Road pricing, congestion pricing, time of use pricing, whatever you want to call it, it’s back on the council’s agenda with a report going to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee on the next steps. The recommendation is also that the committee “endorse the creation of a joint Auckland Transport / Auckland Council programme team to implement Time of Use Charging“.

Executive summary

  1. The joint TIC and Auckland Transport (AT) Board workshop held in August 2023 reinforced previous Council and AT Board decisions that Time of Use Charging is a priority for Auckland.
  2. It was requested that officers report back to the TIC in November 2023 with a proposal to implement Time of Use Charging as a priority and to potentially coincide with the opening of the City Rail Link in 2026.
  3. In parallel the Manifesto for Auckland, outlines that the Auckland Deal “needs to include an Auckland Integrated Transport Plan … which will include [among other priorities, the ability to empower] Auckland Council to implement congestion charging, set our own parking fines, and other decisions about our transport system”.
  4. While enabling legislation is still required to implement a Time of Use Charging scheme in Auckland there are several workstreams that can be carried out in parallel with the path of proposed legislation through Parliament and this could inform the detail of the legislation.
  5. AT has developed an implementation plan (detailed below) to complete the scheme design and engage with stakeholders in the community with the view to moving forward into procurement and implementation by early 2025.
  6. While early funding placeholders have been included in the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) and the draft Long Term Plan (LTP), resourcing is needed in FY24 to begin preimplementation activities. Work needs to begin now to ensure a scheme could be implemented to coincide with the opening of the City Rail Link in 2026.

There’s a little bit more detail on what is in each of the proposed workstreams in the report but this shows them and the expected timing if council agree to the recommendation.

These workstreams would build on the work undertaken in recent years, such as The Congestion Question work released at the end of 2020, which also involved the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi. It recommended using cameras to record if people are travelling into or through an area covered by the scheme. It suggested you would only pay this fee once per two-hour window after you’re first detected meaning it wouldn’t matter how many cameras you crossed you’ll be charged the same. It would also likely have daily caps and potentially discounts – or some other structure – to support vulnerable groups.

It suggested a scheme that would initially be rolled out in 2025 around the city centre and then be progressively expanded

The workstreams proposed would help narrow down the specifics on things like how people would pay, the prices that would be charged and the times they apply.

Former Transport Minister Michael Wood even sent this scheme to parliament’s Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee and they unanimously supported it. One of the National Party MPs on that select committee was Christopher Luxon.

Yesterday Mayor Wayne Brown made some interesting comments to Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan

Brown said he is looking at placing the congestion charges on SH1 between the Penrose and Greenlane on-ramps, and SH16 between the Lincoln Rd and Te Atatu on-ramps.

“Between 7am and 9am, those two motorways jam up and between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, they jam up again,” Brown said.

He claimed travelling at peak times was “easily avoidable”.

When du Plessis-Allan asked about parents dropping off children to school, which would fall in the morning peak hours, Brown said when he was a youngster ”you got to school on your own”.

“It isn’t the law you have to get to school in a BMW,” he said.

Brown added there would be “big discussions” about the price, but he said he thought a reasonable price would be $5 each time the motorists used the specified roads at the peak times.

He claimed the prices would ensure people would start to think, “maybe I should start work at that time, and work a bit later and go home a bit later”.

He called the levies “time of use” charges rather than “congestion charges”, comparing the new rules to those in London.

There was no point building new roads, Brown argued, when the existing ones were “empty most of the time”.

It’s great that the Mayor is so enthusiastic for this but at the same time, he’s probably being a bit of his own worst enemy here too. If they stick to something largely resembling the 2020 scheme it won’t impact many people dropping kids off at school, at least not initially. He’d be better focusing his attention on people driving to the city from places where there are already public transport and active mode options, places like St Mary’s Bay and Mt Eden. This is just one example from the 2018 census data but I’m sure AT has a lot more research they can share.

And given he’s also talked a lot about getting public transport working better, it’s a shame he didn’t mention that as an option for avoiding any charges either.

The other element here is the charging strategy. Getting this is will be the hardest part so as long as there is a robust process to review and change the pricing then it might well be better to start with lower costs than ideal in order to get public buy-in. That might not be possible though if the incoming government remove the Regional Fuel Tax like promised.

Auckland Transport wants to speed up this time frame, explaining in a report it would like to forward funding to design a congestion charging scheme so it can be in place by the time the city rail link opens in 2026.

The mayor, however, said even this would be too slow and wants to implement the charges as soon as possible if the incoming Government scraps the regional fuel tax.

The National Party campaigned on ditching the Auckland tax.

“If the Government are going to take away the fuel tax, we’ll need it the day after,” he told BusinessDesk.

“I want to do it next week.”

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  1. With the move to electric vehicles ,the Govt have to find another way to fund transport,so can’t do nothing,they will also have to act reasonably quickly. Neither of these things,implementing change and acting quickly ,are what l would expect from this potential government.
    My predictions, “we “will still be paying the “Auckland fuel tax “in three years time,congestion charging will be too hot a potato for National,given the blue vote in Auckland.
    At best ,there will be RUC,for electric vehicles,but even that will take time,no RUC on a commercial electric vehicle at present, must feel like heaven.

    1. RUC is returning for light EVs on 1 April 2024 and for heavy EVs on 1 January 2026. There would be time to extend these but National Party policy is not to do that.

  2. I’m all for Time Of Use or Congestion Cordon tolling but:

    a) The PT system needs to be provide a viable alternative first including PnR opportunities

    b) The socioeconomic impacts need to be mitigated as the tolls are regressive

    c) The tolls need to be ramped up starting from a low value to allow people time to adjust their behaviour.

    d) The final toll level should not be set in advance (an indicative value could be publicly announced) but be set by actual on-ground conditions (i.e. the toll required to maintain maximum stable flow). Also there is no guarantee the modelling is correct.

    e) The toll levels should be reviewed up or down 6 monthly to reflect actual demand changes.

    1. a) first? It’s not your usual style to use this catchcry of resistance. And are you suggesting there’s insufficient PnR in Auckland when in fact we’ve over-invested in PnR? Remember, it’s the feeder buses and active modes that provide access to the stations. If a 14-year-old can’t get to a station actively or by feeder bus, that is what needs investment, not more PnR which undermines both those teen-friendly modes. If a 14-year-old can, so can the adults.

      b) Mitigating the socioeconomic effects should be straightforward and must be aligned with modeshift. Remembering the socioeconomic effects of not taking action to reduce VKT are bigger than the socioeconomic effects of introducing congestion charging.

      c) and d) I agree.

      e) The goals are set by TERP. This is about transformation of the system for long term sustainability, not what decision-makers or richer drivers think is the sweet spot for ‘people like them’, to enhance their trips but not cost too much.

      1. Hi Heidi,
        a) There will still be people who choose to drive. They need to be provided the opportunity to PnR rather than adding to the congestion. But, yes, PnR needs to be provided in appropriate locations.
        b) & e) There are many other vehicle driver subsidies that can be addressed and be partly or fully removed to also help address VKT. Congestion tolling only addresses one part of the picture.

        1. Totally agree on PnR. The obvious point is that there are only about 3 appropriate locations, at the edge of the city/networks:

          1. Swanson
          2. Albany, or maybe even Silverdale
          3. Papakura

    2. a) undefinable, always some n+1 argument. Just as NIMBYs demand “better infrastructure” before more housing can be built. Time it for the opening of CRL, a eastern busway stage, and some additional bus upgrades. Charge for (most) P+R asap to make availability guaranteed.

      b) if it replaces the RFT then it is automatically a significant improvement in this regard. It will also be a net economic positive, lower the cost of provisioning future roads and public transport. These benefits necessarily flow to everyone in the city, having the biggest impact for low income earners.

      c) signalling a long time ahead is the same effect. People are guaranteed to have years of warning to adjust their behaviour because it’ll take ages to get legislation and infrastructure set up.

      agree on the rest

  3. Can anyone explain how road pricing is an equitable solution which doesn’t disproportionately affect those on lower incomes? I get the feeling there isn’t an answer to this question, which explains why National and Act have said they both support it.

    1. Focus on those on lower incomes who don’t drive. If your concern about equity for those on lower incomes is genuine, these are the ones who need your attention, as they are suffering the most, so:

      If pricing reduces VKT and congestion, it increases these people’s safety when travelling actively and improves their experience when travelling on public transport.

    2. Putting my cynical hat on for a second, one could argue that the reason a regressive “time of use” charge is popular with the right is precisely because it’ll get the poors off the road making trips quicker for those who can afford the charge.

      1. Yes, in Auckland’s strained and deficient system, this concern is real. However, the solution is in how the charging is implemented, because capturing some of the externalities of driving is still fundamentally more equitable. See my answer to kiwi_overseas, point e.

        “Time of use” charging has its place because much of the cost of new infrastructure improvements is due to trying to accommodate the peak volumes. However, it has the negative effect of shifting trips to the off-peak when we actually want to create modeshift. The most fair system will include modest charges for each way that driving imposes costs, so that people can avoid those that are easy for them to avoid, ie:
        – city centre charges
        – higher registrations for larger vehicles
        – higher registrations for vehicles with lower emissions ratings
        – emissions charges ie fuel tax
        – per km charges.

        1. But, getting congestion charging of any kind in place is a good first step. It just needs to start and then can lead to further discussions about equity, VKT-reduction and safety.

      2. Its like that in London I believe, a whole lot of tarmac that is publicly owned but reserved for the rich.
        I support a congestion charge on the city centre as I really don’t think anyone should drive there, but not elsewhere. I don’t think subsidies for poor are a good option, then you are reserving the road for the rich and the poor with the middle missing out. If no one misses out then there is no point in congestion charging!

        1. Yes, like Martin says below I was thinking the London scheme is way more pricey than they are suggesting here.
          Subsidies for those on lower incomes via the Community Services Card (CSC) would probalby work fine because you could still charge holders say 50-60% charge to encourage alternative ways to travel. The CSC is income dependent and based on how big your family is so should work pretty well.
          They currently use CSC for some of the public transport concessions now so this works as a whole package well.

      3. let’s be honest here, those on lower incomes will not be doing a white collar 9-5 Monday to Friday. They will be far more likely to be doing shift work or ad-hoc hours which would miss the times listed above.

        For those complaining about the price, London where I work, charges people £25* (NZ $50) a day to drive into zone one and £12.50 the rest of the city if your driving a car that is not ULEZ compliant and PT at unsociable hours outside of zone 1&2 is not good.
        (*£12.50 if ULEZ compliant).

        1. yeah, but its free if you are inside the zone and driving from your 5 million pound apartment in Park Lane to your office in the city.

    3. It’s not an “equitable solution which doesn’t disproportionately affect those on lower incomes” in fact it’s the opposite. People on lower incomes are likely to be more price sensitive and less likely to drive.

      If the aim is to reduce KMs driven using cost, then reducing KMs driven by poorer people is how it’ll be done. There’s no getting around this unless you want to give people KM allowances that they are allowed to drive. The richer people will simply pay the congestion fee and have faster travel times on quieter roads.

      I appreciate that this sucks for some folks, but I don’t see another way of reducing our emissions and freeing up the motorways. I’m all for this and would have it tomorrow if it was possible.

      1. To me the goals of “reducing our emissions” and “freeing up the motorways” are completely different. Reducing our emissions is good for everyone (a public good), “freeing up the motorways” is only good for those that can still afford to drive on them, the people that can’t would prefer the clogged motorways they could afford.
        Congestion charging is a bit like building a luxury publicly owned hotel and then setting the price at a point where only the rich can use it but they are still highly subsidised for each use.

        1. Maybe instead of ” freeing up the motorways” we consider it part of “repurposing available space”. Improved Public Transport and congestion charging leading to less individual cars on the road so more space to give to active modes or other uses. An obvious example is the Harbour Bridge.

    4. Road pricing *is* eminently equitable if it leads to better PT in a transport-deprived location (eg Mangere).

      There are thousands of households who at present need 2, 3 or more cars to get to work or study – often old dungers bought on hock. The financing, maintenance and massive depreciation are a recipe for real poverty. Any household which can reduce the number of cars is instantly better off.

      1. Yes, owning a car is very likely to make you worse off. Conversely affordable annual public transport passes will improve your economic situation because transport is available all day, every day.

        1. Just pretend the extra hours it adds to your commute every week are worthless and you’re on your way.

  4. As long as other places with high transport needs (e.g. Wellington and Christchurch) also have this in their future then fine.

    1. Those cities should get it too, because the idea has merit and will be a boon for Auckland. If only Auckland gets it then it will further accelerate the growing gap between these cities economies.

  5. This is what we need in a Mayor, while I don’t entirely agree with his style, he is actually doing some things that he suggested he might.
    On weekdays the Southern and Western part of the train network is fully functioning at peak hours so anyone on the Southern Motorway is either ignorant or enjoys being stuck in traffic.
    We need to push people away from their car-centric “lives”, they are not living. They miss out on fresh air, fresh thoughts and fresh body parts.
    I personally gave up driving more than a year ago, and I live an almost stress-free lifestyle. Anyone else who has done this would understand, although laughing at people in cars is not recommended, they have shorter tempers than us!

    1. Or is on the Southern Motorway because they’re trying to leave Auckland. Auckland’s motorways do not exist solely to support travel within Auckland. The dire state of inter-city transport options is another question.

      1. ATAP is a partnership between national and regional government. The authority is shared within that partnership.

  6. We spent over a week in London in September. Standing and waiting for our bus at Westminster or Piccadilly Circus, I observed the passing traffic. Big black cars or showoff sports cars (rich people presumably), taxis, service vehicles, trucks and buses. Very, very few “ordinary family” type vehicles.

    1. Ordinary people in London take the Underground, Overground, or London buses. No one in their right mind drives in London

      1. That is correct for zone one, but not outside of it. I drive in London every single day as my role requires me to work at times that public transport just will not support.

        In both London and Auckland, PT is great for those living close to the city, but the further out you get the worse it becomes with both cities being dependant on buses who time tables are too easily ruined by traffic, weather or road works.

  7. PT numbers will rise sharply when the CRL opens, There will be well over 100 million trips per year and all of those users have good reasons to use PT,
    But the deniers want more $billion roads to be built. So there is a choice between paying a congestion charge or paying $billions for more new roads through extra taxes, They don’t accept the rising numbers of people who like using PT. They and the National party support more greenfields developments and long driving times every long day. National say they are better at business and worry about our low productivity but why don’t they read some of the studies about the cost of commuting and how many successful cities around the world are supporting PT.

    1. “So there is a choice between paying a congestion charge or paying $billions for more new roads”

      They might even do both, and use the congestion charge money to… build more roads! [I am not supporting that, lol. Would be one of the worst outcomes. But only the 3-party dysfunction we are likely to get is going to prevent stuff like that, I worry.]

  8. People seem to think this has to suit everyone in Auckland. The point is to reduce congestion not make it easy or cheap for everyone to get around. Of course people will be inconvenienced by it and that’s how these things work – to change behaviour.

    1. Yeah, but Simeon Brown wasn’t on that committee.

      While Luxon supported it, did it have caveats like building better PT first, something Brown may use to stall this and get key roads built (“Roads are used by buses so its a win for PT….”)?

  9. There’s another positive to congestion charging I haven’t seen commented on yet. As someone who values their time, I will happily pay a charge if it gets me to my destination quicker. Likewise, I will take public transport if it gets me there quicker. Currently, for most Aucklanders PT is rubbish and roads are congested, I think this can be a positive step in both directions.

  10. I like the idea. I think the regional fuel tax should continue until this is up and running. I like the following charge points: Northwest motorway, between Lincoln Road and Te Atatu Road and another between Rosebank Road and Point Chevalier. $3 for each point. Southern motorway. Checkpoints between penrose and Greenlane as suggested but also on north facing ramps at Green lane interchange and the market road offramp at Remuera with $5 toll. This will ensure the charge covers the newmarket viaduct and discourages rat running on Great South Road

    1. Yes the idea of splitting up with half charge each for the first cut at this (pardon the pun) might be good (apart from the cost of twice as many gantry camera systems).
      I’d suggest between Penrose & Ellerslie then again between Ellerslie and Greenlane, there are plenty of trains running on two lines through this core at peak….once they up and running again and post CRL particularly.

      For the NW motorway as per your suggestion (no chance of rat running for those ones really).

      Hey but why is there no talk about tolling over the harbour bridge as well? All three main motorway directions should be done and I would say a daily cap equivalent to 3 trips. (ie so tradies & courier companies and the like will not be over penalised), PT vehicles exempt.
      I think the price of a coffee is almost the exact currency we want to tie it to.
      Tested on Google typical travel times at 8:15am going north on the southern motorway just after Otahuhu to just after Greenlane as the times are as follows:
      16-35 mins – Stay on motorway
      16-40 mins – Off at Mt Wgtn, on at Penrose (SE Hwy on-ramp)
      16-45 mins – Off at Mt Wgtn, on at Ellerslie
      It’s not until about 9:30am that the times reduce.
      If they introduced a charge at these times of course the rat run travel would also improve so would a $2.50 charge at each point be enough to disincentivise a rat run with a 5 min penalty?

    2. I’m trying to understand how what you (or Wayne Brown) is suggesting is fair. Fine, do congestion charging but bring it in where you have provided viable alternatives. What we seem to be saying is that people who live centrally can continue driving and not have to pay a charge, even though they have access to the best public transport options. Likewise the Notth Shore has had significant investment in Public Transport with the northern busway but they can continue to drive and not have to pay a congestion charge. Meanwhile, people in West Auckland who have terrible pubic transport options available and therefore not great alternatives will have to pay this charge. How is this fair? I’m happy to pay a congestion charge, once we get the same level of investment and the same PT options available to us as the rest of the city.

      1. I know this is a week old but I agree with this – the Shore has had a busway for over a decade, since extended and all the perks that come with it. If any portion of SH1 should be incurring a congestion tax, it’s the ones that serve the Shore.

        Applying it to the West but not the Shore suggests it’s about making money off a captive market, rather than driving change through mode shift or changing travel times – something that not everyone can do.

        1. I think the scheme is talking about lots of corridors it’s just mayor Brown talking about those specific southern and western examples.

  11. It’s worth pointing out that we all pay the full cost of congestion right now anyway. We just pay for it with our time, and the bidding process is run on how masochistic you are.

    We are destroying considerable amounts of our time and its associated value. Congestion tolling / charging doesn’t raise any costs, it just prevents people destroying value and in the process shifts that value to the state. Huge net economic benefit.

    1. Everyone’s time is valued differently. For congestion charging to work, some people that currently think the trip is worthwhile in terms of their time have to miss out. I have no problem with that if the roads were private, but the congestion charge will only make up a tiny fraction of the cost of those roads so the people that are missing out are also paying for them.

  12. Wayno is beginning to look like a green leftie…cool.
    A bit unfair that he won’t have to pay the charge because he walks to work.
    I heard him on the radio say that the equity thing is “bollocks” and he is right.

    What those at the bottom of the income heap should get is a generous tax-free allowance so that they can choose whether to spend it on a “time of use” charge, public transport or food.

    Back in the days when I contracted to a big corporation I was peeved that the guy who cleaned the toilets was taxed from the very first dollar he earned whereas the guy boasting about his 7 rental properties could make tax-free capital gains on them. Labour bottled out on a capital gains tax (to their shame) but did introduce the 10 year brightline test which National will reduce to 2 years in order to benefit their speculator buddies.

    Make no mistake; National is going to be extremely bad for NZ. We can only hope to influence Winston Peters and his merry team to rein in the most egregious excesses of National.

    1. There’s nothing worse than government with collectivist and centralization attitude staying too long. Surely they will look more and more serious as they control more and more aspects of our life, but once they took full control of media this will be really hard to escape their rule. Eventually if you look at stats dictatorship states are actually really bad with emissions per capita, public transport and inequality (google USSR emissions per capita). Clumsy coalition government is definitely better than Labour staying for another term.

      1. I will never understand how people can see a Labour government trying to transform New Zealand to a dictatorship state, or to control the media. This is about as stupid as US republicans calling every democratic party member a communist.

        1. Exactly. It’s right wing, tinfoil hat stuff.

          And everyone who called them Socialist really needs to invest in a good dictionary. Or, Google is your friend.

        2. Don’t get me wrong, National is not substantially better, they are just different taste Labour. There’s nothing good of letting either of them to stay for too long. But nevertheless Labour favours coercion and centralisation more.

      2. “There’s nothing worse than government with collectivist and centralization attitude staying too long”

        Nothing worse? Surely you jest. Getting turned into a paraplegic by an F150 driver looking at their phone is quite a bit worse I suspect. Or maybe suffering severe brain damage from a drunk driver who crossed the centreline (in the absence of a safety barrier) is getting up there in the worseness index.

        They took full control of the media? Really? I have been enjoying Newsroom lately. They seem to enjoy a degree of independence that is refreshing. I suspect that you have spent a bit too much time on Facebook. Maybe take a break from it, take a walk or go for a bike ride (but keeping an eye out for Ford F150s!).

        Make no mistake, Andrew; I am not a supporter of governments of any hue, local or national. My recent experience in confronting one of those entities has revealed a group of individuals who are venal, stupid or as cunning as a shithouse rat. Some are all three.

        National, however, are going to take this to a whole new level. Where do you suppose the funds for National’s $24.8b transport policy are going to come from? China’s Belt and Road Initiative? There must be some reason that they are so keen on reversing Labour’s ban on foreign ownership of real estate in NZ.

        1. Surely collectivist (i.e. fascists and communists) killed a magnitude more people than all the trucks in the world. But that’s not the point, the fact that National policies are bad doesn’t make Labour’s or any other party’s policies good. My point is that centralisation and as result routinised coercion (favoured by parties like Labour) doesn’t really make more sustainable future, because there’s simply no one size fits all solution, oftentimes the only group to be able to build a sustainable solution is a local community not guys in suits in a faraway capital city. In fact many problems we face in Auckland are results of over regulation such as housing zoning, which locals attempted to solve with stuff like cross-lease and unregistered cabins, and yes in this particular aspect Labour probably did a bit better, thank you red guys and good bye until next time.

    2. I don’t get it, we had a Labour absolute majority and they did zero for transport (not just PT by the way) in Auckland nor did they make accommodation affordable for low income earners etc etc.
      Yet its always National that are the bad ones.

      Going through the list of transport ministers and what they have done, the projects signed off by them, starting with David Parker in 2006, the best one we had for Auckland was Simon Bridges. He was blue.

      So lets stop saying one party is bad, politically we might have different lenses, but evidence based transport politics doesn’t need lenses, it needs results and evidence shows that team red doesn’t deliver more than team blue.

      Rather than party it seems that the importance is the minister. Red under Parker and King (Trizzard fronted the northern busway) did little. Blue under Joyce did sign off on the electrification and provided a loan for the purchasing of the electric trainfleet but was dragged kicking and screaming to it. Brownlee was armageddon. However blue under Bridges was progressive and delivered results while red under Wood and Twyford made all the right noises but delivered nothing.

      Same with the current mayor, ideologists lambasted him before he had even taken office. But so far it seems like he is bang on the money when it comes to transport in Auckland. And more importantly it looks like we finally have an heir to Len Brown. The years under Labour stalwart Phil Goff were the dark ages for Auckland despite us seeing a Labour man as Mayor and an absolute majority Labour government for 3/6 years. In a city like Auckland its about who that delivers, not the party he/she represents and a lot of you here ought to remember that.

      Check the roading projects approved by red and blue and i struggle to see much difference.

  13. Bring it on. Agree with Jack above too. Yes any thing up and running would probably be no sooner that CRL opening anyway and starting with the central city related areas is a good pragmatic start. Let’s do these things in conjunction with other PT improvements and cycling infrastructure so it’s equitable.

  14. I would like to see transponders on motorway on – off ramps that read receiver’s in your car and charge based on the distance and time of travel on the motorway.
    The big question is payment system and payment avoidance.
    A card that can be removed and topped up at the supermarket or service station or topped up online or automatically via debit credit card would be my preference.
    Lights at the on ramp similar to the current on ramp lights would stop individual drivers and read the transponder and let people know there balance or number of travel points left on an information screen or issue them a fine if there transponder is disabled or not credited or if people choose not to stop, a camera could then take a photo of there plate.

    1. A good idea but doesn’t need to be transponders, could be done the same way the toll roads already operate. You drove through the cameras at x then y at time z and the cost for that is $5.

      Then you just have to keep your NZTA or similar toll account topped up.

      1. I think the transponder system would be more versatile and reliable and could possibly be moved to local roads, there won’t need to be the big pole with cameras and the lighting system for night time plate reading, plus this system could be more independent of NZTA and not needing to send reminder letters to everyone who’s not paid, Just send fines.
        It also allows drivers to swap there card to different vehicles.
        The only downside is obviously getting people to fit these to their cars.
        Many of of our cars come from Japan’s used car market which already have a similar system setup, my car has an ETC installed already.
        But instillation should be very cheap and simple with the card reader stuck to the windscreen and a power cable feeling behind your A pillar trim to an auxiliary 12v bus behind the dash.
        This could be subsidised by AT, but a back up camera system will be needed to change a higher fee to those without the transponder installed.

      2. I think, from a quick Google search, with most systems overseas you need the cameras anyway to enforce payment from those that don’t have a transponder.
        I noticed a system that uses a mobile phone app to link to the transponder and control payment from your account etc. Perhaps you can use somone else’s transponder that’s stuck in a vehicle essentially as your phone/app account goes with you. I guess depends of if linked to vehicle or a person as such. You could default the account setup with a vehicle if no app/person has given permission to be charged.

  15. If they have it purely on the motorway between Penrose & Greenlane on-ramps then I suggest they would need to cover the Mt Wellington Highway off-ramp (ie Sylvia Park area) covered too or people would possibly take this and go up the Great South Rd & back on at Ellerslie (the on-ramp we mainly use going north in a car). Would be stupid to but would probalby happen somewhat.
    This would also reduce the over car use at this time along Mt Wellington Highway & the monstrous Sylvia Park car haven.

    NB. Ideally they could replace the Penrose Bridge (that gets hit from time to time) to be higher and wider so allows for active modes easily across it, it’s very dangerous at present.

  16. It amused me that some of the first comments here were that “they need to improve PT before they bring that in.” It funny because I remember people were saying exactly the same thing in London when TfL were introducing the London Congestion Charge. As a Kiwi freshly arrived in London one if the most amazing things to me was how great the PT already was.
    So no we don’t need better PT in Auckland before having Time of Use charging. It’s already better than it was and getting better all the time.

    1. 100% agree,
      Although I think it might be useful politically to be able to point to the billions of dollars of PT investment as well.

      Some (fairly large) subset of people will be opposed no matter what and will reach for any reason. They should be ignored

    2. Which part of Auckland are you in that you think PT is great? I live in West Auckland (the area Wayne Brown wants to bring in congestion charging for) and it’s pretty terrible – this website has given a similar review. Public transport in my area is slower than driving and buses are unreliable. What is great about that?

  17. All pricing mechanisms are blunt.
    Actually fuel tax is one of the better taxes as the collection costs are very low, and it incentivises both mode shift, and emission reduction. A disadvantage is that is unlinked to both the time and place of congestion.

    I am sure there is still a huge amount of low hanging fruit to be harvested in leveraging public transport to reduce private car use.
    Increasing bus lane kilometres both for inward and outbound journeys would both improve passenger journey times and reliability, but also increase bus utilisation, buses would be able to accomplish more return journeys in the same time.
    There is also the perverse incentive, some reduction in general traffic lanes may increase private car journey times, incentivising mode shift.

    Less cars entering the CBD means less land needs to be devoted to car storage, thus freeing it up, for more benificial commercial, and recreational activity.
    A more intense, but easier to get around Central Business District, as simply more prime space to do that all important Business.

    And less inner city car travel means less emissions, less noise, and less hassle getting around.
    Just a nicer to be in city.

    The effects toll costs to tradies is overstated. At charge out rates now approaching $100/hr inc gst, a $5 toll equates not much over 3 minutes of travel time. One traffic light phase.

    1. and if said toll results of time savings greater than 3 minutes, that’s a reduction of cost to the tradie, which they can pass on to the customer, or not.

    2. Adding $2 a litre to fuel tax would get similar outcomes, better revenue, and would be fairer IMO. The environment doesn’t care what time you spew CO2 out the back of your car.

      1. “The environment doesn’t care what time you spew CO2 out the back of your car.”

        It does if you are crawling along the road slowly in start stop traffic. ie peak times.

    3. The effects toll costs to tradies is overstated.

      I think they’re dramatically understated. The effects will be massive and positive.
      Like you say any time saving is going to be dramatically more valuable than the toll. And then think for large trucks etc, any high value road use really.

  18. Would $3.50 or $5 change much behaviour though?

    Discretionary or non-time dependent ones sure. But how much is the alternative by bus/train and what of the value of time savings in the car?

  19. So why should people living in east Auckland put up with this garbage when there’s no trains, a snail pace delivery rate for a busway that’s not even made its way to a significant hub like botany or Howick, and poor connectivity to the motorway? Should we bike everywhere like the left wing hippies?

  20. Is it the opposite of TERP ?
    Smoothing out motorways and making traffic flow is going to make driving so much better in our city…. and for only a few dollars a day.

  21. Wayne Brown mainly wants to warn the new government that if he loses the RFT he’ll come up with his own even more unpopular revenue gathering scheme(s) that he can blame the government for.

    1. TBF hard to see how it would be more unpopular than a regional scheme, the only people paying are those coming to the CBD, rather than everyone in the City

  22. Is there any available evidence for what is proposed by the council and co, has worked anywhere else in the world?
    Surely their pet scheme has been tried somewhere.

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