Intrepid Journey

Just as Odysseus had to travel enormous distances and overcome many trials to return home to his beloved Penelope, a team of intrepid Green Party members set out with me this morning on a trip of epic proportions. We tried to get from the end of the Onehunga rail line to Auckland Airport using public transport.

When you stop laughing, let me tell you just what an epic it turned out to be, to travel just 7  km as the crow flies, or 11 km by the shortest road route. Read on, or take a minute to view a map of the journey at EveryTrail.com.

OnehungaRailTerminus1008

First up we had to walk from the site of the proposed new Onehunga rail station to the site of the actual bus station. Great urban planning – put the rail station half a km away from the connecting bus. It was an easy seven and a half minute stroll, but it would be most annoying toting children, luggage, groceries or in the rain.

Then we waited for the bus, which arrived on time but left 8 minutes late. Saane, who was waiting with us at the bus shelter, was going home after night shift working at a rest home and obviously counting the minutes as she had to get some sleep before the children came home and she had to cook dinner and leave for work again. The bus trip was pleasant enough – friendly driver, friendly passengers who were very interested in taking our leaflet and lots of buzz about our plans for better public transport in Auckland.

It took 16 minutes to Mangere town centre where we had to change buses. During the 13 minute wait we ran in to some children from Bader Intermediate who hailed us like long lost friends and offered to have a photo with us.

Bader Intermediate Students

The final bus trip to the airport (15.5 minutes) wandered through Mangere Bridge and the suburbs – great for people who live there to have a bus to their local community centre, but a bit frustrating for people wanting to get to the airport.

The whole journey was 1 hour 20 minutes to travel 16.5 km. We could have done it faster by first taking a bus backwards towards the city and connecting up with the Airbus which travels a direct route to the airport from the CBD, but at a cost of $16.50.

The point of this exercise was to illustrate the need for a fast rail link to our largest international airport. Every European city I have traveled to has a train that leaves from the airport terminal and goes straight to the CBD. If Auckland wants to be an international city, it needs to do that too. If Auckland wants its share of the tourist dollar, it needs to make it easier to get around.

That’s what the Greens plan to do.

72 Comments Posted

  1. Bernanke is hoist on his own Petard. Those bums have been meddling for decades and the money is flowing from the working stiffs to the bankers even faster now by his hand. Fnck him… and Paulson … and ESPECIALLY Greenspan because the CDS trash began on his watch… but there’s so much more sh!t to go around that we’re ALL going to be eating it.

    …but NOT the bankers. People are noticing who’s jobs are safe and who is being saved… and who is getting jacked. I don’t know if it is enough but the sentiment has been heard already…. “OK… now we own banks who’s managers ran them into the ground. Total fnck-nps those managers and now that we own the banks, its time to change management. FIRE THEM ALL”.

    Won’t happen now… but the attitude is turning pretty ripe.

    BJ

  2. bjchip Says:

    We’re almost exactly the same as Oz. The people flow there because the current government AND its opposition both have no clue about how to manage housing investment, the housing market or the problem of keeping technical people working HERE instead of elsewhere.
    ………
    I see Brenanke has:
    “signaled an end to the Fed’s decades-old aversion to interfering with asset-price bubbles as the financial crisis reshapes some of the central bank’s most firmly held views on regulation and monetary policy. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apSQDdFroxBs&refer=home

  3. pai rawa greengeek – Questions for your inquisitive self –
    do you believe he thinks the planet is in need of saving? (you imply he does)
    Do you think self-belief is a negative attribute? (again, your implication ..)
    Do do-gooders do good? and is that bad? (it’s contradictory, could you clarify?)
    Why were you moved to emphasise the fact that facts are important? It’s a belief that I share with you. Facts – Important. Belittling – Unconstructive and cheap. Tika?

  4. greenfly Says:
    He aha tou raruraru Pita Paina?

    I think his problem is that he knows the planet will not be saved by the pompousness and self-belief of do-gooders.

    Facts ARE important.

  5. BJ,

    Excellent summation.

    One big, BIG question that the the greens need to ask is this.

    Does the Auckland International Airport Company actually want rail transport to their PRIVATE enterprise property?

    Is the land public? and just leased to the AIAC?

    Or is the land privately owned? Do they want a rail link? Where would you run the line and where would you have the station? International or either of the two domestic terminals, or half way between? or two stations.

    It may well be that the privately owned AIAC may charge commercial rental for the rail corridor.

    i wonder if the new motorway bridges at Onehunga have rail corridor provisions. That will be one steep grade from the Onehunga Mall (remember the Onehunga rail line is in a cutting at right angles to the Motorway) onto the new motorway bridge. Much steepr then the 2% grade (I think) able to be used by trains? Other side is probably not to bad witha longer run up grade possible from Mahunga Drive.

  6. It looks to me as though there is still a substantial cost borne by some businesses that frequent the CBD but that Auckland is fairly diffuse in terms of required Airport connections.

    I would expect before actually committing to building “something”, we will study and analyze the demographics and traffic. That’s something I have to fault us on Frog… I don’t know if your words The point of this exercise was to illustrate the need for a fast rail link to our largest international airport. reflect the purpose of the expedition … or your quick description of what it was about.

    If those words represent the party’s conclusion and position, then the analysis and data that lead to it are REQUIRED.

    I would think that if it was about travel from the CBD they would have started from the CBD. No? Surely that is what I would have done if I were making THAT experiment. What experiment did they actually conduct though? From Onehunga… and nobody here (me included) actually knows why they started there.

    Yes Owen… Brisbane and Sydney are not “evidence” (you should supply an “of what” , the phrase is not complete ) though they are not entirely irrelevant. Each city requires its own analysis. I picked apart the Sydney problem somewhat for you and it has lessons but it doesn’t tell us what trains would or would not cost here, nor what its benefits would be.

    Ideally, given the nature of the system, it WOULD be accessible to commuters as well as business travelers and useful for purposes other than simply hauling suits. However the mistake of Sydney in not providing dedicated trainsets at rush hours needs to be avoided.

    Accomplishing something useful means that additional stops on the route, parking and bus transfers all will feed it. The analysis of travel being done in the region should have been done already.

    Its absence makes this discussion moot. We can’t determine anything except that we all have some built in biases and that it’s annoying to try to get around Auckland. We need to couple maps, costs, numbers and impacts.

    The conclusion to draw from this expedition/experiment is that someone using public transport would have difficulty getting to the airport. If what Gerrit says is true, there are over 25K people who are NOT suits, going there or somewhere near there, from all over the area. Normal people do NOT use cabs to commute to work. They aren’t that dumb.

    The lesson is that cheaper and more efficient options are required for PUBLIC transport to and through that region. Some here have interpreted it variously as :

    A demand for tracks to be extended to the airport from Onehunga.

    A demand for a specific rail link to the CBD
    (Frog’s post COULD be wrong about the real intended purpose)

    A proposal to spend a lot of money without THINKING about it first.

    An indication that Greens are too dumb to call a cab.
    _______________________

    What it actually did was to highlight an unmet need in Auckland. One that we at least, are trying to find a means to address.

    This argument has provided a lot of heat but very little light, as there has not been any data (except for what Gerrit provided) on the traffic. The details of any analysis done are absent. The entire thread is little more than opinions and aspersions because no actual data is present.

    In other words, a frighteningly large waste of time and effort for all concerned on both sides of the discussion.

    The hell with the money, SHOW ME REAL DATA !

    respectfully
    BJ

  7. >>“let them eat cake”

    They are not. They are of the “solving problems” variety.

    >>because of the expense

    Makes you wonder how they could afford the plane ticket….

    It all comes down to cost/benefit. You must do that analysis of the various modes. If the cost/benefit is greatest for rail, I’ll support it.

    >>Stop crying out for evidence when you have seen it and refused it before.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen one detailed cost/benefit analysis on FrogBlog. Can you point me to one?

    >>from an ideological base that chooses to ignore the evidence.

    No, that is YOU Frog.

    It is telling that you are quick to post on rail and PT, and hardly ever post on the alternatives. You’ve already made you mind up, and you’re closed to the evidence against, as detailed in this very thread.

    I am not saying I know the answer to these problems. I’m saying the answer can only be arrived at from analysis of the problem and a look at the various solutions.

    You’ve already arrived at your answer. You’ve jumped the need for any more analysis than fits your existing prejudices.

    I hope you get nowhere near power. You’re as bad as the religious right.

  8. BluePeter – your comments, as usual, are of the “let them eat cake” variety. Of course the easiest option was the taxi, that’s why we took one back to Onehunga. A slightly faster option would be to bus back towards town and catch the AirBus. This, too, is a “let them eat cake” option because of the expense.

    As usual, you are refusing to acknowledge the main aim of the post. If there is a rail designation all the way to the airport, and if the new harbour bridge is rail ready, (which it is being built to be), then we should be finishing the rail link to the airport.

    As for your cries about money and demographics, etc, all the myths you are espousing have been answered here on frogblog before. Stop crying out for evidence when you have seen it and refused it before. How many academics do we need to quote before you are satisfied? The answer is probably infinite, because you are arguing for the sake of arguing and trolling, or worse, from an ideological base that chooses to ignore the evidence.

  9. john-ston,

    I take on board and agree to a point that the CBD is a focus for (I cant recall where I saw it) roughly 30,000 workers. Mostly i would say 9 to 5 ers but a significant amount wuold be cleaners, hospitality and service workers who work outside those hours. Not to mention that youthful visitors stream in from 10 at night.

    The Auckland International Airport Authority is expanding the commercial and recreational facilties at a tremendous rate (cant be many airports around the world that have an 18 hole golf cource on its land). And I dont know if the hotel and freight forward development on the Ihumatea peninusula includes the 27,000 that work at the airport (albeit most of those work shifts so the most you would have working at the Airport would be say 10,000 at any one time).

    I guess what it highlights is that before any major PT or roading infastructure is built, a major demographical survey is done.

    Including a survey of the through traffic from Northland to points south of the Bombays. Currently all that is funnelled over the Harbour Bridge. To allow an alterntive ring road scenario, SH20 needs to be completed all the way to Albany. That will cut Auckland central congestion by a significant amount.

    While I like the Green’s Auckland Passenger proposal, I agree with you that at minimum of three tracks (good to see the rail bridge at Ellerlie already has provision for a third line) are required between the freight yards, the port and points south. If you are going to increase the frequency of passenger trains you need a dedicated freight corridor.

    Last time I used the trains in Brisbane was to go to WillowPark for the V8’s. Included one transfer at some underground station way out in the boondocks somewhere. Then busses from the train to the track. Well organised. Unfortunately there was only one train to take fans back from the track to the transfer station so we had an hour wait for that train to make the return trip. Some patrons who could not fit on the first or second train had a two hour wait to for the train to do its return trips.

    So while they may have infastructure, they suffer from incompetence and lack of planning, just as easily as the next.

    A quick count of the incoming patrons using the trains would have indicated that more trainsets should have been on hand to return them in a orderly manner.

  10. Great thread.

    So, will the Greens revise their thinking?

    >>The point of this exercise was to illustrate the need for a fast rail link to our largest international airport.

    Rail link not required. Alternative modes would have been the better option in this case, but you failed to take them.

    >>Every European city I have traveled to has a train that leaves from the airport terminal and goes straight to the CBD.

    Do we have the population numbers to support such infrastructure? Is the CBD that “main user” of the airport? It would appear not.

    >>If Auckland wants to be an international city, it needs to do that too.

    Clearly false.

    >>If Auckland wants its share of the tourist dollar, it needs to make it easier to get around.

    Got some numbers to back up that assertion? Easier than where? London? It is easy to get from Onehunga to the airport. Hail a taxi.

    >>That’s what the Greens plan to do.

    Then the Greens need to consider the evidence presented, admit they are wrong, and try to approach problems in a smarter way in future.

  11. “Problem is that the CBD is NOT to primary destination for the working public. Areas like Albany, Penrose, Botany, East Tamaki, Pukekohe, etc are where the majority of people work and need public transport to and from their suburbs. Current bus routes dont cut the mustard.”

    The CBD still has the largest concentration of jobs in the isthmus (and don’t forget the University Students), and there is a significant number of jobs in the suburbs around the CBD (Newmarket, Mount Eden, &c), which are easily accessible by the Link bus.

    “While everyone focusses on the traveller going to and from the airport, remember that 27,000 people work out there on a 24/7 basis. All needing transport. (why do Foodtown have a 24/7 supermarket at the airport? Why is there a Warhouse store at the airport?

    So many people work there! And all need transport. Either private or public.”

    Agreed, however, why not extend the Mangere buses to the Airport? Wellington has done a good job with its 91 bus.

    “Have no notion why my friends use Rosa Street. Never asked, just presumed it fitted in with the connection out to Beenleigh (not a bad drop of rum distilled there). Dont know the Brisbane train system that well to really comment.”

    It is Roma Street, and with regard to being out on the Beenleigh Line, you can get the Airport trains from South Brisbane, South Bank, Coopers Plains, Loganlea and Beenleigh as well. I only happen to know about the Brisbane rail system because it is an area of interest to me.

    In terms of rum, I would like to try the stuff made up the coast in Bundaberg.

  12. An HOT lane is a high occupancy toll lane. This technology has proven to be the most cost effective and efficient means of providing high speed links to special destinations such as hospitals, the CBD, airports and other concentrations of employment or need.
    An HOV lane allows vehicles with more than a given number of riders and buses etc to use the lane free of charge. The idea is to encourage car pooling. However, for many reasons these are not as effective and efficient as one might think.
    The HOT lane charges a toll which varies according to the loading on the lane.
    So let’s say the HOT lane entry sign says Vehicles with three or more riders free at all times. Others pay the listed toll. At midnight the toll might be zero.
    But as traffic enters the lane and the flow begins to approach 2000 vph per lane when gridlock sets in then the toll begins to rise. The actual toll is set by a computer algorithm. So if you are the car which may trigger gridlock you may have to pay $500. But this does not happen because the toll begins to rise from about 1200 vph. The end result is a lane which runs at near capacity but at maximum legal speed. So if I need to go to the airport or to the hospital I will be prepared to pay $10 or whatever to get there on time or as quickly as posssible. IF I am in no hurry then I may want to save my $10 and use the slower or less reliable regular lane. It is my choice and I am paying the proper price for my congesting consequences. Most drivers have a simple card mounted on the windscreen which talks to the system and automatically charges the driver through an account. Occasional users can pay a toll at the booth.
    The efficiency gains are massive. Currently Air NZ (which employs over 10,000 crew has to pick them up much earlier than should be necessary and when this is added at each end adds hugely to their wages bill because it often tips them into another round of benefits, rest periods or overnight stays.
    The problem with the airport is not the actual distance. it is quite close to most of us. The problem is that the time is not reliable and HOT lanes solve that problem. The energy efficiency gains are massive too. Cars running at optimum speed are much more energy efficient than buses and trains.

  13. john-ston,

    Have no notion why my friends use Rosa Street. Never asked, just presumed it fitted in with the connection out to Beenleigh (not a bad drop of rum distilled there). Dont know the Brisbane train system that well to really comment.

    a) Improvements to bus services. Many people don’t use bus services because the frequencies are terrible. Why use a bus when you have to wait an hour for the next one? We need to aim to have fifteen minute frequencies from 5am – 8pm in the CBD bound direction, and 6am – 9pm in the suburb bound direction Monday through Saturday, and this would be for all bus services. The most popular need to be at six minute frequencies in those time frames, with possible 24 hour bus services on Friday and Saturday as well.

    Problem is that the CBD is NOT to primary destination for the working public. Areas like Albany, Penrose, Botany, East Tamaki, Pukekohe, etc are where the majority of people work and need public transport to and from their suburbs. Current bus routes dont cut the mustard.

    While everyone focusses on the traveller going to and from the airport, remember that 27,000 people work out there on a 24/7 basis. All needing transport. (why do Foodtown have a 24/7 supermarket at the airport? Why is there a Warhouse store at the airport?

    So many people work there! And all need transport. Either private or public.

  14. Alright, let me add a few words in.

    About the Brisbane Airtrain, while it was a failure in its early years, it is profitable now and the numbers of people using it are increasing. The main reason for its success, it has been argued, is that the services go not only to Brisbane Central, but also to the Gold Coast. This is of course unlike Sydney, where there was no intercity connection.

    “Froinds of ours in Brisban wont use the train due to its cost and transfer hassles at Rosa(?) Street rail station. Taxis and shuttles might be more expensive but are door to door and just so much safer.”

    I used the Airtrain when I was in Brisbane in January, and I had no problems transfering at Bowen Hills from a train coming from Ferny Grove to the Airtrain – and this was on a Sunday morning with a five minute transfer allowance.

    Why are your friends transferring at Roma Street? Of course it would be a pain, because the station had six suburban platforms at last count. You would be better off either getting off earlier at Bowen Hills, or carrying on to Bowen Hills, depending on which side of the city you were coming from.

    In terms of an Airport Rail Link, while I believe it should be an eventual option, it shouldn’t be priority. IMO, we should look at improving public transport in the following order

    a) Improvements to bus services. Many people don’t use bus services because the frequencies are terrible. Why use a bus when you have to wait an hour for the next one? We need to aim to have fifteen minute frequencies from 5am – 8pm in the CBD bound direction, and 6am – 9pm in the suburb bound direction Monday through Saturday, and this would be for all bus services. The most popular need to be at six minute frequencies in those time frames, with possible 24 hour bus services on Friday and Saturday as well.

    b) Increases in the number of tracks on existing rail routes. The main barrier to improved frequencies of any rail services is conflicts with Expresses, Freights and Empties. Look at Brisbane; their three main lines (Ipswich, Caboolture and Beenleigh) have a minimum of three tracks for a good portion of their distance, and in places, have four. QR is looking at increasing the number of tracks in places to five. Of course, compare that with Sydney, where lines are twin tracked, freights are not allowed to run at peak hour, and off-peak services are terrible so that the freights can fit in

    c) CBD tunnel, and associated improvements to the proposed “City Loop”. We would need a minimum of four tracks there, with plenty of crossovers, tight signalling and a minimum of eight platforms at the proposed Midtown and Karangahape Road stations.

    d) Interurban services – increase the number of Helensville services to once every half an hour during peak, and hourly off-peak. Introduce Hamilton services, and evenually work your way up to half an hour frequencies during the peak, and hourly off-peak.

    e) Improved suburban services. You think it is terrible to get to the Airport; well, to get from Howick to the City can take anywhere from an hour and a half – I bet you can get from Helensville, Orewa and Pukekohe to the City faster than you can from Howick. The two main lines I believe need to constructed would be a North Shore Line (to link up with the NAL at Tahekeroa), and a line from Glen Innes through to Bucklands Beach, Howick, Botany and Manukau. These need to be designed for operations like the Mandurah and Joondulup Lines in Perth, with massive station spacing and high speed running

    f) Airport train. Now we can think of an Airport train – of course, if oil has run out by then, and if the Greenie dream of no alternate technology has come true, then we wouldn’t need to worry about this stage because there would be no more flights. Of course, if none of this happens, then we have a solid network linking up to the Airport. Furthermore, I propose that Hamilton services be routed through the Airport Line to improve the potential passenger count.

    So, even for me, a public transport supporter, the Airport Line is low on my list of priorities – there are far more important things to be spending money on, and these would have far wider benefits than any new line would.

  15. We have more than National and Labour are showing guys. What your answers might entail I shudder to think.

    BJ

  16. # greenfly Says:
    Jeeze Bryan – you’re selfish!

    Why is it selfish of Brian to prefer to stop his money going to others who are already receiving extra money via “working for families”??

    Greenfly…would you be prepared to offer either Brian or myself a % of your next (and future) paychecks??

    If so I will happily give you an address to send the cheque to, and will happily use the cash to finish building the electric road-kart I am building.

    Once the oil-based transport is gone I will happily use my electric road-kart to give you a free lift to the airport.

  17. big bro – look at the net migration numbers – the answer after 9 years has to be NO. Sprinkling homeo-pathic possum dust is not going to fix this problem.

    Labour party suck-ups over at The Standard argue that migration to Australia is cyclical. Well for the last 9 years it has all been one way and has been getting steadily worse for the last 5. This in the best period of the economy in 40 years: it’s pathetic.

  18. “We’re almost exactly the same as Oz. The people flow there because the current government AND its opposition both have no clue about how to manage housing investment, the housing market or the problem of keeping technical people working HERE instead of elsewhere.”

    Wow!

    And the Greens DO have the answer do they?

  19. Thought you’d know what it was… sorry, no problem…. I hadn’t heard of it until the turn of the century myself.

    Just don’t ask which century 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

    We’re almost exactly the same as Oz. The people flow there because the current government AND its opposition both have no clue about how to manage housing investment, the housing market or the problem of keeping technical people working HERE instead of elsewhere.

    respectfully
    BJ

  20. Hmmm, well boys I’m gonna step out on a limb here. I’m gonna predict that if Labour/Greens manage to cobble together a government next month and this is an example of Green thinking, then the net migration to Australia currently running at around 35k will be 70k by November 2009.

  21. That’s right Brian… lets jack that GINI index right up there to the number one spot and fnck everyone but the wealthy. Lets not trouble ourselves with the ultimately negative consequences of our actions, they won’t happen to us but to our kids.

    This part has little to do with environmentalism, this is about having equal opportunities for every New Zealander, and that isn’t something you get when money makes the rules and takes advantage of that power to take more money… or KEEP more money.

    It isn’t conflation. The Green Party has FOUR principles. We publish them prominently.

    Whatever keeps you folks up night it surely isn’t making you knowledgeable about our party or its policies.

    BJ

  22. “No, as with most proposals from that side of the aisle, it has to do with providing additional privileges and advantages to people with money.”

    Ok, I get it now. This is another example of the Green Party confaltion of socialism with environmentalism. Publicly funded transport is a core part of the Green Party agenda to transfer income between socio-economic groups.

    Today I received my first tax cut in 9 years of socialist rule: it was spectacularly underwhelming. I have no interest in giving any of my money to subsidise public transport for those who (after Working For Families) pay no tax anyway.

  23. No, as with most proposals from that side of the aisle, it has to do with providing additional privileges and advantages to people with money.

    Typical, and the advantages are…. what exactly? We’d still have to build additional road in order to have a place to put the lane. We’d still be putting petrol in cars to use the lane. We’d still be failing to provide any appropriate public transit to the airport. It’d still be a point to point solution. Just WHO does that solution help?

    If we have a choice of additional automobile-road vs additional light-rail-road to get to the Airport the choice is not clear-cut in favor of the Automobile. I described the analysis needed. The last think we need however, is to force people to pay through the nose to use either.

    BJ

  24. Firstly…the greenest practical way to get to the airport would be by using one of the new green cabs from that cab company that uses Toyota Priuses.

    Secondly…Auckland is far too low in population, and far too great in land area for a train to carry an adequate percentage of the current Airport traffic.

    Thirdly…why are the greens so keen to get people to the airport?? Isn’t air travel one of the most disgusting atmospheric-wreckers we have??

  25. ACtually, a bus lane is not the answer. A HOT lane is. They are the most efficient.
    Does anyone on this site know what a HOT lane is?
    Tip: It is not an HOV lane.

  26. Philu – the censorship at policy.net.nz only applies to you.

    It always impresses just what a hot button public transport is, it is one of those polarising issues that generates a lot of interest.

  27. Bj

    I’m not against rail transport. Or walking. Or cycling. Take whatever mode makes the most sense, and I frequently do just that.

    You can understand my cynicism when I see stories such as this. It’s so painfully ideological that it crosses over into stupidity.

    Clearly, the sane way to solve this particular problem was to take a taxi.

  28. Gerrit

    I don’t have to argue with you… you THINK, which makes it a lot easier for us to communicate. I don’t live in or have a map of Auckland handy, so my opinion of where and how to run rail to the Airport would be meaningless at this point. If you say Puhinui it’s probably pretty close.

    I think the three perspectives are useful. I get that the first pick-up helps because it is only half a pain, because you get to talk business on the way back. The wasted time is only on the way out.

    That won’t be everyone but it will be a fair few people.

    The point to having a direct train to the Airport of course is to NOT waste time waiting for any of those things and to beat traffic besides. It only works for the folks who are actually headed into the CBD though and what you are implying is that there is significant traffic dispersing through South Auckland. So it WILL take a fair bit of real crunching to work out whether the cost-benefit actually works… easier to work up the benefits side at present.

    I would love to spend time analyzing this all to pieces but I have NO time left to spend.

    I have a dime that says LibertyScott already analyzed it though. He always had a firm grip on the “public transport in Auckland” numbers IIRC.

    respectfully
    BJ

  29. BJ,

    As I said i’m not against rail transport per se. Just the link to the airport should come from Puhinui, not Onehunga.

    When I’m talking about picking people up, it is viewed from three perspectives.

    The return journey from the airport is not wasted time. It is constructive time. At a cost of petrol/diesel yes, but an efficient method to make the time available to transact business and extend that out as long as possible.

    9 times out of 10 that initial trip uot to the airport in my case was only five minutes out of my way.

    The incoming person was not wasting time waiting for trains, busses, taxis, shuttles. Now I dont know how valuable your time is but on business, the quicker you can start the more efficient it can be.

    Just looking at it from a purely energy point of view, picking someone up at the airport is actually very efficient.

    For if the business is say in South Auckland, why would you have someone get a taxi to an office from the airport, when for the same amount of petrol I can pick someone up at the airport and start to discuss business from the moment they sit in the passenger seat?

    Soem on the journey back to the airport to set them free again.

    Hey, trains and busses have their place in public transport. So do cars and for business it is sometimes cheaper and more productive to pick someone up than wait for them to get PT to the office.

  30. And your response is invariable and unquestioning…

    Train = Bad
    Car = Good

    Sorry folks… you may be right sometimes but the

    “invariable and unquestioning” part has to go.

    BJ

  31. So now the trip from the CBD is down to 10 minutes?

    ((ROTFLMAO))

    Sell it somewhere else folks, PLEASE take it somewhere else cause if I needed hip-waders before I need a snorkel now.

    BJ

  32. Gerrit

    It is only a joke… that points out that the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain. Not all of them get a laugh… ah well 🙂

    As for the time factor, the only time I ever took the trip (using the bus) it was a full hour and some. Since I don’t do it a lot I suppose that I could have hit it on a bad day, but relying on the skinny streets leaves you at the mercy of the worst drivers and the poorest maintained vehicles on the road. If you tell me that you’ve never had problems with that link I’ll have to start questioning your veracity, but I WILL accept that it works as you state most of the time.

    OTOH, now we have a driver and a car for each business guy making the trip. Which means that we can add 2x the driver’s time and the overhead of running the car. You hypothecated 4 passengers which is a packed car, but most business passengers come in 1’s … ride sharing?

    Concentrated to concentrated can always use rail.

    Inbound-Outbound from a single concentration MAY use rail. Suburban commuter rail (where it is done) works quite well.

    The problem is that EVERY city is different. Comparing Sydney to Auckland to NYC to LA to Moscow… you can break your head on it quite easily but the important questions have to do with the number of customers at each “end” of the trip and the cost to stop to pick them up. The express is always packed. The local takes 5 minutes longer and has seats.

    I haven’t seen a plan costed, estimated or guessed at for Auckland. The Auckland CBD is pretty dense, but the productive economy is more dispersed. IS it a “concentrated to concentrated” arrangement? Do all the business travelers automatically go to the CBD?

    What happened in Sydney? Airport customers are getting on a regular scheduled commuter trains, not dedicated rolling stock.

    Trains every 5-10 minutes at rush hour means that those trains are packed pretty tight. The company in receivership is running STATIONS, not trains.

    They made it part of the commuter network instead of making it appropriate for airport travelers so the ridership numbers aren’t for the train but for the airport travelers stubborn enough to be willing to push into a packed (possibly Standing Room Only) commuter car to take advantage of the thing.

    As for trains arriving and departing empty, that happens with ALL forms of public scheduled mass transit. In particular a service that will run pretty much 24/7. I’ve been on otherwise empty subway cars many times. Making it run on rail that is included in a commuter line extension is quite clever, but it also means that while it cost 900 million that cost can’t all be attributed to the trains.

    The questions are what it costs to run the rail cars and what it costs to run the buses or the cabs, and what infrastructure supports are required for each. I think you’ll find that an electric motor running steel wheels on steel rail is about as efficient as any means of moving “stuff” gets.

    Then there’s this-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m12tb1p_NEM

    No single answer suits all purposes. NOR is any answer to be discarded out of hand. You lot are guilty of that but I DO accept that some greens are guilty of the first.

    As it becomes more expensive to drive and at least until most of us have electric vehicles it is going to be doing that, we are going to see the travel habits of people changing. Efficiency is more important than whether some nitwit figured that everyone would behave like a New Yorker (we aren’t put off by having to push).

    As usual, we need to play at being snopes to identify all the red-herrings and spurious claims of the right-wing here.

    I am just a bit disappointed in the lot of you.

    BJ

  33. Indeed BluePeter indeed. Nationalisation of the railways went against treasury advice as blocking the sale of AIAL shares went OIC advice, however when you are operating from ideology rationalilty becomes irrelevant.

  34. >>what the Greens were hoping the public reaction would be.

    Train = good.
    Car = bad.

    I think they were engaged in some kind of religious ceremony….the busing of the divine….or something….

  35. spondre..seeing as you are here..

    could you please respond to me calling you a feckin’ liar..

    ..where you claimed on yr blog..that i have been ‘banned from the leading new zealand blogs’….

    ..and you used this as your answer to others going ‘why the feck did you ban phil u?’

    i repeat..which blogs am i banned from..?

    ..you lying/duplicitous b#stard..

    ..and you use this outright feckin’ lie as your justifcation for banning me ..(and a bunch of other people)..

    ..for daring to criticise the droolings of rightwing pimp/’hollow-man’..matthew hooten..(!)

    ..you exercise a censorship of blinding intensity at ‘your place’..

    ..yet feel you can go and say with impunity to others forums..?

    ..your hypocrisies are eye-watering..spondre..

    ..i repeat..!

    ..justify your lies..!

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  36. “NSW’s longest-serving railways bureaucrat, Mr Ron Christie, that a postcode analysis of airline frequent-flier schemes lived north of the harbour.”

    Exactly, look at a map of Auckland and think about where frequent fliers live, I think you will have your answer.

    More importantly think about the nature of business people: they certainly won’t be mucking around waiting for trains or buses. The private car or the taxi is the only suitable option for them.

    Trains or buses might be suitable for budget travellers who are also likely to be travelling into the CBD but what are the volumnes like ? And why should pay to subsidise their travel?

    Now girls, what about those shower heads ?

  37. Owen, Great points. Froinds of ours in Brisban wont use the train due to its cost and transfer hassles at Rosa(?) Street rail station. Taxis and shuttles might be more expensive but are door to door and just so much safer.

    Welly, If an Onehunga resident wanted to do that they would catch a train to Penrose, change to a train to Papatoetoe, then catch a bus to the airport.

    When at all times the Airport was only a 10 minute $30 taxi or shuttle ride away.

    Yes yuo are right it is stuffng a square pig (peg) in a round hole. I have no idea what the Greens were hoping the public reaction would be.

  38. Why are the Greens always trying to stuff a square peg into a round hole,

    If you want to take public transport to the airport take the train to Papatoetoe and then take route 380 to the airport, (you dont have to lug baggage far to the bus stop, as it is next door) the bus trip is around 30 minutes.

  39. As usual Blue Peter, you seem to be doing an excellent job of pointing out the flaws inherent in the fetishes of public transport idolators. As an Auckland ratepayer I salute you.

  40. Think before you leap.
    Before we throw a few billion at a link between Auckland and the airport consider that the Sydney and Brisbane airport rail links are both a failure
    Sydney’s $900 million connection, which opened in May 2000, is “under administration” after the National Australia Bank put the Airport Link Company into receivership.
    The link has failed to meet its projected passengers of 48,000 passengers a week on opening, managing only 10,000 passengers initially. By 2001 this had built to 16,000 weekly users of the domestic and international airport stations. The system was averaging about eight passengers per double-deck train on a full-week basis, compared to fewer than five passengers a year ago.
    State governments pressed ahead with the project despite advice from NSW’s longest-serving railways bureaucrat, Mr Ron Christie, that a postcode analysis of airline frequent-flier schemes lived north of the harbour. Passengers would be unlikely to use a system that required inconvenient and time-consuming connections at City Circle stations.
    Similarly, trains on Brisbane’s Airtrain City Link, have been observed arriving and departing empty.
    Brisbane passenger figures have been declared commercially sensitive, they are said to the “well below” the 6,000 trips a day identified in the private consortium’s pre-construction forecast.

  41. I presume the point was that it would have been easy to design the rail system so that you could get to the airport by train, but that you can’t really because it hasn’t been designed that way. It would save time for people in the Western suburbs if you could get to the airport by train.

  42. BJ,

    Not that all of my peers are Actually only left-handed people are in their right mind given the oddities of neural anatomy, but I digress,

    As a left hander, I’m not sure what to make of that comment!

    In non peak hour the trip is about 20 minutes from the city. Peak hour about 30 to 45.

    When we had coworkers or business people coming in from overseas to spend time with us, we used to send a driver to pick them up. Quick efficient, and most productive. If the Australian marketing manager came over I would pick him up so we could start to discuss the agenda during the journey. Same for CEO’s, Sales Managers, etc. Very efficient to get that one on one for 30 minutes or so in, prior to getting to the office.

    I think picking Onehunga was done deliberatly as it is actual (as the crow flies_ about 10k (or 10 minutes on a freeway) away from the airport. But bus and train is virtually non existing because the people there dont need them. SH20 runs right past the door to points south and west. A short trip down Mt Smart Road and you are going North.

  43. >>The Right-Wing is clearly not in its right mind when it comes to rail.

    I used it all the time in London. The general rule of thumb was : going into or across London, take the Tube. Going out of London, take the car.

    The train is a niche solution for New Zealand. There are very few problems it is suited to solving.

    The left wing is clearly not in its right mind when it comes to rail.

  44. Actually taxis are only one part of the public transport to the Airport. The Airport Shuttles from all the major hotels do an excellent job and at no cost to taxpayers or ratepayers and of course passengers arriving can use airport shuttle taxis if they are prepared to pay for extra time as opposed to extra dollars.

    The problem with a train connecting the CBD to the airport is that the loads are simply not there. This is the same problem with Sydney which is why it went broke.

    When it comes to transport wishing does not make it so. Trains need high frequency to provide a useful service. An airport train to the city would run about every 45 minutes. Would you wait that long if you just missed the last one?
    Also jumbos deliver people in “lumps” so there is either no train at the station or 300 people arrive at once and the train is overcrowded. Auckland is not Heathrow or Hong Kong.
    Crunch the numbers and save us all some money.

  45. Gerrit

    The buses still drive on the “skinny streets” and still take an hour or more when the traffic is high and cannot be relied on in terms of time.

    As for Onehunga, I have no idea why it was chosen except possibly that it is the closest station to the airport? You tell me cause I don’t live in or get near Auckland.

    As for all those people from outlying suburbs, I wasn’t talking about them, I was talking about business travelers and those generally go to the CBD. The TIME factor was the calculation I made, not something arcane about the value or lack thereof, of public transport.

    Now you can make the case that there is “public” transport to the Airport from the CBD, and you’d be right. You can’t make the case that it is adequate to the demands of business. I know THAT because my Boss does the trip and his comments regularly leave places on the wall that require repainting.

    The Right-Wing is clearly not in its right mind when it comes to rail. Not that all of my peers are 🙂 Actually only left-handed people are in their right mind given the oddities of neural anatomy, but I digress,

    respectfully
    BJ

  46. >>To me it shows very little Green initiative to get from Onehunga to the Airport.

    Trust politicians to choose the time wasting, expensive, stupid option.

    And here they are saying “we’re not against cars, we advocate people taking the most sensible transport option for the journey”.

    Hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

  47. BP, No and that is where the public transport option of taxis overides that of a bus or train. Especially for a single way trip such as to the airport with luggage and kids from a suburb like Onehunga.

    Sam,

    For an anarchist you show very little initiative. A huge volume of traffic passes through Onehunga to the Airport at all times during the day. In your utopian workers paradise, surely those workers (happily living in the workers paradise) driving half empty cars, trucks and busses would stop and pick up the hitch hikers?

    Who said anything about hitch hiking to the city from the airport when there is a more then adequate bus service?

    The point I’m making is that travel FROM an out of the way suburb to the Airport, one can not rely on bus or train. Other public transport alternative such as taxis or shuttle bus need to be used.

    The cost of the bus ride for the Green MP is costed at the ticket rate. If you were to add in the subsidies received by public bus transport, the actual fare would be closer to a taxi ride.

    To me it shows very little Green initiative to get from Onehunga to the Airport.

  48. >>I’d be happy to live in a country

    Your country would soon become a third world hell-hole.

    What do you do for a job?

  49. I’d be happy to live in a country that tells business people “we welcome your investment, but you’ve got to hitch hike from the airport to the city” but I don’t think many others would!

    “That coment Helen Clark made about “shouting down people at home” what a disgusting thing to say, just shows that radical feminist agenda is not far below the surface”

    Stupid thing to say, but hardly a “radical feminist agenda”. I thought it was just Helen being a prat.

  50. Nik,

    Yes frequently and Yes there is parking at the airport. Maybe not designated or secured but parking is availalble

  51. Gerrit, have you ever tried to get a 20kg suitcase on the back of a bicycle? (I have ;))
    Besides which, there isn’t much (any?) bike parking out at the airport (or am I wrong…?)

  52. That coment Helen Clark made about “shouting down people at home” what a disgusting thing to say, just shows that radical feminist agenda is not far below the surface.

  53. Key demolished Clark. She is out of touch – along with you lot – and Key shows he understands the issues faced by most New Zealanders.

    Nice one, John 🙂

  54. “i’m gonna b doing a live-commentary on the clark vs. key bout..”

    Thanks phil – that was an interesting watch and artfully punctuated commentary 🙂
    Two words sprung to my mind,
    “prattle” and “suckered”

  55. This is just bizarre.

    So loathing of they of cars, they just can’t see the most effective way to solve this particular transport problem: taxi.

    This is why the Greens cannot be trusted on transport issues. Their stance is religious.

  56. Onehunga is not the CBD BJ, It is equivalent of Porirua in Wellington in demographics and geography.

    There is a ton of bus transport from the CBD (and now the Manukau BD as well) to the Airport.

    So as an excercise in showing public transport inadequacies, you could not have picked a worst starting point. Onehunga is a poor to moderately well off suburb with a very small local business area.

    The crazy bit is that business people using the airport, predominantly dont come from the CBD. They would catch the morning flight at 6 or 7 to be in say Wellington in time for the start of the business day (used to do that flight every month). They leave from home in other words.

    On return (usually 5 or 6 o’clock flight) they arrive in Auckland about 7 and go directly home.

    Now I dont disagree that there should be a rail link to the airport. Have advocated this for a long time. That rail link should be from Puhinui to the airport (not Onehunga) and extending eastwards through Manukau to Botany and Howick. Joining the east of Auckland with the north south railink with Puhinui as the tranfer hub.

    Instead of a bus, a taxi would have been much cheaper, safer and quicker for “old” ladies like Jeannette.

    With a smaller carbon footprint then a bus from a suburb with very few people in it that would go to the airport on a regular basis.

  57. Gerrit

    Jeanette is not a young woman. Me, I do hitch sometimes. Actually almost every day to get to work. The point is that this is THE trip that EVERY business traveler to-and-from Auckland makes.

    It is seriously stupid to not have a rail link to the CBD. Particularly given the time spent in traffic on what we call in the US “the skinny streets”. It is indeed impossible for public transit to fulfill every required journey, but it is quite inconceivable that it is so difficult for it to fulfill this one.

    respectfully
    BJ

  58. Now if the Green MP were all fit and hearty, they could easily have hopped on bicycles and been at the airport in 15-20 minutes.

    There is a cycle and walkway under the Onehunga motorway bridge that takes you onto Kirkbride Road and to George Bolt drive.

    Now long term parking at the airport for push bikes is a problem.

    I think it is impossible for public transport to fulfill every required journey, so private transport will always be required.

    Be it feet, bicycles, horses, or taxis.

    I’m suprised you did not try and hitch hike (another feasable form of public/private partnership transport) from the Onehunga Mall. Most of the traffic cutting across the mall is Airport or South bound.

    Or hail a cab (public transport). Cost to the airport from Onehunga about $30 for 4 people.

  59. Bryan

    Lets calculate how much it costs each traveler to/from the airport to NOT have it.

    Assume that 400 business people attempt to get to or from the Airport each day at a cost of 1.5 hours each trip, that’d be 600 man-hours of business people who’s time is typically billed at something like $100 per hour. YMMV, plug in different numbers and do the math.That is $60000/day. Assume as well, that a proper link would reduce the trip from 1.5 hours to .5 hours. Instead of 600 man hours it is 200 man hours so the delta is about $40000 per day. I haven’t counted everyone ELSE’S time at any price. The traffic to the Airport is not always that bad either… but I’m just doing a little gedanken experiment here.

    That means that over the course of a single year NOT having the link is worth about $9.6 million. If there are more such travellers and I think it likely, the number is bigger.

    The other advantages, to the communities which suffer the traffic destined to and from the airport, to all manner of other people who travel there and who also value their time at SOME rate, and to the CBD itself, are all bonus on top of that.

    BJ

  60. Oh dear, how much is this policy going to cost the taxpayer/ratepayer ?

    I would love to hear some Green Party policies that will slash the size of government and leave more money in my pocket.

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