The big winners from investment in high quality urban Transit are of course drivers. They benefit from all the people making the rational decision to choose other ways to get around freeing up the roads for those who need or choose to drive. The numbers choosing to make this shift depends on the quality of the alternatives, as is shown by the huge and ongoing rise in ridership in response to the upgrade of the rail network this decade. A boom in uptake that completely caught officials and transport professionals by surprise. Here is the Ministry of Transport report to the Minister as recently as October 2014:

OCT 2014

And of course the road freight industry should understand this too; their productivity will rise with every switch from driving to alternative systems in cities. 77% of all vehicles are private cars, so enabling a reduction in private car use, especially at the peaks, is likely to be more cost effective way of speeding truckies and tradies than spending 10 of billions on more roads which simply incentivise more private driving on all roads. Especially as this spending squeezes out opportunities to invest in complementary networks. This is the contradiction at the heart of the RoNS model, especially for urban areas; using all available funds to induce more driving, because traffic is congested.

Auckland needs better alternatives to driving not alternative roads to drive on. For drivings sake.

From this morning’s Herald, Drive. Dr Anil Sharma, Porsche enthusiast:

Herald drive Sept 15_800

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      1. That’s correct. When I abandoned my membership a few years back, I got a call from the retention team – asking me why I quit. I said to them that I’ll remain a part-time motorist, but I cannot support them being so against anything Public Transport – so I voted that way. I saved a few dollars along the way. And their ways of thinking are changing ever so slightly. A long way to go though for them to get it.

  1. Steve C – can you state more on the AA getting it please? If they are getting it this will be an important lever for promoting PT, especially promoting the benefits of car drivers of people using PT. They have a regular magazine. Any chance of having an article on ” The benefits to Auckland Vehicle Drivers of Better PT” -with facts on this?

    1. Sadly the senior executive of the AA have reverted to type in their advocacy after a brief moment of reflecting what their members in Auckland said. Possibly because they are a national body and of course the PT and Active modes as a benefit to drivers is much less of an obvious issue out of the cities. But also there is a feeling that they are just stepping back into line with the government position, especially with regards to Auckland Council, where their publicly expressed views are strangely on-message.

      Disappointing. I was very encouraged by the act of actually properly polling members in order formulate policy, I guess it was too much to expect that act of democracy to last.

      1. If the AA start talking too much about public transport then the government is liable to stop listening to them concluding that they are “out of touch”

  2. Apart from their break-down service which must retain much of their membership AA seem to be an organisation looking for a reason to exist. They have got themselves in all sorts of peripheral activities of doubtful merit and they are poor advocates of the best policies of Auckland motorists.
    And if you are the original possessor of recent model motor-car you will be receiving a sellers warranty and breakdown service and possibly free servicing for a 2 or 3 year period. Re maps etc. – buy them at any stationers.

    So who needs the AA, unless of course your vehicle makers/dealer contract the breakdown service to AA.
    Personally I gave up on them years ago

    1. AA are doing all the right things to support their primary constituents where “services include roadside breakdown assistance, exclusive AA Smartfuel offers, insurance, finance, travel and a range of motoring services and advice.” They also have a foundation funding ‘road safety’ research.
      To expect their advocacy to be anything other than driver centric is asking a lot and the glimmer of hope Patrick alluded to above was just that, a glimmer. I imagine they were very effective advocates in their day when motorists were in much lower numbers to those who traveled by horse, buggy, tram and train.
      They may yet re-invent themselves to becomes players in the coming era of non-ownership and electric cars but given their offer and business model is heavily geared to discounts on petroleum products and insuring privately held assets I doubt it.

      1. I agree that the AA were a meaningful and effective organisation in earlier days and were particularly beneficial in the beginning of the motoring period when roads were basic and route information was important. One of my great uncles in Wellington was proud to be President I am told.

        But in this day and age I don’t need the AA to hold my hand with regard to insurance,finance,travel agency, vehicle advice or petrol supply offers at the same time as they clip the ticket. When I dropped my membership I thought their Magazine was rubbish. If they still have one it may be better now – I don’t know.
        To me the AA are a completely superfluous organisation

          1. If members find they get value from membership of the AA that’s good for them and fair enough. It’s about choice.
            I found benefits in AA membership in the 1960’s and 1970’s but not after that period – was then bombarded for some time with commercial deals which frankly didn’t interest me. I retained my membership for some time through inertia, before finally deciding I wasn’t receiving value for money and exited.
            I am sure the break-down service is a key component of membership retention for the AA and a security factor for many drivers.

            I guess nowadays, I wonder whether at Board level, the AA see all these new cars coming into the country as a “more membership opportunity” to support AA’s commercial activities, or whether they see the increasing congestion in Auckland as detrimental to existing members ability to travel by car. One thing I do know is that you can’t build your way out of congestion in NZ’s only city of scale, because we have been trying this option for the last 50 years and it hasn’t worked.

            So what is the AA’s Plan B?

  3. Hang on, what’s the benefit here? Lower peak congestion (travel times) or just not quite as bad as it could otherwise have been?

    And since I’m not stuck in traffic do I get a benefit too?

  4. MOT report of 2014 predicting the western line only becoming a problemin2030 is an indication of very poor projections. What is there relationship to the CRL link advice for the Minister of Bridges? I wonder if the NZTA authority has offered any similar advice?

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