Here’s the roundup of some of the things we didn’t yet cover this week.
Dogs on Trains
Back in June Auckland Transport started trialling allowing pets to travel on trains in a three-month trial. However, the rules were that animals have to be “enclosed in suitable pet carriers that are small enough to be held on the owner’s lap or stored under the seat”.
Now AT are taking it a step further allowing larger dogs to travel on trains too.
From this Sunday, 8 December, dogs of all sizes will be able to travel on AT Metro train services as long as they’re wearing an appropriate muzzle and leash. Previously, only dogs small enough to fit inside a carrier were allowed.
Other domestic animals will still have to travel in carriers.
Stacey van der Putten, Group Manager of Metro Services says the trial has gone well. “We’ve had a great response from our customers since the trial started in June. We’ve worked closely with our staff and our operator Transdev to move into this next stage.
“This is another step in making public transport more accessible. There are many Aucklanders who may not have access to a vehicle to take their pet to the vet or to explore our city, this will potentially benefit both the owners and the pets.”
Last year AT made public transport free after 4pm on the last working day of the year. The goal was to encourage more people to use public transport instead of drink driving. The initiative is back and with a nice name – it almost sounds like some sort of music festival.
Following the success of last year’s Home Free initiative, Auckland Transport is making travel on buses, trains and some ferries free from 4pm on Friday 20 December.
As a Vision Zero region, Auckland Transport wants to make sure everyone gets home safely. According to Police the Friday before Christmas is one of the worst days of the year for drink-driving.
Throughout the year, AT works with Police to reduce drink-driving and one key initiative is to provide free public transport before Christmas so that people across Auckland can have a drink after work.
It’s part of the wider ‘Plan not to drive’ campaign being rolled out across the city this summer.
AT say that the number of people using trains during the Home Free period last year was 41,082, up from 15,809 the year before when it didn’t exist. There are no numbers for buses but some services were reportedly up by 50%.
Some key details about this year
This year will be different to last year, where AT is asking for customers tag on and off at stations and on buses. Stacey Van Der Putten says that this will give AT more precise numbers on how many people used transport on the night.
“Our AT HOP team have worked hard to create a zero-fare scheme for the evening, so no one will be charged. If you don’t have an AT HOP card, just see our friendly staff at the stations who will let you through the gates or on the bus.”
If your journey starts before 4pm but finishes after 4pm, this trip will not be free. But all trips starting after 4pm will be free.
‘Plan not to drive’ seems like something we should have permanently and not just about drink driving but for all transport purposes.
Northcote Point Wharf
In June 2018 the Northcote Point wharf was closed after it was discovered that all of the wooden structure elements under the deck needed to be repaired or replaced “due to worm damage, loss of section and rot”. At the time it was estimated to cost up to $1 million to fix. However, AT subsequently found their proposed solution to fix the wharf was unsuitable and so they’ve come up with a new one along with other enhancements to the wharf.
In conjunction with the critical replacement of piles and substructure elements, the project will also provide some amenity improvements for ferry users including additional weather protection, new seating and better lighting. While these additional improvements will enhance customer amenity, this will not create an all-weather facility, and ferry services will continue to be subject to disruptions arising from adverse weather conditions and the wharf’s exposed location.
AT haven’t said what the new cost of the wharf is but it is now due to be re-opened again by mid-2020 and let’s hope it will encourage a few more people to use it than the just 80 per day that did so before it closed.
AT have put out a video about who they are and what they do
One thing it does highlight well is, there are so many plans. One comment that did stick out to me though was about AT being accountable to the council and to their board of directors, but the board is also accountable to the council. Perhaps they should have said they’re accountable to the council through their board.
A few months ago the council consulted on the refresh for the City Centre Masterplan which included major changes such as Access for Everyone and the Grafton Gully multi-way boulevard. This week they announced the results from that consultation and they’re impressive. Overall there were 542 pieces of feedback.
Aucklanders have overwhelmingly supported Auckland Council’s vision for a liveable, green and accessible city centre according to public feedback on the draft City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) refresh.
Results show a large majority (76 per cent of respondents) are in support of the general direction of the CCMP with Access for Everyone receiving 82 per cent support.
That’s a great outcome. Now if the council would just get on with kicking the cars out of Queen St.
Lincoln Rd to Westgate almost complete
The widening of SH16 between Lincoln Rd and Westgate is almost complete with the NZTA have announcing:
Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the third southbound lane and bus shoulder lane towards the CBD will open on Monday, 9 December.
The third northbound lane and bus shoulder lane to Westgate will open a week later, on Monday 16 December.
The 3.5km shared path will open on Thursday, 19 December and extend the Northwestern Cycleway from Lincoln to Westgate.
This was how the project was looking less than two weeks ago
One big issue I have with the shared path extension is that at both Lincoln Rd and Royal Rd, cyclists and pedestrians need to cross multiple signalised intersections to continue in straight ahead. At Lincoln Rd (below) it is 4 crossings and at Royal it is either 3 or 4 depending on which route people take.
Fuel Price competition
Yesterday the Commerce Commission released its report into fuel prices and the government say they’re going to make changes to increase competition.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says the government will act after a report confirms consumers are paying more than what would be expected in a competitive fuel market.
The Commerce Commission released its recommendations today on New Zealand’s fuel market following a year-long study.
It found that New Zealand lacks an active wholesale fuel market and has recommended introducing a Terminal Gate Pricing regime, similar to that in Australia.
Mr Faafoi said cabinet will now look at implementing changes aimed at breaking the stranglehold the big fuel companies have on supply, and encouraging more competition.
Prices have been increasing recently however if you adjust for inflation, the current prices are about the same as the period from 2011 to late 2014
Infrastructure spend up
The government have announced that they’re going to take advantage of low interest rates and spend up large on infrastructure. We won’t get the details of what that will entail till next year but it already has some hoping it will see the government build a bunch of low value rural motorways.
Not all of that extra investment will be on transport but If the government are putting a large sum in, it should go towards projects that help us transition away from the use of oil, not encourage use to use it more. This is something we’ll write more about, likely next week.
One of the projects some are already calling for again is the massive Petone to Grenada route – which has now seen costs increase to almost $1 billion and yet the NZTA are worried won’t even be resilient enough in the face of a large earthquake or even just a large storm.
The debate about the future location port has been bubbling away all week and on Tuesday Ngati Whatua Orakei released their vision for what the land could be used for. Despite how it appears, they say the rail lines approaching Britomart will remain as they are now and instead the buildings will be built on a podium over the tracks. The proposal includes a new station under the podium and just west of The Strand rail bridge.
Our iwi vision for Te Toangaroa/Auckland Port. Hoea to waka kia here ki a matou o Ngati Whatua. Paddle your waka and be lashed to us as Ngati Whatua. https://t.co/ZA8pl0CL8c pic.twitter.com/znMGQ3mvHS
— Ngarimu Blair (@ngar1mu) December 3, 2019
And finally, a little bugbear of mine.
Grrr. A few years ago AC/AT cut out all the silly chicanes in Lowthehurst Reserve (were 3 of them). Now the @NZTAAkl have put them back as part of them taking part of the reserve for motorway infrastructure pic.twitter.com/xkYXC9ccOb
— Greater Auckland (@GreaterAKL) December 1, 2019
RE A4E. Now that it’s obvious we can’t just wait for LR to turn up and sort Queen St any time soon, if at all, it’s clear the city will have to do it itself. And perhaps this is better anyway. So Mayor and council, now is the perfect time, with CRL construction meaning Queen is now at last getting full bus lanes, and heaps of buses, isn’t it time to get the dozy rat-runners out too? Last thing anyone needs is a gazillion buses stuck in traffic fuming the whole city centre up.
Grow a pair Mayor. Is 82% support enough for you to do show some vision, and do the obvious? There’s a plan, everyone loves it, the city needs it. Do it.
The easiest regulatory way of making Queen St is just designate all lanes as bus lanes. Would only require some new signage and new roadmarking.
Also when LR does finally get built, the street already being car free will make that construction a lot less painful.
Yes agree too. At least the bits that perhaps won’t need some diversion with CRL works limiting use of Albert St?
Te Toangaroa/Auckland Port – wasn’t part of the objection to the Port that it would block out the views of the harbour? But putting buildings all over it – won’t that just do the same?
Those building footprints look like Wynyard style 4/6/8 stories, not mega towers. Also note the multitude of waterfront public spaces, streets and lanes. Your view of the harbour isn’t blocked if you are actually allowed to walk to the harbour edge!
NWoO are also proposing declamation of some of the existing port area to increase the total length of harbour edge
Correct. Yet we should be grateful as a city to have the waterfront opened up to us so we can spend billions of dollars to build a barely-used stadium to block up the waterfront we just threw away supply chain certainty over to open up, and Aucklanders should also be chipping in 1/3rd of the cost to move write off their own public asset through general taxation so that NZ First can ride out a[nother] donations scandal by being given an anchor seat in Northland.
I also note the emergence of a slick ‘Move the Port’ campaign which isn’t being that clear on the additional costs to Auckland households from having the regional freight hub in an already congested exurb and the additional delays in getting goods by rail to depot to truck as opposed to just being put on a truck at a port in the same region. Can’t imagine why.
I can see that that continuing to develop shipping operations in Auckland Harbour can no longer continue in the ways of the past, reclaiming the harbour for the new operations and very profitably relinquishing landward margins of their property.
We are faced with a fast growing need for sea freight, and a fast growing city centre with that port located in that very same city centre.
These requirements are mutually exclusive as both require an enlarging footprint.
Changes are required.
There needs to be review what goods needs is best landed in Auckland, what goods are best exported from Auckland, and what goods are best transhipped in Auckland, and the alternatives for each component of the port operation, with alternatives being, expanding other existing ports, and new ports altogether.
Because the Port of Auckland, and the relatively nearby Ports of Tauraranga are the two biggest in the country, neither can be considered in isolation to each other.
It is yet another key New Zealand problem that requires real Central Government leadership not minor party politicking.
Building a port in an isolated part of the country, unnecessarily increasing our supply lines is just dumb.
Apparently the shipping and Insurance companies have ruled out Manukau so the only alternative apart from Marsden Point is the Firth of Thames. I would like to see a map of what is proposed and particularly where the road and rail link will go. My newspaper tells me the preferred site is at the head of the Firth of Thames. I would point out that this is likely to mean the Port will be in the Waikato region. Further more this could put the distance between the port and its users anything up to 80 km away in comparison with 160 kms for Marsden Point Maybe I am wrong and perhaps there will be road and rail links through Clevdon still the distance could end up at 60 kms. But as it is we are just not being given two alternatives to choose from. So no more fancy reports because they just make me want to be sick.At this stage we need a map.
In conclusion I would point out once the container is on the rail whether the journey is 160 km or 80 km or 60 km doesn’t matter that much. I was told once that the success of a a railway depends on what happens down at the station. In this case I believe we need to make sure that the rail road interface is the best we can possible provide. Certainly Tauranga Port with its Metro port at Southdown has shown what can be achieved.
There’s also the point that we don not need to think in terms of “one Port”. Quite clearly, a container port could go in one location, a used-car-carrier could go to a port in another location, with logs in yet another location and dairy in yet another. There’s absolutely no reason to say that all of these products need to come through the same 500m of waterside space.
I’d agree that no one in their right mind would want to sail in and out of the Manukau, as it has an unstable bar and horrible heads to sail through, but they could split up the ship destinations….
There’s no stadium in this plan Buttwizard, just commercially viable development.
But there is a plan for a stadium in this area, even if it is not in this masterplan. Isn’t that the one for a “sunken” stadium where the waves can gently lap up against the stadium stairs at high tide?
The issue is with access to the waterfront, not views being blocked, although by definition not having access makes it hard to take in the view.
This proposal appears to allow public access along the entire waterfront.
“ the rail lines approaching Britomart will remain as they are now and instead the buildings will be built on a podium over the tracks.”
That’s not quite right Matt. I was following a twitter convo with Ngarimu explaining it and their plan is for the tracks to still be a ground level but realigned more to the middle, with a podium of park and plaza built over the top. The buildings all go into solid ground either side, which sounds pragmatic. You can see the green swathe of the middle Park over the rail in the image above.
With that idea off putting the buildings on podiums yes , but the tenants will moan about the noise coming from the rail and trains running through there 18hrs plus everyday . So they may take AT to court to stop the trains ? .
And with this stadium that they propose on the waterfront it could have the same problems as Eden Park and Western Springs as the new peoples that will move into these apartments will moan about the noise and all the people that will attend the events happening there . And then Auckland will have another dead duck on their hands .
So instead of building a waterfront Stadium spend the money on Mt Smart and turn it into a large multi purpose Stadium for all sports and concerts , as Mt Smart is in an industrial area with no residental close by .
It’s also in the middle of nowhere and no closer to a train line than Eden Park. You’ve just shunted the problem down the road so it’s no longer Mt Eden’s problem and handed ratepayers a bill for the pleasure.
The real answer is changing the law so existing activities at places that have been used for decades for recreational activity are protected from complaints from residents who moved into the area recently and have put the screws on nationally significant places until they become nonviable. If you don’t like stadiums, don’t move next to one.
In fairness Eden Park has never been a concert venue so this would be a new activity, existing neighbours didn’t move in next to a concert venue. Also the floodlights were installed in 1999 so anyone who moved in before that didn’t move next to a venue with night events.
I agree though Eden Park is the best option for a stadium but neighbours need to be fairly accounted for in any use changes.
Also they could double track a section of the Onehunga line and then build an elevated spur to Mt Smart .
And I agree with you about changing the law to stop the moaners . If my memory serves me the Eden Park trust board owned most of the property’s around Eden Park to stop the complaints , so if you moaned you lease was terminated . So that way they kepted control of the complaints .
And Eden Park was never a national stadium until it was expanded in 2010, and not even a stadium until it had big stands built in 1960 etc, etc, until you trace back to when it was just a local sports field built on a drained swamp. That is when all the surrounding houses were built, when it was just a paddock that locals played cricket on in the summer.
You can’t just keep expanding and extending the thing from a suburban playing field to a national stadium and tell anyone who objects that each extra step was always there.
Nick – the houses don’t make objections, the people do. That change took decades to happen and the bulk of people didn’t live near by, but I take your point on the slow expansion over the last 100 years relative to the last decade. However, there are similar forseeable issues on the horizon with Pukekohe and someone has already had a crack and shutting down Whenuapai. Simply relocating everything someone new to the area can object to out of the city will result in a city with nothing in it – laws will have to change at some point.
Similarly, someone will ask the question about whether the $2bn+ a Waterfront stadium could cost us would be better served buying out a few thousand of the surrounding houses around Eden Park, bowling them and converting the area into a mix of parkland and development that is flagged as being unable to object to noise. Then you’d have both the inner city intensification AND the national stadium in a place where the vast majority of (valid) noise complaints are no longer an issue.
“You can’t just keep expanding and extending the” roads “and tell anyone who objects that each extra step was always there.”
Yes but by that logic you should expect an every increasing radius of people should move out and not live in Sandringham every time the stadium gets bigger, brighter or later.
I mean shit, I moved from a house in Arch Hill because every time a game was on people would double park in the street and block our driveways, the buses couldn’t get through the traffic, and drunks would argue and fight outside after the game.
Do we keep just pushing the boundary further into the suburbs every time? Do we apply the same logic to expanding airports, industrial plants, etc?
For the record, I don’t think we should have a stadium on the waterfront either.
I can’t believe that anyone in Auckland is STILL talking about a new stadium let alone on the waterfront!
How long ago was it when the economic reality of a city of not even 2 million people in a country of net even 5 million (yet at that time) isolated at the end of the world and not getting a lot of major sport events to host struggling to support 3 stadiums was being reported?
There’s been a steady decline in audiences for live events in general (let alone sporting events) across the world with NZ amongst the places seeing the most decline. Tickets (alone) are expensive, it’s a pain in the bottom to get to these events and in the age of high definition television you can get a great experience from your own lounge!
With all the other things Auckland will need to spend money on and wants to spend money; I have to shake my head at how much anyone is worrying about this. Let’s face it: Stadia are about the biggest money-drainers in modern cities today.
Breaking the stranglehold the big oil companies have on supply will be good, but, the press release said:
“The report confirms our concerns that consumers are paying higher prices for petrol and diesel than could be expected in a competitive market. The changes we make will address that, and we expect those benefits will flow through to motorists”
What a mad situation, for a government supposedly focused on reducing emissions.
I wrote to the authors of the press release, pointing out the hypocrisy, and suggested the wording could have been:
“The report confirms our concerns that consumers are paying higher prices for petrol and diesel than could be expected in a competitive market. However, higher pricing is one of the most likely levers the Climate Commission will recommend to address the contribution of transport carbon emissions to climate change. The changes we make will ensure a fuel tax is timed to provide more consistency in petrol prices at the pump. Drops in petrol prices followed by increases to address climate change will send unhelpful and confusing messages to consumers who may not make the best home, work and vehicle purchasing decisions if they temporarily see a low petrol price.”
Living too far from work and owning a car that requires too-expensive petrol to run, as people will be if they make long-term decisions while petrol prices are temporarily low, creates transport poverty. Yet not acting to keep the prices from dropping will put people in this situation. For a government focused on wellbeing and addressing climate change, we need more consistent and more responsible actions.
The ability to live close to where you work and vice versa is a huge privilege and not realistic for many on low incomes relative to today’s house prices. The realities of this are as much an uncomfortable truth as the realities of climate change, but it is still reality. Quite simply, people buy where they can afford to buy and work where they can get work that will pay a massive mortgage. And the cycle continues.
Yes, I know.
I’m genuinely concerned that young people who can finally make it into the housing market will do their budgets based on a low petrol price and then find, as it rises steeply, that they can’t afford it. Whereas if the petrol price didn’t dip, and was flagged clearly as bound to rise (as it will surely need to), they’d make decisions based on what they will actually be able to afford, dismal though the options are. Choosing to buy a grotty shoe box closer in is a poor comparison to choosing something more decent further out, but having to sell that more decent house further out, and lose money in the transaction so they can’t even afford the grotty shoe box closer in, is what the government is risking for them here. It’s the worst possible outcome.
The problem is it’s so obviously where our current path ends up, but no one treats it with any urgency. It’s not hard to imagine Auckland becoming a city of people who can afford villas and apartments within walking distance of white collar jobs and the rest of the population tripping over themselves trying to get through life without being thrown onto the street.
I’ve moved away from the idea of compact living to the idea of vertical living – there’s no reason a house has to be any smaller, but it could just be over three or four levels up instead of covering a huge horizontal surface area. It works for places like the Gold Coast, where apartments are regularly 80sqm+, instead of the insane 50sqm 2 bedders commanding obscene prices we get in Auckland.
But even if people wanted to buy into a more vertical living situation, we don’t have the body corp law reforms we need to make it financially secure or a construction industry that people trust to build to code. Developers struggle to finance buildings with a huge number of tiny units. The terrifying bit is even if everything fell into place and we all wanted it to happen, I’m not sure we’d be able to actually get it to work. We can’t even roll out a badly needed rapid transit system in the midst of a climate emergency, and a lot of people just seem OK with that. To quote the great Mugatu, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
Good comment Buttwizard. An 80sqm apartment would be fine for 3 to 4 people in a way that 50sqm just isn’t. But that would require changes to the law like you describe. Better body Corp laws. A better construction industry. A systematic way of building +++TODs as I describe below with the implications of the Kainga Ora Bill.
There is a huge opportunity for economies of scale to decrease prices, increase quality and for a spiral of benefits to follow. But it requires actual effort for this beneficial change to happen. She’ll be right will not work…
If we are going to increase fuel prices to reduce emissions it should be in the form of tax that we all benefit from rather than increased margins for the fuel companies. The commerce commission is right to be targeting this.
Correct. Read what I wrote, though.
Heidi thanks once again for your insightful comments
Regarding the chicanes at Lowtherhurst Reserve. I have queried this with NZTA and they say the chicanes were put back in consultation with Auckland Parks. This route is part of the Henderson-Massey local connections plan so you would think they would be trying to make things easier, not putting in obstacles. I think this is just another case of one part of Auckland Council not being aware of what others parts are doing. It is why it is so hard to get improvements.
Those chicanes are an improvement for some people. With so many inconsiderate idiots using electric vehicles doing 30-50kmph on those footpaths, we need more chicanes to slow them down at dangerous blind spots. Stupid trees in the way…
Also, just as common, gang members illegally on motorbikes fleeing the police and making a nuisance to all other users as they race along the footpath gunning their engines. I would know. I used to do it until they put those chicanes in… 😛
It’s funny how educated and comfortable white folk on the interwebs have such a shuttered world view that every problem they encounter they can’t understand, they assume they are experts about what the council should be doing. And at the same time are so clueless about the lives, issues and needs of other folk (usually poorer) who live very different lives.
This path is part of the Henderson-Massey location connections plan. So it is one part of the council not knowing what another is doing is the point here. Nothing to do with your comments about educated white folk. As for your comments about fleeing gang members, this just borders on the ridiculous.
I go through them daily on my bike, they’ve probably added a good 4 to 6 seconds to my journey (one of lifes more minor downsides I’ve concluded)
But a nice little skills test to see how fast I can get through them without unclipping a pedal.
Unfortunately it is common in parts of south and west Auckland for young gang members to ride unregistered off-road motorcycles through the streets, intimidating people and what not and then flee from the police using these parks as short cuts.
As I said, you clearly live a sheltered life with no idea how the less fortunate live. Go ahead and call the reality of some people’s lives “ridiculous”, but you may want to rethink your world view to include other people not like you.
The Urban Development Bill has been introduced to Parliament as the second piece of legislation designed to enable Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities.
This Bill is important for lots of reasons, but the hope I have is that it will finally allow NZ to do genuine TODs and proper spatial planning of cities.
Christchurch for instance needs masterplanned developments around its railway lines with a new tram/train mass transit service for the reasons discussed in the following article.
Changes like this are the diamonds in the rough, giving me hope.
With all the good news bullshit from AT and NZTA has anyone had the temerity to ask NZTA when the southern motorway widening between Manukau and Papakura be finished?
Never, of course, cos widening never works, only leads to more traffic and more congestion, and more widening.
This year: https://createsend.com/t/t-E5B6A2FE400E0A7D2540EF23F30FEDED
“Home free” may well be getting difficult with bus driver industrial action approaching its third week? Now NZ Bus driver’s are striking possibly upwards of two weeks.
The PTOM, of which one of its objectives was the get rid of subsidies is now really starting to bite. Crap wages and crap conditions can only take PT so far.
I would love to say our Transport Minister was aware of the issues and would like to address some of the shortcomings but being Phil, there it’s not much hope.
Hmmm… would be a pity if we can’t have Home Free… it’s a good way to introduce people to PT.
(Let’s make sure we use the correct terminology. As I understand it, NZ Bus is suspending drivers… the drivers’ strike itself isn’t interrupting services. 🙂 )
Apologies to the boss of this website if this is off topic:
Is this strike causing suspension of bus services an unprecedented strike? I cannot remember anything of this scale in the past 15 years.
And for those that catch the buses with NB at the front of the bus serial number these are the services not running ;-
From AT site, routes affected are:
CityLink, InnerLink, OuterLink, TāmakiLink,
14T, 14W, 18,
20, 22A, 22N, 22R, 24B, 24R, 24W, 25B, 25L, 27T, 27W, 27H,
30, 68, 75, 82,
101, 105, 106, 110, 122, 125, 125X, 128, 129, 162,
252, 253, 221X, 223X, 243X, 248X, 295,
751, 755, 762, 774, 775, 781,
801, 802, 806, 807, 814, 842, 843, 871,
923, and 924.
This includes school buses operated by NZ Bus.
And I viewed both channels 6pm news tonight and 3 had an item on the bus problem in Auckland and Dumd  had zilch about it ., and they say in their blub they are the news of the Nation ? .
From memory there was a six day strike involving all Stagecoach buses in 2005, but this would certainly be the biggest since and could be bigger depending on how long it drags on for.
AT have the ability, under PTOM to set minimum wages and set penalties for companies who cannot run buses due to staff shortages or strikes. PTOM isn’t the problem, AT trying to cut costs by allowing low wages is the problem.
Seriously? Competitive tendering which is a key component of the PTOM is exactly designed to drive costs down, oh and there is some mention of quality, somewhere.
Sorry but AT are duty-bound to think low-cost tenders.
And if things have got so bad that there are staff shortages and strikes thanks to such predictable outcomes as poor wages and conditions , such as we have right here, right now, and AT have to intervene then it is pure irony.
This competitive tendering part of PTOM is broken and it is delivering, as do all good neoliberal economic models, the fastest race to the bottom.
And let us not forget who brought this shitter in, none other than Steven Joyce and his National Party, a man/party who did not look fondly on PT!
The underlying problem is the ridiculous cost of housing. The wages would be reasonable except for the endless spiralling cost of rent/housing. This is how the inflated cost of housing, which has become absolutely extreme in the last 10 years, has so many negative long term consequences, if only it hadn’t been allowed to spin so far out of control.
Good point, a terrible problem spinning off increasingly worse consequences that none of our elected representatives seem to want to do much about.
Yes good point re housing. Well you could implement minimum conditions in PTOM for drivers across the board & so the competitive advantage has to come from something else. eg efficient management, staff retention through looking after them well surely saves a lot of money (training disruption etc).
Correction to my earlier comment.
The Minister is aware, to quote Stuff.co
“The Government will review its method for contracting out public transport services as it looks to curb a continuing driver shortage.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford made the announcement at a Tramways Union meeting in Wellington on Tuesday, saying the current model was driving down wages and conditions and turning people away from the profession.”
“Twyford was referring to the controversial public transport operating model (PTOM) introduced by the National government in 2013, which encouraged councils to commercialise public transport services and had led to a “race to the bottom”.”
So there you have it, Phil acknowledged the problem, made a trademark Twyford announcement, got praise, has done absolutely nothing as per normal and now in December 2019, the driver situation is imploding. And it’s not just NZ Bus.
Again Phil, for your ineptitude, a round of slow handclaps. The PT using public really appreciate it!
If no buses are operating does that mean bus lanes e.g. Mt Eden Road will cease operations too? We should convert the bus lanes into parking or allow cars to use them if there is a guarantee that there are going to be no buses. Also remember that with the cancellation of 800 bus services there is going to be about 25,000 extra cars on the road (assuming each bus carries 40 people and a car carries 1.5 people)
It means those bus lanes will be full of motor scooters and bicycles/ebikes unimpeded by buses. So definitely no cars or parking in those lanes even if the buses aren’t running.
SkyBus (Mt Eden & Dominion Rds) and other random small operators will/can use them too.