I think it’s pretty obvious that a better job could be done to market public transport in Auckland. How many people are even aware that it only takes the Northern Express bus 22 minutes to get from Britomart to Constellation Drive off-peak, and 30 minutes during the evening peak? Or that it only takes trains on the Eastern Line 14 minutes to get from Glen Innes to Britomart , no matter what time of day it is?

The idea I had would be for ARTA to somehow get radio stations which give traffic updates on how congested the motorways are each morning and evening, to also mention how the trains are running and how the buses are running along the Rapid Transit Network. I guess occasionally there might be hold ups on the rail network, but a simple message saying “the Northern Motorway is congested from Greville Road to the Bridge, about a 45 minute drive, or 25 minutes on the Northern Express” would raise awareness of public transport at exactly the right time – when people are stuck in traffic.

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  1. Absolutely. I often thought why can’t they make more of an effort to publicise PT. Good Idea with the radio update too. Every morning here in London they give updates on the motorways and all the trains/ tube networks.

  2. I agree it would probably help. I also think they should have a free day or even week across the whole network once the western line is finished.

  3. The radio networks would be unlikely to endorse it – the traffic updates are a cheap and largely pointless fill to stuff ads around – they don’t want to compromise that. But advertising PT services on their time benefits around these slots (and more generally) would be a good idea.

  4. George I think the road updates are more to do with retaining listenership than anything else. People want to hear of potential issues and if one radio station doesn’t have it then people will change so they can hear it. In saying that would think it is a case that ARTA would have to pay for it to be on there if it were to happen. This isn’t such a bad thing as any product or service needs to properly advertised if you want it to be used or brought by the public and advertising should be part of ARTA’s budget.

  5. Certainly better benefit than paying for one billboard, it would reach many more people and at a time they are thinking transport…

  6. Why would radio want to encourage people to move from an environment where they’re listening to their radio (car) to one where listening to the radio is difficult (train/bus)?

  7. I think this is a great idea for rail. But for the Northern Busway I think we’re not ready for it. In fact, I think it would just piss off car drivers to the extent where you would get a backlash in which they demanded the busway be turned into a HOV lane.

    If the radio stations wouldn’t play ball they could put them on those electronic billboards which they have on the motorway to inform people about accidents, closed lanes etc

    I agree that ARTA should hold days in which they offer cut-price or free trips. I reckon if they had 2 days per year where they gave people a 50% discount and they advertised it well in advance lots of people might try PT on that day and decide they liked it.

    After all, why else do people try new products? Because they’re heavily marketed and the producers often offer discounts when they first come on the market.

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