August 23, 2007

Public transport wonking

Maxx has a public forum where one can rant and rave about the diabolical public transport system in Auckland. Here are my recent contributions:

- on the free City Circuit bus: When looking at the huge crowds waiting every morning for the free City Circuit bus that takes them to their places of learning, it struck me that many of the students would benefit health-wise by trekking up the hills to University or AUT by actually walking instead of taking the free bus. I mean, they sit in lectures all day long and the exercise would do wonders to fight their obesity risk.
Then we could use the annual subsidy now spent on it to lower fares across Auckland.

- On integrated ticketing: When integrated ticketing comes in, it must ensure that fares are linked to distance traveled, regardless of transport mode. I.e. taking the bus or train from Britomart to Manukau should attract the same fare. The same should be the case for taking a bus to Howick and the ferry to Waiheke, since it's the same distance traveled. This is the case in Germany.

- On Pacific Blue $39 fares to fly to Auckland to Wellington: I have long suspected that flying to Wellington from Auckland will soon be cheaper than going to Waiheke by ferry. And although I'm cheerful that this is happening faster than I expected, it doesn't bode well for the future tourism prospects for the island. It just shows how a bit of free market competition benefits customers, while monopolies gouge us to the max.

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