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Taxi Fleet – The Ignored Public transport System

Taxi Fleet – The Ignored Public transport System

Anyone interested in the future of Auckland and the most effective investment in transport should read Great Rail Disasters at ,

This is a PDF file and will download automatically if you are connected to the internet.

We draw your attention to the summary on page 7.

The Centre also finds it interesting that the contribution of our taxi fleet to public transport in the Auckland region is ignored by the planners and politicians. We believe this is because taxis are cars – and we should understand that cars are the enemy.

Present rail patronage in Auckland region is about 2.5 million riders per year.

Present taxi patronage in Auckland region is about 20 million riders per year.

This taxi based public transport system works without subsidies from City or Wellington.

The vain hope is that the upgraded rail system will carry 30,000,000 passengers per year by 2021 - after billions of dollars in subsidies of construction and operations. Boston consulting group says that this patronage can be achieved only by tolling of roads, and doubling of petrol and parking prices. If we do Auckland will have a higher market share on rail than New York.

Taxis will carry this number of riders by natural growth.

By completing the road network the extra rail passenger rides could be easily distributed among buses and taxis at much lower cost. Taxi vouchers for the old, and handicapped etc are cheap. Buses could be enhanced with raised platforms for level entry at stops, off bus ticketing and so on.

Buses and taxis need roads to run on.

The ARC refuses to allow taxis and private shuttles (Airport Shuttle etc) to use the bus lanes. They would rather see the bus lanes empty than "polluted" by cars in the form of taxis. The use of bus lanes would save taxi riders millions of dollars a year. Taking a cab to the airport during rush hour would be less of a gamble and our airlines could reduce their staff because they could reduce the rostered teams.

The way to promote public transport is to complete the road network and enhance the bus and taxi system.

Britomart cost $242 million (ignoring running costs) and has removed only 228 cars per day off Auckland roads during peak hours – which is less than one week's growth in car ownership in Auckland. (The ARC estimates that an additional 250 cars join the Auckland car fleet each week.)

This information is derived from the answers to the question a Colmar Brunton consumer survey: "If there was no public transport available (i.e: no buses, trains, ferries), what is the most likely way that you would have made this trip?"

The break down from this question for the rail users is that 45.5% of peak-time commuters would drive, and 28.6% of non-peak commuters would drive. Also, 32.5% of peak and 33.3% of non-peak would travel as passenger in a private motor vehicle.

The average weekday patronage YTD to April 2004 (ex Tranz Metro ticket sales) is 12,820 (2003/2004).
The same figure for the previous year is 10,372 (2002/03).

The difference is 2,447 which means 2,447 more passengers a day now travel by train.

Of these , the breakdown is about 500 peak, 1947 off peak. If we then take the peak number and the % who would drive a car (500 x
0.455) = 227.5 more people would travel by car in peak times.

Is this a good way to spend ratepayers' money?

Owen McShane
Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies

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