Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Policy, finally

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  • Russell Brown,

    Now I'm just waiting for some scientist to tell me I'd be better off living in coal mine.

    Lower emissions are OK by me!

    I must say, that's something you really feel the benefit of in Los Angeles. They might be damn near living in their cars, but at least when you're stuck in a freeeway jam you can open your windows and breathe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    At the moment, my pet peeve is that it's cheaper to drive to town and pay parking than it is to catch the bus - sigh.

    Which is why the greenies want changes. It's cheaper to go by car because you are not really paying for the true cost of running your car. Hence the carbon tax. Once that is factored in you may well find it cheaper to catch a bus to work. They might be belching diesel dinosaurs but their carbon tax while be met by ratepayers to ensure tickets remain cheaper.

    If we really want to get serious about getting people to use buses we should introduce Random Slapping at traffic lights. On designated mornings Police should force drivers stuck in rush hour traffic to wind down their windows and receive an open handed slap to the face (delivered with reasonable force only, and without malice). Drivers wouldn't know where or when they might be randomly selected to receive this negative reinforcement and it may work well to force even the most intransient onto public transport.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Yeah, because nothing as awful as a slap in the face could happen on public transport.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Will they have white gloves? I sincerely hope so because that would be awesome.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    well I walk down the hill to the uni - that's free, catch the bus back up $1.20 despite having the Prius I think that's still a good deal - at those sorts of prices I don't think it's a bad deal and I try and do it 2-3 times a week - I just wish they wouldn't use those ancient diesel buses that blow the black smoke out the back (remember when we had clean green trolley buses ....) - I still take them because I know they'll be driving around blowing the smoke whether I take them or not

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Ick!
    the G-Wiz and the Aerorider are ugly!
    Whereas the Tesla is so pretty. Zap cars are somewhere in the middle.

    And I agree, the rearview in the Prius is bad enough for me to call it a hazard, especially when I was pulling out into traffic.

    With regard to fuel efficiency, how is it calculated? Is it based on a "real driving simulation"?

    For example in town your car sits stopped for long periods (If I drove a Prius up to the lights and sat there for 5 hours wouldn't it have better efficiency than any kind of diesel?)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • StephenR,

    Which is why the greenies want changes. It's cheaper to go by car because you are not really paying for the true cost of running your car. Hence the carbon tax. Once that is factored in you may well find it cheaper to catch a bus to work.

    I'm cheating a bit, since really we're car-pooling, but given that it costs me about $3 in gas to go to town, and $6 to park for the day (way down by westpac stadium) and it costs me and the SO $11.20 per day to catch the bus if we use multi-trip tickets ($14 if we pay cash), they could double the price of gas and it would still be tempting to take the car.

    Using the car can also give me up to an extra hour of time at the end of the day compared with the bus (which can take more than an hour to get me home on occasion, plus the half hour or more of waiting for a bus that was due at 5:15pm but actually went past at 5:10, and the following one due at 5:45 will be late...) which is very attractive on days like today.

    I llike the idea of public transport, and used to use it a lot more when I lived closer to town, but the reality for me has degraded in recent years.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    For example in town your car sits stopped for long periods (If I drove a Prius up to the lights and sat there for 5 hours wouldn't it have better efficiency than any kind of diesel?)

    Diesels are getting much better at stuff like that too with the use of Mild hybrid (or bigar$e starter motors)

    From Wiki's mini page

    From 2008, all MINI models will be equipped with BMW Efficient Dynamics technology. This includes a start-stop feature shutting off the engine when the car is stationary. When the gas pedal is depressed the engine is restarted with electricity generated from Brake Energy Regeneration.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I llike the idea of public transport, and used to use it a lot more when I lived closer to town, but the reality for me has degraded in recent years.

    My SO drives the older boy a km or two to school in the morning, parks up and buses to and from work. I work from home and on a good day drive Car A a km or not at all.

    But Auckland public transport just doesn't work for me in the middle of the day. I've got a kid at home and just don't have the time for the bus journeys to and from the likes of Newmarket, where we make the radio show. If only Mayor Robbie had won his argument for a pervasive rapid transit system ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    the ability to drag off hoons, sneaking up on little old ladies in parking lots on the electric motor ...

    It's a big Friday night here in Dunedin...

    I must say, that's something you really feel the benefit of in Los Angeles. They might be damn near living in their cars, but at least when you're stuck in a freeeway jam you can open your windows and breathe.

    You must be talking about Los Angeles. Texas. Los Angeles, California, you can feel the smog around you. My ex doesn't hang her clothes on the washing line anymore, because they go out clean, and come in slightly brown. And that's in her back yard.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Hansel Dunlop,

    Has anyone else watched the latest, in America, episode of Weeds? That's the ultimate use of a prius in pop culture at the moment.

    U-Turn equips his whole crew with them for a gang war "they're really quiet. Good for sneaking up on mother fuckers."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • StephenR,

    sneaking up on little old ladies in parking lots on the electric motor ...

    Actually, I'm reliably told that the Foundation for the Blind is really quite anti them for this reason. (cue image of blind person stepping out on a quiet street and taking a Prius in the side at 40kmh)

    I've suggested that they should have someone walking in front of them with a bell, or more realistically perhaps, some sort of artificial noisemaker.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Yeah I heard something similar a couple of years ago about pedestrians getting run over by electric cars in Paris. Didn't hear them coming.

    I've suggested that they should have someone walking in front of them with a bell, or more realistically perhaps, some sort of artificial noisemaker.

    You could have speaks on them so the little boy racers go have the big exhaust or the little bridge port whoosh sound. lol

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Waaaaaaay aaaaaaaages ago on Beyond 2000 (yep that long ago), they showed a device that ran through your car's speakers via the rev counter. You make your car sound like a Porsche or a truck or a jet and it would accurately match your actual speed and revs.

    So you could have your Prius sitting at the lights thudding like it was a suped up Skyline.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    I/S - just wanted to say thanks - you make it comprehensible, and I'm sure it takes you a fair bit of work to master all the setail and the digest out for lazy ones like me ;-)

    Much appreciated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Actually, I'm reliably told that the Foundation for the Blind is really quite anti them for this reason. (cue image of blind person stepping out on a quiet street and taking a Prius in the side at 40kmh)

    Yup, it's something I noticed about driving a loud muscle car. I never had even the slightest whiff of anyone stepping/cycling in front of me. Children would look up from the ball they were chasing. Dogs would veer back to the footpath. Cyclists would pull over.

    As for getting a Prius, I've had my eye on the second hand market for about 5 years and they've never even looked like entering the price range I find acceptable. If it's about saving money, the Prius won't, unless you're the kind of person who wastes a lot of money on cars in the first place. Good on you, I'll buy it from you in 5 years for a reasonable price. Or not.

    I can't get into the carbon guilt thing. There is no such thing as a reasonable footprint, just an affordable one. I have no problem with the true costs being passed on by way of various carbon taxes, but I'm still going to rip around in a muscle car, until it becomes prohibitively expensive. Because I like to. It's something I enjoy doing. Sitting on a stink bus or waiting 50 years for a train line to be built is cool. I wish everyone else would, so that I can use the roads we already have, which we always had as long as I've been alive, using the incredible invention known as the automobile.

    Until gas costs $10 a litre it's going to be heaps cheaper to use the car for most things I do, and it will always be more convenient for them. There never will be any kind of public transport that can get me from Avondale to Downtown Auckland in 10 minutes without walking or getting wet, carrying a big load, including an infant child, listening to my music and in a comfortable and spacious seat, eating something, smoking something, farting with impunity, changing my mind with impunity about where I'm going, talking on the cellphone as loud as I like, dropping patches, fishtails and donuts, and all for a few grand. Never, never, ever. You'd have to talk yourself into how cool being in a bus is with an incredibly persuasive voice, because the simple evidence of your senses is ample argument against. They suck. I used to have to catch 2 to get to school for years and years and it fucken sucked balls. I got a car as soon as I could and I've never looked back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    So you could have your Prius sitting at the lights thudding like it was a suped up Skyline

    Why think small. If you're going to geek up your car, make it sound like the Jetson's spacecar, or an X-Wing fighter, or Darth Vader's TIE fighter... If I wanted a car that sounded like a skyline, I'd buy a skyline. I think Honda here in town have a second-hand one...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Infrastructure is where it's at, parrallel Infrastructure.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I/S - just wanted to say thanks - you make it comprehensible, and I'm sure it takes you a fair bit of work to master all the setail and the digest out for lazy ones like me ;-)

    Much appreciated.

    Me too.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    You'd have to talk yourself into how cool being in a bus is with an incredibly persuasive voice . . .

    Which reminds me - why do those people who sit up front and talk out loud to the driver always have such chronic speech impediments?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    The government has taken a gradualist/consensus-building approach to this issue which to me seems to be the best long term approach.

    For example, they've reached a compromise position with the foresters.

    Getting interest groups and the public on side rather than shouting at them is always going to get actual results, although it may not serve the emotional needs of some.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Which reminds me - why do those people who sit up front and talk out loud to the driver always have such chronic speech impediments?

    Cause if they sat further back the driver either wouldn't hear or understand them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Which reminds me - why do those people who sit up front and talk out loud to the driver always have such chronic speech impediments?

    Avoid the front and the back of the bus, cos that's where the trouble is.

    The front of the bus is for the crazy people who want to talk to the driver, eldery who want a short walk to the door, and tourists who are paranoid of missing their stop.

    The back of the bus is for gangsta school children who want to scratch their name on the glass, and crazy-arse people who huff paint.

    Although, the middle of the bus has produced an old guy who tried to pick me up with his awesome seduction techniques ("Soooo, having a quiet one tonight?") and the seat some kids had covered with glue stick, that I didn't realise until I stood up and my jeans stuck to the seat.

    The bus is a huge source of creative inspiration for me.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The bus is a huge source of creative inspiration for me.

    I feel that way about the car. The fear of death stills the mind from the irrelevances of life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Cause if they sat further back the driver either wouldn't hear or understand them?

    I can hear them up the back, right there amongst the ganstas & the kids who like to suck face & watch their reflection in the window while they're doing it. Doesn't explain the speech impediments.
    I wonder, why is it always people who talk like Elmer Fudd who fancy themselves as bus orators? It's like the village cripple doing Saturday Night Fever.
    Robyn's right, though - on a good day you overhear some marvelously bizarre stuff, even if you can't make it all out because of someone's congenital cleft palate or badly fitting dentures.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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