In an interview on Saturday morning’s The Nation, Mayor Phil Goff revealed that the government will be making an announcement on road pricing this week.

But the thing is just because they see and understand that, that’s not making them give you more. And the thing is with the Alignment Project, by about right now, you guys are supposed to have come up with an agreement on how you’re going to fund it. So have you reached an agreement?
And the short answer is that my—
The deadline is nigh.
What I said to the Government was that we need two things – we need some degree of revenue sharing. You know, if you go to Australia and you look at a big – let me finish, please. If you go to Australia and see a big city like Melbourne, where do they get their money for infrastructure? The government – the federal government – puts down to the state government a share of GST. We need something like that for a city the size of Auckland in New Zealand.
Have they agreed to that?
No, no, but they are still considering that. The second thing we need is a road-pricing system. Now, next week, you’ll hear an announcement from Government on road pricing. I don’t want to comment on it, because I can’t pre-empt the Government’s announcement.

….

No, this is really important. So a road-pricing announcement – that’s going to come next week. What form is it going to take? And when you say it’s not going to help you in the short-term, how far off is it?
Oh, look, I’m going to leave it to the Government to make that announcement. And you’ll see my comment in response in due course. It’s not my role to pre-empt it. But we have been having these discussions, and they’re serious discussions.

It’s good to see some progress on this, as ATAP highlighted road pricing – or smarter transport pricing as ATAP calls it – needs to be a cornerstone of Auckland’s future transport strategy. This is best illustrated by looking at the “network performance” graphs in the ATAP document, which show the impact of pricing being implemented from the late 2020s:

There’s pretty strong international agreement that road pricing is a worthwhile exercise to pursue. However, implementation has been really challenging around the world, mainly at a political level, with as many failures (Edinburgh, Manchester, New York) as successes (London, Singapore, Stockholm). Other than just not wanting to have to pay to travel, the main issues with road pricing generally relate to concerns over mitigating equity issues, the availability of quality transport options for those facing higher costs of travel and the costs and complexities of the scheme itself.

ATAP was rightly cautious about the time it might take to get such a scheme up and running, particularly as the option tested in ATAP was a very sophisticated “GPS-based” scheme.

Seeing some of the details about the next steps will be important and interesting. Some questions in my mind include:

  • Will there be an actual proposal suggested or will the announcement just be about establishing a project to look into options?
  • What is the timeframe for implementation? ATAP had about a ten year horizon, however, Goff’s comments on it impacting medium term could suggest something much sooner.
  • What work will need to be accelerated to vastly improve Auckland’s public transport system before implementation? London, already a city with a huge PT system, massively expanded its bus lane network and bus service provision before implementing what is a fairly tiny cordon/area scheme.
  • What will the links between this work and other essential work on resolving the transport funding gap be? Most recent road pricing work in Auckland has had a revenue focus and there remains a massive unanswered question about funding, so there’s a natural link between the two that cannot just be ignored.
  • The government have made comments in the past that road pricing could replace some existing transport taxes, will this remain the case and will they ensure that the money raised from Auckland is fed back into Auckland and not just added to the combined government pot.
  • Knowing that road pricing will be implemented, at what point does that start to be included in all of the assessments and forecasts for upcoming transport projects – and how will that change prioritisation.
  • While not strictly related to the road pricing announcement expected this week, the cities that that seem to have the best success with implementing road pricing or even just additional transport taxes (e.g. LA, Seattle) tend to be able to communicate clearly and effectively just what any money raised will be used for. Will the government, council or the various transport agencies ever be able to effectively communicate this?

Keep an eye out for more on this once some of the details are announced later in the week.

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69 comments

  1. The announcement will be they have established a project to look into it over the next ten years.

    We need a solution now, not in ten years time.

    Plus there is no guarantee it will work.

  2. Can you guys explain why road pricing increases the *raw* number of jobs accessible <30 minutes? I'm interested because intuitively I can see that road pricing would increase average speed during the period, but it would do so by reducing the number of people using cars, so you'd see a change in percentages, not raw numbers.

    I.e. if you taxed it such that only 1 person could afford the toll, average road speed would be super high, and 100% of drivers would be within 30 minutes. But the above graph seems to show an increasing # of jobs accessible which would suggest *more* people driving.

    1. Jobs are still accessible by carpooling, resheduling commutes outside rush hour, PT, walking & cycling. School holiday traffic shows a small change can greatly improve speed. A GPS scheme is the holy grail. We should copy as soon as another city gets it working.

    2. Geometrically the area accessible within x minutes grows exponentially with speed. But speed and throughput on a road is non-linear (U-shaped actually), a small decrease in throughput can result in a very large increase in speed (i.e. knock 10% of cars of the road and you could get a 100% speed increase).

      So small reduction in number of cars on the road > large increase in speed > exponential increase in the area accessible from a given point.

        1. No, they don’t. They show a raw increase in the number of jobs accessible to one person within a fixed time by car. There is no commentary on whether this option would be popular.

  3. Road pricing won’t work. For political and equity reasons the price will be set too low and won’t impact on demand.

    1. Yes that’s a risk, because it can only work if it is priced high enough to change behaviour. So it quite literally has to hurt, and there will be political mileage to be made opposing it. That’s what sunk the NY plan, the State gov overruling the city, representing the drive everywhere outer suburbanites…

      1. And thats why it never could have existed in Auckland prior to the Super City formation.

        Because before then we had a bunch of balkanised councils each running their own little fiefdoms and refusing to contribute to the greater good of the region by allowing such things to happen.

        But now we have the Auckland Council and the Auckland region being the one and the same [pretty much], we don’t have to let the mean spirited council(lors), and/or MPs dictate the future to us.

        The only thing stopping this happening now, is lack of legally sanctioned tools to allow councils to force us to pay a user charge for using the roads beyond the existing blunt tool of the rating mechanism.

        A regional fuel tax would be a good way to kick start the whole thing, by allowing councils to borrow for the capital cost of setting it up by using the projected and almost guaranteed income said fuel tax will raise. Then down the track once the benefits start accruing, the fall in fuel tax income can be topped up from needing to spend fewer rate $s on projects that the reduction of traffic the congestion charge has meant are no longer needed at all, or that may be delayed for a decade or more.

        Of course we need the PT system to be working with some capacity headroom, and right now we don’t have that luxury, so we cannot simply “do a London” overnight, we need to fix the PT up, but that doesn’t need a decade to do. 2-3 years should be enough.

  4. Population growth has continued to outstrip projections included in both the last LTP and ATAP. This has contributed to additional pressure on the transport network through added congestion, significant pressure on housing and, for council, on the supply of infrastructure to support new housing development. Work on the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy has also identified close to $20 billion of investment (including state highways) required over the next 30 years just to service greenfield development.

    quote context: http://pllqt.it/9iPfWA
    Source: Finance and Performance June 17 population growth – Page 9, Paragraph 35

    And

    Mass transit network investigations
    Auckland continues to face serious transport access issues involving the city centre, the inner suburbs, the Airport and the south. Auckland Transport is working to determine an effective public transport solution to this issue. Investigation and design of potential mass transit solutions continues and requires $10 million of increased operating budget in 2017/2018.

    quote context: http://pllqt.it/GQMokB
    Source: Source Finance and Performance June 17 population growth – Page 7, Paragraph 25

    So things seem to be accelerating including pressures on key parts of the City
    Government response? Dither

      1. You mean what Joyce should have done in Budget 2017?
        First things first – set up a State Infrastructure Bank and advance $4.25b to get housing and critical infrastructure going: https://voakl.net/2017/05/30/budget2017-auckland-redux-growth-needs-support-of-the-government-rather-than-government-being-allergic-to-that-support/

        Which projects then get off the ground on the transport front from that $4.25b? Southern Airport Line, NW Busway, Pukekohe electrification, AMETI (I think AT are dropping their half rather than NZTA) and the Third Main to Pukekohe.

        This is debt funded from Central Government so is done immediately as road pricing is set up.

  5. Goff came over as assertive and appeared somewhat frrustrated with govt lack of support for Auckland. His point on govt GST take of $280m from CRL cost was well made.
    I hope we see some effective road pricing that gets the revenue Auckland needs

  6. “Knowing that road pricing will be implemented, at what point does that start to be included in all of the assessments and forecasts for upcoming transport projects – and how will that change prioritisation.”

    Yeah this is what interests me as being the first area where we will see a real impact before it actually gets implemented. Road projects that purely increase the capacity of the existing network are likely to be downgraded in priority. PT projects that efficiently utilise the existing road network (in part or in full) are likely to be upgraded.

    In terms of timing, ATAP seems to say a couple of different things. It assumes implementation from the late 2020s (ie in the agreed package), but it recommends in the report a more agressive timeline for implementation, more in line with Goff’s “medium term” comment.

  7. Yes proper GPS based system longer term, but I still think we need a system that can be set up quicker in the short to medium term i.e. toll gantries leading into all directions of spaghetti junction. Perhaps stepped chargers to prevent people bothering to avoid them. Say $1 point further out then $2 closer to the central area rather than one $3 charge point. Could use existing NZTA toll system. Profit to go to Auckland of course.

    1. +1, we could easily charge on the ten or so roads off of the isthmus, or charge at every motorway on and off ramp, or charge a CBD cordon fee, or an isthmus cordon fee.

  8. David Lupton wrote an article about congestion road pricing last year. The article described how congestion road pricing could be the lynch pin in reforming NZ’s urban growth to meet multiple needs -decreasing congestion, improving housing affordability, encouraging intensification/decreasing sprawl….

    The article was republished here. https://medium.com/land-buildings-identity-and-values/cities-are-the-future-35b4eeb54bcd

    David has long thought about congestion road pricing following a meeting with the economist William Vickrey many years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Vickrey

    1. Thanks Brendon, the David Upton article has given me food for thought… I had to chuckle in the discussion of Municipal Utility Districts – what a useful way forward for people wanting to more responsibly treat their wastewater, for example. Or build their own community-scale wind generator.

      On waste, there’s the experience of the parts of Auckland that had set up their own extensive recycling systems yet were forced to drop them and become part of the (lesser quality) wider Auckland waste system. Now AC has shifted and is encouraging public participation in waste recovery systems.

      But maybe the MUD’s are only about new, expensive developments rather than grassroots movements for change in existing ones?

      1. Yes Heidi -done right Municipal Utility Districts could drive innovation and increased environmental benefits. I also think Municipal Utility Districts would frequently be transit oriented developments as congestion pricing would be a push towards that sort of development option. Congestion pricing would also be a push to intensification in areas with good walking, cycling and public transport options. So it would be helpful to liberalise intensification options as much as possible.

        A whole package of interlocking reforms are needed.

        With Municipal Utility Districts in greenfield areas -I think developments should be required to have a minimum of 20-25% of the land area as street space (currently 18% in Auckland’s core and 13% in suburbia) and a minimum of 100 intersections per sq km (so a corner every 100m on average) for active transport modes -walking, biking etc (currently 72 in Auckland’s CBD and 41 in suburbia). This means that new urban areas would be capable of growing into high density mixed use urban areas that can sustain good public transport and active transport modes through a porous urban environment.

        See rationale here
        http://mirror.unhabitat.org/downloads/docs/StreetPatterns.pdf

        This would be a completely different ‘sprawl’ to how Auckland developed its cul-de-sac, car dependent suburbia in the post WW2 period.

        1. According to that the average street width in Auckland is just under 13 m.

          How is that possible? With a couple of exceptions in the CBD, the minimum width of a street seems to be just under 15 m. Maybe it’s measuring only the roadway, or only the roadway + footpaths?

        2. Another interesting article, thanks. So in this idea, liberalising intensification options wouldn’t be a market-led approach; there would still be control such as the street space land area and intersection density requirements. Would you go further and put requirements in for how that street land should be used? Transit-oriented development won’t just happen; providing plenty of roading capacity would work against it due to the subsequent induced traffic. So a development with direct and logical cycling, walking and public transport networks, but with limited, indirect low-capacity traffic design, would enable the transit-oriented concepts to actually come to fruition.

          For reasons of food security, food sovereignty, and good health arising from connection with our food sources, it would take a lot to convince me that any agricultural land should be used for housing. Having state-of-the-art ecological utility provision in these exurbs would be what I’d need to see, so they can be used as models for other areas of Auckland, at least as far as retrofitting becomes possible. But it would be possible and imperative to ensure the new greenfields developments would add absolutely minimal traffic flows in the rest of Auckland. Otherwise, focusing on intensification – which we need anyway – seems preferable.

          Thanks for the info – my brain is still mulling it all over.

          1. Heidi I am also still mulling it over too : ). But my thought about in particular the 100 intersections (for active transport modes) per square km requirement -is this induces people to use alternatives to the automobile, rather than inducing greater automobile use.

            I will explain by example.

            Say there was a an urban development that was 1km by 1km in size (100 hectares), going through the centre was a central boulevard road capable of taking BRT or LR (so perhaps setting aside this space should be a mandated requirement too). From this main boulevard -no point in this development would be more than 600m for a walker or cyclist -as they would walk/cycle 50m on the boulevard to a corner and then at most go 500m in a straight line to the edge of the developed area, turn another corner and go another 50m.

            Thus having a high *density* of roads and intersections encourages higher density developments and better use of urban spaces. It expands the effective catchment for walking, cycling and public transport.

            If the number of intersections is halved -as has historically been the case in Auckland -walking and cycling distances increase significantly. This creates facts on the ground which permanently favour automobiles over public transport and active modes of transport.

  9. If congestion can be eased by road pricing then surely it can also be eased by parking charges. In the six years that I have worked in the city early bird pricing has increased from about $12 to about $24. During that same period northern bus way and train usage has increased spectacularly. In the case of the bus way nothing materially has changed over that period.
    My strong impression is that AT car parking sets the restraining base level holding increases back. Most of my clients say that they park at AT facilities because they are substantially cheaper and that is my experience too. Why should AT subsidise parking to an area that is known to be congested? AT pay for local roads so why is there need to subsidise parking too?
    I’ll say it again because I never tire of reflecting the almost complete commercial incompetence of the huge car park in Takapuna at $7 per day when the commercial operators are at $14 for limited early bird parking.
    Yes Mayor Goff needs help from the government to sort out the mess that is Auckland transport, but he also needs to clean up his own back yard too.

    1. 100% agree. I can’t see any reason for AT to own any long term parks. Short term parks debatably encourage more people to shop in the city so may have some merit.

    2. There is a “social good” element to AC (via AT) owning car parking buildings.
      Councils built these parking buildings decades ago to manage the stream of SOVs flooding their streets, as on-street parking for all was not a realistic option. So it was a simple response to “MOAR CARS”.

      Do you think Queen St would have got rid of most of the on-street car parks without such buildings being nearby? No, what would have happened is all those office buuldings would all have massive car parks beneath them, all sucking in and disgorging traffic onto Queen St instead.

      Nowadays, smart councils realise they can use these building as a weapon tool to actively trade off on-street parking spaces for similarly priced and available off-street ones in the buildings it operates/owns.

      Doing that then allows them to put bus lanes and other priority measures on such roads without needing expensive widening work on roads. In some of the more recent situations AT has done exactly that – reminded/forced local businesses to accept that there is equally as good (and usually cheaper) parking available nearby for them and their staff and customers to use. So they cannot expect AT to maintain to provide on-street parking everywhere ad infinitum. So there is therefore room for that bus lane without them losing the front of their shop to a widened road.

      Sadly Christchurch Council is yet to follow suit, and is in the throes of ripping up newly finished roads to put back on street car parks. Due to the lobbying and legal threats by local businesses.

      In the old days, when businesses used to pay a much higher rate than householders, it was seen as “right” by business owners to on-street parking for “their” customers to use.

      Now that the historic “rating differential” situation is being peeled back in Auckland at least that argument for special treatment no longer applies [thats if it ever did].

      Although many business owners have yet to get the message on that one. Simultaneously many are welcoming the “rates relief” without accepting the equally related “benefit reductions” that it entails when you pay less rates.

      Most of the off-street parking in Auckland is actually not controlled or owned by AT, so while they can set the base price for parking in an area by their charging, but there is no guarantee the private operators will all follow whatever AT does.

      But whats the point of a cheap or otherwise car park anywhere in Auckland if you cannot get to iti?

      So thats why congestion charging is more important as it has far wider spread of influence than the “spot pricing” Council parking charges can influence.

      It can have an effect at a much greater distance than the 1km or so an AT parking building can have.

      So congestion charging is actually the better tool for getting cars off the road. Its just that politicians and the technology are not very up with the play yet and so weare left doing the same old “fiddling with parking charges while Rome burns” like we always did.

      1. Respectively the author of “parking buildings as social good” might have been Hans Christian Anderson. This social good has never (or is yet) to be) applied to Auckland City. Despite parking buildings being clustered around Queen St there is not one cm of bus lanes on that street. Largely there are no buses on that street either.
        And Albert St never had true bus lanes either. I can still remember travelling from the Civic end of Albert to Fanshawe, a journey which invariably took twenty minutes; on Friday always 30; and as much as 40 minutes.
        Also, these AT buildings do not service many large buildings on Queen St, because they do in fact have large parking buildings underneath, or behind them, but they disgorge onto rear streets such as Elliot St. (nb this is a shared street except when the carpark is filling or emptying when pedestrians take cover).
        As the “social good” seems to have failed Council should unload these assets if they don’t have the will to price them correctly; or they don’t produce an acceptable rate of return on capital.
        And if Council is inhibiting growth by imposing parking restrictions then they should definitely go. For example, I believe that the main reason that private developers are not prepared to develop the old gasworks site in Takapuna is that they would be required to provide many levels of public parking. At the current rate of $7 per day, of course they would never embark on this. The bizarre thing is that bus routes to and from Takapuna start only 300m away.

        1. +1, if the council don’t want cars on Queen Street then we can either ban vehicle crossings, ban cars, or price cars away. We don’t need to spend millions of dollars a year subsidising motorists.

  10. I can’t see how it’s fair to charge for a resource we are all subsidising, with the specific goal of preventing some people (poor people) from using that resource. In my view you either have to fully privatise or at least get a return on investment like any SOE if you want to limit access to a public resource.

    1. Well isn’t the point (at least in part) that we stop subsidisation of certain road users by other people. Roads space will always be rationed, we currently rating by queuing and “contesting” people off the network. I don’t see how the current system of rationing is any fairer than a price (actually it is the opposite) and it is certainly less efficient.

      I agree that getting a return on capital is desirable.

      1. I would think most poor people would rather have the chance to use it even if slow rather than being forced onto our terrible PT system which will most likely take much longer. Would you feel good about your tax paying for something you can’t afford to use?

          1. Are you suggesting that the congestion charges will cover all costs of building and maintaining the roads as well as providing a reasonable return on the original investment made by all taxpayers? It’s going to be quite expensive!

          2. In the short term the price will be set by the market clearing rate, whatever that is. Whether this represents a good return on capital on historic investment or not is essentially irrelevant as those costs are sunk. In the long term, new investment will only be made where it can be estimated that a market return on capital will be derived from the users of the new facility. Which, if you assume the marginal cost of providing additional road capacity is higher than the average cost then taxpayers will be getting a good return.

          3. “new investment will only be made where it can be estimated that a market return on capital will be derived from the users of the new facility.” – so never then? Can you think of a single road project in Auckland that would have a good BCR if it was tolled?

          4. Jimbo – my understanding is that congestion charging would replace fuel tax and RUC, so it would be cheaper than present for those that drive out of peak and more expensive for those that drive during peak.

            I imagine by the time this is implemented our bus network will be quite a lot better than it is now, so there will likely be more options for those who are priced out of driving.

          5. ““new investment will only be made where it can be estimated that a market return on capital will be derived from the users of the new facility.” – so never then? Can you think of a single road project in Auckland that would have a good BCR if it was tolled?”

            Exactly; we wouldn’t waste so much money on roads if we did this.

          6. Jimbo, amarket return on capital is the minimum requirement for investment in the vast majority of NZs economy outside health and education, for good reason. Why should land transport be any different.

        1. “Would you feel good about your tax paying for something you can’t afford to use?”

          my taxes already pay for roads that I can’t use because they are too congested to yield reliable journey times.

          1. So if we were to take it to the extreme, let’s say make the congestion charge $10,000 a day, and let’s say only one person can afford that; is it fair that one person is getting exclusive use billions of dollars of public assets and land for $3.65 million per year? Unless the congestion charge delivers a good return on public investment as well as pays any capex and opex, then the paying users are being subsidised by those that can’t afford to pay. The rich are being subsidised by the poor.

          2. Both the current situation, and your proposal are clearly unfair and inefficient uses on public assets. Let’s say that the clearing price on the Newmarket Viaduct were $5 and only applied in the rush hours. (7-9am, 4-6pm) Then we raise $50m a year. This covers the construction cost in less than ten years.

            We can then invest that money in construction of other transport capacity in the area, whether that be new roads, cycleways, or public transport. So, at least in this case, there is no subsidy by the general taxpayer to the peak time user.

    2. “I can’t see how it’s fair to charge for a resource we are all subsidising, with the specific goal of preventing some people (poor people) from using that resource. In my view you either have to fully privatise or at least get a return on investment like any SOE if you want to limit access to a public resource.”

      Please explain why it is acceptable to charge for use of the electrical distribution network, but not the transport network under this logic.

      1. I don’t know how exactly the electricity network is paid for but I imagine the costs are 100% covered by the users. In the case of road charges we will end up with people’s general tax and fuel tax being used to pay for roads that are then deliberately rationed for the well off. It’s more like the council gifting a lot of land and money to the ritz hotel.

        1. It’s more like the government building a heap of electricity generation and distribution capacity (roads) using taxes and then allowing the charging of a connection fee (fuel tax/RUCs) and a usage rate (congestion charging). The only difference is that I’m pretty sure the government sold the generation and distribution infrastructure for electricity/

    1. Ooooh,

      A plan, to set date, by which, we will set a date of when road pricing is coming?

      Sounds like typical election year “spin control” due to bad polling numbers to me.

      Look like you’re doing something really serious and important, while simply kicking the can past the next election.

      And in private only they’ll admit that:

      Next year, we’ll give the whole problem to a multi-agency committee headed by Nick Smith, who will come up with some dynamic & innovative solutions in due course. Meanwhile we mustn’t try and pre-empt the committees findings eh?, by you know, doing something that might work or be different just in case its a wasted effort? We wouldn’t want to be seen to be wasteful now would we?

  11. If we are to ration road use by road pricing I like the idea (as they apparently have in Stockholm) that big SUV’s (and trucks) pay more as they take up more road space, whether moving or parked, than say a Mini.

    It seems to me that too many motorists drive these “Tanks’ around every day when they only need them twice a year, when they take their trailer load of rubbish to the tip!
    Maybe I should count the ratio of SUV’s to ordinary cars outside the local primary school around 3 pm next week………………

  12. There are many comments about the regressive nature of road pricing, which is easily fixed
    -> GPS can be used to charge more for shorter trips from more expensive suburbs
    -> all charging can be paid by accounts linked to IRD #s, and a progressive pricing structure can be put in place

    1. Equity is my biggest reservation about road pricing. Have other places tried either of those two mechanisms yet?

  13. I am uncomfortable with tolls as they are another tax but the thing is its not prepaid like fuel tax either and here in lies the problem.

    Taxes have the most impact on those with the least money. In Auckland cheaper rent means further and further from the centre of Auckland, meaning more reliance on cars. Tolls will hurt those who can least afford it, and an open door immigration policy to garner growth and Labour competition to get reelected is not their fault.

    So the low paid rack up toll debts, then what, take their drivers license away, send in the debt collectors?

    Tolling sounds so good in theory but long term well thought out central government policy is better.

    And I just know tolls will be seen as a cash cow and the PT offered will be the bare minimum.

    1. The poor are least likely to use SOVs, least likely to be rptravelling at peak time in the peak direction. Notwithstanding that, the revenue from tolling can be used to increase the progressiveness of the income tax and transfer system.

      1. “The poor are least likely to use SOVs, least likely to be travelling at peak time in the peak direction.”

        Any links about that?

        1. No, I’ll admit, but the poorest don’t work, don’t own their own cars, are more likely to do shift work or are more likely to work in peripheral industrial areas. Yes I would need some data to show how significant this is… let me google that…

        2. Not a direct answer to your question, but the recent Christchurch bus survey report gives some good info on who uses buses down here:

          https://api.ecan.govt.nz/TrimPublicAPI/documents/download/2951990

          Basically people on lower incomes are over-represented on the buses. I’m not sure if it’s the same in Auckland or not.

          Any road-pricing scheme which reduces the share of roading costs that PT users have to pay, would certainly benefit this bunch of lower-income earners.

      2. Could you really make our tax and welfare system more progressive? It’s already getting to the point where there is almost no point in working harder (or at all) because of all the benefits, supplements, working for families, etc.

        1. We already have one of the lowest personal income tax levels in the world. How low before some people stop whinging about contributing their share?

          1. Because looking at personal tax rates in isolation without considering transfers is about as meaningful as using arbitrary statements like ‘their fair share’?

  14. If they’re going to work, because you can easily be working and poor in this country, they will be driving at peak which is hours each way.

    And what is a SOV or SOE?

    1. Actually, as far as I know most of the working poor won’t be traveling at peak, because they’re most likely to be doing shift work (cleaning, security, etc). And those are precisely those who most need to own a car, because our currently massively peak-heavy transit system leaves them out. So I would only be comfortable with a road pricing system which – similarly – is massively peak heavy.

      1. It’s still hugely regressive. It will be paid for by people who have been forced to drive – that is, people who have been denied access to frequent public transport. Some, but not most, are shift workers. How to make it non-regressive? The answer, and the necessary partner of road pricing, is blanket access to frequent transit networks for all of Auckland.

        1. That depends on whether it replaces the fuel tax or not. If it replaces the fuel tax then it wont be regressive as those travelling out of peak will pay less than they currently do.

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