Auckland Transport

July 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Kudos to Auckland Transport Blog which has published an alternate transport vision for Auckland from 2015 to 2030. Their main post is here and their costings here.

It’s a great example of being pro-active and putting up a well researched proposal for debate. Doesn’t mean I agree with their proposal, but their contribution is valuable and welcome.

It would be good for an appropriate agency to independently cost their proposals, and estimate what impact on congestion their proposals would have.

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Hide on Auckland Transport

April 28th, 2013 at 6:31 am by David Farrar

Rodney Hide writes in the HoS:

My research led me to Wellingtonian Tony Randle, who spent months trying to get the analysis underpinning the 2010 Rail Business Case, succeeding only after a complaint to the Ombudsman.

Once Tony got hold of the analysis he found:

1. Basic spreadsheet errors. The spreadsheet fails to calculate the running costs of the second purchase of 26 trains. That ignores $689 million on the train option.

2. Incorrect exclusion of costs from the rail option. The study excludes the necessary funding to extend the Northern Busway into the city centre. Building this access is a necessary part of the rail option.

3. Addition of a second bus tunnel without explanation, adding hundreds of millions to the bus option.

4. Unreasonable assumptions, including a prediction that under the rail option, present bus capacity into the city centre will carry another 20,000 passengers a day without any new bus lanes or busways.

And people wonder why the Government won’t just hand over billions of dollars. I’m not sure what is worse – the massive errors in the analysis, but the fact they wouldn’t release them without the Ombudsman.

The overall impression is that the analysis was slanted to conclude trains over buses, despite the fact that buses may provide a better cheaper service.

The errors and poor assumptions total $1.5 billion. The bias is systematic; each and every mistake favours rail over buses. Correcting for the errors reverses the study’s conclusions and shows the CBD bus tunnel more cost-effective than the City Rail Link.

Tony Randle’s review is damning of Auckland Transport’s report. And it’s damning of the rail option. Auckland Transport’s response? Stony silence.

I’ve blogged on Tony’s work before. I am surprised no Councillor has followed it up. He makes available his detailed spreadsheets freely.

Last December, Auckland Transport released a second report. City Centre Future Access Study also concludes that the city rail link beats the two bus options considered, but now for different reasons to the first report. And, once again, Auckland Transport published the study without the underpinning analysis.

I followed Randle’s lead and requested the spreadsheets and the relevant model output reports. Auckland Transport has refused to supply them to me.

Its latest is a lawyer’s letter explaining that Auckland Transport will provide what I want but only if I pay them $3850.

Oh, and they won’t send me the spreadsheets.

Instead, they will send a printed output. That’s useless to me. It won’t allow me to check the very calculations that Randle showed were so devastatingly wrong in their first report.

I am left to conclude that Auckland Transport doesn’t trust its own analysis. So how can I trust it? And, more especially, how can you?

Very good questions. The spreadsheets should be provided free of charge to anyone asking. They already exist. There is no cost involved in e-mailing them out. The cost of $3,850 demanded is a rort.

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Politically correct Auckland Transport

March 22nd, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Mao in Wellington

 

These advertisements have been banned by Auckland Transport from their bus shelters. The Herald reports:

The ad, for online electricity store Powershop, shows the Chinese former dictator surrounded by Chinese people and soldiers with guns, and carries the slogan ‘Same Power Different Attitude’.

It has been banned from bus shelters by Auckland Council-owned Auckland Transport over fears it could offend some members of the Chinese community.

Oh for fuck’s sake. It’s not even a denigrating portrayal, but a humourous one.  I hate this sort of self-censorship.

And while we are at it, Mao managed to kill tens of millions of Chinese through his policies. Would Auckland Transport refuse an ad with Stalin in it, in case some Russians were offended?

We live in New Zealand, not China. Local Government officials should not be censoring ads because they may offend some people. On that basis every advertisement could be banned.

Pleased to see Wellington transport officials are not so politically correct.

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Ridiculous proposed restrictions by Auckland Transport

February 4th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Mathew Dearnaley at NZ Herald reports:

Politicians are upset that an Auckland Transport bylaw may ban mobile election hoardings and put restrictions on others.

The council transport organisation, which is trying to standardise bylaws in time for this year’s local elections, says it does not believe vehicles used solely for political advertising should be allowed on city roads or in carparks.

But Labour’s transport spokesman, Phil Twyford, suggested yesterday that the organisation should concentrate on making its trains run on time. And Act’s John Boscawen said his party would oppose any such restriction “on people’s freedom of speech and to express, and to generate interest in the political process”.

Auckland Transport says in a position paper seeking public submissions by February 28 that its bylaws should support an objective of making roads effective for carrying people and goods.

It proposes that election signs be allowed on vehicles used for ordinary travel but not for the sole purpose of advertising, such as when towing trailer-mounted hoardings.

This is pathetic and ridiculous  Auckland has almost 1.4 million people living in it, and around 1.1 million vehicles. And Auckland Transport are trying to restrict cars used for political advertising, which would probably reduce the number of cars at any one time by oh around six or so.

As Phil Twyford says, they should focus on making the trains run on time, and not becoming political speech commissars.

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