Saturday, July 2, 2011

Auckland public transport ridership records 10% growth

Tranzwatching (with comment) in Auckland, Te Ika a Maui, New Zealand

The up graded Auckland train network has recorded ridership growth of 21% and the North Shore busway  ridership growth of 15%, in an over-all 10% growth to 65.3 million trips on Auckland public transport in the last 12 months

Last week Auckland City Council approved the first planning stage for the proposed $2.4 billion project to built an underground rail tunnel linking Britomart and Mount Eden, essentially creating a loop route below central Auckland. The Council voted $2 million towards early planning costs, although the project has yet to win Government support and the necessary level of taxpayer funding.

NZ in Tranzit Opinion

The $2.4 billion involved would almost certainly be greater than the total amount spent on land based public transport infrastructure across the whole of New Zealand in the last decade! Next to nothing of that ten year expenditure spent by Governments has been spent on rapid transit and public transport enhancement and regional public transport needs outside of the Auckland and Wellington areas.

Looking at the GDP generated per capita for different regions, and where wealth in this country is generated, it is difficult to grasp why such an absurdly distorted pattern expenditure should be backed by taxpayers across New Zealand.

The concept of centralization of commerce and industry in one small isthmus of Auckland appears to be grossly flawed if it can only be achieved via huge national subsidy costs in motorways and rail systems, and, for Auckland locals, high property cost and rates and life-style stresses.

Extreme centralisation is one of the unlovely sides of capitalism and creates extreme vulnerability to system collapse, history having shown more complex centralised systems collapse easier and faster than simpler networks and have less resilience than local hubs.

New Zealand would be better to spread its limited resources more wisely and forget the whizz kids of Wall Street theories.

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