London's public transport is designed to cope with a city of 15 million people. A major sporting event there (and the RWC is not really that major for London) causing only a blip on the transport experience is likely. They have excess capacity for Africa. They have massive ability to reroute.
To make something remotely comparable to what happened here on Friday you are talking about handling a reasonably sudden choice of 2 million people to descend onto a some London central city riverside venue. Even then, that would probably only cause local blockages, because the various ring loops and other lines wouldn't be affected.
It ocurred to me at the weekend that something pretty much like this did occur in London - on New Year's Eve 1999. And the result was actually much the same as it was last Friday, for many of the same reasons.
All you say about nodes and re-routing is true (the excess capacity, not so much), but even with all that, the system(s) struggled to cope. We were in the central city, and it became clear to us at around 7.00PM that our central city riverside venue choice (the south bank - one of many distributed party nodes around the central city) was not a wise choice, and we decamped to a friends place in the 'burbs. Even at that stage in the evening, I personally witnessed several instances of drunken stupidity that were extremely fortunate to turn out ok - people falling off tube platforms onto the rails and so on.
There was a lot in the press over the following few days after the event about how many notable VIP's had been left stranded by tube failures and delays on their way to the star-studded invitation-only event at the dome: That was a complete clusterfuck.
All in all, the evening was generally chaos for anyone wanting to get anywhere, but for those who were there already, it turned out ok.
There's a huge element of luck to these things. As I said, there were people on the rails and someone could easily have been hit by a train, which would have brought whole sections of the network to a halt, more or less (I've been on a tube on a normal workday when there's been a suicide ahead, and it brings the line more or to a stop for an hour or two). People could have fallen off bridges into the Thames and drowned, and it was a pretty raw cold night. And there were a lot of drunken injuries and so on in the casualty wards.
But in terms of the public celebration, the worst that happened was that the much vaunted firework display - the river of light - was completely shit.
It will be interesting to see how London copes with the Olympics. The usual 'oh-my-god-the-infrastructure-cannae-take-it-captain' stories are already being trotted out. Par for the course for any big event in any country, really.
Rudman also nails it.
For months, Prime Minister John Key and his Rugby World Cup party planner Murray McCully have been tweeting the world, inviting all and sundry to cruise down to Party Central on September 9 and have a ball.
They promised the biggest fireworks display ever seen, local bands, a fleet of waka and all for free. Tickets? No worries bro, just bowl up at the gates and say Muzza invited me. It'll be sweet.
Now, like teenagers cleaning up the mess at their parents' house after that gathering for a few mates went feral, Muzza doesn't want to know. The minister who's been driving every one involved batty with his micro-managing of the project, says he was out of the room at the time. It's everyone else's fault. Auckland Transport (AT), he says, dropped the ball.
In fact, there's so much finger-pointing, that if the digits were loaded guns, there'd be bodies littering the corridors of power.
As far as the over-crowding along the waterfront was concerned, it is, in hindsight, weird the experts didn't expect the sort of crowd they got, and planned accordingly.
After all they'd hyped the show up, even encouraging CBD bosses to send workers home early to make way for the expected crowds. They'd widely promoted the extravaganza as free, which always appeals, and told everyone to leave their cars at home because of the zillions expected. Finally, the weather was unseasonably perfect.
His suggestion that announcements be made at platforms for people to follow "Plan B", is a good one. For those who, unlike me, aren't capable of making a Plan B for themselves.
My only thought about why people might have opted not to goes to my own reasons for using PT in the first place. It wasn't because I anticipated any difficulties getting into the city - in a car, this is pimps, that's why everyone uses them. It's because I anticipated drinking.
Which I actually didn't manage to do, in the end. It wasn't just PT that was overloaded. But I was able to go to a nice, cheap private party after the parts of the ceremony that I actually wanted to see were done with. This was Plan B for me, and there was a Plan C and D which didn't get exercised. From their back garden I was able to see the whole city lit up with fireworks from one end to the other, with a glass of wine and a slice of pizza in hand, a smoke on the table, a big screen TV to watch, good friends to chat to, and a fire to put my feet up in front of before the main event started. The only thing that really jeopardized any of that was the overloading of the cellphone networks.
people weren’t told that, they were told that the best experience was to be had by getting downtown, by public transport, early. So we did, in HUGE numbers.
This ad appeared in today's print herald. Post-event, admittedly, but indicative of the vibe of the run-up.
If you invite the world for a party, they might actually turn up....
You know what, why don't we just build a bridge and get over it?. Preferably with light rail and cycle tracks attached.
Just trying to be helpful, honest.
Interesting, Rich. I'd venture also, just like Friday here, that it's something most people will remember for the rest of their lives. For me, it was incredibly special to be in that Quay St press, after months of thinking NZers really didn't give a shit about the World Cup, and could end up showing the world that. You don't get big occasions like this very often, and I was damned if I was going to spend New Year's eve 1999 at work, as my bosses wanted, no matter how much overtime they were paying. If the company's systems went down and the whole place went flat broke, I'd have got another job. But I'd never in a thousand years get another millenium party.
I'd venture also, just like Friday here, that it's something most people will remember for the rest of their lives.
Yeah, I think that although there's a case to answer in relation to a lot of the 'failures', that case needs to be heavily tempered by flagging up the stuff that either went right, or which didn't actively go wrong (no rioting! only a few light injuries!).
Hundreds of thousands of people had a pretty good time. Thousands more all around the city saw a pretty good fireworks display. Millions around the globe saw an awesome opening ceremony.
The last thing I'll mention is that if everyone had hopped in their cars, it would have been gridlock, and...where would they all have parked? Lake road in Devonport didn't clear for around 2-3 hours after the fireworks finished on Friday night - it was mostly a slow-moving carpark up until around 10.30. A mate who came over with his children took an hour to do a journey that normally takes 10 minutes on their way home.
Yeah, I think that although there's a case to answer in relation to a lot of the 'failures'
Indeed. People did miss out, and that sucked.
Isn't Devonport a public transport fail by its very nature? Isn't that what you love about it? Where else can you get the closest panorama of the city, coupled with the accessibility of Orewa? I presume you got the kickyarsiest views of the fireworks, though?
Isn't Devonport a public transport fail by its very nature?
Well, let me think now. Hmm, there's three different bus routes, which connect and mesh smoothly and easily with regular and late-running ferries to three different destinations*.
But apart from that, totally a fail :)
Seriously, heading city-side it isn't an issue: I've used the ferry several times to connect with an airbus from downtown to catch a flight from Jean Batten airport, and it's very smooth.
Heading north is more problematic. Lake road does get clogged. It's not so much that it's a public transport fail as the problem being inherent in relying on one long road for all traffic in and out. It gets slightly overloaded even on a normal weekend, when all the bloody tourists turn up for brunch at our cafes, spending their money and gawping at our wonderful village and whatnot.
The fireworks views were awesome, though. Probably the best seats in the house.
*OK, I'm cheating: two of those destinations are Waiheke and Rangitoto. But ferries FTW. This city needs more of them.
But ferries FTW. This city needs more of them.
Word up, son.
ETA: I was kidding btw, I think there's something awesome about catching a ferry to work. They shit on buses and trains - you can get up and wander round, get a coffee or a snack, or a beer or wine even (on the way home I hope). The infrastructure needed is not great (and usually is a nice place as well, widely used for other purposes). More!
ferries FTW. This city needs more of them
Hence Joyce cutting govt funding for expanding them, including shore infrastructure.
Like the new harbour bridge pedestrian clip-on, I guess ratepayers can stump up instead (including a PPP premium). Heaven forbid truckers should pay their share of our transport network though.
Meanwhile, in Wellington...
Don’t sing in the railway station – it’s banned because of the Rugby World Cup
Because of the rugby rules, you won’t be allowed to sing or play a musical instrument in either of these areas, or in part of Bunny Street which is sinisterly branded as a “clean zone”.
The city council will be sending staff into the streets to say “move along” to anyone who might be seen or heard making music in the wrong places.
Tangental to the way the topic is running.
Can someone explain to me what the most common reasons are for getting penalised in a ruck or maul? Wikipedia is some help, but much of the time I can't work out what the referee sees to make him blow his whistle.
That strikes me as one which could be mocked so easily. Every single person going through it should make a point of singing as loud as they can. Try and stop Poms on their way to a game singing!
Clearly, you and I need to go to more adult parties, at the same time. I wasn't even aware that smoke was something you did.
You need to rub him the right way #badoomtish
They shit on buses and trains - you can get up and wander round, get a coffee or a snack, or a beer or wine even (on the way home I hope). The infrastructure needed is not great (and usually is a nice place as well, widely used for other purposes). More!
They are also far more cycle-friendly than buses or trains. There's plenty of space for the bikes, and the ferries come equipped with bike racks or hanging hooks to keep them out of the way. There are no significant issues with loading or unloading bikes, they can just be wheeled on or off and then through the terminals. My anecdata suggests usually about a dozen cyclists or thereabouts on each of the main commuter-times ferries. From the look of them, the ferry journey is a mid-point in what could be quite a reasonably long road trip at one or both ends.
True. A vital link if you are from the Shore and want to cycle to work, and are just too soft to take the Upper Harbour Highway. Or too sane.
I’m reasonably confident that the transport system could have coped with either getting 60,000 people to and from Kingsland or getting 200,000 people to and from the city centre.
Well, yes and no. It would have been a lot easier if 1) a lot of people were willing to hang out at Eden Park all day and/or 2) the opening ceremonies had been held on Saturday and a fairly substantial bus fleet dedicated to school runs would have been free(-ish).
Can someone explain to me what the most common reasons are for getting penalised in a ruck or maul?
For tackles and rucks:
If it’s them, it’s because they’re lying on the ball/tackler preventing us from securing it.
If it’s us, it’s because the ref made a mistake (or Richie has performed one of his 'optical illusions').
Usually collapsing it or not binding fully.
See the IRB laws site for the laws and video examples, but don’t expect to see them applied consistently in practice.
Key now says govt "not interested in finger pointing" - despite doing little else since Friday, and unable to see the irony in this:
Asked if Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully was wrong not to apologise he said no. "Party central worked perfectly".
The Government had responsibility for The Cloud the police and the opening ceremony.
Most got to the game but a small group did not. Key said he was more than happy to apologise, but responsibility was with the delivery agents in Auckland.
Joyce and McCully have been beavering away quietly with the Auckland Council folk over the weekend, apparently.
RWC - Rugby With Consequences...
Meanwhile, in Wellington…
Don’t sing in the railway station – it’s banned because of the Rugby World Cup
Sorry Pet, ya can't do that either...
and a couple for Auckland...
The busker ban is incredibly short sighted and dull.
Thanks. That consistency does seem to be a problem, and the extent to which there's room for interpretation.
I'm trying to answer questions from my offspring ....
Just a thought - As a matter of contrast - I think with Clarke as Prime Minister we would right now likely be delighted as the approach to RWC (and the opening) would have been to under promise and over deliver. This would have been achieved by an attention to detail and Clarke's office keeping things in check.
Contrast this to Key's approach, which appears, photo opportunity first and everything else a very distant second. I felt in Key's short opening speech he sounded drunk and meaningless and presented as an embarrassment.
To my mind, from the way they both present themselves, neither John Key nor Len Browne have the cognition or wit to deal effectively with the roles they presently hold.