A balanced approach to transport funding?

Graphs of the day..

This graph shows the  growth in traffic on state highways over the last 20 years as reported by the transport agency. The pink line is heavy traffic (trucks) and the blue is all traffic. As you can see it grew pretty steadily up to about 2005. It then plateaued, dropped a bit in 2008 when oil prices rose and still hasn’t returned to 2007 levels.

This graph is taken from the cabinet papers on the Auckland Spatial Plan. It shows the changes in transport funding over the last years. You can see the incredibly sharp increase in funding towards state highways since 2007-2008. This has continued under the current National government.

And finally, here’s a graph showing growth in patronage on Auckland’s public transport system since 1990 from a report to the Regional Land Transport committee.

Hat-tip to Jarbury for them all!  Now, aren’t you glad the government is taking such a balanced approach to transport funding?

11 Comments Posted

  1. On TV3 this morning was the guy who runs the dog and lemon car site, who you would think would be very pro-car, but he was pointing out the non-sensicleness of the standard “build more roads” plan, and particularly laying into the lack of a railway to Auckland airport…

  2. The point I’m trying to make about Christchurch is that it needs several hundred million to return its roads to a usable condition and the first priority for Auckland’s transport funding decision makers must be to return the several hundred millions in donations recieved from Christchurch in recent years. That process, with any luck, will delay future funding decisions vis road and rail till after Joyce is no longer pulling the strings.

  3. @ Kevyn. i’m not sure what point you’re trying to make about Christchurch? Surely the point of this graph is not how much is spent in total on transport in auckland – it is the balance of what is spent on motorways versus other modes that is alarming.

  4. I have made an animated graph of just how unfair Auckland’s share of land transport funding has been since the motorcar started some compensation to other road users.
    Even if the national transport database has over-estimated Canterbury’s contributions by an extraordinary 25% at Auckland’s expense the results reality is still a long way from the urban legend the previous government was using to sell it’s funding decisions.

  5. The second graph is not adjusted for inflation and is only for Auckland. The inflation adjustment, which should really use the construction price index rather than the consumer price index, doesn’t make a huge difference for Auckland but it does make a huge difference for the rest of the country. The increases for maintenance for the rural North Island and for the South Island are similar to Auckland and in line with the increase in the construction price index.
    The CPI adjusted increases for construction funding are (in round numbers) 250% for Auckland, 100% for Wellington, 50% for the rural North Island and -30% for the South Island and the real increase in the petrol tax/light vehicle RUC has been 70%. The rest of the country was conned into getting diddleysquat by the Government implying that Aucklanders had been paying for everybody else’s roads and burying the actual figures obtained during the road pricing study (before the righties highjacked that process).

  6. Having lived O/seas for many years, I saw public transport was promoted to ensure a lack of grid-lock in major cities & get the people around more EFFICIENTLY. Aotearoa needs a shift of mentality.. we have the second highest car ownership per head of population (just behind USA). It seems that most kiwis can’t even go to the cornershop without taking 2 tons of metal box with them.. “WAKE UP people” get into reality !

  7. public transport patronage grew 8% in Auckland last year, bringing it to 63.5million for 2009. October 2010 patronage was 20.8% higher than last year, and November patronage 15.1% higher. Wouldnt be surprised if we saw $7 million trips in March 2011.

  8. You can see the incredibly sharp increase in funding towards state highways since the National government was elected.

    It is possible that my graph reading skills are wrong, but it appears that the sharp increase in funding towards State Highways begins in 2007/08 – a year that ended some four months before National was elected.

  9. A balanced approach to transport would see transmission gully and the Northland motorway built because we need to make our roadways more energy efficient. And decentralise and decongest industry to cut commuting energy costs.
    Rail would be extended and any business that wanted to should be able to run train sets on the lines.
    It would also mean the restoration of subsidies to coastal shipping that match those paid for trucking and rail.
    Policies towards decentralising cities towards places where industry, labour, and transport can work effectively.
    It is nuts spending megabucks to enable Aucklander’s to commute more efficiently from one side of a congested city to another. It just compounds the problem. Future energy costs will make that sort of commuting impossible anyway.

    And support for alternative energy forms of transport such as electric rail and commuter cars.

    NZ has an opportunity to be a leader in energy efficient transport.

    A recession is the best time for infrastructure spending. It is stimulatory, builds up assets for future generations and uses up resources such as labour that are presently under utilised.

    Offshore borrowing should not be used as it just transfers money to banking. Nothing to stop Governments issuing money for projects. Unlikely to be inflationary when the problem at the moment is no economic growth.

    Governments can always find money for a war. Why can they not find it for the even more pressing necessity to save the more than a billion a year we pay overseas for fossil fuels.

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