Monday, April 29, 2013

Auckland road pricing?

Some questions:

- Is there a funding gap if large totemic projects that the users would never pay for themselves are dropped? (yes rail and road)

- Why does Auckland Council assume fuel tax will still exist in 30 years time when multiple states in the US and the Australian Federal Government are considering whether it has a future at all when vehicle engines become so fuel efficient that the tax would have to be very high to collect enough money at all?

- Why does Auckland Council think that two road pricing options, both highly criticised in a previous report are still worth considering, especially since technology has moved in leaps and bounds since then?

- Why does Auckland Council think that if there is user pays on the roads, directly, not through fuel tax, that there shouldn't be user pays on the railways?

- Why do options to fund transport in Auckland automatically exclude any evolution of the existing road pricing type system in the form of national road user charges?  A system that now has increasing numbers of people paying through a privately provided electronic system that measures where and when vehicles use the roads, and has competitive delivery.

- Why did Auckland Council completely ignore other road pricing options used elsewhere?  Is it because its consultants know nothing about them? (I very strongly expect this)

- Why does Auckland Council think roads shouldn't be run like a business?  Just because Auckland Transport Blog wants to plan, tax motorists and subsidise public transport in its eager bright eyed bushy-tailed attempt to push people into doing what it thinks is best for them, doesn't mean people will comply, or that it is good for them.

- What is Auckland Council's view on the automation of road transport, including the increasing likelihood that road vehicles will increasingly be self-steering and self-driving, at least part of the time?  Given this could treble the capacity of existing roads,  virtually eliminating congestion, dramatically cut pollution and eliminate one of the few advantages of rail over road, why ignore it?

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