Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: John Roughan is Scared

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  • Russell Brown,

    I'll always remember the Herald editorial in the 90s that warned of "the scourge of public transport".

    I suspect it was Roughan's work. He can be very good -- thoughtful and soulful -- and he can be completely off the planet. He's a bit like Poneke: mostly useful, but simply irrational on certain pet topics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    First: A little full disclosure would be in oder. My partner works for Veolia Transport Auckland which is contacted to operate the Auckland passenger rail network on behalf of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

    Having said that, he rides the bus to work -- quite literally across Customs Street from Britomart -- every morning. Paying at least sixty bucks a week for parking is frigging ridiculous (the building Dave works in had very limited tenant parking), and we sure can't afford to buy and operate a second car for me. Public transport isn't some ideological pipe dream or lifestyle choice for us -- it's a very practical necessity.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Does Mr Roughan seriously think crude oil grows on trees, or that dancing cossacks will be leaping out of the trains? And no, biofuels don't count. Today's Julia Hartley-Moores, tomorrow's Toecutters/Colonel Strakers.

    It's probably going to take a cacophony of pissed-off tourists during the Rugby World Cup to do something about the public transit or lack of it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    [funny how apparently selfless the road lobbyists are]

    Remember how - earlier this year - the trucking industry successfully lobbied for an increase (again) in the maximum weight, this time from 45 tonnes to 53 tonnes?

    Now we're told that this will require the upgrade of 6 sections of the Southern motorway, so I guess said trucking industry will soon be coming forward with the millions of dollars required for this, right?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    What's more surprising is the fact that people actually read Roughan. The question is for what purpose?.

    To be enlightened? One gets more from contemplation of a half eaten industrially manufactured burger so I don't think its for that.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Even Cairo has a decent, functioning underground railway system: If London, Paris or NY is too much to hope for why can't Auckland aspire to be like Cairo?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    to take a cacophony of pissed-off tourists during the Rugby World Cup

    nope. they'll be characterised as 'whinging tourists'.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's pork.

    Central Auckland is already provided with excellent rail coverage. An additional rail loop in the CBD would merely put 3 additional stations in central Auckland where there are already stations at Britomart, Mt Eden and Grafton. Each of the proposed new stations will be placed within 1400 m of an existing station. This study (pdf) of Singapore's MRT system shows their design criteria was for station catchments to be 2000 m radius allowing for walking and utilising feeder services (like our loop buses), meaning that Singapore has worse MRT access than the Auckland CBD. Singapore has 52.4% of transits carried out on public transport, we don't. The problem therefore is not a lack of access to public transport in the CBD and this tunnel project would be nothing more than unadulterated pork more capable of moving Aucklanders firmly against public transport than moving them physically.

    Where Auckland's rail network screws up is that it doesn't go anywhere. There are no trains to the airport or North Harbour or Howick. Aucklanders don't use rail because they mostly live and/or work far far away from any rail line. If we are going to expand Auckland's rail network we should try to do it somewhere useful.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I read the article's emphasis as on the mayoral campaign, following Steve Joyce's transport talking points to raise fears of the left recklessly promising infrastructure he felt it couldn't deliver. The arguements against public transport certainly seem secondary thoughts, not fully formed or discussed by deadline.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I think Angus has made the arguement My Roughan would have liked to make.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    It's pork.

    Central Auckland is already provided with excellent rail coverage. An additional rail loop in the CBD would merely put 3 additional stations in central Auckland where there are already stations at Britomart, Mt Eden and Grafton.

    Except the loop doesn't only add stations, it adds capacity. As Britomart is a "stub" station, as dictated by the existing configuration of lines, any train currently stopped occupies in essence a route in plus a route out - no other train can come in behind it and share the same line, unless the trains exit in reverse order to how they enter, which would be a scheduling nightmare. Making a loop allows each line through Britomart to be effectively one-way, so increasing the throughput hugely compared to what it is now.

    Hopefully Mr. Arbury will turn up soon with actual numbers to supplant my hand-waving :-)

    Edit: Hence the other routes you're suggesting to increase the utility of the system would be impossible without first building the loop, as the current layout in the city couldn't cope with the extra trains.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    Angus is wrong. The CBD loop would add a lot of extra capacity to the Auckland rial system by removing the bottleneck at Britomart. This single project would essentially double the capacity of the system, allowing extra trains to run on the existing lines and making them considerably more attractive to the people near them. There is bags of information about this over at the excellent Auckland transport blog of Josh Arbury.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the major impediment to uptake of public transport is most likely to be public attitudes to sharing a ride.

    people here in wellington, where we have decent public transport, readily call buses "loser cruisers". i keep trying to get the same people to call the trains "boob tubes", but it hasn't caught on yet.

    and

    Where Auckland's rail network screws up is that it doesn't go anywhere.

    is right on the money. what i wanted when i lived 100m from the mt eden station was a way to get anywhere. anywhere at all.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    We could have had electric trains in time for the world cup had the government not stepped in in March last year to cancel the regional fuel tax.
    However even Steven Joyce is not averse to the City Loop, albeit at a cost of $800 Million to Auckland ratepayers.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I don't agree Angus. "Going somewhere" is not just where the outer ends of the network go to, it's also where the inner ones are, and 2 kilometers is a pretty big walk, particularly if your starting point is the bottom of Queen Street and your destination is anywhere uphill from there, which describes most of the central city. A city rail loop would make a big difference to the viability of the network, far out of proportion to having more stations and lines out in the suburbs. People can get themselves to a suburban station reasonably easily already via lots of alternatives, including driving their cars there, riding a bike, catching a bus. But the big put-off is the fact that at the other end they can only walk, and it's all uphill.

    Yes, it would be nice if the trains went further out too. The further it reaches, the better, but the basic problem isn't getting people out in the 'burbs, it's where are you dropping them off at the other end?

    We've also got the issue of the entire North Shore. Until we've got a rail capable bridge, they're stuck on buses and ferries for public transport, hell they can't even cycle. But that doesn't mean over half a million people who don't live on the North Shore should get no rail improvements. Quite the opposite, the more people on the south side who are on rail, the easier the commute is going to be for those on the Shore.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    the major impediment to uptake of public transport is most likely to be public attitudes to sharing a ride.

    I'd say the rapid uptake in use of the Northern Busway shows that people are perfectly happy to share a ride if there is a decent ride to share. Provide fast, frequent and easy to use public transport and the punters will happily come. To ascribe irrationality to large swathes of the traveling public is, well, irrational.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    the major impediment to uptake of public transport is most likely to be public attitudes to sharing a ride.

    Except that the experience in Auckland in the last 5-10 years is that when a service is improved by improving speed, capacity, accessibility and frequency, almost straight away heaps more people use it. Suggesting that the major impediment to uptake of public transport (in Auckland at least) is that for a large number of destinations, it sucks.

    Edit: @andrea - snap

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    people here in wellington, where we have decent public transport, readily call buses "loser cruisers".

    Perhaps I haven't lived in Welly long enough, but I've spent 6 of the last 10 years here and that's the first I ever heard that phrase.

    I'd say that if you have to pay to park in town then as a commuter motorist you're very much the loser, financially anyway.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Quite the opposite, the more people on the south side who are on rail, the easier the commute is going to be for those on the Shore.

    i'd suggest you want tram jams up there as opposed to boob tubes.

    the shore is a great bit of ribbon development.

    Perhaps I haven't lived in Welly long enough, but I've spent 6 of the last 10 years here and that's the first I ever heard that phrase

    you probably can't hear the bus-loads of whinging through your cycle helmet.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Perhaps I haven't lived in Welly long enough, but I've spent 6 of the last 10 years here and that's the first I ever heard that phrase.

    I have lived here for 13, and ditto. Perhaps they just don't say it to my face.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    hmmm... am starting to think this might just be people saying it to me.

    :/

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Where Auckland's rail network screws up is that it doesn't go anywhere. There are no trains to the airport or North Harbour or Howick. Aucklanders don't use rail because they mostly live and/or work far far away from any rail line. If we are going to expand Auckland's rail network we should try to do it somewhere useful.

    Rail to the Shore is a long way off into the never-never. Just getting it across to Devonport or Takapuna will be at a cost to make Joyce's wet-dream highway to Warkworth look cheap, never mind out to North Harbour.

    And you want rail to go more places, but on what network capacity? Britomart, with a single line in and a single line out, cannot take much increase in service frequency from current levels. It's almost at capacity, due to the moronic design, and now you want to add more rail lines around Auckland? The tunnel would double capacity, as others have said, by providing a through-route. Two lines in, two lines out. For any expansion of the network, the tunnel must happen. The addition of the Onehunga Line next month will just about completely take up what little slack remains in Britomart's capacity until we get the electric trains in 2013 along with decreased turn-around time due to their faster acceleration.

    If you're going to argue for expansion of the network, at least understand what the current limits are before pooh-poohing significant capital works in favour of something else. I agree that the network needs to be expanded out to the Airport and through Pakuranga/Botany, but that can't happen while Britomart can only have one train come in and one train go out every five minutes.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Perhaps I haven't lived in Welly long enough, but I've spent 6 of the last 10 years here and that's the first I ever heard that phrase.

    I'd say that if you have to pay to park in town then as a commuter motorist you're very much the loser, financially anyway.

    Seconded. I've been back in Welly for the last 8 years, and taking the bus does seem genuinely classless there.

    Although I have noticed in the last couple of years, capacity has not kept up with demand on some routes, especially the Karori-Lyall Bay route. There really need to be double-deckers on that run - if anyone can get round to lowering the bus tunnel floor.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I've been back in Welly for the last 8 years, and taking the bus does seem genuinely classless there.

    Deliciously ambiguous.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds,

    Hi Angus I agree totally with your second paragraph, but giving the system somewhere to go out of the 'garage' that is Britomart is the essential first step to spreading the network. The whole network is a sad stunned thing because ALL our money has gone on roads.

    You're right we urgently need to address the complete failure to provide any transit in the vast and expanding areas of South Eastern Auckland. ARTA are about to blow, and I mean blow. 1.3 Billion on making crazy highways to nowhere in Panmure that will not address this huge need. Where as linking the rail from Manukau, Botany, Highland Park, and a new Tamaki Crossing to join the network at GI, would really do much solve this problem. This would be expensive but hugely transforming for those suburbs AND for the quality of the CBD. Pakuranga would be but a couple of stops from Britomart + Midtown, and even K'rd. And the otherway actually connected to other Southern areas esp. Manukau City and on to the airport. ARTA's current scheme is both hugely wasteful and not nearly bold enough. Go here: http://transportblog.co.nz/tag/howickbotany-line/

    The numbers that currently use AK's rapid transit are heroic given the incompleteness of the system and shitty old trains and lack of frequency. We know from response to recent upgrades and the Northern Busway [which is like a train as it is not sharing its road] that if it's there we will use it. Right now it's barely there.

    You want to smell pork? Look at what the Minister for Trucking is making us pay for now to get his mates' gigantic killer trucks on our roads.... [while running down Kiwi Rail]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

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