Greens declare jihad on all roads

August 7th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

NewstalkZb reports:

The Green Party wants a complete turnaround in transport funding.

The party has released its transport policy today and is proposing to axe over $11 billion in funding from State Highway Projects.

More than a billion more will be taken from local road improvements.

Instead the want to increase spending by almost $11 billion.

Transport funding should generally go on projects with the highest benefit to cost ratios. The Greens just hate cars and hence roads, so they want motorists to fund trains.

My preference is to have all transport decisions based on the benefit to cost ratio – have say everything with a BCR above 1.5 funded.

The Greens supported light rail for Wellington. That had a BCR of 0.05!!! That is equal to setting $100 notes on fire and burning them to ash.

They supported a rail package out to the Kapiti Coast that would have cost $100 million and only removed 80 cars a day at peak time. Buying 80 motorists a helicopter  would have been cheaper.

The Greens do not see congestion as a bad thing. They like congested roads. They think forcing motorists out of their cars will save the planet. That’s a valid worldview, but you should be aware of it.

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127 Responses to “Greens declare jihad on all roads”

  1. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Nice to see you support BCRs, DPF. You will be rethinking your support for Transmission Gully, then.

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  2. ShawnLH (5,293 comments) says:

    For a party known for fruitcake policies that one is seriously loony tunes.

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  3. RossM (45 comments) says:

    Never mind that in 10-20 years we’ll need the roads because we’ll all be driving electric or at least hybrid cars, the greens hate the idea of people having free will. With public transport, you can only go where the train or bus takes you. With a car you can go nearly anywhere, and the greens HATE that.

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  4. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    “More than a billion more will be taken from local road improvements.”

    Idiots. Do they not realise when a road is “improved” it is made safer, you know that death and maiming stuff, and they are made more efficient. Fewer accidents and less of that evil CO2 being pumped into the air while sitting in gridlock, I would have thought that would be right up the Greens alley. No, it’s more about pushing us about.

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  5. Manolo (13,840 comments) says:

    One wonders if tubby Turei will ever forgo her Crown car. Pure speculation, of course.

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  6. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    When you do BCR over what time period are you calculating? Are you allowing for increased fuel/CO2 charges? And are you allowing a charge for the time spent by workers travelling in traffic jams which could be alleviated by light rail? Do car parking charges come in as a plus or minus? My own thought is to allow private cars with 3 or more occupants to use bus lanes. Drivers can use this sort of app to fill up their cars. I think we shoudl promote it before working on the roading budget, to see what it could do. Annoyance to the roading contractors, I imagine. http://car.ma

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  7. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    The Greens also don’t like that transport funding in NZ is largely “user pays”: via petrol taxes and road user charges, the users of roads pay for both their construction and maintenance. The more people use roads, the more money to build hem and maintain them.

    If the Greens are successful and induce large numbers to switch from private to public transport, where is the money going to come from to pay for the public transport?

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  8. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    They have openly said that they do not want to complete the Waikato Expressway. This will continue the inconvenience of Huntly having State Highway One run through and divide their town and of course inconvenience motorists having to drive through it. Worst of all is the Hamilton Bypass which will be axed. This was also going to include a new industrial estate development by private investors (including Tainui). It would have been a boon for jobs in the area and help drive growth and crowding away from Auckland and into the regions. So it is unlikely this will happen for the sake of funding a poorly utilised train service between Hamilton and Auckland when a few buses could achieve the same thing for less cost. So yeah, looks like the Greens do not like Waikato.

    However, glad I am not in Wellington. No Transmission Gulley but a train service to Kapiti (Oh wait, its there already).

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  9. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    soundhill1: if you look at the NZTA website, you will see that they are continually working to improve their cost/benefit work to include many of the issues you raise.

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/

    CBA is never perfect, but if used consistently, can be a very good guide to decision-making between different projects, including different transport nodes.

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  10. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    ” Fewer accidents and less of that evil CO2 being pumped into the air while sitting in gridlock,” that can be reduced a whole lot more with more people per vehicle. If people want to drive alone, then more roads will probably soon attract more cars and the gridlock will be back.

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  11. Julie Anne Genter (18 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  12. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Julie Anne Genter

    Our plan is balanced

    Yes, it has a chip on both shoulders.

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  13. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    Julie Anne:

    It is undoubtedly true that “they would rather be on their phones and relaxing on a fast frequent affordable bus or train.” But it is equally true that they would probably even more prefer to be on their phones and relaxing on a fast frequent affordable helicopter, if it is made affordable by someone else paying for it.

    I suspect, but am willing to consider any studies you have that shows the opposite, that truly fast and frequent public transport is unlikely to pass a cost benefit test in New Zealand: outside of Auckland I doubt that the numbers will be sufficient to support the capital cost.

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  14. Matthew Percival (20 comments) says:

    Some interesting comments there JAG

    “And we explicitly state that all projects will be subject to comprehensive economic evaluation – unlike the National Government who are ignoring BCRs completely.”

    Given the economic evaluation for Wellington light rail as stated above I can only assume from this statement that the Green Party is against Light Rail in Wellington and will be in favour of new roading developments that can show the benefits required.

    Going forward it will be interesting to see how true to this message the Green Party is.

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  15. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Hey look a green MP is lying, i mean she is talking so has to be.

    i doubt that the greens ‘comprehensive economic evaluation’ will be anything of the sort. is it a road = lose 100%, will be the first question.

    a group who have never earned a dollar in private trade or business between them all, whining about carbon and the evils of cars and roads, all the while flying everywhere they can to whine about roads and cars and carbon.

    Good motorways with good inflow and outflow will work fine (like SH1 once you get past the gorge and before mana), you do not have to remove commuters from the road in cars, that’s just ideology. if those people want to sit in trains and twiddle their thumbs, make them pay the actual cost of the journey. its easy to think people will prefer it when its being subsidised to the nth degree.

    will teh greens commit to never using cars and only using public transport if they get into power?

    i doubt it… these policies are for the plebs, not the party elite comrade.

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  16. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    georgebolwing have you been at Wellington Railway Station early morning?

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  17. jp_1983 (213 comments) says:

    Want to move something more than 50 kms? No truck just train?

    Want to go on that summer holiday, no car, take a bus

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  18. ROJ (121 comments) says:

    As a non commuter and in industry using lots of heavy transport, road and rail, the real money in roads comes from getting goods moved and not clogged up with cars.

    Build good roads as commercial infrastructure, and also promote public transport for people. Even the Greens seem to have a hub focus, it all gets choked at the centre, when the best overseas models have networks and users are perfectly happy making connections

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  19. Gulag1917 (930 comments) says:

    Public transport waste millions of litres of diesel per year per small city. They need to make efficient what now exists before embarking on new projects.

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  20. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    jp_1983 there is also http://letscarpool.govt.nz. And have you ever been on the Capital Connect with its desks, power points included in the fare?

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  21. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    So when is Farrar going to write a post about the waste of money that most of the RONS’s are? They do not have a BCR of > 1.5.

    ‘Jihad’ – really? A bit hysterical aren’t you David?!

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  22. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    burt I think National policy is going to be more likely to put chips in people. TPP, lost jobs, and their stooge Kelvin Davis whose policy is boot camps.

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  23. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    @soundhill1

    The problem with Capital Connect is that it runs once a day in each direction, but not on weekends. This of course is with the patronage and subsidies that the current market can afford. For a lot of people, the infrequency of this service is a huge inconvenience. If they were to increase frequency, it would not be viable. They also have to compete with buses that on a whole run faster most of the way. Then there is the issue of needing to get from the home to the train and the train to the final destination. On top of this, in spite of all the subsidies it is cheaper to take a car load of 4 people from PN to Wellington in a car than to buy individual train fares. For the above reasons, cars appear to have a natural edge over the train.

    My take is that the Capital connect should be scrapped. Instead there should be an arrangement with commercial coach services to transport people between PN and Waikanae station for transfer onto a train. This would increase frequency and hopefully increase demand for public transport. Of course this would have rail in part concede to roads.

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  24. Tarquin North (305 comments) says:

    A wonderful example of why the Greens will never do any good in Northland. Very few people up here wouldn’t want our “holiday highway” I just can’t work out why they hate us so much.

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  25. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I note the Green MPs seem to prefer to be relaxing on a fast frequent “affordable” aircraft. I don’t see many of them taking the Auckland-Wellington train.

    Julie, the future is roads and automated cars, not large-scale public transport. Google’s driverless cars (lightweight versions, likely electric) are the way of the future. Few people will own cars, but will pay on a per usage basis. Trains and buses will be long gone. Why bother when you can order up point to point, on demand transport at the click of a button?

    The Greens have their heads stuck in the past.

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  26. Jim Peters (10 comments) says:

    Greens hate private vehicles because, well, they are private and give the lumpenproletariat freedom to go where they want when they want.

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  27. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    will labour slap on an amendment that only people in unions can use the new public transport?

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  28. themanwhowatches (33 comments) says:

    @soundhill1 – every single one of those pax at Wellington Railway Station in the early morning is heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. George Bolwing’s thesis would be correct for certain if pax paid their true costs.

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  29. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “And have you ever been on the Capital Connect with its desks, power points included in the fare?”

    can i catch it from my internal garage on a shitty winters morning?

    does it go through drive thrus if Dime feels like a big mac?

    can i change course mid way through the journey?

    heres dimes solution – all left wing voters take buses etc and the rest of us will enjoy our kick ass cars!

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  30. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @Grizz “They also have to compete with buses that on a whole run faster most of the way.” Capital Connect gets very busy from Waikanae, your “most of the way”, and is an alternative to buses and other trains running from there. It may be dearer than a car with 4 people, I do not know if you are including parking, but it is an office for many people which pays off. If pulling more carriages is an issue they could be added at Waikanae. “Then there is the issue of needing to get from the home to the train and the train to the final destination.” which is solved by car parks at the stations, and not solved by reasonable price car parks at Wellington office area? So there’s a nice bit of morning exercise for some people and they arrive at the office with blood flowing nicely and in good spirits.

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  31. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “Hi David, I’m afraid your post is quite misinformed.”

    Note that the lying stinking Green did not say that DPF was wrong. This is the usual tactic from the stinking Greens, they never give you the whole story.

    The Greens hate cars (Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid or electric) and they hate the idea of anybody living outside their immediate village.

    Oh and Ms Genter, feel free to piss off back to the USA any time you like. You are not welcome, nor wanted, in NZ.

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  32. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @dime “heres dimes solution – all left wing voters take buses etc and the rest of us will enjoy our kick ass cars!” In my opinion Capital Connect takes intelligent people of all political leanings and ones who are not dependent on their daily recreation of motorways driving, but like to work instead.

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  33. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “The Greens have their heads stuck in the past.”

    I think you meant to say they have their heads stuck up their own arse.

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  34. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @big bruv is falling back on losing language

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  35. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I think you meant to say they have their heads stuck up their own arse.

    I assumed it was self-evident.

    I did like this suggestion from Dime:

    all left wing voters take buses etc and the rest of us will enjoy our kick ass cars!”

    I look forward to all Green MPs, voters and their sympathisers moving to public transport, then everyone is happy. They can fund it themselves through user pays. The rest of us will happily pay for our road usage and look forward to not paying subsidies to public transport.

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  36. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @themanwhowatches “every single one of those pax at Wellington Railway Station in the early morning is heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. George Bolwing’s thesis would be correct for certain if pax paid their true costs.” So you would stop the subsidies, get them back on the road, and have a great excuse to pay more from our tax to roading and parking building contractors, and to increase our import bill for fuel. Interesting “pax” = “peace”.

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  37. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I have no problem with public transport, I just have a problem with compelling people to use it. I sometimes (even often when in Sydney) use public transport. It’s good for some things. It’s not for everything.

    I’m pretty sure the definition of “balanced” is not “50% spent on each.” Balanced could perhaps mean “spend equal to usage,” hell, even “spend biased towards public transport of 10x as much per passenger journey”, but 50% on each is just not balanced given how few people use public transport, and how many journeys that occur in NZ simply couldn’t occur on public transport due to going places public transport doesn’t, or at times public transport doesn’t.

    There’s a discussion to be had about how we provide safe, clean and effective public transport that people want to use. But this isn’t it.

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  38. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    “That is equal to setting $100 notes on fire and burning them to ash.”

    The Gweens can always print more!!

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  39. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    Green voters should be required to pay premium tolls and petrol tax. We’ll call it the hypocrite tax.

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  40. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    @ soundhill1

    My point is that reducing the price that consumers pays for a service will always make it more desirable and thus popular.

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  41. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PaulL “I have no problem with public transport, I just have a problem with compelling people to use it.” But why should pensioners and clever Internet workers from home be paying out of their tax to allow people the privilege for their daily driving adventure? If there is to be a public-private partnership to finance your “freedom”, let it at least bring as much back to the public purse as to the private provider purse

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  42. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “In my opinion Capital Connect takes intelligent people of all political leanings and ones who are not dependent on their daily recreation of motorways driving, but like to work instead.”

    youre that inefficient you have to work while getting to work? you in the public sector?

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  43. The Yellow Dart (4 comments) says:

    @themanwhowatches “every single one of those pax at Wellington Railway Station in the early morning is heavily subsidized by the taxpayer”

    I suspect your road has been heavily subsidised by the taxpayer too.

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  44. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    @soundhill1: have you heard of public goods? Are those people working at home not relying on the police or the fire service to come if they need them? The food in their local supermarket didn’t arrive via road?

    I also note that most of the money we’re talking about comes directly from petrol taxes, which are targeted towards building roads. So if you stay at home then you’re not really paying the taxes that fund the roads in the first place.

    Sorry, strawman is all I can say to your argument.

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  45. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    It’s really difficult getting your two kids, dog and shopping across Wellington on a bus. It always will be. A car will always be better for many types of journeys, which is why people choose to use them.

    I do wish the green hypocrites who pretend to be against roads and cars, but use roads and cars just as much as everyone else, would be honest with themselves.

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  46. wreck1080 (3,924 comments) says:

    I remember jeanette fitzsimmons arguing that the one-way kopu bridge on the way to the coromandel from auckland should remain as one lane.

    Her rationale was that people are in too much of a hurry and should go have a coffee at the cafe while waiting.

    ie, they should do things her way.

    There is an element of selfishness with the greens.

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  47. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    @soundhill1

    Who ever said a) All People using the Capital Connection are going to work?, B) All People using the Capital Connection are heading to an Office in the Centre of town?, C)All people work 9 to 5 jobs, during standard Business hours.

    In most instances it is only people who work in town centres that need to pay for carparks. People who work elsewhere, and there are more of these people out there, can usually park their cars for free or at least very little. Of course car park security is an issue. Like at train stations where cars are left unattended all day and thieves know this all too well.

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  48. tom hunter (4,899 comments) says:

    …. fast frequent affordable bus or train.

    Yeah, yeah. Talk about a rich fantasy life. Of the several dozen youth that I know, who have to take buses and trains to school in Auckland, walking through biting winds and slashing rain in the winter – not one of them wants to continue that lifestyle. It does not take much in the way of delays to allow the cursing to grow louder. When they go to the supermarkets with their parents and come home with bags of groceries in tow they know how tough that would be on a bus or a train too. They can’t wait for the time when they’ll have their own car, even if nowadays that means pushing a licence into their late teens.

    It’s those little, everyday things about ordinary humans trying to use buses and trains, that the Green’s miss, as if it’s all about business commuters. Even on that front is the fact that businesses move (or more to the point, start up) away from the CBD to low-rise, low-cost offices, aided by the ever-increasing power of telecommunications.

    Enabling business via the internet, planning for self-driving cars and “smart roads” and perhaps bolstering the frequency of buses where they make sense in the city – that’s what smart transport planning would involve.

    Instead what we have is an emphasis on buses for roads and the wonderful 19th century technology of roading that involves two iron rails and a train, together with dream of all central planners to reengineer Auckland housing and business around bus and train hubs because central planners always beat the masses. Utterly clueless.

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  49. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    The Green agenda is to have everyone living close together in high density housing, happily getting around on public transport. Roads just allow people to spread out and live further away from city centres, even though that may actually be their choice.

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  50. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PaulL though I admit the maybe 40% proportion of vehicles on our roads to be trucks and milk tankers in some places, I think they are quite efficient in terms of tonnes carried per road space used. I think police and fire service ought to be decentralised and further combined with ambulance. New road rules should be brought in that if you hear a siren you do not crowd up on the vehicle in front of you at the traffic lights so the vehicle can weave through. That, and policing the rule to stop for sirens is more important than extra roads which do not solve that problem. I doubt that petrol taxes are paying for the damage done by cars, hospital needs, air pollution, boy racers, used to be lead in petrol but the new additives are not all that perfect. We have to be prepared for rising sea levels as a result of petrol use. If you are determined to target back petrol tax simply to roads, then how about the GST on casino visits?

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  51. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I used public transport pretty much every weekday from 2003 until 2011, and then again from 2012 to 2013 (when I changed jobs). I eventually stopped because I prefer to take my car as far as I can park for free, and walk the rest of the way.
    I’m not against public transport, but believe it not, I’m actually saving more money doing what I do now (despite the GWRC subsidies).

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  52. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @Grizz “The Green agenda is to have everyone living close together in high density housing, happily getting around on public transport. Roads just allow people to spread out and live further away from city centres, even though that may actually be their choice.” No, Grizz, every party’s agenda. Note Nick Smith’s housing policy. A long time ago when the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy was being canvassed, I submitted and pointed out the GCUDS could be spelt G-CUDS. Not a very professional way of saying is this about compressing in Christchurch people to keep land cheap for “G, all those cows chewing cuds” Rural land is cheaper, even along existing transport routes. 0.2ha sections should be affordable and allow for some biodiversity stewardship, with not much of the area taken by a house for the stewards, who also have some room for food gardens. Solar power is getting much cheaper. Communications are getting better for work from home. Even surgeons do some work by remote. And there is ride-sharing for transport http://car.ma Waste water disposal has improved. We can work for phosphorus recovery on to local trees rather than sending it out to sea. It is going to be in short supply. Decentralisation may be better in times of disaster like quakes and pandemics.

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  53. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think many of the comments here are completely missing the points made by Genter. The Greens do not appear to be anti-road (an absurd idea in itself) but rather are opposed to a myopic obsession with big roading projects of dubious value. One hopes that they are happy to apply the same economic rationale to their own plans for public transport.

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  54. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @adze, I don’t know where you live. Some places have 5% of people using public transport. Since it takes some 9 times the amount of road space for private cars compared to buses it would seem better to increase subsidies from petrol taxes as a way to make more road space free. Before the quakes Christchurch had a free bus service circuiting the city, every 10 mins, supposed to be but would get late from high useage I think. They were hybrids, made in Ashburton.

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  55. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    Speaking of the stinking Greens. I see that one of Keith Locke’s hero’s has finally had his day in court.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/10359455/Khmer-Rouge-pair-jailed-for-life

    I wonder if it is still the policy of the Green party to support the Khmer Rouge?

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  56. Igotta Numbum (463 comments) says:

    Soundhill ya dumb numb nuts, you wank on about using buses, yet rail against the development/redevelopment of the roads to support them. Your argument fails.

    The canning of the basin reserve flyover has given people even less reason to use buses etc., as they are half the bloody problem in Wellington, and crawl everywhere.

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  57. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Hi to the new Greenies here today. I should probably disclose that I have a 6.3 litre V8, a turbo charged 2 litre and a 999cc twin V (which happens to be the least economical). I don’t think you will like me now, but better and safer roads are far more important to me than buses and trains. By the way, how many of you take the train between Wellington and Auckland? I bet you all fly. Hypocrites.

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  58. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    The Greens do not appear to be anti-road

    Ho ho. Can you name new roading developments they have actively championed?

    One hopes that they are happy to apply the same economic rationale to their own plans for public transport.

    Now that really is funny!

    We know the Green agenda. Roads = bad, rail = good. It’s religion with them.

    The problem is that most people, including those who vote for them, use their cars in preference to taking public transport everywhere. As the population increases, we need more roading development.

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  59. Sponge (184 comments) says:

    dime (9,503 comments) says:
    August 7th, 2014 at 5:21 pm
    will labour slap on an amendment that only people in unions can use the new public transport?

    And all car pooling must be 50/50 men and women of course.

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  60. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Why should someone have to take the train between Wellington and Auckland?

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  61. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Why should someone have to take the train between Wellington and Auckland?

    When one objects to oil use and c02, one looks like a complete hypocrite flying so readily. Not that it seems to bother them, but it gives the rest of us a laugh.

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  62. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Mike, because they ought to live by what they preach. I concede, it’s probably hell on earth and there’s no Koru lounge, but they are hypocrites if they don’t.

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  63. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Where do the Greens say no one should fly?

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  64. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I don’t know where you live. Some places have 5% of people using public transport. Since it takes some 9 times the amount of road space for private cars compared to buses it would seem better to increase subsidies from petrol taxes as a way to make more road space free.

    I live in Wellington city, which has a high utilisation of public transport relative to much of the country. As I said I am not against PT, it serves a useful purpose, although I wish it didn’t have to be subsidised at all.

    My choice to no longer use it on a regular basis was for a number of reasons, not just cost. Buses are just as much of a nuisance in Wellington’s tight corner suburban roads as they are a help to congestion, so I don’t accept the argument that PT is always better. It’s a personal choice.

    You know what I think would be ideal? Automated electric commuter pods that don’t need to park.

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  65. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Are you wilfully stupid? If the Greens really cared about the environment they would take public transport everywhere, like they want to require us to. If they were true believers in the environment they wouldn’t damage it by flying, they would take one of their precious trains paid for by the rest of us. But they don’t, do they. Or is it OK to be “Green” when it’s convenient?

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  66. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    You know what I think would be ideal? Automated electric commuter pods that don’t need to park.

    That is the future, but the local Greens are stuck in the 19th century. Rail = good.

    Rail is dead.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/01/22/fasten-your-seatbelts-googles-driverless-car-is-worth-trillions/

    “The driverless car could reduce the need for cars by enabling efficient sharing of vehicles. A driverless vehicle could theoretically be shared by multiple people, delivering itself when and where it is needed, parking itself in some remote place whenever it’s not in use.”

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  67. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “Why should someone have to take the train between Wellington and Auckland?”

    Why?…because the Greens told you to do so. Don’t argue with them, they know how to run your life far better then you do.

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  68. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Where do the Greens say no one should fly?

    They demand people to use less oil and emit less c02, but that doesn’t appear to apply to their MPs, who fly readily about the place, presumably because it’s “more convenient”.

    I’m not interested in their words. I’m interested in their actions. And their actions tell me flying and car use is preferable to train and bus use. If they believed their BS, their actions would be different.

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  69. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “A driverless vehicle could theoretically be shared by multiple people”

    We already have them, they are called buses.

    Anybody who purchases a driverless vehicle is never going to get into a car pooling system or share it with anybody other than their immediate friends and family. If you wanted to car pool then use public transport.

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  70. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Using less oil and emitting less CO2 doesn’t mean that no one should fly, ever. That’s patently absurd, and I don’t believe it is advocated by anybody.

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  71. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    @soundhill1: I think you’re missing the point. The petrol tax was specifically introduced to pay for roads, and is directed into the roading fund for that purpose. Sure, you can argue that you’d like to use it for other things, and in some sense it’s all govt revenue, but it would be changing the intent.

    It isn’t about road rules and sirens for emergency vehicles – the point is that those vehicles use the roads. You were suggesting that people who work at home shouldn’t pay for roads, but a) they largely don’t if they’re not using petrol, and b) they do still use roads, just not in the ways you were thinking.

    The end point is the one that is actually driving this. The Greens are convinced that we’re all going to be flooded because people drive cars. I don’t agree with that assessment. The fact is that the seas in some places are rising and have been rising for centuries (well, actually, the land is sinking in most of those places, but anyway). The additional rise caused by warming is a small part of that. To the extent that we’re going to be inundated (which is not very much), the majority of that “inundation” is inevitable due to long term sea rise. Taxing cars and avoiding roads will make no difference to it.

    As for the other hypothetical damages you describe…..I think studies show the petrol taxes and road user charges to be operating on a full cost recovery basis.

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  72. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Anybody who purchases a driverless vehicle is never going to get into a car pooling system or share it with anybody other than their immediate friends and family. If you wanted to car pool then use public transport.

    You don’t have to buy one. That’s half the beauty of the idea. It’s like hiring a taxi but without having to pay for the driver.

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  73. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Anybody who purchases a driverless vehicle is never going to get into a car pooling system or share it with anybody other than their immediate friends and family. If you wanted to car pool then use public transport.

    People are unlikely to own them. They’ll likely rent them, on demand. The costs will be a lot lower, because most of the cost in today’s cars are due to safety requirements. A driverless car doesn’t crash, so doesn’t need that extra weight. They’ll likely be built out of lightweight materials. They can drive a lot closer together, forming road trains, then peel off to reach their final destination.

    In 30 years, driving a car will look like riding a horse. The self-drive car era will soon be over.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10859937/Why-Googles-driverless-cars-change-everything.html

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  74. Griff (7,819 comments) says:

    Trains are so 1800’s
    They are fixed for ever and the capital cost is horrendous they require massive whole system changes to adapt or upgrade.
    Buses for public transport are cheap, use shared already existing infrastructure, and are simple and cheap to both adapt and to upgrade with changing technology.
    Driver less safer and smaller cars will be the transport medium of choice into the medium future.

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  75. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Greens like to think of themselves as forward thinking, but on this issue, they are stuck in the Victorian era.

    The best transport is on demand, point to point. We will have this with driverless cars (think pods). Trains will be scrapped. They rely on a lot of people moving to one place and back again, at the same time.

    The pods will be controlled by a central computer. Travel times made precise. The pod leaves your house when you want, and drops you off at your destination. You don’t have to park it. When you’ve used it, it scuttles off and finds it’s own park, or rotates to the next job. The pod can drive you home from the pub, pissed as you like. Who would bother driving when you can be chauffeured? Who would bother waiting for a bus or train when you can be chauffeured, on demand, point to point?

    Very few.

    So, the future is in roads and intelligent roading networks, not rail. There will also likely be more use of virtual space, so less need to work in the same physical place, anyway.

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  76. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    If people use automated transport, then who is responsible if they crash?

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  77. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    The green genter posting here is a dirty communist. She is better off posting on a labour or a Gween site.

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  78. Hair Removal Specialist (80 comments) says:

    Gotta laugh at the greens. Everyone I know in the north want better roads. Greens put up billboard in whangarei (where there is no traffic congestion) showing gridlocked traffic and implying they will fix it with their awesome superhuman brains.

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  79. nz_aj (7 comments) says:

    I hate the greens but
    Puhoi – Wellsford BCR = 0.8 http://nzta.govt.nz/network/rons/docs/puhoi-wellsford-project-summary-statement.pdf
    Transmission Gully BCR = 0.6 http://www.epa.govt.nz/Publications/tgpc-evidence-submitter-michael-pickford-economics.pdf
    There are better things to spend money on, or pay back debt.
    (Figures above ignore various fiddling of the discount rate and adding of WEBs)

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  80. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    I note that our Green friend Ms Genter has yet to reply to any of the questions posed to her?

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  81. wreck1080 (3,924 comments) says:

    @mikenmild :::

    I’d love it ff there were a myopic obsession with building roads.

    For a start, they can begin with the kaimai tunnel project to build a dual carriage way from tauranga to the new waikato expressway.

    That’d be sweet!!

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  82. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    Oh the irony – DPF wants a 1.5 return ratio AND many of the roading projects being funded by National cannot get to 1:1 – including the new road to Kapiti and most of the regional projects that National so recently unilaterally announced in breach of the transport funding process – wasting the money from the under priced sell off of power company shares.

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  83. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PauL”The petrol tax was specifically introduced to pay for roads, and is directed into the roading fund for that purpose. Sure, you can argue that you’d like to use it for other things, and in some sense it’s all govt revenue, but it would be changing the intent.”

    What would be your feeling about using such money to build roads for high occupancy vehicles?

    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/hov/faq.shtml

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  84. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PaulL “It isn’t about road rules and sirens for emergency vehicles – the point is that those vehicles use the roads. You were suggesting that people who work at home shouldn’t pay for roads, but a) they largely don’t if they’re not using petrol, and b) they do still use roads, just not in the ways you were thinking.”

    I was thinking of efficient use, you of luxury use. For efficient use not so many are needed. I am not saying no roads. Just that if I happen to need to drive somewhere or get services in when the road is taken up by boy racers or others for whom driving in a single occupant vehicle is recreation rather than necessity, then is your approach going to work to avoid that?

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  85. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PaulL “The end point is the one that is actually driving this. The Greens are convinced that we’re all going to be flooded because people drive cars. I don’t agree with that assessment.”

    It’s first noticed when stormy weather more frequently inundates land. Wellington’s south coast had a dose not too long ago. http://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/island-bay-seawall-replacement

    People from low lying islands need somewhere to go. I don’t think its dropping land always. But if land does drop, eg, Christchurch, it can accentuate the trouble.

    My personal hypothesis is that at the moment we are not seeing sea level rise, since though Antarctica is melting very fast (masked from our perception by increase of sea ice), the melting around the grounding line of the ice sheets produces less volume of water than the ice it melted from. The recent Autosubs, and GRACE measurements show how fast Antarctica is melting. Info is being released more slowly than it ought: It is perplexing to me that James is not making clear that it is sea ice surface area he is talking of and is leaving out discussion of the huge total loss of Antarctic ice.
    Here is some analysis:

    http://takvera.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/antarctic-ice-mass-accelerating.html

    James’s recent release: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/news/2014/the-mysteries-of-antarctic-sea-ice

    Such an opinion piece would appear to me to be give many of the public unwarranted feeling of security about climate change.

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  86. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @PaulL: “As for the other hypothetical damages you describe…..I think studies show the petrol taxes and road user charges to be operating on a full cost recovery basis.”

    Depending whether in your accounting you internalise all costs often externalised.

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  87. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    This is not surprising from the Greens given their idiology. Stupid policy but not a surprise

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  88. tedbear (146 comments) says:

    “The Greens just hate cars ”
    Can we safely be assured then that no Green Party member or any of their supporters own one then?

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  89. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    Julie Anne Genter loves flying out of Wellington on cloudy days, so that she doesn’t have to look down and see ordinary New Zealanders in gridlock on a highway that is decades overdue for upgrading.

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  90. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (10,134 comments) says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Julie Anne Genter loves flying out of Wellington on cloudy days, so that she doesn’t have to look down and see ordinary New Zealanders in gridlock on a highway that is decades overdue for upgrading.

    I would have thought she would prefer flying out on clear days so she can see the gridlock which is a tribute to decades of governments ignoring the necessity for providing effective public transport while pursuing economic policies which encourage people to travel one to a car at the busiest times of the day.

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  91. Manolo (13,840 comments) says:

    Miserable comrade Yoza and the Luddites want to impose their will on others.
    Who the hell is he to tell me not to drive my own car, where and when I want to, accompanied or alone?

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  92. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    Manolo (13,440 comments) says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Miserable comrade Yoza and the Luddites want to impose their will on others.
    Who the hell is he to tell me not to drive my own car, where and when I want to, accompanied or alone?

    I’m not telling you to do anything Manolo. I’m just pointing out how stupid it looks having lines of traffic coming in to Wellington city which stretch out to Porirua, travel at 10 kph and largely consist of sole occupant cars.

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  93. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I note that our Green friend Ms Genter has yet to reply to any of the questions posed to her?

    It would be pointless anyway.

    There’s no debate to be had, unless it provides another opportunity to spread their propaganda. Her type are predictable. Roads encroach into glorious nature. Cars pollute. Bad roads. Bad cars. Instead, thou shalt live in high density and take the train i.e. lets replay the Victoria era

    The future is in roads and driverless, lightweight pod cars. If the Greens thought enough about it, they’d embrace it.

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  94. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Driverless cars are probably still 20 years away from being widespread technology. But do you see any sign that any political party is embracing or not embracing them?

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  95. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I’m not telling you to do anything Manolo. I’m just pointing out how stupid it looks having lines of traffic coming in to Wellington city which stretch out to Porirua, travel at 10 kph and largely consist of sole occupant cars.

    Then build more roads. That’s what people want. We already have a train, but most people don’t like it, because it’s inflexible.

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  96. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Driverless cars are probably still 20 years away from being widespread technology. But do you see any sign that any political party is embracing or not embracing them?

    You wouldn’t put money into trains, for starters. In less than 20 years time, they will be scrapped and the rails pulled up. The future is in roads. It’s in many villages surrounding few cities. I don’t see anyone planning for what I see as inevitable.

    The driverless car changes everything, including killing off mass public transport. Why would anyone adhere to a public transport schedule and put up with destination inflexibility when the option is on demand, cheap, fast point to point chauffeured travel with no parking cost? Add in the increasing use of virtual space, as opposed to physical work space, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the future is distributed, not centralised.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10859937/Why-Googles-driverless-cars-change-everything.html

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  97. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    @Peter
    I think trains are the most efficient means of moving large volumes of people between hubs and moving people to and from those hubs would be the domain of vehicles dedicated to serving the specific interest of the individual. Building more roads invites greater congestion as a larger volume of individual occupant cars are funneled into city spaces struggling to manage the current influx.

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  98. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Yoza

    A car (think automous lightweight pod) is a “train”, at least in the sense you’re using it.

    Pods that are centrally controlled and driver-less don’t crash. They can “drive” inches from each other. There are no such thing as traffic lights as intersections are negotiated by the central computer. Pods will look like trains, until they peel away and break off as they approach their final destination.

    Because they don’t crash, they can be built of very light material. Because they are light, they are easily powered by low-powered engines (electric, etc). They are very cheap. They run continuously. They can pick you up from outside your house and deliver you to wherever you want to go, and you don’t have to park them.

    Roads will be very narrow and/or you’ll be able to get a lot more pods on existing roads. There will be less need for “lanes”. A lot of the space on roads is there due to safety issues. If cars pods can’t crash, then a lot of the safety margin disappears.

    Who on earth is going to travel on a fixed line train? What would be the point?

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  99. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Trains will be with us for the foreseeable, I think. There is a huge sunk investment in the infrastructure and it will be a long, long time before visions of driverless ‘pods’ are anything close to a reality. Even the, there will still be a place for mass transit.

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  100. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    We already have driverless cars. Now. The pods I’m talking about already exist. Economies of scale will soon kick in. Project forward.

    There will be no need for trains. No one is going to choose a train over point-to-point. Most don’t even do so when they have the choice now. They’ll have less need to do so when offered cheap, chauffeured point-to-point travel, without parking hassles, all from their doorstep.

    Do not spend any money on trains. Any money spent on trains is torched. Genter is as wrong as it is possible to be, and is stuck in a Euro-centric, Victorian mode of thinking.

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  101. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think you are vastly underestimating the difficulties that will be experienced in a mass take up of ‘pods. Sure, it’s a cool vision, but it’s still quite some way off. I don’t see any signs of the government being remotely interested in preparing for such a nebulous concept. People have been predicting the imminent demise of trains for may decades, and I think they’ll be with us for a good time yet. Even when your ‘pods’ are available, there will still be a role for high capacity modes on the busiest commuter routes.

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  102. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    PS: the cost per km of such pods will be significantly below the cost of a train. Who’s going to be paying for your train?

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  103. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I think you are vastly underestimating the difficulties that will be experienced in a mass take up of ‘pods. Sure, it’s a cool vision, but it’s still quite some way off.

    Of course it’s some way off. But their train planning involves much longer time frames. Don’t spend it on trains. An appropriate interim solution is buses, buslanes and busways. Busways are more easily re-purposed to pods.

    We have these pods right now. Operational. There will be no role for commuter trains in NZ in under 20 years. They are already very expensive and their utility will fall through the floor compared to pods. Old people, disabled people, young people – all will have their transport access greatly improved and costs lowered using pods.

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  104. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    For the Greens, transport is the policy area that gets so many fired up, because central to their faith based ideology is that some modes of transport are polluting, bad and wasteful (cars and trucks and sometimes planes), others are sustainable, good and efficient (anything on rails, if no rails then buses, bikes, walking and ships as long as they are crewed by unionists from NZ).

    The fundamental problem with the Greens is that they damn the Nats for spending money raised from road users using fuel tax and RUC on inefficient road projects (and some are dubious), but then want to spend that same money, raised from road users, to pay for infrastructure and to subsidise public transport services. They go on about doing what people want, but ignore that the signals of demand are obvious, what people want is not answered through surveys, but by their actions.

    NZ once had railway lines all over the country with passenger services, many stopping at every small town, many services running at a loss, but NZers, once they could afford it bought cars and drove. They paid petrol tax and government built and expanded the road network, and as NZR didn’t sell train tickets it cut services, closed lines and eventually focused on freight almost everywhere, because it had a monopoly on carrying most things more than 150km. Then that monopoly was lifted, and goods moved by the most efficient means, measured by the cost charged to the consignor.

    Unfortunately the Greens are central planners, and believe that if only endless amounts of money were poured into railways and their preferred modes then the roads would be cleared for the users they approve of – buses, taxis, bikes, delivery vehicles from railway freight depots, emergency vehicles, and the odd car for Sue Kedgley.

    It isn’t new, it’s been tried and failed in all New World cities. Yes if you close down direct bus services when you open a new $1b rail service, you get some users, loving it being more comfortable, but are the roads emptier? No. Is congestion relieved? No. Could you ever get that money back from users? No, because running the trains needs about a 66% subsidy.

    The Green myth of peak oil has evaporated, thanks to fracking and new discoveries. Now they want to pour money into their religious fervour of public transport, make it free for some (which will discourage walking and cycling for them) and subsidise the coal, log and dairy exporters who are some of the main users of rail freight.

    Yes, it’s ridiculous. The Greens want the tradesmen in Timaru to subsidise the cost of Solid Energy transporting coal to be burnt in Chinese power plants through his petrol taxes.

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  105. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    No one is planning for these pods now. That alone suggest that they are a long way off and there will inevitably be a long transition period. In the interim, public transport enhancements that demonstrate favourable BCRs should be pursued. Expensive roading projects that don’t should not.

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  106. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    oh and I agree the future is in ever more automated road vehicles.

    Roads have the advantage of being ubiquitous and infinitely flexible, and a combination of more efficient and new sources of energy, and automation, will deal to the pollution and capacity issues.

    The future should be roads, run intelligently, in a commercial manner, charging users based on size and congestion of the specific road, providing information on capacity and parking, so people decide when best to use roads and which routes to use. The huge sunk cost in railways in Auckland and Wellington will have to be utilised, but the freight network should be pared down to whatever is profitable.

    Julie Ann Genter has improved Green transport policy, but she is no economist, and was a junior planner in an engineering consultancy firm. That’s a genius by Green Party terms, but hardly qualified as a serious strategic analyst.

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  107. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    No one is planning for these pods now. That alone suggest that they are a long way off and there will inevitably be a long transition period. In the interim, public transport enhancements that demonstrate favourable BCRs should be pursued. Expensive roading projects that don’t should not.

    They are in the US, but then the US tends to be forward thinking, especially in Silicon Valley. Our (near) transport future comes from the Valley, not from Victorian Europe.

    The fact our dullard politicians don’t consider it is no surprise. Nor is it an excuse. Trains are dead now. They will be even more so in 20 years, for the obvious reasons I’ve outlined.

    Do not spend money on trains. Every cent spent on a train that lacks 100% payback in 10 years is wasted.

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  108. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    The huge sunk cost in railways in Auckland and Wellington will have to be utilised, but the freight network should be pared down to whatever is profitable.

    I suspect once the pods become popular, the trains will be empty. We’ll rip up the lines, scrap the trains, and use the train route as a pod route. That’s why I think busways are a better interim solution, as we’re essentially building a road. Pods can use narrow roads.

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  109. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @Keeping Stock: “Julie Anne Genter loves flying out of Wellington on cloudy days, so that she doesn’t have to look down and see ordinary New Zealanders in gridlock on a highway that is decades overdue for upgrading.”

    Airbus A320 2700 litres per hour divided between 180 people = 15 litres per hour per person. 800 km/hr so some 2 litres per 100 km per person.

    Smallish private car one occupant 4 litres per 100km.

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  110. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘Trains are dead now. They will be even more so in 20 years’
    I’m pretty sure we will still have the current trains in 20 years here in Wellington at the very least. They’re a very efficient mechanism for moving large numbers of commuters along constrained transport corridors.

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  111. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    mikenmild, they are subsidised. They are on life support, life support being the subsidy from motorists. Expose the train communter to the full cost and they would switch to cars.

    As I’ve explained, constrained corridors are a non-issue for pods. In any case, large numbers of people will be less likely moving from in one direction at time A and back again at time B in the future due to increased use of virtual space.

    The behind-the-times Greens should be embracing the pod future. They will be low-emission, cheap and benefit the poor, old and disabled the most. In the meantime, the dim Green Party should support busways, not trains.

    Smarten up, Greens. You’re positively Victorian.

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  112. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m not necessarily arguing with your vision of the future, I’m just saying that it’s a lot further away than you think.

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  113. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I’m not necessarily arguing with your vision of the future, I’m just saying that it’s a lot further away than you think.

    Why, given that the tech I’m talking about has been operational for years already? The WWW has barely used in 1993. Seven years later it had transformed everything.

    What I’m saying is plan for it. Do not plan backwards, which is what they’re doing with trains. They’re trying to force us back to an earlier era with less flexibility. That will fail. Busways are the interim solution as they can be repurposed as public roads for pods in future.

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  114. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    If that’s the case, we should be a fast follower when LA or San Francisco demonstrates a successful conversion from mass transit to individual pods. I’d expect to see that in 30-40 years.

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  115. tom hunter (4,899 comments) says:

    Roads have the advantage of being ubiquitous and infinitely flexible,

    This is another key point that is overlooked. The world over we’re still using roads built hundreds of years ago, in parts of Europe they’re roads built 2000 years ago by the Romans, just with upgraded surfaces and some widening. The reason is that it’s simply a flattish surface that easily connects to other roads and can easily have new ones extended off of them, so they can be used by anything from a horse-drawn cart with wooden wheels to a self-driving truck running on run-flat tyres.

    By contrast you can’t even ride a bike along a railway line, let alone any other type of wheeled vehicle that does not conform to the format of steel wheels of a fixed width. You think that’s the future? That more such “roads” should be built? By contrast, something like the Waikato Expressway makes infinitely more sense even as a far-future investment that can’t be built into BCR calculations.

    … and a combination of more efficient and new sources of energy, and automation, will deal to the pollution and capacity issues.

    And before anybody snorts about this it should be pointed out that it is already happening and has been happening for at least the last forty years. The efficiency of even plonking internal combustion engines is beyond anything any auto designer even imagined in the 1960’s.

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  116. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I’d expect to see that in 30-40 years.

    I don’t understand your time frames. The technology already exists, so the barriers are mainly political and the retirement of the existing fleet. So, my guess would be half that time.

    In any case, don’t waste a cent on rail. If these enviro-loons are going to spend it on anything, it should be busways, which are just another form of road.

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  117. Left Right and Centre (2,986 comments) says:

    Good for Julie showing up and posting. Thanks Julie.

    Wonderful to see all of the well-behaved KB commenters who can accept in a civil manner other people who may hold a difference of opinion or view on an issue.

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  118. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘In any case, don’t waste a cent on rail.’
    I’m predicting the existing rail network will be maintained and in some cases enhanced as it make economic sense to do so. Back to the BCRs.

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  119. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Cheesy video, but it’s the near future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqSDWoAhvLU

    Understand it, and you’ll understand why trains are finished.

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  120. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    > They are in the US, but then the US tends to be forward thinking, especially in Silicon Valley. Our (near) transport future comes from the Valley, not from Victorian Europe.

    I guess we’re just going to ignore San Fran’s extensive public transport system, and especially the BART which services almost 400k people a day?

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  121. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    I guess we’re just going to ignore San Fran’s extensive public transport system, and especially the BART which services almost 400k people a day?

    It’s the past. It served a purpose.

    You wouldn’t build a train now. Especially not here. Well, you would if you’re religious, and that’s what I’m arguing against. Rather, look at the future of transport and build with the future in mind. The future is self-driving pods that are to rail what the car was to a horse. That technology isn’t fanciful. It exists. It has done for a few years now.

    The interim, for the religious, is buslanes and busways. Roads, in other words.

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  122. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    https://calumchace.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/europe-hits-the-gas-pedal-on-driverless-cars/

    “Google recently announced that its test cars have completed half a million miles, with a flawless safety record. It hopes the technology will be available to the public in 2017. Elon Musk, of PayPal and Space X fame, hopes that his electric car company Tesla Motors will have autonomous cars ready a year earlier.

    Outside the USA, governments and manufacturers don’t want to be left behind. Nissan has carried out the first public road test of an autonomous vehicle on a Japanese highway, and now European governments are getting in on the act. The Swedish government is preparing what it describes as the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving pilot: 100 Volvos (now a Chinese company) will be deployed on 37 miles (50 km) of busy commuter roads in and around Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017.

    Here in the UK, the government has announced a £10m prize to fund a town or city to become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles. Declaring that it wants to make the UK a world centre for the development of driverless cars, it will conduct a review next year to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework is in place. One city, Milton Keynes, is already experimenting with driverless pods. By mid-2017 (that year again!) it plans to have 100 fully autonomous vehicles running on the town’s pathways along with pedestrians, using sensors to avoid collisions.”

    And what are we talking about in NZ?

    Trains.

    Nothing smart about trains in NZ. Roads are the future.

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  123. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    Will pods be restricted to inner cities and have a road monopoly alongside buses? Become nothing more than a replacement for taxis in this area?

    Can pods co-exist with cars in suburbs, on motorways and inter-city travel? Would they need their own lanes or separate roading entirely. And will they come in family size?

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  124. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    Will pods be restricted to inner cities and have a road monopoly alongside buses?

    There won’t be any buses. Why would you adhere to the schedule and route of a bus when you can have very cheap, on demand, point to point travel at the click of a button?

    Become nothing more than a replacement for taxis in this area?

    They are a transport solution. Why would you use anything else? Most travel will be by “taxi” (pod)

    Can pods co-exist with cars in suburbs, on motorways and inter-city travel?

    Yes. Google’s driverless car has driven flawlessly for years in car traffic. The only crash it had was when a human had it on manual control.

    Would they need their own lanes or separate roading entirely.

    After the transition, there will be only pods, bicycles, trucks (also driverless). There are driverless trucks now.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140610-the-trucks-which-drive-themselves

    And will they come in family size?

    All sizes. You order up whatever suits your journey.

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  125. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    You eat your breakfast.

    You click on your phone to order a pod. Single person journey, going to work. Your phone pings. The pod is outside. You grab your wallet and close the front door behind you.

    In front of you is a small, covered vehicle little bigger than a motorbike. You step open the door, step inside, take a seat and hit “go”.

    No need for seatbelts. It can’t crash. No need for a big engine. This particular vehicle is designed for short, single person journeys. It is powered by batteries. It doesn’t go over 100kmph. It doesn’t need to do so. It’s costs are remarkably low. Very low insurance (it doesn’t crash). Very lightweight (it doesn’t crash, so no need for safety features. It’s probably made of fibreglass). It’s not trying to be all things to all people, so it doesn’t need to be big (more pods can travel down the same roadway, width-wise). If people want to take their family, they order up a larger pod. Low emission. Low cost. Biggest benefit returns to the old, disabled and young.

    The pod is controlled by central traffic computers. It can travel an inch from the pod in front. You can get many pods down the same roadway. There is no need for buses or trains. You have “trains” of pods.

    The pod reaches your destination. You step out. It scuttles off to fill it’s next job. The pods continuously rotate, like taxis, until they need charging, at which point they head to a charging station. Some people will own private, luxury pods. These pods may simply return home again after having dropped the owner off, or go find an out of town parking spot until they are needed again.

    The future is in roads.

    Don’t build rail.

    This technology isn’t fantasy. It’s here already.

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  126. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @Peter “The pod is controlled by central traffic computers. It can travel an inch from the pod in front. You can get many pods down the same roadway. There is no need for buses or trains. You have “trains” of pods.”

    If a bus service takes one ninth of the road space per person transported that a car takes, then what about a pod?

    Probably won’t need so many extra roads. Let’s experiment a bit by trying the app at http://car.ma.

    If we find we may need fewer roads, should we drop petrol and other targeted road taxes? That might clog the roads for the mean time. Why not put the money into promoting that app and others like it, and finding ways of allowing people to feel happy not having driving themselves as their recreation, which as you point out is going to happen.

    Taxi drivers will not like it. Work needs to be done finding employment for them. Metiria Turei. Green Party co-leader, said on TV3 “The Nation” this morning, money into public transport produces many jobs. Even if a rail system were to be dismantled, soon, that would be better, wouldn’t it, than only having an economy and jobs produced by a dismantling earthquake?

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  127. Peter (1,714 comments) says:

    If a bus service takes one ninth of the road space per person transported that a car takes, then what about a pod?

    Many (one person) pods will be no bigger than a motorbike. If a vehicle cannot crash, then all it needs is weatherproofing. Those carrying more people will be bigger, of course.

    The problem with a bus, or a train, is they don’t go past your front gate the minute you need them, nor do they drop you directly outside your destination. Cheap, driverless pods render buses and trains redundant.

    If we find we may need fewer roads

    The good news, for the Greens, is they may well find that to be true. However, we need to start planning for this road future, because it will be happen. Don’t build rail.

    Taxi drivers will not like it

    Horsehoe repairers and stagecoach drivers didn’t much like the car. Them not liking it won’t stop it.

    Work needs to be done finding employment for them

    Yes

    Metiria Turei. Green Party co-leader, said on TV3 “The Nation” this morning, money into public transport produces many jobs.

    I’m not much interested in Metiria Turei’s opinion on jobs or anything else. You can create many jobs by returning everyone to horse and carts. Doesn’t mean we do it.

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