Nothern Busway; Success story or not?

Auckland’s Northern Busway celebrated its first birthday over the weekend. But you wouldn’t know it. Other than a piece in the North Shore Times talking about free rides on the 1st of February, there has been scarcely a murmur in the press.

Why not? The Busway has been an overwhelming success. So overwhelming in fact that even before it formally opened it was so busy that the North Shore City Council was cap in hand begging ARTA for more money to expand it.

North Shore Busway

The NZ Herald has recently done a whole series on Auckland successes. I should think that the Northern Busway would merit star billing. Instead, it editorialises about the Waterview Tunnel, repeating the misleading figures that Minister Joyce put out last week regarding its cost. (Not that I am any fan of the tunnel, but it sure adds to the uncertainty that our new government is fomenting, which I’ve posted about before.)

Probably the most shocking thing to me is that North Shore City Council itself has not even bothered to put out a press release. Neither have any of the other partners in the venture. This despite them all pitching in to pay for the party they threw.

I for one applaud the whole project and would urge our governments, local and central, to get on with building the next phase of expansion. I see that they have wisely allowed the airport shuttles to use the Busway. This  is great news for tourist and local alike. If the New Zealand Transport Agency would just see fit to complete the rail link to the airport, Auckland would rank among the better served tourism destinations.

Our very own Keith Locke was present for the birthday festivities. I wish I had been there with him.

30 thoughts on “Nothern Busway; Success story or not?

  1. BTW:

    Global Warming Crisis Continues

    “The heaviest snow in 18 years has brought traffic chaos across south London with a plane skidding at Heathrow, the M25 closed, no trains or buses running and schools shut for the day”

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  2. Exactly what the models predict BP. More aggressive weather events, including heavier snowfall. Not that we can link one event with AGW, but the trends as predicted are slowly unfolding.

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  3. What if weather patterns stay with a consistent range? Will that also be a signifier of AGW?

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  4. Is Antarctica warming or cooling? Either way it proves global warming, according to climate modelers.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Will+the+Real+Antarctica+Please+Stand+Up/article14028.htm

    Meanwhile, the tide appears to be turning….

    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/01/28/the-turning-point%E2%80%94its-becoming-chic-to-be-a-skeptic/

    “This must be it, surely, the point where being a skeptic has more scientific cachet than being a believer. The trickle is becoming a flood. We are reaching the stage where independent scientists will want to make sure they are known to be on the skeptical side of the fence….None other than James Hansens former supervisor at NASA has just announced that not only is he a skeptic, but that Hansen is an embarrassment to NASA and was never muzzled.”

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  5. An Incomprehensible Untruth

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3302471/a-cooling-ardour.thtml

    “Theon declared ‘climate models are useless.’ ‘My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit,’ Theon explained. ‘Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy,’ he added.”

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  6. One of the highlights of my last visit to rellies in Auckland was travelling to the CBD by using the North Shore buses, and getting onto the new Busway.

    Having had rellies in Aucks for most of the past 20 years, in one form or another, I found the Busway to be the best transport innovation in my years of travel around that city.
    I’ve watched the motorways extend down into north Waikato, seen farmland gobbled up by construction activity, watched (and cursed!) the various changes to the access points from motorway into central city, and commiserated with friends who live there permanently about their horrific morning commutes.
    All the while, continuing to visit my fav places, like Cornwall Park, the Auckland Museum, teh Art Gallery, and MOTAT/Auckland Zoo out in Pt Chev.
    Not ofrgetting the beaches …

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  7. ow! that posted b4 I got all the typo’s out … fix, plse, frog? & delete this?!! ;-)

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  8. “Exactly what the models predict BP. More aggressive weather events, including heavier snowfall.”

    But then, that ain’t global warming. Global warming means an increase in temperatures, and given the time, I could find the line from the IPCC that mentions they expect temperatures in all places of the world to increase, but some by more than others.

    Of course, we also saw a massive drop in average temperatures in 2008, further emphasising that the massive increase in temperatures stopped in 1998, and that all the trend line was doing was catching up.

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  9. Johnston
    What are you reading? AGW is totally about warming and cooling!

    The point of climate change is that the distribution of precipitative events will be disturbed, and shift the global climate out of the paradigm that we have been experiencing, into another weather and temperature paradigm altogether.

    The reason it will have catastrophic effects on human populations is due to the extremes generated, and the narrow band of acceptable temperatures that human life can tolerate.
    Up or down 5 degrees centigrade, and most humans find the day uncomfortable and become unproductive, and at greater variation than that, unviable.

    Have a look at what the temp’s in Melbourne have been (or anywhere in Southern Australia, for that matter), or look at the news reports about the fires in Gisborne around Mahia Peninsula. Both places are experiencing decade-high temp’s and dangerous heatwaves.

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  10. >>AGW is totally about warming and cooling

    Is it also about staying withing a range?

    What events would signify AGW ISN’T happening?

    Because it seems to me that *every* climate event is a signifier of AGW…

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  11. On what basis is the Busway considered an overwhelming success? For sure it has reduced the nations energy imports, but how much has it reduced overall energy use or carbon emissions. In what year is the busway expected to break even on it’s construction environmental costs?

    I haven’t seen enough detailed information on the amount of concrete used in the busway and stations compared with widening the motorway, the actual average reduction in car commute distance by users of the park & ride facilities or the all-day load factors for the buses to be able to perform anything like an accurate LCA for the busway.

    In the most optomistic estimate the busway achieves an environmental impact break even point within two years of opening. The most pessimistic estimate is over 20 years. The most realistic estimate is break even within ten years.

    The differences between the optomistic and pessimistic assumptions are necessarily quite large. 50% more concrete than widening the motorway, or 3x. No off-peak buses or frequent off-peak services. Busway responsible for all of traffic reduction on the motorway last year or none of it. Park’n’ride reduces users car commute distance by 9/10ths or 2/3rds.

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  12. “Johnston
    What are you reading? AGW is totally about warming and cooling!”

    Just this

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-faqs.pdf

    And in particular, 11.1, which has this quote

    “For example, while warming is expected everywhere on Earth, the amount of projected warming generally increases from the tropics to the poles in the Northern Hemisphere.”

    “Have a look at what the temp’s in Melbourne have been (or anywhere in Southern Australia, for that matter), or look at the news reports about the fires in Gisborne around Mahia Peninsula. Both places are experiencing decade-high temp’s and dangerous heatwaves.”

    Dangerous heatwaves? Alright, how are these heatwaves dangerous? I was in Sydney over a week ago when it was going through a heatwave, and it was lovely. I would much rather have a heatwave than put up with another crappy Kiwi Winter.

    Going back on topic, here is my response to Kevyn

    “On what basis is the Busway considered an overwhelming success?”

    If you look at the ARTA reports for the last year, you would see that patronage on the Northern Express has soared; since the busway fully opened, the patronage has been in excess of 100,000 per month, and that was a doubling of patronage compared with the Northern Express pre-busway.

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  13. FFS bluepeter, are you being wilfully stupid? climate trends will be manifest over a timescale of decades. individual weather events show nothing either way about AGW.

    this has been pointed out to you many times but you just can’t help trolling

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  14. Any improvements to Public Transport have gotta be good as NZ has fallen so far behind in this area – the lack thereof poses a huge car pollution problem.

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  15. “Dangerous heatwaves? Alright, how are these heatwaves dangerous? I was in Sydney over a week ago when it was going through a heatwave, and it was lovely.”

    When I last checked on Sunday – Adelaide alone had 22 dead from heat exhaustion – I would not suggest their families find it all that ‘lovely’

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  16. >>just can’t help trolling

    Humour and making fun of buffoons is an under-used form of political discourse, I feel.

    If people say stupid things, they should expect silliness in return….

    Most political parties are inherently silly, and the greens, with their excitable proclamations of doom, tend towards the sillier end. Yet, at the same time, take themselves so very seriously.

    Lighten up :)

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  17. I am a Troll – Fol-de-rol.
    Don’t people just love time-wasters, petty officials and obstructionists?
    Small wonder we are 50 years behind the ‘Western Democracies’
    Can a house divided against itself stand?
    Can you take NZ’ers seriously?
    Quite possibly not…
    But what will happen when we lose our comfort zone and need constructive thinking?….well hyuk hyuk hyuk.

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  18. Mark, With NZ’s population density and distribution investing in diesel powered PT just replaces the huge car pollution problem with a huge bus pollution problem.

    We either have to achieve European population densities, including distances between villages, or we have to go electric. We can do the latter but not the former.

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  19. >>need constructive thinking?….well hyuk hyuk hyuk.

    Is “constructive thinking” code for “accepting green solutions”?

    I’m all for solutions to problems. I’m against non-solutions to non-problems.

    PS: PT (bus, train) has limited application in NZ because we don’t have the density. Therefore, the Greens really need to think about how to incorporate the alt-powered car into their thinking.

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  20. nommpilot,

    It is refreshing to see an AGW believer calling to account those who point to specific climate events as evidence for the theory. It’s just sad that you choose to keep quiet all the while other belivers spout such nonsense, and only join the fray when a skeptic tries to call them on it.

    Katie, nommpilot just called you “wilfully stupid.”

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  21. Kevyn: Agree completely – it’s why I think retained and refurbishing our current rail network crucial.
    Was advocating electric cars for NZ over 10 years ago – locally made (export possibilies). Definitely the way to go…recycle all that dead jap iron.
    Am looking for a long enough electric cord (now that’s funny).

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  22. PS: NZ just might get a surprisingly larger population owing to the deal with China – the extreme ploarity in temperature o/s – and a wide spectrum war breaks out in the northern hemisphere…have seen some evidence of this already – I’d still be electing electric options though

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  23. “When I last checked on Sunday – Adelaide alone had 22 dead from heat exhaustion – I would not suggest their families find it all that ‘lovely’”

    Mark, how many people have frozen to death in Britain? How many people freeze to death as a result of cold snaps – I would suspect far more than those who boil to death as a result of heat waves.

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  24. BTW, Johnston, the cold snaps and the extreme heatwaves are both part of AGW. Climate change means that the ends of the spectrum are moving, in both directions, towards more unpleasant weather in which humans are a marginal species.
    Other species are already suffering from the rising temperatures in formerly temperate zones, eg: coral reef fauna and flora near Australia; there’s been a tonne of evidence over the past 10 years, if you were looking at all.

    I’m sure the people who have lost their homes and possessions in the fires at Mahia, and in Melbourne, won’t be feeling interested in your comments about how ‘nice’ Sydney was when you visited.
    Sydney is NSW, not SA.

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  25. -“When I last checked on Sunday – Adelaide alone had 22 dead from heat exhaustion”

    “THE mercury in Adelaide has soared past today’s forecast of 44 degrees, and is threatening a record set in the city in 1939.
    Temperatures in the city and suburbs topped 40 degrees at about 10am, and reached 44.1 degrees just after midday. The hottest January day on record was 46.1 degrees, 70 years ago.”
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24974598-2702,00.html (Jan 29th)

    So, a heatwave in Adelaide 70 years ago was significantly hotter than the current one. Hmm, surely according the the warmist logic being displayed here, this is evidence for global cooling if anything.

    And katie, global warming means global warming and not, as you would have it, warming and cooling. Is there anything you people won’t believe?

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  26. “And katie, global warming means global warming and not, as you would have it, warming and cooling. Is there anything you people won’t believe?”

    This is your typical response from someone who is convinced that Al Gore, et al is correct

    Temperatures go up – its global warming
    Temperatures go down – its global warming
    Temperatures stay the same – its global warming
    There is a powerful storm – its global warming
    There are no powerful storms – its global warming

    As far as I am concerned, I will only be convinced that global warming exists if we start seeing some global warming. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any, and I still remember 1998 as the warmest year both in New Zealand, and worldwide.

    “BTW, Johnston, the cold snaps and the extreme heatwaves are both part of AGW. Climate change means that the ends of the spectrum are moving, in both directions, towards more unpleasant weather in which humans are a marginal species.”

    Well, then why did the IPCC clearly state that everywhere on earth is going to have temperature increases? If they were wrong on that detail, then couldn’t they be wrong on the whole thing?

    “I’m sure the people who have lost their homes and possessions in the fires at Mahia, and in Melbourne, won’t be feeling interested in your comments about how ‘nice’ Sydney was when you visited.
    Sydney is NSW, not SA.”

    All part of the same heat wave. Yes, people who lost their homes in Mahia and Victoria may not be pleased, but that is what happens when you build your home in areas surrounded by a million trees. In case you forgot, for generations, you have had forest fires that have destroyed forests – it is a part of nature.

    Might I add that Australians should be used to forest fires, as they have been a part of Australian life for generations as well.

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  27. Yer, We went skiing in Austria and it was luverly….gee i just made an unfeeling ignorant remark!
    Have no doubt we know not enough about what the earth is doing but fear the northern winters are related with the kind of summer heat Sydney has avoided.
    In fact, how could one extreme not give rise to another – the laws of physics remain true.
    Have a cool time!
    regards Mark

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