I can’t say I’m normally one to watch Mike Hosking but I noticed this video and after seeing it, felt it deserved a response.

We’re wrecking roads for a mere 2% of people who catch busses – it’s utterly scandalous. Here’s some truth: Kiwis don’t like public transport!

So, I thought I’d go through his comments and look at them in more detail.

The transit lane or the bus lane is an ideological scandal designed to either raise revenue and/or get you out of your car. Now the belief is if they slice out massive chunks of road that the bulk of us actually want to use to get about the place, if they slice out these massive chunks of road that will make it so difficult to commute or do business we will give up and acquiesce to their mad experiment.

No Mike, transit and bus lanes are about allowing our roads to be more efficient and productive by moving greater numbers of people (as opposed to vehicles) within the same amount of road space. It’s simple maths really, a car carrying 2/3/4 people moves more people than a car carrying one and a bus carrying 50 people carries more people than the number of single occupant vehicles that occupy the same space. To highlight the productive, Auckland Transport provided this graph showing the impact bus and transit lanes have. Admittedly it’s not great visually and would be much better if it talked about the number of people that can be moved rather than a vague productivity number.

So yes, AT do want more people using buses in bus lanes, it allows them to move more people in the same amount of space.

Now there’s a transit lane in Royal Oak, which is a part of Auckland, that brings in $557,000 a year in fines, $3,000 per day, what does that tell you. Well yes people are breaking the rules, but why are they breaking the rules, because the pencil pushers at the council have sucked you into believing that buses are good and you should be on one. But if you’re not going to be on one they’ll rob you.

Bus and transit lanes all have general traffic lane beside them. No one is forcing people to break the rules drive in bus or transit lanes. It only happens because people are impatient and believe they have a right to drive where they want. And those that do so, and get caught, it was their choice to pay voluntary tax.

As for the Royal Oak transit lane he mentions (Manukau Rd), an update to the Auckland Transport board report for May notes that in the morning peak, bus travel times have almost halved from 29 minutes to 15 minutes while there’s been a 3 minute saving in the afternoon peak. They also noted that bus usage has increased by 20% while there are also more T3 vehicles being recorded.

There’s a lawsuit being threatened in Christchurch over a cycleway. Local businesses say it will destroy shops and wreck Linwood Village because people can’t get access to them anymore because of that cycleway

Businesses all over the world say this all the time and they’re consistently proved wrong. In fact, time and time again it’s been shown that the addition of bike infrastructure increases business for local shops

And to prove all of this, here are some numbers that expose the lie around public transport. The Transport Outlook: Current State report, yes that’s called, as released by the government tells us the following, 53% of us drive a car, 26% of us are passengers in a car, 17% walk, 1% cycle – so that shows you what a waste of time cycleways are, 1% are on motorbikes. Now add up all those numbers and how many do you have left for public transport, 2%. So, we are wrecking roads, hijacking the majority for what, 2%, it’s a scandal.

The report he refers to is the one we highlighted yesterday and the first thing to note is that the report actually says PT is at 3%. This adds up to 101% due to the rounding on some of the other modes. Regardless, when it comes to talking about this subject, he couldn’t have picked a more irrelevant number. The 3% based on PT use across the entire country, that’s as irrelevant to the discussion of PT in Auckland as arguing that New York doesn’t need its subway because of how many people use PT in Wyoming.

It’s also worth noting where the mode percentages come from. The Ministry of Transport previously conducted an annual Household Travel Survey. Basically, they’d select a few thousand people each year and ask them to record where, when and how they travelled for a week. The data was collected annually but is aggregated over three years to iron out some of the annual variation. The data above is for the 2011-2014 years as the survey hasn’t been conducted since then. More importantly it represents the results of just 25k people over that three-year period, but just over 5,200 (21%) of them were from Auckland. So less than Auckland’s population. Wellington is also under-represented while Christchurch is way over represented with more responses than Auckland – and post-quake when everything was disrputed.

While it has its own flaws, the 2013 census Journey to Work data suggests up to 9.9% of Aucklanders used PT for that purpose, and that doesn’t count uses for other activities, such as getting to school or shops etc.

And what does it cost to create these transit lanes, these bus lanes, how much planning and painting and enforcing and goes on, probably at least partially covered by the millions of dollars in fines. But when was the last time you heard anyone question any of this, far less toss a few facts into the mix. We are so PC these days we simply accept councils who have been hijacked by the public transport lobby, that what they say is sensible, or logical, or indeed even true.

Yes, lets toss a few facts into the mix. Bus and transit lanes are corridor specific and they generally only exist at peak times (not long enough in my view) and off peak there normally isn’t too much of a congestion issue.

Unfortunately, AT didn’t provide me with details of all bus and transit lanes as they say they are in the process of compiling a report about them, but they did provide a few examples. The first is the Onewa Rd T3 transit lane, one local drivers often complain about. The second is Fanshawe St, the main entry point to the city from the North Shore. It has two general traffic lane and one bus lane along it in each direction. Here are the results.

We know that most transit or bus lanes have over 50% of the people in them at peak times. Across the entire city centre we know that more people now enter each morning peak by public transport than they do by car, as a driver or passenger.

Fanshawe St in the morning, lots of full buses and few cars

Further, let’s not forget what the government said following ATAP, or have they too been hijacked by the PT lobby?

ATAP notes, when talking about access to the city centre “This means it is imperative over time to move more people in fewer vehicles. This requires a continued modal shift towards public transport, walking and cycling.

Or what about Steven Joyce who earlier this year said in a speech:

There is no getting away from the fact that central Auckland is built on a narrow isthmus which makes it hard to get around – and the available land transport corridors are rapidly being used.

So beyond the current building programme we are going to have to look at demand management to reduce the reliance on the road corridors, in favour of buses, trains and ferries.

Here’s the truth, we don’t like buses, we don’t like public transport, we like cars and cars need roads. I keep saying it, why do people keep turning up to the opening of tunnels and roads, because we like them. Why do we buy more cars per head of population than just about anywhere in the world, because we like them.

If people don’t like buses and public transport, why have Aucklanders kept voting for mayors that have stood on platforms of vastly improving public transport. Why have, in independent surveys, they continually asked for more investment in PT. Some examples include, this UMR survey (image below), a Stuff commissioned poll, and even the AA’s polling showing strong support from members for better public transport.

As for people turning up to openings of tunnels and roads, they also turn up to the celebrations to launch the new electric trains, upgraded stations and other organised events. Perhaps people just like looking at new stuff.

Nothing wrong with the debate over buses and trains and lanes and zones, if you love them, advocate for them, but having advocated, realise you lose, you’re wrong, the battle is lost, the numbers tell the story, 98 beats 2.

Wait, just before you were saying that the numbers show the debate is over. Further, if council’s have been hijacked by the PT lobby, doesn’t that mean they’ve won the battle, or at least winning it?

If he wants us to live in a car paradise, I’m sure he will be supporting of his taxes increasing to pay for all the new tunnels that will be needed.

Share this


  1. Call his bluff. Increase the numbers of buses running through them so they can’t possibly be argued as being unused. Someone needs to tell Mike that the more people in buses, the fewer cars between him in his Ferrari and wherever he is going. I don’t begrudge the bloke for having a flash car (I’d have one in a heartbeat) but at some point he needs to understand this is in his best interest too.

    1. You only need to go to Fanshawe Street to find full double deckers stacked six deep at the lights. I don’t think logic comes into this, its myopic people who don’t know any better than to drive lusting after the idea that there is uncontested lanes out there, and jealous that they can’t use them.

  2. I am sure Hosking contributes a great deal to Auckland’s hot air and CO2 output. That said that kind of incoherent rant I’d also expect from Quax, Wood and Brewer (although he seems to be embracing rail recently).

    Simply put a bus full of passengers takes 50 cars off the road while a fully loaded 6 car train takes 625 cars off the road.
    Comes down to simple math

    1. Yep and the people who listen to him are never going to be convinced by any amount of evidence. It is ideological opposition and Hosking’s attempt to dress it up as evidence based is just laughable.

      1. I listen to him, doesn’t mean I agree or disagree with everything. Just have to take everything with a grain of salt, but most people realise that with hoskings

  3. Wow … whenever I have the misfortune of watching Mike’s rants I’m always amazed by his ignorance. Which made me wonder: Is Mike even a journalist?

    As discussed in these blogs, Mike is a bit slippery on this topic:

    Regardless of whether Mike is or is not a journalist, the evidence seems to support the hypothesis that he’s an ignorant buffoon with an supersized shake of the old ego stick.

    1. Hosking isn’t a journalist – he’s a talentless “celebrity”. In the small pool that is NZ he’s a big fish. Not because he deserves to be but because the incestuous media world he inhabits draws most of its content by talking in excited tones about how good it and its members are.

      Instead of keeping his head down and thanking his lucky stars that he enjoys the lifestyle he does despite said lack of talent Hosking genuinely seems to think he is a populist intellectual instead of the small minded, petty, self-aggrandizing egoist his every utterance shows him to be.

      He should be irrelevant but unfortunately the big fish/small pond thing comes into play.
      However this time surely most people can see the emperor is standing there ranting start bollock naked.

      1. Fully agree with you. Would like to know where Mike gets his info from and if and how he correlates that information.

  4. I love cars, and tunnels, but there is nothing I hate more than being forced to drive by Auckland’s 1950s road-only history. I want choice and easy ways to take PT when I want. Mike is from a different era and although aging men are allowed a rant they also need to have an open mind if they are to stay relevant.

    1. Same. I used to live in San Francisco and although they have the slowest busses in the country because they stop on almost every block, you find that everyone uses them… because they stop on every block. Now, I live almost within sight of Onewa Road but it’s a 25 minute walk to get to the nearest busstop on it… and so most days I’m better off just driving in (at 6:30am before the traffic gets bad) and ironically getting my walk done on a treadmill in the city instead. It’s going to take a fair amount of investment for our busses to not simply be a slightly more nuanced version of our rail problem (i.e. “it’s great, but only if you’re in the small subset of Aucklanders who can easily get to it”). If there was a busway station at the bottom of Onewa, I’d be on PT every day.

  5. Mike Hoskings is very, very close to the National party – in fact, he is basically a North Korean style political officer for the government.

    Does anyone doubt that this outburst is what Joyce, Bridges, English and Brownlee etc etc really think in private about PT in general, and that he is expressing the elite right wing opinion that explains the hostility to PT in Auckland from this government?

      1. Because Auckland Council and the polls basically forced their hand. If it was up to National they would get rid of all rail in this country.

    1. TBH, I don’t really care what Joyce, Bridges and Brownlee think in private, I only care about the policies they put in place, which in my opinion have been a failure. Politicians have ‘swallowed dead rats’, to steal a phrase from Bill English for centuries if they get to stay in power.

      I’ve no doubt Joyce and Brownlee hate spending money on the CRL and cycleways but in a poll driven party they know they have to support them.

  6. Take Hosking’s rant as a warning!

    The concerning thing is Hosking is a National Party man who doing some sounding out for them. The misleading research reeks of National Party 101 on maniplulating opinion.

    This is what they truly think, make no mistake, the loathsome Judith Collins said as much on bike lanes a couple of years back. But to distance themselves they get a tool like this fucktard to be the mouthpiece, you know, run the colors up the mast and see who salutes.

    Ignore the attention seeking script and read between the lines, should National be re-elected, expect more hard right pro car freedom and far less support for PT!

  7. People like Hosking would never take public transport. They miss out on meeting other people and overhearing or joining in the often happy conversations. This is how a good community operates.

  8. The “Bus/Transit Lane Corridor use at Peak Hour” graph is misleading. The title doesn’t correspond to to the variables. Ie. is the graph of “Onewa Rd T3 Lane” only for the T3, or is it for the whole Onewa Rd, including general lane, and also westbound direction too? Same for “Fanshawe St Bus Lane” – do we really have 2000 cars on the bus lane in the morning? And why are we counting cars vs buses, rather than people? If we are to advocate for PT properly, we need to be careful with how we represent data in the graphs. Otherwise, we become another Mike Hosking’s ridiculous calculation of 2%.

      1. Actually I think it’s people, not cars. Would be good to update it to show the number of lanes In question.

    1. Yes actually agree there. Is that graph saying there were 1,000 people in T3 vehicles in the transit lane? Or is it saying that 1,000 people were moved in the general traffic lane while 1,600 people were moved in the transit lane.

  9. Even if you do accept his ridiculous stats, wouldn’t it make sense for 2% of NZ’s roads to be bus lanes, and 1% of NZ’s transport spending to be on cycling. Great, start building then…

    1. Agree and right now we don’t even spend an amount in Auckland on cycling that is in line with the low mode share.

      But isn’t there also an argument that spending should be aspirational? So if we want Auckland cycling at 5%, we should spend 5% of the transport budget on cycling.

      If we want PT at 20% mode share then spend 20%. Right now roads take about 95% of trnsport spending with a lot of that just fixing the damage from all the vehicles using them.

  10. The reason that Christchurch is over represented in the Household Travel Survey is because the local council paid for extra samples. And just like a political poll of 500 NZers is still statistically useful, a sample of 5200 Aucklanders is also quite an accurate reflection of the whole population.

    1. I don’t think the argument was that 5,000 wasn’t statistically significant. The argument was that the study was likely to under represent PT use by under representing people in the two centres with the highest use at that time.

      1. There are sampling techniques that can be used to account for things like this, e.g. weights. It is, in fact, a fairly standard practice to try and over-sample certain strata because otherwise you’d get “too few” units from them (e.g. if you had a simple random survey of 1000 people, if you wanted to look at a subset of that population which is only around 10% of all people you’d have just ~100 such individuals).

        The point is, depending on what they actually did (I have not checked), there’s no reason not to treat the 5200 Aucklanders as anything other than a large sample of Aucklanders, nor any particular reason to think they haven’t used appropriate methods when trying to assess the country as a whole.

        It’s still completely bollocks to assess local policies based on conditions for the entire nation… unless you believe (a) this one particular locality is the nation in miniature or (b) all localities are the nation in miniature (imagine the nation is 2, then a would correspond with 1, 2, 3 and b 2, 2, 2).

  11. OK I get what you are saying and if AT did things based on how many people are actually moved that would be great. Problem is they don’t. They do things based on whether or not they want to do them, not based on real demand. North Shore put in a T2 on Constellation Drive heading towards the bus station in the morning and away in the evenings and AT have kept it so it is now their problem. The issue is the actual demand for it was in the other direction in each peak. If someone had counted they would have known that. Making decisions on a theoretical carrying capacity rather than likely demand is just plain stupid

      1. Is only a problem 7-9am and 4-6pm outside of that Constipation Drive actually flows quite well. Problem is that as mentioned above they only have those T2 lanes in one direction. Needs to be in both directions during those times.

        1. Nah bullshit, those one or two parked cars clog my buses right through the middle of the day. It’s pointless, the area has minimum parking requirements up the wazoo, so why have on street parking on the arterial leading to the motorway and the bus station.

        2. I drive along there on an almost daily basis (and have often taken the bus along there too), like I said outside of those peak times the road flows quite well. It is so wide that even with cars parked there there is still effectively a mini-lane (whilst too small for a bus, does mean that the whole road flows), where the jam is inbetween Parkway Drive and the motorway which doesn’t have any parking anytime anyway.

        3. The jam is caused by motorists racing up the side, seeing the car parked, then forcing their way into the flow of traffic. Screws up both lanes. Anyway, I don’t care much for the traffic, I think the buses alone deserve their own 24/7 lane. Make it bus only if you don’t think traffic is a problem.

    1. Those lanes are so dangerous as well. Both T2 lanes are just wide enough that a car can squeeze past a parked car and often there is only one or two cars parked the whole way down. AT really should ban parking on one side and make the road permanently four lanes or reduce the width of the carriageway so that it is impossible to use the T2 lane if someone is parked in it.

      1. It looks wide enough to have two general lanes, two permanent T2 lanes as well as cycle lanes in each direction. As you say they just need to get rid of the commuter parking.

      2. Interesting point Sailor Boy. That could quite possibly work. Remove all parking on the Northern Side of the road and shift all the lanes across slightly (and put a cycle lane in there too). Then as you say you could have 4 lanes (make 1 in each direction a permanent T2), flush median, cycle lane in each direction and still maintain some parking.

        1. Why bother with street parking at all, there is supreme shit loads of parking at every property along the way.

        2. There have been a number of studies on parking in the area – and also at Parkway. AT seemed to decide there were no issues but parking across that area is clogged by overflow from Constellation Station.

          In addition the T2 lanes need to be extended in the evening at the very least as it was found that the pm school run is the busiest time of the day

  12. I couldn’t put myself through any of his programs.
    After the news I’m over to the project.
    He must have shares in oil companies. Last time i put myself through that pain he said electric cars will be a flop.
    And claims we are all more prosperous then we have ever been.
    It’s a shame his show is after the most popular News hour.

    1. It’s worth remembering that even the most popular news hour is only watched by around 15 % of the population. The majority of us don’t bother watching either news.

      1. Agreed. I totally gave up on our so called evening “news” nearly 5 years ago, as per the Herald and as per anything radio claiming “news”, ZB, Live,Mediaworks, etc.

        The internet and at best RNZ is where news or current affairs comes from for me.

  13. The presences of Hoskings name in the headline makes the “idiotic” redundant. We all know everything that spews out of that guys mouth is idiotic

  14. How dare Hosking hold a different opinion to those of this forum. Can’t have that in a democracy.
    I’m sure the hysterical ramblings on here will convince commuters to see your point of view.

    1. I’m fully with you here.

      I fully disagree with Mike on this particular issue, but he’s no ‘idiot who thinks he’s popular’. He IS popular, one of the most watched TV figure/ most listened to radio figure in NZ. Just because many of the readers here disagree with him don’t give you the right to launch personal attacks on him.

      Please argue with facts, not hurling childish insults.

      1. Actually being ‘popular’ doesn’t stop him from being ‘an idiot who thinks he is popular’. A stopped clock is still right twice a day, in Hosking’s case it’s the two times a day that he says he is popular.

        P.S. the article never calls him an idiot, merely describes his actions as idiotic. The author, unlike me, is only willing to describe his actions, not the man himself as idiotic.

        1. If anything, the tone of the comments of Hosking annoy me. Sure, they’re just his opinions but to publicly parade such silly notions as the implication of not having public transport, is just silly.
          Having said that, he knows with his popularity, there will be some who agree with him. And that proves there are many others who are silly too.

      2. Well theres the thing about Hosking, he’s “popular” because his publicist says so kind of thing. His ratings are in the shadows of RNZ. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/82627601/Bloody-marvellous-John-Campbell-and-Morning-Report-lead-RNZ-to-a-ratings-resurgence

        And where Paul Holmes was popular and likable and enjoyed or at least tolerated by most, genuinely, (he had is detractors of course), Hosking is utterly detested by plenty. And if I was spending my advertising dollar I would think twice about him being anywhere near it because a fair chunk of my intended audience despise him.

        Well not unless I was marketing tobacco products, guns or consumer items for the truly self centered that is!

    2. I think the problem is that he is using statistics in a deliberately misleading (or perhaps uneducated) way to back up his point of view.

      1. A bit like a photo above which supposedly shows (I don’t know how you can tell by the photo)
        “lots of full buses and few cars”.

        I could take a photo there and show no buses and lots of cars.

        1. Ha! You could take a photo lots of places and show no buses and lots of cars. That’s called a car-dependent city.

        2. The article also provides evidence on the numbers using buses and cars along this stretch of road – 5000 in one lane of buses and 2000 in two lanes of cars. The photo is just a visual aid, it’s not the vital evidence.

    3. I don’t think you understand how democracy works. People have a right to their views but others have a right to disagree.

      Nowhere above does it say Hosking isn’t entitled to have his opinion, or to broadcast it. This blog simply states a different point of view, in a way that is notably more calm and fact-based than Hosking’s original rant.

      1. “Idiotic bus lane rant”.

        “Wow … whenever I have the misfortune of watching Mike’s rants I’m always amazed by his ignorance. Which made me wonder: Is Mike even a journalist”?

        “He is basically a North Korean style political officer for the government”

        “The presences of Hoskings name in the headline makes the “idiotic” redundant. We all know everything that spews out of that guys mouth is idiotic”.

        “I’m glad to see that the worldwide supply of dickheads isn’t restricted to Sydney.”/

        You’re right Nick ” This blog simply states a different point of view, in a way that is notably more calm and fact-based than Hosking’s original rant”.

        1. I’m not seeing the contradiction there? One is talking about the comments, and one about the blog.

        2. I don’t see the problem here. I support Mike’s freedom to say what he wants. However i also reserve the right to judge and evaluate and express my opinion on what he says. In this case , he comes across as an ignorant buffoon. Case closed.

          In terms of his credibility, i think evidence of past behaviour is also relevant. When people have tried to hold him certain journalistic standards in the recent past, he pulled a swift one and stopped referring to himselfas a journalist.

          Once again, he can say what he wants, but we are also free to evaluate what he says.

    1. Keeping our eyes on your daughter as a possible contributor to present a child’s point of view post sometime? I detect a sense of humour there, in “I asked three people in my family what they thought”… she’d give a few people in the media a run for their money. Well done to her.

  15. Mr. Hosking’s comments are fantastic. Think about it for a second. This is the best the anti-PT people can come up with. The goal of this blog and many others is to improve PT in NZ. By presenting logical and clear arguments in favour of PT the debate has greatly shifted. Now the arguments against PT are now so easily defeated we are in a great position. These will be the talking points that the anti-PT people will raise but with clear evidence we can point out that their position is not supported by facts.

    1. More importantly, blogs like this change our reality by cutting through the kind of tosh that people like Hosking peddle. Think of the number of projects and initiatives which are better for this debate – it’s a pretty long list.

      Mike might have a big influence on the opinion of a certain sector of society, but that sector (old, rich, landed) is increasingly headed towards being a minority.

      Mikes biggest failing is that he simply can’t see where this is going, and is dooming himself to irrelevancy. Who can forget his classic prediction of the recent U.K. election…? He just doesn’t seem to be able to read the tea leaves any more.


  16. Can you guys be a little more open-minded and sympathetic to what Hosking has to say? For example he says that 1% are cyclists – wasting cycleways. This is so true – from where I work I can see the Nelson Street cycleway and during a day there are less than 10 people who use it. If you revert it back to parking then at least 15 people can use it during the day.

    1. At least cyclists could push a bloody button rather than run the cycle phase all day when there is no one there.

      1. Put a button there and cyclists will push it, have no doubt. But don’t blame the cyclists for lack of a button. If planners install badly thought through cycleway features, then any faults are the fault of the planners, not the users.

        1. I don’t blame cyclists, I blame idiotic cycle advocates and the halfwits at AT that listen to them. All the while queues of cars are longer than they need to be and emitting more pollution than they need to. Some numbskull thinks that is ‘green’.

        2. It’s strange that it only seems to be the Victoria Street intersection where this happens too. All of the other ones have beg buttons (Upper Queen Street, Pitt Street, Wellesley Street, Quay Street, Alten Road, Grafton Road, Beach Road). I’m really looking forward to the Victoria Street linear park being built too so that the intersection footprint drops right down.

        3. Or we could be adults and allow the cyclists right of way for the whole cycle, and allow vehicles to turn left for most of the cycle provided they give way to any cyclists.

        1. Just put a detector loop in with a white dotted line to indicate where to align your wheels. That’s how its done in Wellington (cycle advance boxes + Vic St separated lane).

      2. No, and we notably leave cyclists stranded at intersections where they don’t get a phase until a car comes up to trigger the sensor. Must run a survey on how many push buttons and sensors for pedestrians don’t even work, too. Good luck trying to cross Great North Rd near Moa Rd, for example. Would love a set of barrier arms installed with sensors for cars that work “sometimes”.

        1. If you can see the lines where the loop has been cut into the road, try aligning your wheels directly over them.
          Usually works for me.

        2. There are a lot of intersections where this doesn’t work. I found a pair of sensors in Hamilton less than 2 years old that still don’t pick up bikes.

        3. Must vary by council then, assumed loops were all pretty much the same. Time for some standards then …

    2. I’m reasonably certain that well less than 1 % of the countries road surfaces are cycle lanes and well less than 1 % of the transport budget is spent on cycling, so no I’m not particularly sympathetic with Hosking’s argument.

      I think it is safe to say more than 10 cyclists use the Nelson St cycle lanes every day.

    3. I’m intrigued and would like to know if you’ve observed the cycleway during the commuting period, particularly the morning peak, when I’m expecting it may it gets used for the downhill direction more than the uphill direction.

      Other than that is your observation supported by the cycle counters that have been installed?

      It could be that you’re correct, but longitudinal evidence would be needed to support your claim.

    4. “Can you guys be a little more open-minded and sympathetic to what Hosking has to say? For example he says that”

      “1% are cyclists– wasting cycleways.” This is false: 2.9% of people who commuted to work did so by bicycle http://nzdotstat.stats.govt.nz/wbos/Index.aspx#.
      12% of people cycle at least weekly and another 18% cycle at least a few times a year, therefore, 30% of people are cyclists. https://at.govt.nz/media/981846/AT-Active-Modes-Research-Report-June-2013.pdf

      “This is so true – from where I work I can see the Nelson Street cycleway and during a day there are less than 10 people who use it.” This is false: on average 395 people per day used the Nelson Street cycleway in May

      Being as open minded as possible Hosking is still completely full of shit.

    5. n.b. I read the correction after writing, but see also the disclaimer

      1% is unlikely to reflect the pool from which the Nelson St cycleway is drawing. Similarly, unless you’re paid to count its cyclists, we have to say you’ve underestimated its usage or you’re a terrible employee because you spend so much time looking out the window: I choose to believe you’re not. I think a different example makes the point clearer. Imaginef I want to build an amenity in Drury… it would be stupid to use figures from Auckland as a whole to justify construction. It would be even dumber to use national figures. After all, the user-base will be from Drury and surrounds. Yet, it’s still questionable if this is even a relevant metric… maybe we’re interested in a normative vision that my amenity should exist regardless of existing demand.

      One of the big things with visions is path dependency. Say we have a normative vision that we want 50% of people to cycle to work and the other 50% to use jet packs. The issue is that, at present, we have apparently 1% cyclists and 0% jet packers. To reach the situation we actually want to be in, we have to move from the one we’re in (path dependency). Furthermore, the decisions that people make are dependent upon the options available to them (i.e. in the present). This is the crux of induced demand (turns out, if you build it, they really will come because now they have that option and this changes their thinking)… as well as canalisation… a choice becomes an obligation (the water gets stuck in the canal).

      In the context of transport, we don’t really want to achieve canalisation, but that is pretty much what happened with cars. Sure, public transport options were kept alive enough, but the erosion of choice is definitely something that we can agree happened, right? Keeping the Nelson Street Cycleway might have nothing to do with inducing demand to help achieve a specific normative vision (e.g. my plainly absurd example) but rather everything to do with preserving choice (an abstract normative vision).

      Or, put another way, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature… which means the focus should not be on the thing but rather why it exists… it may even be the case that the cycleway isn’t buggy enough by that reasoning (e.g. we should probably extend it so Nelson St is all cycleway, for the purposes of my absurd example).

      *disclaimer, the present analysis could not tell you where Nelson St is, let alone tell you why it exists, these are generalised remarks

    6. Do you have data supporting your claim that only 10 people a day use the cycke way?

      I think the last stat i saw said use was into the hundreds, so either there’s something wrong with your eyes or the cycle counter is counting ghosts of macbeth.

      With regards to hosking: no, i can’t be sympathetic. Why? Because he’s a professional who gets paid for this stuff, not a citizen expressing his views. I evaluate his comments in that professional context. He is also someone who in the past has ducked and dived his journalistic responsibilities to suit his agenda. For this reason i have no sympathy or respect for his views (which, by the way, are not very respectful in the way they are advanced!).

  17. Even if Hosking is only 15% of the watching population (and I’d doubt that figure – nearly all old white folk watch One News religiously, every night), he still has a grip on the nation, and those old white folk predominantly vote National. So you need to tackle him there, not here. Those folk aren’t reading this blog. Ask / demand / take the platform on his show. Be a special guest, and go through and refute all his anti-bus bullshit. I’m sure you’re already on the phone to him – hammer it home. Go for it people!

  18. I think of cycle ways as a safety barrier from cars trucks etc, its just a bit more space. And that space saves lives nothing more. It’s no different to the safety barrier in the middle of the motorway, and let’s be honest less then 1% use that, well who wants to.
    And if the cycle way wasn’t there, parked cars will likely take its place,
    So not only do i need to find my way past the usually slow cyclists but will have to stop and wait while people try reverse park.

  19. I had to watch this to see what the common idiot thinks. The mind boggles. What a dick. I can’t believe BNZ want to be so prominently associated with this drivel.

  20. Tomorrow the trains and buses are going to be full of many community spirited people going to the city
    People like Hosking won’t be going because the highways will be crowded.
    There will be limited parking
    The car people will complain and demand more highways.
    There will be a very happy feeling amongst all of us.
    I will get to talk to some strangers and there will be much joy.

    1. Along with sitting on vandalized trains whilst putting up with South Auckland thugs.

      I enjoy riding the train but certainly don’t enjoy the thoroughly bad behaviour of some of its users.

      And when it comes to going out at night, public transport is my last choice.

      1. I have traveled by bus and train for years, day and night and never see the problems you see.
        I see most people thank the driver when they get off.

      2. Vance – those are often symptoms of wider societal problems.
        Cars get vandalized also (stolen, burnt out, windows smashed). Doesn’t stop people owning cars and driving. Houses get robbed and vandalized, once again, doesn’t stop people owning houses. I also enjoy driving sometimes, but I don’t enjoy the thoroughly bad (and sometimes shockingly dangerous) behavior some other drivers exhibit.

        So your comments work for so many other examples in life/society. Not just public transport.

        1. I suspect the vast majority of people owning cars have gone to the trouble of insuring them against criminal behaviour. They know there is a distinct enough likliehood of befalling victim too nefarious activity that they are prepared to pay for insurance against theft of their said metal box.

        2. Yes I understand insurance – And perhaps the trains have insurance against vandalism too?

          My point was more that ‘South Auckland thugs’ vandalizing and causing disruption, according to Vance, are not just found on trains – therefore I would say it is more a societal problem rather than a public transport problem. And I didn’t understand his point, so I was highlighting that it didn’t really make any sense.

        1. “better people”? …on the basis of where they live? Please explain this interesting philosophy.

  21. Hosking will have the luxury of somewhere to park his car every day too which is no doubt a reason many have to use public transport.

  22. I’ve just submitted a complaint/feedback via the BNZ website regarding their support for this latest Hosking rant. I encourage you all to do the same.

    1. Great idea about the complaint submission to BNZ regarding their support for Hosking’s show – I’ve submitted one too. Hopefully they receive enough feedback to make them reconsider their investment option.

  23. TVNZ is not taxpayer funded, some of it’s shows are but not Seven Sharp. It is taxpayer owned, but that is quite different.

    Seven Sharp is paid for by advertisers.

  24. Jezza arrh… It it supposed to be state owned to represent a real important service to the state. Being real informative information not some nut job on 90% of the time. NZ is about to be invaded by Russia . Sorry you failed morally NZ. refer back to this post in a week …

  25. The thing that everybody forgets is that Hosking is a troll.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    The unfortunate thing is that he has come to believe the hype about him, generated by his undiscerning employers.

  26. Am I the first one to wonder how many times Hosking has been fined for driving in the transit lanes? “Why won’t you commoners get out of my way”, he thinks. Sort of a less entertaining Jeremy Clarkson.

    Or it could all be an act. This stereotype of the blowhard, anti-PC, opinionated mad-uncle is being copied by TVNZ from almost every channel in USA and Australia. The concept is getting tired. It appeals to the ageing demographic that hasn’t deserted TV for Netflix. You kids get out of my lane!

  27. I agree with Hosking 100%, for a family like mine with 3 school age children public transport is completely useless. Transit/Bus lanes are a complete joke, as are cycle lanes. More motorways and more tunnels for me thanks.

      1. Phew, thanks for explaining. I didn’t think someone could read this blog and so totally miss the concept of induced traffic. 🙂

        1. everyone understands the concept of induced traffic but this blog seems to completely over-inflate its effect and size. adding an entirely new section of motorway would only create a very small fraction of its capacity as induced traffic. Whereas adding bus lanes to a road, over the course of a 24 hours period, constricts the capacity of the road by almost 50%.

          probably doesnt fit your narrative but…. https://www.cato.org/blog/debunking-induced-demand-myth

        2. Adding bus lanes adds capacity to a road. It allows high capacity vehicles to move quicker, which increases the capacity of a road.

        3. Capacity, thats the issue. if 1. there are buses and 2 if people are actually using the buses. for the most part during the day are empty or are parked up. Also normal AT procedure is to increase the width of the flush median and then add parking along the bus lane when out of peak so the road is completely stuffed for the majority of people who use it.

        4. Most of Auckland’s bus lanes are only peak hour so I’m not sure what your point is regarding empty buses during the middle of the day. During the peak hour most roads with bus lanes will move more people by bus than by car, have a look at the Fanshawe statistics above.

          Regarding parking, I generally agree with you, don’t see why arterial roads are used to store private possessions.

        5. Sorry but you use all credibility when you use an article by Randal O’Toole to support your position. he is an outlier in the transport area and very few transport/urban planning professionals outside the Cato Institute agree with anything he says.

          He hates public transport and cycling. I would be interested to know how much funding the Cato Institute gets from the motoring institute or fossil fuel industry.

        6. So looking into it, the Cato Institute was founded and is funded mainly by the Koch brothers, who are well known right wing fossil fuel advocates and some of the wealthiest people in the USA.

          It is far from an independent body:


          I do agree with the article on road pricing. Definitely a great way to manage congestion. But you need alternatives like cycling or PT to make that work.

        7. i think you will find that most people in Auckland prefer cars (fossil fuel advocates) and don’t like public transport and cycling being forced on everyone to the detriment of car users and roading performance.

          Just because the Cato Institute isn’t supported by Cycling and Public Transport advocates doesn’t mean they have no credibility.

          also, citing another urbanist/socialist blog to debunk the original article isn’t too impressive

        8. Henry – So how do you explain the massive growth in PT use and cycling over the last 10 years? Or is it all part of the green conspiracy? Are people being brainwashed into using the bus or cycling?

          You do know that until 1955 this was one of the best PT cities in the world. Then the government “forced” a car oriented city on the people of Auckland.

          Many, many surveys over the years have shown that a sizeable percentage of Aucklanders do want good PT and the option to cycle. Luckily they are now being given that.

        1. Oh dear. That’s unfortunate. I have two children and I use cycling and PT to get around with them all the time. Have you ever tried? It really isn’t that bad and the kids love it.

        2. Greg, it would be worth looking into how induced demand works, then, because what the motorways and tunnels will do long-term is not in the interests of your children. There is a cycle of improved travel times, followed by a slow change in behaviour resulting in increased traffic, until the congestion returns, then further ‘improvements” are added, and the cycle continues. The result is a city with more cars and more roads separating people from the places they want to be. Extreme cases are revolting, and every motorway Auckland builds takes us closer to complete car-dependency.

        3. heidi, you sound like you have never heard or considered any opinion that is different to your own argument, you and the other blog regulars just keep banging on about induced demand. Do you actually know anything about the technical aspects of traffic engineering and planning? people are entitled to their own opinion and not everyone lives next to or is able to utilise the perfect PT arrangement. i think Greg is perfectly placed to know what is in the interests of his children.

          Roads help the majority of people get where they want to be in the mode and method that they want.

        4. Henry, an alternative argument is that policies of not pandering to the so-called “needs” of traffic and instead channelling effort into building and maintaining a comprehensive public transport system, have been proven again and again to work in many cities of Europe. No-one forces people to abandon their cars, although they are often heavily restricted in central city areas, but a priority is made of ensuring that the PT alternative is as widely available as possible so that people have a CHOICE. For many decades transport policy in Auckland has largely denied people that choice and the result has been a city environment degraded by traffic, much of which needn’t be there.

    1. Greg – no one is denying you the right to drive, and yes it probably works better for you. No one is going to force you to use public transport or a bike.
      But not everyone has three school age children, not everyone wants to drive everywhere. Some people want to use public transport or a cycle. And they are entitled to their fair share of road space and transport spending.
      If you don’t think we should allow anyone the choice, why is that exactly?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *