This is the first of what I hope will be a series of short posts on good/bad transport behaviour.  The idea is that by “naming” people/companies that deliver good transport outcomes, and “shaming” those that perform poorly, we can create a semblance of public pressure for businesses to pull up their transport socks.

From the outset I should say that these posts are necessarily subjective and somewhat banal: They revolve around me and my mixed experiences in Auckland.  But if you have a particularly good/bad transport experience of your own then please email me at and I’ll consider your experience for inclusion in future award ceremonies.

Without further ado, my prize for best transport experience of the week goes to:

Big Brands Online – this website sells home appliances and provides free delivery with all purchases.  No need to leave home, just click your way to a new fridge and sit back as their delivery trucks bring home the bacon within 1-2 days.  Big Brands Online wins the Auckland transport blog prize for recognizing home delivery as an opportunity to cut huge costs (retail space, car-parking etc) from their business model – savings which are passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices and free delivery.  May the capitalist planets align to ensure the success of their business.

But at the other end of the spectrum my award for worst transport experience of the week goes to …

The Localist – 2-3 weeks ago I was crossing the intersection of Symonds/Alten Street and I was almost nailed by a red light runner.  As the car flashed past in front of me I saw “The Localist” sign emblazoned on the door.  I promptly lodged a complaint via the Localist website; three weeks later I have not yet received a response (let alone an explanation) from the company.   Upon perusing their website I noted that The Localist is a subsidiary of NZ Post.  In their “corporate sustainability” strategy NZ Post state the following mission (which they suggest applies to all their subsidiaries):

“enhance the sustainable growth of the New Zealand Post Group through acting to protect and build the environmental, human and social resources needed for the future.”

I’d suggest that by failing to follow up on my complaint about their driver’s dangerous red light running  “The Localist” has in turn failed to meet their self-proclaimed corporate responsibility.  It is for this reason that they win my award for worst transport experience of the week.

P.s. Don’t forget to email me with your own transport experiences, good or bad!

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  1. Good on them.

    (As an aside, the first NZ company to run hybrid trucks will be doing a very good thing, but I don’t know that anyone is importing or selling them here yet.)

  2. Anti-bus passenger and hence anti-pedestrian company that doesn’t act on complaints – Air New Zealand. Waiting at the Domestic terminal for the bus to Manukau a uniformed Air New Zealand staffer stood next to a no-smoking sign next to the bus stop, and lit up. She wouldn’t remove herself when asked politely to leave so I took a photo and sent it to Air New Zealand complaints. I got no response. That is really, really piss poor Air New Zealand, and I’ve already caught a train instead of flying because of it. So yes you do lose business to not acting on complaints. Next time to Australia I’m going Qantas.

    1. Not wanting to throw petrol onto the fire but your anti-smoking tirades are getting extremely tiresome Matt. They’re just not relevant to this blog.

      On topic, interesting to see the proposed Ponsonby Central market is advertising for people to walk to their store and leave the fuel vouchers at home.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Alan, and apologies to the administrator of that site for (unintentionally) copying their concept. That’s probably a good source of material for subsequent posts.

  3. My turn Dunbar Sloane in Akepiro Street, Kingsland for customers parking on the footpath. It’s amazing how the width of the footpath neatly matches a car width with enough space to open the doors. Also Black Grace next door I’m watching you as well if your van can’t fit all the way into your loading dock your doing it wrong.

      1. If you can fit a car on it then it must be a parking space. It seems people have no problem blocking pedestrians, but refuse to clog the street and heaven forbid slow the passage of vehicular traffic. In the central CBD it is equally about avoiding feeding the meter.

      2. Maybe we should auction off public car-parks? It’s actually not a bad idea when it comes to off-street parks. You could run a Dutch auction to get the lowest possible price wherfe demand = supply. But that’s off-topic on my own post :).

  4. One bad one I have seen is McEntee Hire in Lincoln Rd, in the morning Central Park Dr is pretty congested with queues often back to Tony St, about 450m from the intersection with Lincoln Rd. Instead of waiting in the queue, I have seen their vehicles driving down that distance down the shared off road footpath/cycleway on the northern side to get to their premises (the path is concreted and about 3m wide). That cycleway is well used as it is the main route from Massey to the NW Cycleway so it is really just asking for trouble.

    Also on Central Park Drive there is an on road cycleway heading west (on the southern side). There don’t tend to be many cyclists that use it in the morning peak as they are going in the opposite direction but even if they did want to use it they wouldn’t be able to as cars just stop and wait in it as there were two traffic lanes.

  5. Au-contraire Peter,

    Matt has a valid point – which is this – if you want us to make better transport choices and get more PT users – then consider that most of the population don’t smoke and/or do not want to be near smokers.
    And therefore it makes perfect sense from a PT point of view that you do something about catering to them and not the (decreasing) minority who do smoke.

    Example: A really big reason my wife won’t use PT is for exactly the same reason as Matt complains about:

    Smokers and particularly those types who stand upwind at bus stops/bus shelters/train stations or hang around the doorways near Britomart (or worse – smoke in the shelters) do so willy nilly with no regards for other PT users (or pedestrians) – even when signs and common sense say No Smoking, they do.

    The stink and burning butt on the ground lingers long after **they’ve** caught **their** bus/train. Leaving us other PT users to wait for our bus with their parting gift still lingering.

    I’ve noticed too that these folks when they get off from the PT, often light up so quickly (as they alight), that the smoke gets thrown back into the PT vehicle as well. Forcing those still inside to take a good dose of second hand smoke along with the PM10s from the bus/diesel train.

    Yes, its currently not illegal to smoke in the open air or near doorways and entrances.
    But then neither is spitting on the footpath, yet most of us don’t do that out of consideration for others.

    Consider this – most of us in this country do not smoke – and even if for those who did/do smoke – most of those folks also don’t want smoke everywhere around them.

    Smokers all have a choice as to whether they smoke or not in a considerate way, and the rest of us have a choice over whether we use PT or not.
    One out of place smoker at a bus stop etc can make a whole bus load of people vote permanently with their feet to use cars from then on.

    So, yes take a deep breath (of smoke free air), and while doing that, look around and take a holistic approach to the whole concept of getting better PT experience for the majority of the population – thats the way you make PT work better.

    And isn’t that the point of this place – doing exactly that?

    1. Yes, thanks Greg. You get it. Air quality, lack of tobacco controls, quality of life, and PT usage are linked. And if I go on about it, is because I’m frustrated that no one else sees it, acknowledges it, or does anything about it. Yet for a number of people it completely controls how much they can participate in civil life.

  6. I reported a metrolink bus driver for poor driving, unsafe lane changes, and dangerous driving 4 weeks ago, I gave specifics of time, bus location, bus number, position of lane changes and have heard nothing. I probably didn’t expect to but have followed up, so have retained the details and will be reporting it to the police on Monday if I don’t get a response.

    1. Better to complain via Auckland Transport/Maxx than direct to NZ Bus, (or if its really serious to the police).

    2. If you forward me the details I will follow up on, I also support you lodging a complaint with the authorities. No-one in my business is above the law.

      Zane Fulljames
      CEO NZ Bus

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