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Speaker: John Roughan is Scared

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  • Matthew Poole,

    And on public transport matters, especially things related to the money, Josh Arbury's blog really is the last word on explaining NZTA's numbers. As one example, he suspects that the true benefit-cost-ratio for the Puhoi extension could be as low as 0.19, based on info from NZTA.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    making crazy highways to nowhere in Panmure that will not address this huge need

    Whether or not they'll address the need for quality transit options to the south-eastern suburbs largely depends on the design of the highway. Right now it's pretty sparse on bus lanes and other enablers of public transport. And even if they built a rail line, see my comment above about the tunnel being absolutely essential before any new lines are added to the network. The tunnel is not optional, and is not deferrable if any expansion is to take place.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    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.

    A - There is lots of other existing spare rail capacity at Mt Eden and Grafton stations which can potentially be used to service the CBD and this can be utilised for $xbillions less than a tunnel through NZs most expensive realestate. BTW these stations are already through stations. Not everybody wants to travel to the port end of the CBD, yet all the trains run to and from Britomart causing a potential bottleneck at Britomart. We could spend $billions on clearing that totally unnecessary bottleneck by digging a white elephant useless tunnel going nowhere new or we could stop making all the trains go to Britomart.

    B - If you want a through station at Britomart it could just as easily go somewhere useful by tunnelling north under the harbour and hook up with 500,000 Aucklanders who do not currently find railway lines "attractively" near them. As opposed to the proposed CBD line which will service virtually no additional customers.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    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.

    Ben,

    Save yourself the walk try using a city circuit (free) or a link bus.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    Mt Eden and Grafton stations which can potentially be used to service the CBD

    How exactly do these stations that are not in the CBD service the CBD? Nice brisk walk never hurt anyone, eh?

    The projected cost for the tunnel is about $1.5 billion, not multiple billions. And the magic of a tunnel is that it is a tunnel so uses only small amounts of that very expensive real estate. (By the way, you'd expect to see that real estate become a lot more expensive if there were good quality transit systems running near it).

    The latest report on the CBD tunnel is due soon and we should see some cost-benefit estimates there. I'd be very surprised if even the conservative estimates didn't show it being a very good investment. Taking into account wider economic benefits (intensification around stations, revitalization of the CBD, congestion relief achieved by moving commuters moving from road to rail etc) it should do extremely well.

    The North Shore has just got an excellent busway that is fast and has plenty of spare capacity. Sure, I'd like to see rail there one day, but I don't think it is a high priority right now.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Just getting it across to Devonport...

    ...will never happen.

    Takapuna maybe, but Devonport? From the city?

    Where would a rail link go from there? Up to Takapuna parallel to Lake Rd? Seriously?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    There is lots of other existing spare rail capacity at Mt Eden and Grafton stations which can potentially be used to service the CBD and this can be utilised for $xbillions less than a tunnel through NZs most expensive realestate.

    Can you explain how this is going to work in practice. Let's say I catch a train to Mt Eden station, how do I get to K Rd from there ? Walk ? Catch a bus ? Taxi ? Can you see that incorporating a modal change into a public transport solution is going to add friction ?

    It seems that your main argument is not that PT won't work, but that it costs too much. Putting aside factors like future carbon cost being applied to transport and imminent peak oil, I'd rather we built a fully functional PT system (even if it is incomplete relevant to Howick/Shore/Airport) - just like we've built perhaps the world's best motorway system - and then have the argument.

    "PT might cost too much" != "More motorways = good".

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Can you see that incorporating a modal change into a public transport solution is going to add friction ?

    I couldn't see how the criss-crossing rail links in Milan were going to work, but I was impressed at how seamless it all was when I visited last year. The trains really were an extension of the car, bus, cycle and walking routes. (Although we were used to modal changes by having an underground rail, I suppose.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    incorporating a modal change into a public transport solution is going to add friction

    Mode switching should become much easier with the advent of integrated ticketing (still 2-3 years off) but even then, the idea of good CBD transport being "take them somewhere near the CBD and let them make their own way in" is a bit ridiculous.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    How exactly do these stations that are not in the CBD service the CBD?

    Use a bus or take a train to Britomart.

    Nice brisk walk never hurt anyone, eh?

    It has killed considerably less people than cutting back on the provision of good pensioner housing, on council sports fields or on improvements to sewage networks. To be fair its killed more people than cutbacks to any grand mayors entertainment budget or our potential hosting of the Olympics. But spending $xbillions on a useless rail loop to nowhere means sacrificing some of these things (and I'd bet a considerable sum it won't be affecting the entertainment budget).

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Takapuna maybe, but Devonport? From the city?

    I was picking the closest point, not the practical one. I know the rail's never going to go to Devonport, but when you've got Angus demanding a rail link to the Shore it's useful to show how expensive even the shortest tunnel would be as way of demonstrating that, actually, the CBD tunnel ain't that expensive.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Things are getting better.

    Toot! Onehunga gets its first train since 1973. Via AKT blog.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Fair enough.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    these stations are already through stations

    Yes, stations. Britomart is a terminus, a stopping point. Grafton and Mt Eden aren't designed for tens-of-thousands of passengers an hour, they're designed for hundreds, at most, because they're meant to be points along the way not destinations.

    I note that you haven't said a thing about Britomart being nearly at capacity. No rebuttal? No trite words about people walking? If we're going to have services running more frequently than every 10 minutes, the tunnel has to happen. That's 10 minutes on the existing lines, and accounting for the improvements that electrification will bring. Adding more lines means more services means less capacity at Britomart for any given line.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    . But spending $xbillions on a useless rail loop to nowhere means sacrificing some of these things (and I'd bet a considerable sum it won't be affecting the entertainment budget).

    Well, claiming it to be useless is the first problem. Assuming people are to get around Auckland (not unreasonable, surely), they need a way of doing so. Currently the roads are overused, and the capacity of the rail network is severely constrained. Britomart is already almost at capacity - 18 trains an hour. If the tunnel is built, that expands to between 36 and 60 an hour depending on how it is done. Hopefully we don't get the slightly "cheaper" option that gives us just 15-20 years more capacity.

    That allows us to expand all other parts of the network. Auckland is growing towards 2 million, whether you like it or not. The only question here is whether it is 2 million car dependent choked Aucklanders, or 2 million with a decent transport mix and the ability to get around their city with ease.

    I suspect your dislike is towards the people who work in and use the CBD, rather than rail itself. Do you oppose the new line extension to Manukau City?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Colin Ross,

    Vancouver's light rail, called "Skytrain" uses a linear motor propulsion system. and travels above and below ground according to local needs.
    The cars are driverless, and they can negotiate steep slopes, as they are not constrained by issues of steel on steel traction.

    Auckland needs to work towards a similar system, which will eventually be affordable, designed to link the Airport to the North Shore by way of a central backbone.

    Hopefully, the new "Supercity" will be allowed to retain some part of the local revenue stream. The central Government machine has until now,been able to have the final say on Aucklands planning needs.
    An important part of that dream, is to provide a mature, credible leadership team.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    Nice brisk walk never hurt anyone, eh?

    It has killed considerably less people than cutting back on the provision of good pensioner housing, on council sports fields or on improvements to sewage networks.

    Is this the civic-government-policy equivalent to being Godwinned?

    You could have an argument as to whether providing an efficient and cost-effective transport network should be part of local government's responsibility; but I didn't think we were. Accepting for the moment that it is, then it's perfectly legit to suggest spending large amounts of money when extensive analysis over a large period of time indicates that it will pay off (for all transport users, not just public transport users!) in the foreseeable future. Let's have that discussion instead...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I've heard the term 'loser cruiser'.

    I've also seen ads placed by MoJ suggesting that bus travel was what happened to people who didn't pay their fines. I guess that's what they call joined-up government?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    spending $xbillions on a useless rail loop to nowhere means sacrificing some of these things

    Good, focused infrastructure spending should generate wealth not suck money out of the economy. And that is exactly the reason why the national govt could be expected to provide some of the money, because it would be good for the economy as a whole.

    And again, it is not "$x billions", it is about $1.5 billion. Less than the proposed Puhoi-Wellsford highway that has a cost-benefit ratio of less than 1 (not good infrastructure spending...)

    or take a train to Britomart.

    I thought your whole argument was that these stations could be getting off points for the CBD and thereby alleviate the congestion to Britomart. Instead you seem to be saying that simply by passing through these stations (maybe even hopping off for a look around?) on the way to Britomart will clear the bottleneck there. Hmmm.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    My ideal would include:

    $20 daily congestion charge for the AK CBD.
    Free and frequent public transport
    Pedestrian priority in downtown
    All port freight moved by rail
    Limited numbers of driving licenses, allocated by a competitive test
    Demolition of Flatbush, Dannemora and Albany

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Colin, that sounds like a light-rail system. Auckland's already got a heavy-rail system and is having enough difficulty getting funding to make it work properly, without adding in another mode that will need more funding, space, etc to come into being.
    Given that many parts of the Auckland rail network are also used by freight, they cannot be replaced with a non-heavy rail alternative. That means corridor duplication and all the other fun, if a light-rail system is intended to be rolled out to cover the same areas currently serviced by commuter rail.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Demolition of Flatbush, Dannemora and Albany

    With the current residents relocated to...? What of all the commercial activity in Albany? It's becoming the Silicon Valley of Auckland, along with a fair whack of heavy industry.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • andrea quin,

    Also remember that there was a pretty good mechanism -- regional fuel taxes -- proposed to pay for local transport infrastructure projects. Wouldn't have put too many pensioners out of their sports fields warmed by sewage networks... Especially since pensioners get heavily subsidised public transport.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Also remember that there was a pretty good mechanism -- regional fuel taxes -- proposed to pay for local transport infrastructure projects.

    It wasn't just proposed, it was happening. Labour had passed legislation and everything. National canned it when they came in, at least in part because they're terrified of what might happen if Auckland got the power to fund its own transport rather than having to go cap-in-hand to central government. The subservient, begging relationship would end.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Angus, you keep saying that extra destinations in the city are nowhere. That's rubbish, they're the most dense concentration of destinations in all of NZ. That's why every city that has a real train network has closely packed stations in the city center. Yes, we can make do by getting off the train and then catching a bus, straight back into the overcrowded jam-packed city streets for a half hour dawdle up Queen Street (with its new improved extra long pedestrian crossing phases), after waiting who knows how long for the bus in the first place. Or your even worse suggestion of getting out of the train at Mt Eden and waiting to pay to get onto another bus, which will then hit the absolute slowest part of the commute. If you were going to do that, there would be no point in catching the train at all in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

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