Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Upping the game on public transport

Upping the game on public transport: cheaper fares and zero emission buses now

As the Regional Council begins its hearings on its Regional Public Transport Plan this week, three City Councillors are calling on the Council to introduce cheaper fares and switch to zero emission buses.

“We want to see affordable bus fares for Wellingtonians, with a 50% discount on off-peak fares,’ says Cr Sarah Free.

”We need to make our public transport assets sweat more; there are times the buses are under-utilised, and so incentives to improve patronage at off peak times make a lot of sense.

Such a move would particularly benefit those on low incomes, children and students.”

Cr David Lee said he was very concerned that bus patronage in Wellington continues to decline and questioned whether high bus fares in Wellington were contributing to this situation.

“We cannot understand why Wellington bus users have to pay considerably more than users in Auckland and Christchurch,” said Cr Lee. For example, the Inner Link Bus in Auckland which travels around inner suburbs in Auckland costs $1.90 as opposed to the proposed $2.50 to just travel around Wellington’s CBD.

“There also needs to be equity between bus users and train users. Bus users pay a far greater proportion of the cost of their trip than rail users,” said Cr Lee.

More and more evidence is emerging about the harmful health effects of diesel fumes, said Cr Free.

“We therefore urge the Regional Council not to make a hasty decision to scrap our fleet of trolley buses. We consider there hasn’t been a sufficiently detailed and transparent comparison of the total costs of the different options to get the best deal for Wellington. The present trolley buses still have years of useful life and we would like to see them retained until there is a good electric alternative”.

Cr Iona Pannett said that the Regional Council needs to embrace opportunities to collaborate with the City Council on these two issues – issues supported by the public through submissions. “This is a great opportunity for the Regional Council to take a real leadership role in reversing the trend of declining public transport use.”

Cr Pannett said “I am concerned that the Regional Council may have already made up its mind to get rid of the trolleys. Trolleys are seen as a viable form of transport around the world; over 300 cities use them, as they are seen as efficient and an environmentally friendly form of transport.

“There are questions about the accuracy of some of the figures that have been provided by the Regional Council about the cost of the trolleys. “A report by consultants Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) shows that energy costs for trolleys are less than that for diesel buses, they last longer and they can manage Wellington’s hills better.

“The costs for removing the wires also have not been quantified fully although another report by PwC report puts it at around $20m, a very high cost. The costs of upgrading the system may also be too high with only a portion of it requiring further work”. She also pointed out that the report shows that trolley buses are not incompatible with the Regional Council’s vision for Bus Rapid Transit.

Cr Lee added that the City Council has a role to play in making public transport work better. “We need to introduce a dedicated public transport corridor and new bus priority lanes as soon as possible. Without these measures, it will be impossible to make public transport work better.”
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news