Public transport in Auckland is an issue I could talk to you about all day. The unreliability, the cancelations, the break downs, the being stranded between stations for no apparent reason and no way to get off the train. I catch the train most days, twice a day, for total time of 2 hours 20 minutes (when it is running to schedule and all goes well). It makes sense that when we had the privilege to have Mayor of Auckland Len Brown do an exclusive press conference for us at uni I wrote a story about public transport.
By Emma Stanford
Auckland has made mistakes regarding transport in the city and with the steady influx of population Len Brown says it is time to fix this ‘nonsense.’
Auckland is experiencing a 1.5-2 per cent increase in population every year which Mr Brown says is the equivalent to Palmerston North.
“The city wouldn’t confront the issue of its growth and therefore the need to deal with those sorts of challenges, the growth around for example, investing in a proper transport system.”
Mr Brown says in the 1950s planners were sent to Los Angeles to learn how to structure Auckland and were told not to do public transport. Mr Brown says we are playing catch up and having to fix these mistakes now.
“We made a very bad strategic decision in going that way because now what we are seeing as we rebuild the public transport, we are now having to redress it.
“We have always under invested, we have used the excuse we’re not growing fast enough, it costs too much, I’m saying now is the time to stop that nonsense and quite frankly admit the fact the city has under invested.”
The rail network is experiencing one million extra train trips a year with only half of the electric train roll out completed.
Mr Brown says the new rail network will give the capacity for 30 to 35 million trips on the rail network, triple what the trips of now.
“We are investing seriously in train, the more we invest the more people get on it. It’s great to see.”