Rudman on Brown

Brian Rudman mocks ’s list of achievements, and tells him to focus on buses:

Mayor Len Brown’s curse is self-inflicted – a rash promise before his coronation last November to within 100 days unveil 100 projects he would complete.

“We will see things really fly,” he promised.

With less than 20 days to go, Mayor Len’s immediate problem is not so much getting things airborne, it’s struggling to come up with bright ideas to launch.

This week, he and his retinue managed to scrape together a list of just 52. And many of those belonged in the “got up,” “brushed my teeth” category.

Claiming credit for setting up various advisory panels required by law is rather cringe-making.

So is “recommending the budget”, “monthly town hall meetings”, “regular engagement with local boards” and “spatial plan initiative”, all nuts-and-bolts functions that were going to happen regardless. …

Of course he’s not the first politician to bathe in the glory of tasks initiated by his predecessors. But few are quite as bare-faced as this.

With 48 to go and desperation setting in, what next? No 53: Sun Rises

I can’t wait for the full list of 100 to be published. Maybe once he has, then Len will focus on the important issues and forget the PR stuff for a while.

My suggestion to Mr Brown is that before ordering new ferries for Takapuna or musing about the wonders of the new electric train services, he should, as his first priority, sort out the workhorses of Auckland public transport, the buses.

As Josh Arbury in his Auckland transport blog reminds us, 49 million of the trips on Auckland public transport this year will be on buses, and if the mayor wants to hit his 2021 target, that’s where the main growth will have to occur.

He also notes how little bus patronage has increased this decade, up from 45 million trips in 2002 to 49 million this year.

Why is that? For me, the biggest turn-off is lack of punctuality.

Waiting for the missing bus is a killer. You can’t even fill in the time reading a book for fear that when the bus does appear it will speed past unless you’re kerbside, waving your arms like a windmill.

I always look at the public transport systems of overseas cities when staying in them, to see how well they work and why. Punctuality is an absolute must. Ideally you don’t even want route timetables – you want a train or bus to be frequent enough that you know you will never have more than say a 10 – 15 minute wait.

As important is integrated and electronic ticketing. No cash Everyone just swipes in and off.

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