Good analysis Simon. Here's a couple of options for fixing this situation 'moving forward' (sorry):
Yes there is a need to properly fix the nation’s transport funding system. It is clearly no longer fit for purpose. It automatically excludes a whole type of land transport of the basis of the kind of wheel it has: Rubber wheel good, steel wheel bad. This is simply a form of institutionalised mode bias. And, in practice, it effectively becomes a tax on our most urban areas, as these are the places where the high capacity and spatial efficiency of rail transit is most effective.
There are two possible solutions I can see:
1. Classify urban Rapid Transit as the equivalent of State Highways in terms of funding, ie 100% nationally funded. After all the efficient functioning of our biggest economies is an issue of national significance, and these projects are no more in one place than any State Highway. In other words reform the the use of the National Land Transport Fund.
2. Bulk fund urban regions, so that all transport projects receive the same level of contribution from the NLTF, this would mean both motorways and Transit projects would enjoy the same level of contribution from nation transport coffers, as would local roads. So instead of the current situation where AKL m’ways are 100% gov funded, Rail Transit; a fight as it has not source of funding, and local roads around 50/50, move to a situation where every project enjoys the same ratio of local and national fund, somewhere around 25% local/75% NLTF. This would mean that the merits of every proposal could be evaluated much more rationally without the scales being tilted by some projects appearing ‘free’ to local politicians, regardless of their value.
Light rail was also a popular topic in the recent Wellington elections. NZTA and Greater Wellington Regional Council have been strongly against it and the latter is about to give us a much more complicated, congesting, disability-unfriendly rapid bus system. One which also, bizarrely, includes removing the trolley buses. Most of the mayoral candidates dismissed light rail as impossible, forgetting that trams were the main transport around Wellington and its suburbs, including the hilly ones, until the 1950s.
However, whenever a candidate was even mildly supportive of light rail (and the new mayor is one of them) they were applauded by the audiences in the meetings I went to. So where Auckland goes, we might even follow.
Labour colleagues in Parliament for years – don’t these people talk?
Which is why it's been hard to vote Labour for the past decade.
On a less pithy note
what are the best ways to get people (and freight) from here to there?
... is the key point that most folks don't get about our roads. Roads are not for cars or even for trucks, roads exist to transport people and goods.
Is light rail the best option for Dominion road? It seems like a pretty good bet and an appropriate election topic because it will need central government input.
Dr Parmar's limp response about more bus stops is a bit sad and short sighted. I'd have more respect for a comment about removing the parked lumps of plastic and aluminium that clog Dominion road at present - but even then that's a council job not a government job. Perhaps Dr Parmar should have stood for council if her thinking is still at that level.
Some analysis of the Australian experience with transport funding and pre-election promises here. Can be useful to learn from other's experiences before jumping in.
Who needs more bus stops when the council is seriously recommending using Ubers to get to bus stops? I'm still a little bit surprised that no one suggested to councillor Chris Darby that recommending the public use a service that currently actively promotes it's drivers not having any proper certification might be a very, very stupid idea that will land them in deep shit.
It's one thing to tolerate an illegal service, quite another to actively promote it and attempt to integrate it into public services, when the staff of NZTA are expressly forbidden from using Uber on account of the inability to ensure that any rules involving commercial transport have been followed at all.
One criticism I did see of Labour's announcement (from Hirini Kaa, but there will be others) was that it's yet more infrastructure for the isthmus, and none for the South. That does play on my mind a little – but otoh, Roskill is currently a bit of a public transit dead zone, and it's a *very* diverse community.
The south has been getting truckloads of .. motorway building. Not much use for public transit, true. Some catchup currently with a few interchanges ready for the impact of the CRL and the new bus network design launched this week to move more people with the same number of buses.
yet more infrastructure for the isthmus
If it ran only to Balmoral then yeah I'd agree with the criticism. But past Balmoral Roskill becomes exactly the kind of demographic that needs good public transport.
Also Dominion Rd is pretty much perfect for a light rail line, straight, mostly flat and wide enough - a really good place to start developing a light rail system.
a *very* diverse
hell yeah, culturally, economically and pretty much every -ally you could think of.
All that said the point is well made that South Auckland gets shafted every time.
One criticism I did see of Labour’s announcement (from Hirini Kaa, but there will be others) was that it’s yet more infrastructure for the isthmus, and none for the South.
Do remember though that while the City Rail Link is located in the city centre, it is the west (in particular) and south that benefit from it the most through shorter journey times, enabled increased frequencies etc.
Also Dominion Rd is pretty much perfect for a light rail line, straight, mostly flat and wide enough - a really good place to start developing a light rail system
You mean, putting one back.
If the Transport Blog map (http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/11/01/light-rail-by-election-stoush/) is indication of where light rail could travel, Mt Roskill could be the beginnings of a line to the airport - which then can continue to south auckland and around to the east
Snap. Why stop at the south western motorway? There's Hillsborough, a connection to trains in Onehunga, on into Mangere and so on...
One light rail is good but we actually need more.
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