web analytics

Free public transport for Auckland is a very good idea

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, February 23rd, 2022 - 66 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, climate change, efeso collins, public transport, supercity, transport - Tags:

Efeso Collins has announced his first Mayoral campaign policy and it is a biggie, free public transport for Auckland.

From Todd Niall at Stuff:

Left-leaning Auckland mayoral candidate Efeso Collins says a push for fare-free public transport will be the first thing he wants to achieve if elected in October.

Collins, a two-term Manukau Ward Labour councillor, says Aucklanders spend up to 30 per cent of their household income on transport, and it is one of the biggest issues the city has to deal with.

“If we are going to address our climate emissions this is the first and best way to do it,” he told Stuff.

Collins was confident the city, and the government which helps subsidise public transport, could afford to have both a fare-free system, and a better network than exists today.

“There’s money we’ve got, it’s how we can balance it out, we can take from certain (other) parts,” said Collins, pointing to tens of millions of dollars he said was spent on consultants.

This policy is very big and very brave.  The estimated cost is $210 million per year, $160 million loss in revenue and $60 million for enhanced services.

The figures are eye watering but this is exactly the type of policy needed to make a proper response to climate change and to advance the city along the route of being carbon neutral.

66 comments on “Free public transport for Auckland is a very good idea ”

  1. Ad 1

    He was good on the Labour Members call last night.

    Genuine and not particularly political.

  2. Pataua4life 2

    Show me the money. 10's of millions doesn't equate to 400 mil

    This type of policy can only come from an increase in rates.

    He just lost my vote

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I shocked Pataua4life

      Shocked that you would ever consider voting for the left wing candidate in the first place.

      • Pataua4life 2.1.1

        I hope that Auckland gets someone that is not a patsy for central govt as Goff was.

        Efeso seemed and still maybe that person and as a general stance I have no problem with free public transport. But if you are going to do stuff at least know where all of the money is coming from and don't treat the rate payer like a child.

        That is all I ask.

        Same applies for central govt, which is why Jacinda gives me the shits. Don't treat the voting public like a f%#king 5 year old.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          where did you get $4million from?

          • Pataua4life 2.1.1.1.1

            From the OP

            "This policy is very big and very brave. The estimated cost is $210 million per year, $160 million loss in revenue and $60 million for enhanced services."

            210 + 160 + 60 = 430 Mil i was rounding down

            I stand to be corrected if MS meant $210 total consisting of 160 loss + 60 Spend.

            In which case I blame MS for his piss poor math. 160 + 60 = 220 so I took the 210 as a separate cost.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The link to the story gives the number

              'Giving up those fares would cost Auckland $176 million a year, and AT estimates increased demand would cost an extra $60m to meet.

              176 + 60 = $236 mill

        • Tricledrown 2.1.1.2

          That's ironic from someone that behaves like a preschooler.

          Like you were never going to vote for him.

          What if this freed up roads and motorways to make it easier for businesses to move stuff or people around Auckland.

  3. Don't you think it is sad that the only way to get people onto public transport is to make it free? And if that doesn't work, is the next step to pay people to use it?

    The problem in NZ is that our public transport system is so useless that it will likely never become viable. For instance, in Christchurch, the bus service is hopeless. Often, it will take several hours to get to a destination that would take 20 minutes by car.

    Our big problem is that we don't have the population, and we are much too spread out for an effective public transport system.

    If I lived in London, I probably wouldn't even bother owning a car because the public transport is amazing. If I ever needed a car there, I would just hire one. The same with a lot of large cities I have visited in Europe and Australia.

    In those cities public transport is just so much more convenient and easy, and I would expect cheaper, than using a car. So it just makes sense. Not so much in NZ.

    • Ad 3.1

      COVID has changed public transport use downward in Auckland for years, not just 2020-22. Who wants to get really sick?

    • McFlock 3.2

      Took the bus into work today in Dunedin. Took about twice as long as if I drove, sure, but I was able to catch up on my emails and the news and suchlike on the trip. And $2, with no parking costs.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        How often is it late and you are left standing/sitting in the cold?

        When I was in Lucerne, Switzerland, about the only thing that was cheap was the public transport that was free within the city for tourists. We got a free pass at our hotel.

        We were waiting for a train into town. An announcement came across that the train was running one minute late, as if that was a major failure.

        I guess that is evidence of "Swiss precision".

        • McFlock 3.2.1.1

          These days there are apps which tell you pretty much exactly when the bus will be at your stop. Today the app said "0 mins" when the bus was <100m away, so pretty accurate.

          • tsmithfield 3.2.1.1.1

            Sounds like it must be fairly heavily subsidised at $2 a trip.

            Not that I am necessarily against subsidies. There may be a trade off between subsidising a bus service at a loss and spending a lot more on new roads etc. But, I think the key thing is that the transport has to be cheaper and more convenient than taking a car for it to be successful.

            By "success'' I don't mean just economically, but in terms of taking pressure off infrastructure, improving the environment etc.

            • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1.1

              not as heavily as if it were free.

            • mickysavage 3.2.1.1.1.2

              The proposal is that public transport in Auckland will be free and more regular so it would qualify. All PT in New Zealand and pretty well all of the world is subsidised. There is a greater good in not having cars clog up the roads.

              Auckland's public transport is not too bad in parts. Outside my office the trains run every 10 minutes and a train to downtown is just as quick as driving and a lot more relaxing.

              • I agree that public transport tends to be OK if it is on a main route.

                But, in Christchurch if you want to go anywhere else, then often there is several, sometimes up to four, interchanges. That just makes it highly inconvenient.

                I also agree that subsidies are worthwhile for the greater good, as per my post above. But I think the bigger problem is actually making it more convenient than car travel overall. Not just on the main routes.

                Unless we can achieve that, then I don't think making it free or whatever is going to incentivise people enough to use it.

                In London, even with all the public transport, the roads are really congested in the central city. Even with hefty congestion charges. Getting around by public transport is just so much faster, easier, and cheaper.

                • Craig H

                  As an occasional Christchurch user, agree with our system's issues. For someone who lives near a main route and works/studies in town or somewhere on the main route they live by, it's fantastic e.g. a student at Ara or University of Canterbury. For someone in the further reaches of the city, not so much. It's also expensive for families as they have to buy 1 ticket per person, which for a family of 2 adults and 2 children is $8.30 each way. Compared to just parking in town for $2 for 2 hours, and it's not the easiest cost to justify suddenly.

                  Auckland have their own challenges but also much more expensive city parking and the bigger population to potentially get more out of economies of scale.

                • Koff

                  London is definitely different. I used to work as a clippy (conductor) on the big, red buses there for a couple of years. Even though I got free public transport I found that it was quicker to use a bicycle around most of London because of the congestion! At weekends I could stick the bike on a tube or train and get out of the city for free, too!

                  I have used bikes in Auckland to get to work in the city and it was a bit of a nightmare, but would now use an electric bike and better bike lanes (incidentally ChCh has always been great for cycling – so flat (apart from the Port Hills).

                  Tried using the bus regularly between Panmure and the city but it was also a nightmare. Don't think having free fares would have made any difference. I still had to get up at 5 to get on the motorway by car when it was relatively less congested and didn't get back until after dark. Crazy.

                  Free fares on Auckland's PT network must be accompanied by much better, more frequent sevices, and then strong disincentives for single passenger car use.

                  • tsmithfield

                    I think the subway is amazing to use in London, and definitely my preferred way of getting around there.

                    The only time I used a bus was when we did a open top double decker bus tour around the city centre.

                • James Simpson

                  There are not a lot of cross city transport options. If you want to go to the CBD it works reasonably well from pretty much anywhere. If you want to go east to west, or north to south, the car will usually win.

                  Time is usually more important then the cost of the trip.

              • Belladonna

                Agree that public transport in Auckland, during rush hours, into the CBD and out again is OK. I used bus and ferry when I worked in the CBD, myself.
                Anywhere else – especially cross-town – it's a nightmare.

                But which way are we having it? Are we going to substantially continue working from home (office workers), and let the CBD become a hollow shell? (in which case, great bus services into and out of it are pretty pointless). Or are we returning to BAU, and having everyone work in the CBD again (with all the associated congestion issues).

            • Shanreagh 3.2.1.1.1.3

              These are good points TS. So often the idea of subsidies is looked at just in relation to the sector it is relevant too.

              Like you I think subsidies can be looked at as generating a wider public good. So the public good would be 'taking pressure off infrastructure, improving the environment etc'.

              They still need to make sure the routes are relevant, buses are timely and get priority over cars with bus lanes and phased lights.

    • DukeEll 3.3

      And this fascination with big boy train sets? I love the CRL as it'll ad 10% to the value of my property. but i won't use it much.

      The days of autonomous, electric cars operating as taxi fleets are fast approaching, rendering fixed "routes" impractical for the majority of non private vehicle users when presented with better options.

      Of course, people will never abandon CD's for streaming as the vast majority of people demand their music uncompressed, even if cumbersome and prone to failure

    • Gypsy 3.4

      "Don't you think it is sad that the only way to get people onto public transport is to make it free? And if that doesn't work, is the next step to pay people to use it?"

      Sad, but entirely predictable. PT in Auckland is shit. End of story.

    • AB 3.5

      Our big problem is that we are … much too spread out for an effective public transport system

      If so, it's because our cities were designed for cars, so naturally we use cars – and by your reckoning are perpetually doomed to use cars. In what other aspect of our lives are we forced to live with our previous cock-ups in perpetuity? Does the entire history and prehistory of humanity contain no instance of people saying – " this is effing stupid and serves the economic interests of a minority of us, let's try something different"?

      • tsmithfield 3.5.1

        Perhaps. But it doesn't have to be a bad thing. If environmentally friendly options such as electric vehicles become mainstream, and they can be powered with renewable energy, then roads don't have to be such a problem.

        Also, as our population grows, and our city centres become more populated through more apartment living and the like, then public transport will become more viable. So, I wouldn't say that public transport is doomed for ever. But, at the moment, it is going to be hard to make it popular.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Great idea, and vote catcher, as it opens up the whole debate for less money to be spent on managerialism and $100,000 plus salaries, and more on services that ordinary people can use.

    Not free public transport, but fare free for users with positive spinoffs for congestion, parking and pollution if there is uptake.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    People born during & since the 1950s are scared of socialism due to maturing as it was being discredited in the 1970s, so I give him full marks for audacity!

    Born in '49, I'm on the cusp of that change & am happy with the prospect of it returning whilst being sceptical if anyone can make it work. It did work (mostly) when I was a kid so I recall the ambience of trust & reliability it created in our culture.

    If he didn't actually admit his policy is socialist then full marks to him for giving people the chance to figure it out for themselves – since most of them won't! Marketing 1.01!

    • mickysavage 5.1

      It works fine in different parts of the world. In Tokyo there are very few cars on the road and the trains are regular and efficient. And once you learn the system in China you never want to do anything else.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    It is a huge advance for people in poor parts of Auckland, who have the choice of clapped out cars (and often running foul of the law with no rego or warrant) or expensive public transport.

    Free PT represents an extra $30-40 in the pocket for the working poor.

    Further, making it free and making it tougher to own a car is actually the exact approach we need to take in terms of top-down initiatives to combat climate change in a meaningful way.

  7. thebiggestfish7 7

    Absolutely agree with this. A drop in the bucket expenditure wise when we think about the impacts on some peoples lives, freeing up congestion on Auckland roads, climate impacts etc. My one concern is that this may invite a few unsavoury characters onto our public transport which could make people feel unsafe. Perhaps bus wardens/security officers who could double as guides for out of town people as a solution. Just spitballing. Great idea though!.

  8. Gosman 8

    It isn't free. It will be merely funded via the Council so that people don't need to pay a fare to use it. Most people will still pay for it. They will just do so via rates and/or taxes.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      Why do those that do get free lunches-like luxury Luxon-enjoy telling the rest of us, as they move between their air conditioned spaces, that there is no free lunch!

    • Ad 8.2

      On that argument not a single public service can ever be free.

      Not useful thinking.

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        That is correct. Not a single public service is free. It is good to see you are open to finally grasping this concept although you are seemingly slightly resisting the implications.

        • tsmithfield 8.2.1.1

          Normally I would agree. But, in the case of public transport, I think there is an argument that it can be free for the taxpayer/ratepayer, or even cost positive.

          That is, if the cost of providing a public transport system is offset by not having to spend on infrastructure such as more roads etc. That would mean that the public transport provided would need to be good enough to attract enough people off the public roads to make building the roads unnecessary.

          If the cost of providing such a public transport system is less than the cost of the infrastructure, then it is a win for the ratepayer/taxpayer.

        • KJT 8.2.1.2

          Technically true.

          But in most cases the cost of supplying public services is considerably cheaper than the cost of not having them. Rail freight, and hospitals are an example.

          A net gain!

          And. Almost always cheaper, and often more efficient, than supply by the private sector.

          • tsmithfield 8.2.1.2.1

            We probably aren't too far apart on that.

            Even though I believe in a market driven economy, I also believe there are instances where that is not the best option, especially when the government is able to pool taxpayer resources to purchase in bulk for the benefit of taxpayers, and able to centrally co-ordinate to best effect.

            One example in recent time is the power reforms in the late 90s that were driven by a National government I think. Even though I am a right wing voter, I thought those reforms were stupid, and driven ideologically rather than rationally.

            Our population is not much larger than a medium sized city in many countries. Also, a market-driven power sector didn't seem logical to me because many of the decisions for generation need to be made over a much longer term than the private sector could justify in terms of pay-back.

            Here is a paper on that if you are interested:

            https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/law/research/publications/about-nzacl/publications/nzacl-yearbooks/yearbook-5,-1999/Kalderimis.pdf

            I think similar arguments can be made for health.

            So, in some situations I think a centrally planned model is best, even though it may be against my normal philosophical perspective. It is more to do with how effectively the model is implemented more than anything else.

            • Barfly 8.2.1.2.1.1

              "I think similar arguments can be made for health."

              I agree and would love to see the part charges for prescriptions eliminated – I believe currently a significant portion of prescriptions go uncollected which undoubtedly leads to higher numbers of hospitalisations for the untreated/ undertreated coditions ("stitch in time saves nine" as grandma used to say)

              Apologies for off topic

        • weka 8.2.1.3

          you'd have to be pretty fucking stupid to think the council would magic up a PT system without having to spend any money though.

        • Tricledrown 8.2.1.4

          Gosman your simplistic world view that taxes are bad .That public services are useless.

          Are so far from reality that ACT baseline support around .5% in normal times .Is how most people understand you have to invest in society for it to function.

          Looking at the US in these Covid times show red states low tax less govt have had the worst damage both in deaths and economically not to mention sky rocketing gun violence in Republican states with the lowest taxes and least controls.

          Gun violence passed the road toll for the first time.

          California one of the few states to have lowered it's gun death rate.has one of the toughest gun control laws.

          Seymour is advocating for slacker gun controls to pick up the fringe gun lobby here.

          Yet the police want tougher laws.They want every gun registered.

          Yesterday a Jehovahs witness was found guilty of killing a pet Deer he had over 30 guns in his possession.

          S

    • KJT 8.3

      Like roads in the city, then?

      • weka 8.3.1

        lol. But let's not forget the time that National wanted to put trackers in everyone's car and make them pay for using the road depending on how much they drove. Ah the heady days of early neoliberalism when people thought user-pays was a good idea and ran with it.

        • tsmithfield 8.3.1.1

          They actually have that type of system for toll roads in France.

          You get a bill at the end of each month or whatever. I think they have it in the UK as well.

          If you were a citizen it would definitely be a much more convenient way of being billed.

          Usually, the toll roads more than justify the cost of using them in the UK and Europe. We drove from Marseille through to Nice on the toll road. It took around two hours, and cost us around 30 Euros I think. The "scenic route" around the coast was about the same distance but was going to take four hours.

          I expect the slower route would probably have cost more in fuel due to the winding roads etc. So the toll road was quicker and possibly more economical.

          • weka 8.3.1.1.1

            France and the UK have trackers in every vehicle?

            • Koff 8.3.1.1.1.1

              They won't be trackers, just electronic tags. You get charged as you enter the toll road. Just need to remember to pay the bill online. Auckland has a similar system for the Puhoi toll road. It's the only one I think. With the price of fuel, ts is right, it's cheaper to pay the toll despite reservations about user pays than using the alternative route. I use the Gateway Bridge toll every time I cross the Brisbane River on the M1 rather than crawling through Brisbane traffic and usually getting totally lost. The bridge also has an adjacent cycleway which is well used – free and zero emissions!

            • Tricledrown 8.3.1.1.1.2

              No not necessarily Weka you can have electronic gps toll device or pay at the toll gate.

              People and trucks who have gps don't need to stop at every toll gate.

              Tsm toll charges have gone up considerably since Macron came to power one of the biggest reasons for the Yellow Jackets.virtually every speed camera was disabled.

              • tsmithfield

                Yes, it is interesting.

                We had a French guy working for us for awhile. He said he was getting paid about the same in NZ as he was in France, and that the cost of living was cheaper in France. Yet he could save for a house in NZ, but he wasn't able to do that in France. He said the reason was the taxes in France are way worse than in NZ.

                So, it doesn't surprise me that toll charges have gone up.

  9. When he stood for mayor of Christchurch 2 elections ago, John Minto had, as one of his planks, 'free and frequent' public transport.

    I supported him then and I support the idea still. We have to go this way if we are going to make any sort of meaningful dent in the looming climate crisis.

    • Gosman 9.1

      Do you mean like how the commuter train between Hamilton and Auckland is reducing carbon emissions per commuter km?

      • Barfly 9.1.1

        currently undersubscribed – "have patience young padawan"

      • lprent 9.1.2

        Do you mean like how the commuter train between Hamilton and Auckland is reducing carbon emissions per commuter km?

        That is a function of traffic. For some reason having a pandemic on has caused problems getting passengers. I believe our domestic airlines have the same problem. Even our road to hamilton is pretty clear at present.

        So I suspect your reaction would be to shut airports and tear up roads on the basis of your attitude about train transport – as they aren’t as efficient as they were in the past?

        I am meant to be going down to work in Hamilton once a week. Since September I have been to Hamilton once.

        I would have preferred to use the TeHuia, but it doesn’t work well as a commuter train from Auckland to Hamilton. I guess that is what you get when the Waikato Regional Council is putting up most of the money.

  10. Instead of assuming free public transport will achieve our wildest hopes and dreams, let's look at what's happened when other places have tried it.

    Overseas trials show it has very little impact on driving — there is a fairly small increase passengers (~25%) but no corresponding decrease in driving. There were also negatives like reduced timeliness, poorer bus driver retention and more vandalism.

    A cost of $210 million is a lot given the whole Auckland PT budget is around $500 million. The biggest driver of public transport uptake is service frequency and coverage, so if he can find that money, it would make more sense to spend it on more services — for that money, they could probably be more than doubled (the cost of adding an additional service is small because much of the budget is admin which doesn't grow much if the network gets bigger.)

    More services would benefit the lowest income earners most because they more often work unsociable hours and live in places not well served currently by public transport.

    Although it may sound counter-intuitive, simplified, cheaper fares can work better than free fares. Queenstown introduced a $2 fare + $1 for each extra zone and their public transport use went up 105% — that's a way better result than any free public transport trial. It's also important people can pay cash and the difference between bus card and cash fares isn't too punitive, because people on low incomes are more often cash-reliant. People struggling to pay their rent or feed themselves can't take the risk of loading money onto a Hop card, no matter how much it saves them, because they might need that money for something else. If there's a big issue with drivers handling cash then make tickets available to buy at dairies and other shops.

    • observer 10.1

      That's an informative link, thanks.

      Increasing the cost of parking, congestion charging, or increasing fuel taxes could all be combined with free fares to lower car demand.

      Free public transport may not be effective for making transport sustainable on its own, but it can have plenty of other benefits that make it worthwhile. It can be a progressive social policy, guaranteeing and improving access to public transport for diverse groups that might otherwise struggle to get around.

    • Belladonna 10.2

      Also, speaking as a parent, Hop cards are a very expensive item on the budget. Not the fares, but the cards themselves.
      Anyone with kids knows that cards go missing, get folded, spindled and mutilated (the slightest bend makes them unreadable).
      Not to mention the flourishing theft of them from schoolbags.

      Every time, you have to cough up $10 to replace one, and then add an extra $5 (because you can't buy one with no credit on it – even though you're going to transfer the balance once you get home).

      And, if one has just gone missing (under the bed, behind the bookshelf, in the sports bag – you name it). You have to stop it immediately (just in case it's been nicked, and the credit is being used). But you can't re-initialize it when you find it again (usually the next morning, or when the room is cleaned on the weekend) – that card is 'dead' for ever.

      Our school secretary has a drawer literally full of them which have been found at school – and are useless because they've been cancelled in the meantime.

      I reckon I pay around $50+ a term to AT for the 'privilege' of having hop cards. It ain't cheap.

    • Belladonna 10.3

      In terms of usage. I know anecdotally, and I believe that it's been measured, that the Gold Card increased patronage of PT (predominantly buses) substantially by the 65+ age group. Setting aside the rort which is the Waiheke Island golden oldies ferry services.

      A caveat is that the OAPs are also the people who have a lot more time in their day, and can afford to be more leisurely in their travel.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/editorial-cost-blowout-takes-shine-off-gold-card/CLZ7AI7O456AWW3IL4L3WANWVQ/

      I do think that both the Govt and the Council had the fee model wrong (which is why the blowout) – but certainly free PT substantially increases independence for people without cars and at the lower end of the economic spectrum (where every penny counts).

      Notably, the trials that the Council did offering free travel on weekends for school kids – didn't have anything like the same uptake.

    • Kiwijoker 10.4

      You have to give your service a value otherwise it garners no respect. However, Efeso will get it right.

  11. observer 11

    Almost everyone using Auckland public transport has a card now. "Free" simply means you don't need to scan it when getting on/off. Some seem to think it's already free, in my experience. We can't expect low-paid bus drivers to chase down every fare, they are already mask cops, tour guides, etc.

    Once people get used to the idea they would use public transport more (good), they would make more journeys for shopping (economic good), leisure (health good), all kinds of reasons.

    Of course it's already subsidised, so it's really just a question of how public money is spent efficiently.

  12. Gypsy 12

    Over recent years, Auckland Transport and a variety of Auckland Councillors have thrown everything at forcing people into PT, including cycle lanes that no-one uses and road calming designed to make driving less desirable. Panuku have joined the act with the cock up in Henderson. Despite these ideological brain farts, and their attendant costs to the ratepayer, Aucklanders continue to choose to drive over catching an unreliable and slow PT system

    Five years after Simon Wilson wrote that "Auckland Transport is blighted by systemic incompetence" not much as changed.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    In principle free public transport is a very good idea, and a logical step towards lower carbon costs. In practice it rather depends on the skill and integrity of those delivering it.

    Consider the cycleway – which would have offered a free option for harbour crossing. It was scotched at a Sochi-level corruption price of $50 million. Evidently a subsidized electric ferry service benefits from this to some degree. But an electric ferry is not more carbon positive, nor more consumer positive, than a bridge.

    It requires well thought out and well-implemented solutions to deliver the possible benefits. Those involved in Auckland transport to date do not appear to possess either the requisite cognitive resources or practical skills.

    Nice idea though.

    • tsmithfield 13.1

      I agree. I think if we are serious about public transport then we shouldn't be half-arsed about it.

      We probably need to envisage a solution that will be good for the next 100 years, and create something that will guide the development of our cities going forward so that our cities grow around the public transport rather than try and shoehorn public transport to our cities.

      We would just need to accept that it is going to take that long to pay for itself. But that the benefits are longterm. That would mean a coherent strategy and require a complete rethink of all our public transport strategies nationwide.

      If we could do that, then we might have something that people actually want to use.

      I can't believe I am actually typing this. But it seems to make sense to me.

      At least we would end up with something that worked. Whereas, at the moment, it seems to me that all our efforts in public transport end up as white elephants.

  14. Graeme 14

    Queenstown went most of the way there with reducing the fares to $2.00 There's a bit more detail in this article in Mountain Scene

    It's a partnership between the local Council (QLDC), Regional Council (ORC) with responsibility for passenger transport, and NZTA with responsibility for State Highways.

    Queenstown had a unique problem in that most (80-90%) of the traffic into the CBD came along Frankton Road which is State Highway. Frankton Road was upgraded in 2000's to the limit of the corridor, limited by the terrain and development along it. it can't be made to carry any more traffic and also serve the adjoining communities. By 2015 it had reached capacity and stationary traffic jams from Frankton to Queenstown CBD were a thing at times.

    So reasoning went that it was more cost effective to heavily subsidise public transport than put more capacity into Frankton Road. Hence we got a quite frequent, 15 – 30 min Frankton – Queenstown and 30 min hour outer suburb – Qtn bus service, and until quite late as well. Launched with a bit of a party and sort of got going. By 2020 busses were full and there was always people waiting at stops. You'd often see full busses. Along came covid and patronage slowed but looks to be picking up again.

    Now Dunedin is looking at the same thing.

    Re the $2.00 fare, I was at a meeting where it was questioned and at that time a 'free' fare wasn't lawful, there had to be a charge. $2.00 was the cost of collecting that charge. You've got to have a Hop card to get the $2.00 fare, but everyone's got one with $10 on it.

    As for reducing traffic, I think it has on Frankton Road. At least that hasn’t got any worse. Frankton at peak is a mess, but only at peak, and our population has grown by 40% since 2000.

    The only thing that hasn't kept up with the bus service is park and ride, so if you live off the routes you have to drive. For us that's all the way into town, there's less all day parking in Frankton than in the CBD, and the chalk dragons in most of Frankton are highly incentivised private bastards.

    For Auckland, just do it and make the place a real city, not a whole lot of parking areas connected by motorways. It’ll be cheaper and better than building even more roads.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
    Kia Ora. It is a pleasure to join you here today at this 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. This gathering provides an important opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons, for which the entry into force of this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech for Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit 2022
    Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you for the invitation to join you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, and to be in such fine company.  I want to begin today by acknowledging His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Sir David Attenborough in creating what is becoming akin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New accreditation builds capacity for Emergency Management Volunteers
    Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has recognised the first team to complete a newly launched National Accreditation Process for New Zealand Response Team (NZ-RT) volunteers. “NZ-RT volunteers play a crucial role in our emergency response system, supporting response and recovery efforts on the ground. This new accreditation makes sure our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt strengthens trans-Tasman emergency management cooperation
    Aotearoa New Zealand continues to strengthen global emergency management capability with a new agreement between New Zealand and Australia, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to improving our global and national emergency management system, and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed is another positive step towards ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Call Initiative on Algorithmic Outcomes
    Today New Zealand, the USA, Twitter, and Microsoft, announced investment in a technology innovation initiative under the banner of the Christchurch Call.  This initiative will support the creation of new technology to understand the impacts of algorithms on people’s online experiences.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms play a growing role in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
    Hon Kieran McAnulty, New Zealand Minister for Emergency Management Senator The Hon Murray Watt, Federal Minister for Emergency Management Strengthening Trans-Tasman cooperation on disaster management issues was a key area of focus when Australia and New Zealand’s disaster management ministers met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
    The Charities Amendment Bill has been introduced today which will modernise the charities sector by increasing transparency, improving access to justice services and reducing the red-tape that smaller charities face, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “These changes will make a meaningful difference to over 28,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific visas reopened to help boost workforce
    Work continues on delivering on a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help relieve workforce shortages, with the reopening of longstanding visa categories, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.  From 3 October 2022, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill passes into law
    The Bill establishing Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day has passed its third reading. “As Queen of Aotearoa New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication, and public service. Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was a fondness that was shared,” Michael ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New investor migrant visa opens
    The new Active Investor Plus visa category created to attract high-value investors, has officially opened marking a key milestone in the Government’s Immigration Rebalance strategy, Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood have announced. “The new Active Investor Plus visa replaces the previous investor visa categories, which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New wharekura continues commitment to Māori education
    A new Year 1-13 designated character wharekura will be established in Feilding, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. To be known as Te Kura o Kauwhata, the wharekura will cater for the expected growth in Feilding for years to come. “The Government has a goal of strengthening Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National minute of silence for Queen Elizabeth II
    A national minute of silence will be observed at the start of New Zealand’s State Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II, at 2pm on Monday 26 September. The one-hour service will be held at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, during a one-off public holiday to mark the Queen’s death. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
    Tēnā koutou i tēnei ata. Good morning. Recently I had cause to say to my friends in the media that I consider that my job is only half done. So I’m going to take the opportunity of this year’s Climate and Business Conference to offer you a mid-point review. A ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government enhances protection for our most-productive land  
    Enhanced protection for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most productive land   Councils required to identify, map, and manage highly productive land  Helping ensure Kiwis’ access to leafy greens and other healthy foods Subdivision for housing on highly-productive land could still be possible in limited circumstances  The Government has today released a National ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kieran McAnulty to attend Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty will travel to Brisbane this week to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. “This conference is one of the most important meetings in the Asia-Pacific region to progress disaster risk reduction efforts and increase cooperation between ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to travel to India and Indonesia
    Minister of Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to India and Indonesia for trade and agricultural meetings to further accelerate the Government’s growing trade agenda.  “Exploring ways we can connect globally and build on our trading relationships is a priority for the Government, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Cletus Maanu Paul (ONZM)
    E te rangatira Maanu, takoto mai ra, i tō marae i Wairaka, te marae o te wahine nāna I inoi kia Whakatānea ia kia tae ae ia ki te hopu i te waka Mātaatua kia kore ai i riro i te moana. Ko koe anō tēnā he pukumahi koe mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Wellbeing Strategy sets clear path to improve outcomes for Pacific Aotearoa
    Strengthening partnerships with Pacific communities is at the heart of the Government’s new Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio announced today. “Working alongside communities to ensure more of our aiga and families have access to the staples of life like, housing, education, training and job opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs on the horizon for more than 1,000 rangatahi
    Following on from last week’s Better Pathways Package announcement and Apprenticeship Boost 50,000th apprentice milestone, the Government is continuing momentum, supporting over 1,000 more rangatahi into employment, through new funding for He Poutama Rangatahi. “Our Government remains laser focused on supporting young people to become work ready and tackle the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ/AU partnership to bring world-class satellite positioning services
    Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor today announced a joint Trans-Tasman partnership which will provide Australasia with world-leading satellite positioning services that are up to 50 times more accurate, boosting future economic productivity, sustainability and safety.  New Zealand and Australia have partnered to deliver the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN), with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt helps small businesses get paid on time
    The Government is adding to the support it has offered New Zealand’s small businesses by introducing new measures to help ensure they get paid on time. A Business Payment Practices disclosure regime is being established to improve information and transparency around business-to-business payment practices across the economy, Small Business Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economy grows as tourism and exports rebound
    The economy has rebounded strongly in the June quarter as the easing of restrictions and reopening of the border boosted economic activity, meaning New Zealand is well placed to meet the next set of challenges confronting the global economy. GDP rose 1.7 percent in the June quarter following a decline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to China announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Grahame Morton as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to China. “Aotearoa New Zealand and China share a long and important relationship,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As we mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between our nations, we are connected by people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1.4 million hectares of wilding pine control work in two years
    1.4 million hectares of native and productive land have been protected from wilding conifers in the past two years and hundreds of jobs created in the united efforts to stamp out the highly invasive weeds, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said. Speaking today at the 2022 Wilding Pine Conference in Blenheim, Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • HomeGround – “a place to come together, a place to come home to”
    After 10 years’ hard mahi, HomeGround - Auckland City Mission's new home – is now officially open. “It’s extremely satisfying to see our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need housing and additional support services come together in a place like HomeGround, to create a better future ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Nurses Organisation Toputanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Conference
    Tēnā tātou katoa Ki te reo pōwhiri, kei te mihi Ki a koutou ngā pou o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihi He taura tangata, he taura kaupapa e hono ana i a tātou katoa i tēnei rā, Arā, ko te New Zealand Nurses Organisation Toputanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The New Zealand Economy – The Case for Optimism
    There are a few quotes that I could use to sum up where the world is today in the bow wave of COVID, facing the effects of a war, and the spiralling cost of living. One stands out for me. In the midst of chaos there is always opportunity. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago