People seem to love to compare us to Sydney, it is after all the closest international to Auckland and one of the things that is frequently commented on is the their public transport system, in particular their train system. But there is one area where Sydney has been behind us and that is in integrated ticketing (and I’m not suggesting that we are the model system). Like Auckland, Sydney has had a number of false starts but they are now starting to roll a system out. But this post isn’t about Sydney’s integrated ticketing but about the cartoon below which accompanied an article in the Sydney Morning Herald and which seems eerily accurate for Auckland.

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  1. Interesting story here, and possibly a good example of the grass being greener on the other side:

    Sydney is the fourth-worst major city in the world for transport and infrastructure, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers says.
    In global terms, it would be better taking a train or bus in Mumbai, Moscow, Istanbul, Shanghai or Beijing than travelling here.
    In terms of cost of public transport, Sydney came in last: train tickets cost more here than in any other of the world’s biggest and most influential cities. The study compared the cost of “the longest mass transit rail trip” within each city’s boundaries. The cost of a bus trip was used in those cities without a rail system… NSW’s former chief road builder and rail bureaucrat Ron Christie yesterday delivered a scathing critique of the traffic plan proposed by the head of infrastructure NSW Nick Greiner.

    Mr Christie, the former chief executive of the Roads and Transport Authority, said the plan to build motorways across the west, inner west and south of Sydney was a throwback to 1950s transport planning that would cause further congestion.

    “It is back to the 1950s. It is a real LA-type solution,” he said. He said without investment in public transport, roads would inevitably become clogged

  2. Auckland Transport seems to be only using Australia, UK and certain North American cities as the models for the new rail and ticketing systems. The make-up however of Auckland’s population is now such, that the commuter rail networks of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei, Fukuoka and Tokyo would be the more relevant models.

  3. Rob – not only the make-up of Auckland’s population, but the desire to be the best in the world should see Auckland aim to emulate the rail networks of those cities. There’s a reason why the PT systems of those cities are considered to be among the best… because they are brilliant.

    BTW any reason why you mentioned Fukuoka rather than (say) Osaka, Nagoya etc? 🙂

    1. Fukuoka has many similarities to Auckland – similar population / growth projections, reknown for its public parks and its protection of the environment etc. Fukuoka is currently ranked 12th on the list of the world’s most liveable cities. Fukuoka’s overall commuter rail network config is similar to Auckland albeit there are more subway stations than Auckland will likely ever have. It is also Auckland’s sister city.

      AT would do well to establish and ongoing dialogue with their counterparts at Fukuoka City Hall and with the two rail operators – JR Kyushu and Nishitetsu. Likely because of the language barrier, neither AT nor AC have engaged with the relevant people in Fukuoka to any meaningful level which is a real shame. I speak Japanese fluently and do a lot of rail-based transit media projects in Japan so would be more than happy to setup and oversee an ongoing dialogue structure between the relevant transport organsiations in Fukuoka and AT…if AT are interested at all in moving in this direction.

      1. A good idea, but it seems Auckland is very unwilling to engage with or take example from any city outside the anglophone new world. We’ll follow the likes of Portland, Vancouver, Brisbane and Perth, but never Asia, Europe or Latin America. Shame really.

        1. That’s a real crying shame Nick and it explains thus why commuter rail networks down-under aren’t as good as / will not be as good as they could be. Is there no way to broaden this limited view on things? Very odd it is, particularly given the degree to which both NZ and Australia rely on trade with and investment from Asian countries.

  4. SBB-CFF-FFS just use a mobile app that generates any ticket you need on demand, and charge to your cc. A great way to reduce infrastructure costs.

  5. Perhaps the sister city relationship? Tokyo is the massive system but FUK is a good example of a smaller scale but equally efficient system.

  6. MrV – I often wonder if Auckland Transport is made up of ex- British Rail people….because they are not prepared to pay for highly successful rail people from Swiss Railways or other excellent networks? I note that when I have been to ARTA in the past it seemed like half of the rail team is from ex-BR. Concerns me as Britain is not a world leader in rail..and almost the worst in the wealther EU countries.

    AT – why not employ rail and PT professionals from Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark?

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