Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Star Times asks idiot about transport

Well if you read this article by Esther Howard in New Zealand's leading leftwing rag - the Sunday Star Times, you wouldn't be that enlightened about Auckland transport. She talked to three leading international gurus and an Auckland expert, none of whom actually presented differing views from each other.

Paul Mees is a radical advocate of endless subsidies to public transport, and is rabidly against private transport. He does not present evidence for his claims, and is not widely acknowledged as being of great standing in urban transport circles in Australia and New Zealand. He wants an end to road building, and to pour money into public transport, putting high density Zurich on a par with Auckland. He gives no evidence whatsoever for his claim that this would reduce congestion.

Paul Bedford is another public transport enthusiast, wanting trams galore and also anti-roads. Again, someone who gives no evidence that spending a fortune on public transport will ease congestion.

Professor George Hazel is a bit more sensible. Another supporter of public transport, but more intelligently also promotes integrated ticketing and payment systems. He suggests people get credits for using public transport off peak.

Stuart Donovan from Auckland is even more sensible, as he promotes ending requirements for developers to provide parking (but then advocates taxes on parking). He supports replacing fuel taxes with tolls, at least this would ease congestion.

So you see, high standards of journalism again in New Zealand newspapers. No one who believes in efficient management of roads and free market transport was asked. The answer, you see, is to run all transport commercially - roads and public transport.

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