Hamilton-Auckland rail service – good news?

Some potentially good news in a NZ Herald article today on the proposed Hamilton to Auckland railway service. KiwiRail has agreed to present a proposal to Hamilton City within weeks on a trial daily passenger service to and from Auckland. “We are refining a proposal to run a service using the Silver Fern railcars between Hamilton and Auckland on a trial basis,” spokesman Kevin Ramshaw said last night.…
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Going away

I’m away on the Coromandel Peninsula for the next couple of days for work purposes, so probably won’t have internet – so don’t expect any posts until Saturday I imagine! A few questions in the meanwhile to ponder:When will there be an announcement on the funding for Auckland’s electric trains?…
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Through-routing buses

One of the silliest things about Auckland’s public transport system is how 95% of bus routes simply go from somewhere in the suburbs to the CBD, and then turn around to head back out again on the same route. There are a few consequences of this which combine to greatly reduce the effectiveness of our public transport system, and also contribute to the CBD being filled with polluting diesel buses far more than what is actually necessary.…
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Electrification: the beginning, not the end

It has been an interesting year so far for Auckland’s public transport – probably a good year to start writing a blog on the topic actually, considering all the goings on that have happened. Probably the biggest story of the year so far was the cancellation of the Regional Petrol Tax back in March, which put most of the public transport improvements that we can expect in the next few years, into doubt.…
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Public Transport and Auckland’s future urban growth

When it comes to improving the share of commuters and general travellers who use public transport, what matters probably more than anything are employment densities. People do go on about the need to improve the density of households, and while that’s important to increase the number of people within walking distance of railway stations, bus stops and so forth, employment density is MORE important.…
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Me vs Trevor Mallard

I must say I am a big fan of Labour’s blog – Red Alert. It provides a great way of having some interaction with a number of MPs that normally just wouldn’t be possible. While I hope Labour don’t rely on it too much when putting together policy initiatives, it seems like the blog is a good way to get some feedback on ideas.…
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Electric trains announcement next week?

I have heard that there should be a final announcement on how Auckland’s electric trains are to be funded by the end of July. That means some time next week. With yesterday’s announcement of integrated ticketing, thankfully most of the mess Steven Joyce created when abandoning the Regional Fuel Tax has been cleaned up – which I suspect we are very thankful to Mike Lee from the ARC for.…
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Transport and CO2 emissions

It seems timely to talk a bit about carbon dioxide emissions, as the government is currently undertaking consultation on what New Zealand’s 2020 target should be in terms of reducing our CO2 emissions when compared to 1990 levels. There has been a big push for a dramatic 40% reduction target, as that is what is considered necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change, although it is likely the government is going to end up on something a bit more modest.…
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