Fares rise – again

With perhaps the shortest notice ever, we have now learned the extent to which public transport fares are going to rise on October 1st because of the hike in GST from 12.5% to 15%. Here’s ARTA’s media release: Public Transport fares to rise in line with GST increase The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) announced today the government’s GST increase will come into effect for all public transport fares in Auckland starting on Friday 1st October 2010. Fullers Waiheke Island service, tourist and other charter service fares will increase on Friday 1st October. Other fare increases for bus, train and most ferry services will come into effect on Sunday 3rd …
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New Parking Buildings?

I’ve noticed a few construction sites as I head around the city that I know are (or look like) new parking building being built. They are: The large parking building being built on Quay Street A small building at the intersection of Dominion and View Roads A three or four story building on the site of the University of Auckland’s Medical School across the Auckland Hospital Is any one able to shed a bit of light on these sites? If all three are parking buildings I have to say it is a bit of a blow for public transport. Consider the locations: The Quay Street parking building is within walking …
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Back to NYC

So we are now on the final stretch of our holiday, with just a few days to go before returning to NZ. Today we caught an Amtrak train from Washington DC to New York, which is a pretty pleasant 3 hour journey. Washington DC is a pretty impressive place, with its grand museums, grand National Mall and grand pretty much everything else you could think of. Of course on a transport blog, how could I talk about DC and not mention its Metro. Of a similar vintage to the Montreal Metro, the DC Metro is basically everything that is right about late 20th century public transport projects (I will talk …
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No Vehicle Weight Limits in Canterbury

Last Tuesday Parliament passed the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act. Put simply this act allows the Minister for Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, to amend any law he wants, apart from 5 constitutional laws and the right of Habeus Corpus, via Orders in Council (OIC). The Act removes the right for judicial review, so any decision he makes cannot be challenged in court. It’s worrying from a democratic stand point but one of the first OIC related to transport:   Exemption (1) While this order is in force, a person who operates a heavy motor vehicle and complies with subclause (2) is exempt from— (a) sections 16 and 43 of the Land Transport …
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Onehunga Line reopens

I was pretty gutted to miss it, but on Saturday the Onehunga Line reopened to passenger trains for the first time in 37 years. Jon C at Aucklandtrains has extensive coverage, including photos, of the opening. It seems like the opening event went incredibly well, with a huge crowd turnout. Furthermore, mentions of rail to the airport were very popularly received. The NZ Herald also had an article, here are some extracts: Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee, a long-time proponent of reopening the Onehunga line to passengers, said the huge turnout yesterday indicated a seachange in the way Aucklanders viewed rail passenger transport. Referring to the Onehunga and New …
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Aucklanders really do want rail

A couple of weeks back I blogged about an NZ Herald article which cited a survey to note that transport was Auckland’s biggest issue in the lead-up to the Super City election, and perhaps more importantly – that most Aucklanders felt that the transport situation could most be improved through better public transport, rather than building more roads. This paragraph from the original article was the most intriguing: Transport is the single most important issue for 27 per cent of survey respondents. And 44 per cent of voters say improving the train services should be the top priority for the new council. Today we see another article in the NZ …
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French Canada

It has been a while since my last blog post, partly because finding internet cafes in Montreal and Quebec City has been a little bit more of a challenge than finding internet in the USA was. It has been good to experience a part of the world a bit different to what I’m used to – particularly in terms of the language. Although my French is sadly pretty much non-existent. In terms of transport observations, the Montreal Metro is particularly worthy of mention. Out of Montreal, Boston and New York’s metro/subway systems, it definitely feels as though Montreal is the city most concerned about its system – in terms of …
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How can we meet the next twenty years growth in CBD transport needs?

According to a recent publication from the Auckland City Council, In the next 20 years they expect there to be an additional 54,000 jobs in the Auckland CBD and a further 17,000 residents. Straight away we can tell this is going to result in a lot of pressure on the transport system! I though I’d try and figure out if those sorts of growth projections are even possible, and what we would need in the way of infrastructure to support them. So let’s start by estimating the number of trips this sort of growth would result in. Of course the number of jobs isn’t directly related to the number of …
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Boston – urban rehabilitation

Tomorrow morning we leave Boston and head to Montreal on our Greyhound bus. It has been an interesting three days here, and I have certainly found myself very much liking the city. Compared to New York, Boston has felt quite small, a bit quiet and I guess certainly a bit more familiar. Not to say that I don’t also like New York of course – the two cities are just, well, quite different. One interesting aspect of wandering around Boston is taking a look at how it responded to what one might call the “dark days” of urbanism – the mid 20th century. The days of “urban renewal” (which really meant …
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Easy Transport Auckland

The Campaign for Better Transport, Walk Auckland, Cycle Action Auckland and Living Streets Aotearoa have created a new campaign and website looking at affordable transport initiatives the new Council can make during it’s first term to create a much better transport system for the city. It’s called Easy Transport Auckland, ETA. There are eleven projects the campaign is advocating for and hopes to get a commitment on these from as many candidates for our local body elections as possible before the election. The eleven initiatives are: ETA: 2014 More Half Moon Bay ferries Project: Enjoy fast, frequent ferries to and from an expanded downtown terminal ETA 2014: Upgrade the Half Moon Bay …
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