Transport Spending

August 27th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

has announced:

An $8.7 billion programme of investment in New Zealand’s transport system has been detailed today with the launch of the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says this is the largest ever investment in the system and represents a 17 percent increase from the previous three-year period.

That’s close to $3 billion a year which is not bad.

The $8.7 billion includes investment of:

  • $4.6 billion in the state highway network (up 19%)
  • $1.9 billion in local (up 14%)
  • $900 million in key urban networks (up 21%).

As anyone sane knows, it is not a choice between public transport only or roads only. You need to invest in both.

The $900 million in public transport investment is in addition to the $1.85 billion in capital investment currently being made into the Auckland and Wellington commuter rail networks.

Ouch. Thanks Michael.

Tags: , ,

52 Responses to “Transport Spending”

  1. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    lots of new policies being released today. enough to overshadow the smacking issue?!?!

    have they detailed the projects?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “As anyone sane knows, it is not a choice between public transport only or roads only. You need to invest in both.”

    I must not be sane. I can’t see why I am being forced to “invest” in public transport. If you want to ride on a bus pay the man and he will carry you. Dont ask me to pay.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “I can’t see why I am being forced to “invest” in public transport.”

    You gain from having fewer cars on the road. Everyone does through lower transportation costs.

    Not everyone can afford personal transport. Not everyone is capable of operating personal transport. So public transport acts as a form of social welfare; caring for the weakest.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Sane? as in commie eco fascist nutjobs mouthing off at thesubstandard on behalf of the epmu? LOL

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Please Mr Joyce, can you design these new roads to be safe for at least 120kmh and assign them honest speed limits.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Good news I guess. They say if you build it the people will come, I hope so because we will need them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Since I don’t own a car, please stop spending my money on motorways. If car owners want motorways, they can meet the costs themselves.

    [DPF: Have you not heard of the petrol tax?]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Roughly $750 a year for every person in NZ over the next 3 years.

    Buy everyone over 15 a motorscooter or motorcylce instead. (and wet weather gear)
    Less wear & tear on the roads
    More room on the roads
    Less people needing trains & buses
    less pollution
    Lower fuel consumption/costs
    Shitloads more fun on the way to work
    Cheaper insurance
    Lower the road toll (betya it would, despite the increase in injuries)

    Note: I have not mentioned banning cars. I love my car. This is about choice and the positives above if most of us took the option, even if not every day.

    And yes, I’ve been to Bangkok & Saigon – we wouldn’t have 2-3 million bikes on the road in one city.

    Problem solved.

    :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    CraigM

    The road toll for motorcycles is 40 times that of cars per km traveled. Your idea would require the construction of a new hospital in all our major towns and cities.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    And also CraigM,

    I think all transport solutions need to be put through the filter would you make your mother do it in a winter storm? Scooters are a no.

    The concept of a door to door personal vehicle, enclosed from the weather and with storage is the best transport solution. We will have cars or similar for at least the next hundred years until they are airborne.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Since I don’t own a car, please stop spending my money on motorways. If car owners want motorways, they can meet the costs themselves.

    Absolutely. Just give us our petrol tax and speeding fines back.

    Also you can carry all the furniture and shopping to your house on your back. Any goods you want to purchase please wander down to the docks or train station to pick up. And you’ll have to grow your own food within walking distance too as that requires roads.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Public transport is like wind power. Yes it contributes to capacity, but the roads have to be able to provide that capacity for the days when it is not working.

    Just look at the roads on a wet and windy winter morning. Most of the trainys all of a sudden get affectionate about their cars.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Stupid question, I apologise in advance. Where do we borrow our money from for these projects? I think it is great but I know we have a deficit thanks to Labour and Cullen in particular, but when we raise funds where exactly does it come from??? Would appreciate any info thanks. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    This fund gets its money from petrol taxes, RUCs and registration fees. So technically the government is not borrowing for it.

    However, as a massive chunk of our current account deficit is due to importing oil and cars, arguably each individual person borrows a heck of a lot to contribute to this fund.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Wow in just 9 months we have a government of action.
    $8,700,000,000 on vital roads with a return of many dollars for every dollar spent.
    Improvements in public transport
    12,000 more operations
    Red tape reductions
    Justice reforms
    no time wasting on smacking
    A focus on whats good for New Zealand and not whats good for the Labour party
    2011 John Key hands over the Rugby World Cup to the All Black Captain
    A few months later National’s second term begins with an even bigger majority. Greens come second on 15%

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Fisiani – don’t forget sweeping cuts to tertiary education. Quite soon Universities will be accepting more overseas students, who are not price controlled, and turning away local students, who are affected by both funding caps and the government’s Muldoonist price controls.

    So tell your kids to drive on the nice shiny new roads to their fruit-picking jobs. Because there ain’t no place for them at a University. The Universities will have to take Malaysian and Chinese kids instead to balance their budgets.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Well Kaya, for the last 100 years we have been paying taxes and building roads. A roading budget is not a new cost, we’ve always paid for them. Something like 50c out of every dollar paid for petrol is tax for the government, and petrol tax is supposed to be spent on roads, I’d be slightly pissed off if that tax was spent elsewhere.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Buses are loathsome tin cans. On the other hand, the trains in Auckland are quite nice: there’s a lot of space, they leave and arrive on schedule and 99% of the time they get where they need to go.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    A few months later National’s second term begins with an even bigger majority. Greens come sixth on 1.5%

    fixed

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    trains in Auckland are quite nice … they get where they need to go

    So long as you live and work in or near the train station

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Yeah, that’s sort of the point. Y’know, given trains have tracks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Sonny & Hurf, the big problem with Auckland’s train system is that in about 7 years time the whole network is going to collapse because Britomart will hit capacity and it’ll be impossible to run any more trains on the network unless we build the CBD Rail Tunnel turning Britomart into a through-station and linking back to Mt Eden. That will also allow for underground stations at Midtown (behind the Atrium on Elliott mall) and under Pitt Street near the corner with K Road.

    It’s a pretty essential project, just have to convince Steven Joyce & Bill English to part with some pretty big sums of money to build it. The cost-benefit analysis is pretty good for the project, with an expected $2.2 billion of secondary economic benefits for the CBD alone!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Public transport will be a BIG issue in next years council elections. Oil will be nudging $2 a litre, our electric trains will be no-where in sight and the trains will be reaching their capacity.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Repton. I feel the same about the DPB and WFF

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. campit (467 comments) says:

    And if oil returns to $147 a barrel, this strategy of investing heavily in motorway construction will help how our economy how exactly? And didn’t the Government announce an emissions target reduction of 10 – 20% by 2020? Clearly this announcement means that transport, which contributes 20% of emissions, isn’t expected to contribute at all to the target reduction. Or perhaps the target is merely “aspirational”?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    campit – but you’re ignoring Steven Joyce and David Bennett’s quasi-religious belief in electric cars as the saviour of the world.

    Saviour if you’re rich enough to afford the 6 figure price tag.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. campit (467 comments) says:

    Oh yes, thats right. 2m registered internal combustion vehicles on the road at the moment, and about 15 electric cars, if you count the ones put together by hand by enthusiasts such as Gavin Shoebridge in Taranaki. But don’t worry! We’ll be “early adopters” of electric cars when they start getting made! We’ll get ours right after the US and every other country in the world, who are also going to be early adopters. And someone will also invent the electric truck and aeroplane.

    But oil supply isn’t really a problem anyway is it? Technology will save us anyway. Keep on building those highways then!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    I’m sure SJ can get a prototype electric limosine so he can wave at all us suckers waiting for the steamtrain to get us about Auckland.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    I would like to know what 6 people so far have found offensive about the following two statements:

    “You gain from having fewer cars on the road. Everyone does through lower transportation costs.”

    “Not everyone can afford personal transport. Not everyone is capable of operating personal transport. So public transport acts as a form of social welfare; caring for the weakest.”

    No one stated any disagreements so am i to assume that the votes are from 6 sad little individuals who dont think there is place for a social welfare net for the weakest in society OR that they are from 6 woefully ignorant people who have such limited understanding of economics that they cannot fathom a way in which public transport produces a net social benefit?

    KiwiGreg asked a question, I answered it succinctly and conclusively. If you disagree, say why. Otherwise I win by default.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. nandor tanczos (75 comments) says:

    well, I’d like to see a more even investment as David suggests. Here in the Waikato we are being blessed with a few motorway bypasses, but still only one train a day to Auckland – in the evening, when no one needs it. I’m sure there are a few of us who need to go tot AK regularly who would prefer reading the paper on a train than driving the whole way ourselves there and back.

    ps, yes I would love to ‘pay the man’, thanks

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “Saviour if you’re rich enough to afford the 6 figure price tag.”

    Yeah, like, who has a laptop nowadays? When they came out they were supposed to be to big new thing but they cost like $7000 so no one bought them and the technology stalled and died.

    Or cell phones? They started out as the size of a briefcase and cost more to run each month than most ordinary households would spend on their line phone in a year! So thats another technology that withered on the vine and didnt change everyones life at all. Ever.

    So many opportunities have been wasted because of the eternal truth that the starting price of a piece of new technology is what the price will always be regardless of economies of scale, advances in manufacturing processes, the entrance of new competitors …

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Bacteria to diesel looks the best option I reckon, carbon neutrality and all that. But I wouldnt be so pessimistic about a battery becoming standard in most cars with the propulsion coming from electricity with a diesel generator optimised to recharge it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    You gain from having fewer cars on the road. Everyone does through lower transportation costs.

    EVERYONE uses goods that are shipped by road and pays if we have inefficient infrastructure to transport these goods.

    Public Transport costs the motorist as much as the passenger, and in NZ it is often far more expensive to the taxpayer than private travel. The flash rail networks in Europe etc cost billions of dollars and our cities can’t support that.

    Not everyone is capable of operating personal transport

    Taxis use roads also.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    It is so hilarious people worrying about how they will commute to work when oil price skyrockets.
    The real worry is “will there be a job to go to at all?”
    Remember that our farms and fishing fleets run on diesel, and these provide most of our tradable economy. Almost all our exports get loaded onto diesel powered container ships, and the rest of our foreign exchange comes from tourists arriving on kerosene-powered jets. If oil is so expensive that these become uneconomic, we are in big trouble. Commuting will be the least of our worries.
    If oil is very scarce, world trade will change, probably on a different scale. Massive nuclear powered mega container super-ships will dock at a smaller number of major enlarged ports on the big continents, which will be internally connected over land via electric railways (nuclear electricity of course).
    NZ would be a remote backwater, left out of the loop and rapidly sliding into severe 3rd world poverty.
    Commuting. Ha!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. kiki (425 comments) says:

    Roads between main centres should be funded from tolls, fuel tax or RUC roads outside from fuel tax or RUC with no extra from other taxes.

    Vehicles should pay their full cost. If a truck cause 1000 x damage and requires a road to be 10 x stronger then a little car then that cost should be factored in.

    We need to reduce cross subsidisation as much as possible.

    But if you want to spend my income tax or consumption tax then give me a proper bike lane not the execution style painted lines that dicks in offices create.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Kimble, clearly electric cars will become cheaper. I guess the question is “how long will that take?” Current estimates are that we might have about 20,000 electric cars in the country by 2020. That’s not going to be much consolation if petrol’s $5 a litre now is it?

    Just to give some idea of how imbalanced the NLTP is, if we take Auckland we see the following splits between different types of transport investments:

    Walking & Cycling – 0.9%
    Transport Planning – 1.2%
    Public Transport Improvements (the important one in my opinion – although this does exclude rail) – 6.1%
    New state highways – 53.6%
    New local roads – 6.8%
    Public transport operating costs – 12.4%
    State highway maintenance – 5.7%
    Local road maintenance – 4.1%
    State highway renewals – 3.5%
    Local road renewal – 5.1%
    Demand management – 0.7%

    So… around 60% of the fund is for new roads, and 6.8% for new public transport. Once again, I do mention that rail is separate to this – although Joyce’s attitude towards rail seems to be “once I grudgingly pay for electrification that’s it forever!”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Regarding the roading great stuff but we should be ripping up the rail and putting in busways in the cities, it would be far better use of the money.
    We don’t need to spend billions for very little actual increase in patronage just so Nandor can read the paper

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Emmess, the rail system in Auckland is very overcrowded at peak hour. A busway has lower capacity than a rail line.

    So please tell me why you’d bother spending billions of dollars turning the rail system into a busway system, just to reduce its capacity and increase overcrowding?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    We need to reduce cross subsidisation as much as possible.

    But if you want to spend my income tax or consumption tax then give me a proper bike lane not the execution style painted lines that dicks in offices create.

    I agree.

    It is ridiculous for bikes and cars to share the same network in the way we do now. Bikes must pay their own registration, warrants, and RUC and pay for their own cycle lane network instead of freeloading off motorists. They must also pay ACC rates that reflect their fatality rate of 14 times that of a car per km traveled.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Grizz (244 comments) says:

    Nador, I once had the problem of needing to find public transport from Hamilton to Auckland.

    Interestingly, I discovered that there was an extensive existing bus schedule with multiple operators. All due respect to the current diesel electric locos and the layout of the existing rail lines, an express bus service works out faster……if you do not travel at peak times as there are no bus lanes on the Auckland Southern Motorway.

    However, admittedly, without subsidies for intercity buses, the fares would be steep for a commuter, approx $18 each way if you were lucky.

    You could talk about environmental benefits of electric trains, but until we increase capacity of renewable electricity generation (windmills, hydroelectric, tidal etc projects), as well as a major track realignment (Could be possible alongside new expressway corridor) I think buses for now are our best option.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    “Current estimates are that we might have about 20,000 electric cars in the country by 2020. That’s not going to be much consolation if petrol’s $5 a litre now is it?”

    How many by 2025? How many by 2030?

    If petrol is $5/l then an electric car that costs $100k may look like a fairly good deal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Hold on, we already spent $900m (or what ever the figure was) on public transport in the name of KiwiRail. Forget any more spending on the great God that is “public transport” and spend all the new money on stuff that we actually use. Like roads. Fuck the Greens.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Speaking of the Greens on the issue of transport, why do I always see the bastards and ‘ette’s in Koru lounges when there is a perfectly good train from Wellington to Auckland and vice-a-versa? Why do they not take the “public transport” they demand we pay for, and wagg their fingers at us for not using? In the name of the Great Giaia wouldn’t it be better for the “planet” after all? Or are they just ….. (fill in the word, *hint* it starts with an H)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. jks (30 comments) says:

    Rich Prick, I would say travelling by plane is a form of public transport. According to the inflight magazine on my Air New Zealand flight the other day they use about 2.9L/100km per passenger (assuming the flight is full). The “perfectly good train from Wellington to Auckland” you speak of takes just under twelve hours, and in the winter only goes Friday to Sunday.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    The environmentalist nonsense that people will abandon cars therefore public transport needs to be subsidised now as insurance for that needs to shown up for what it is – a massive exercise in speculation with other people’s money.

    If this is true, then fuel will change, and more hybrid buses will appear, roads will be a little less congested and bus companies will make money (shock yes) in providing services people are prepared to pay full cost recovery fares for. Around a half of bus services in Auckland until recently made a profit, but that has been hit in part by the subsidised trains. Much of the road spending is on improvements that aren’t about capacity, but improving safety and fixing bottleneck intersections that mean the network doesn’t work efficiently. Roads wont be replaced by railways. There isn’t the slightest evidence that the road improvements being built will be unnecessary – higher oil prices will not make Auckland like Pyongyang, despite the wet dreams of some environmentalists.

    People want personalised flexible transport. For commutes to central business districts in reasonable sized cities public transport can be a viable alternative, but for the 88% of Aucklanders who don’t work downtown it wont be an option for 95% of them. For rural and provincial towns, public transport can never be viable to the range of routes on a frequency that is useful.

    I do wish all those who predict peak oil would put their money where their mouths are, speculate on oil futures going that high and use the profits from this speculation to invest in public transport systems charging the “stupid people who didn’t know better” fares to use the “essential railway that will be overcrowded” – so that taxpayers don’t take the risk, but that those who believe in it, do something for everyone else.

    Funny how the Greens love gambling with other people’s money.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    Oh come on Liberty, what about all the subsidies for road users? The fact that cars don’t pay for their effects on air quality, their CO2 emissions, noise effects…. etc.

    And how about minimum parking requirements etc.?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    In the Bay of Plenty subsidized public transport is a tax by local authourities on the rate payer. And note I have said ratepayer.
    The subsidy extracted by EBOP amounts to 80% of each passengers bus fare and that was before they sacked the local owner operator and installed the Tainui owned new one. They obligingly went out and spent 36 million dollars importing nice new buses to do the same job with more frequency including running on Sundays. The new company is bussing many more miles in bigger buses and carrying it appears the same number of passengers.
    Really good economics and their justification was that they would”SAVE” about $400 per week with the new contractor.
    Of course we all know that will never eventuate because all contracts have escalation clauses and I’m sure Tainui are smarter than EBOP.
    The whole deal is being run by a sharebroker who went broke so one has, ” complete confidence,” as they say.
    So the poor old ratepayer is stuck in the guts again. Not the citizens who use the services but just the ratepayer.
    Long past time that the Govt. removed the right of these councils to decide to tax ratepayers for everyones good.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    Jarbury: Buses and trains don’t pay for their effects on air quality, neither do owners of solid fuel fires – which outside Auckland, are the biggest contributors to poor air quality (85% or so in Christchurch). So why pick on transport. You may find that the large number of empty buses running around at off peak times or counterflow to the peak will get hit if you start playing with emissions. Noise is internalised in property prices, but if you want to start making people pay for noise then go right ahead – I find the people with lawnmowers annoying, the people with screaming children. The STCC report did indicate that the marginal environmental costs of cars vs buses is insignificant in the real world (not the idealised full bus, 1 person car).

    I do agree about minimum parking requirements, and I have always agreed that any subsidies should be ended – but you can either argue against subsidies, or not. You argue that subsidies exist so there should be MORE subsidies. I disagree.

    Viking2: Indeed, it is a rort. Public transport should operate commercially. It does between cities.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Liberty- so you agree than when we spend $2bill on duplicating Puhoi-Wellsford the cost should be recovered in tolls? Unless of course you’re going to your holiday home in Omaha.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    bchapman- Yes, tolls plus the revenue raised from RUC and fuel tax from those using the road. Of course, that may mean it isn’t worth doing – but those who like roads needs the same discipline as those who like railways. Pay for it yourself.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    I think the chances of the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway only costing $2 billion are incredibly low. 37km of motorway standard road through some incredibly rugged terrain – crikey we’d be lucky to get it done for twice that price.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote