Bernard Orsman reports at NZ Herald:
Len Brown has not built a single metre of bus lane in his first term as mayor of the Super City.
Mr Brown, who says fixing public transport, including better bus services, is his top priority, has splurged $770 million on public transport and $1.2 billion on roads and footpaths in the past three years.
But not a cent has gone on new lanes to improve bus services, which have drawn criticism and seen a fall of 2.9 per cent in patronage over the past year, from 55.1 million bus trips to 53.5 million.
I use buses in Wellington several times a week. Measures like bus lanes can make a huge improvement to public transport. Buses are flexible – their routes can change, their stops can change, and they are far easier to utilize for changes in capacity.
Good public transport needs buses and trains. Those who prioritise trains over buses unfairly do public transport a dis-service.
The pro-public transport blog said it was not good enough that no bus lanes had been built when more were needed. It said bus lanes carried more people than general traffic lanes, made buses faster, more reliable, roads more efficient and reduced operating subsidies.
Mr Brown does not have a strong record of building bus lanes. Manukau City, where he was a councillor and mayor, has just 3km of them, compared with 31km in the Auckland City area. North Shore has 9km. Waitakere – the so-called Eco City – has no bus lanes, only short bus “advance” lanes at some big intersections.
Wellington has some bus lanes. They do make a difference.