Collins Releases Five-point Transport Plan To Unlock’s Auckland’s Potential
In a speech to campaign supporters in West Auckland, alongside former deputy mayor Penny Hulse, Fa’anana Efeso Collins announced his five-point transport plan to create a better connected, more inclusive city.
“We are lucky to live in this wonderful city - with beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring maunga, delicious eateries, and richly diverse communities. But Auckland’s traffic problems are choking the joy out of our city,” says Collins.
“That’s why my plan for better and more accessible public transport is a plan that puts the future of Auckland first.”
Collins’ five-point plan includes: a fully free public transport system, an expanded more frequent network, re-aligning Auckland Transport to Auckland Council’s vision for a better connected city by ensuring two councillors sit on its board, support for electric ferries and integration of ferries into network, and ensuring Auckland Transport’s parking strategy is rolled out equitably and democratically.
“Better and more accessible public transport is a quadruple win: good for the cost of living, for congestion, for climate, and for revitalising our town centres,” Collins says.
This plan is underpinned by the strong intent for Auckland to meet its climate action goals which will require 64% emissions reductions to come from transport by 2030.
But there are also significant financial reasons compelling Collins’ plan. According to research, congestion costs $1.2b per year in productivity, the social cost of car accidents was over $4 billion in 2020 and car pollution alone has been linked to 400 premature deaths per annum.
“Fares-free public transport, along with the other four elements of my plan, will support families and businesses: this is a plan for the people, and for all of Auckland,” Collins says.
As recent polling data has shown, Aucklanders overwhelmingly support Collins’ plan for free public transport, with 73% of those surveyed backing the idea, including 62% of National and ACT voters.
And Collins says he intends to pay for this plan through existing sources of revenue.
“As shown by Dr Jenny McArthur, an Associate Professor at the University College in London, who has provided a research paper on this policy, we can reallocate funding within Auckland Transport’s budgets, or we can use a mix of congestion charges, the National Land Transport Fund and Crown subsidies.
“What’s clear is we understand both the costs along with the risks of inaction, there are available funding sources and there is a public mandate – so it will be up to me as mayor and my fellow councillors to just get on and do it.”