirely familiar with the human face of greed ,corruption ,nepotisim ,and repression – but if neo-liberalisim is simply a true expression of humanisim so be it – certainly the NACT Government has it in spades .

    To my knowledge even our straight talking impeccably honest ( and loved by the Chinese ! ) Minister of Tourisim has’nt touted the holiday highway as a tourist benefit . But anyone traversing the current northern highway would find that at peak time’s – traffic on weekends and holidays mysteriously disappears after Warkworth – which of course is the turn off to Matakana and oh no – Omaha – where Key and the half of Eastern Aucklander’s who don’t own second homes in Coromandel hang out .With their friends from overseas no doubt which I guess in the stuttering mind of a neo-liberal bigot would constitute a tourist benefit.

    Can I suggest anyone interested in the egress of tourists through New Zealand take a trip on one of the more picturesque roads of the South – the Lewis Pass Highway it was purpose built for the tourist industry when New Zealand had functional governments . A long walk in the beech forest – perhaps camp the night in a pleasant distant place – you’ll be lucky to get much sleep though – the howl and hiss of giant rigs can be heard miles away from the highway – groaning up the pass and engine braking down it while they churn the road surface into something resembling a Rainbows End roller coaster track – barging German cyclists into ditches as they go .

    A final word on the history of rail in NZ – probably not much interest to you – but yes it was difficult to build . In its day the tracks and our locally built rolling stock were regarded among the worlds most accomplished feats of infrastructure engineering . New Zealands Railway system built cities and towns opened farmland and made money . Rail worked and it could certainly work again – in everyone’s interest .

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      Rail will work again the minute that trucking companies have to pay for what they do to the roads. The German passenger rail network is amazing, and cheap, but even if we mainly used trains for freight, roads would be cheaper and safer.

      • kiwicommie 5.1.1

        Unfortunately a lot of MSM like to scaremonger and rant on about how NZ can’t afford it, even though the lack of high speed, high capacity rail from Auckland to Wellington, and Picton to Christchurch [to Dunedin] holds NZ back and increases transport costs. There is also another factor, that a lack of high speed passenger rail puts pressure on roads and airports to take passenger traffic, adding to New Zealand’s carbon emissions.

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