Log in

No account? Create an account


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
05:44 pm: Auckland Public Transport
I have heard so much about Auckland public transport and Britomart that I thought I would experience it for myself.
On arrival, I went to the Britomart Travel centre, which was itself a mistake. I queued behind an Asian and a person of indeterminate nationality, neither of whom seemed to know what they wanted. The second one was replaced by a similarly disadvantaged American, and I was then queue-jumped by a heavily tattooed Maori who also didn't know what he wanted. By the time I was attended to, I was told that this was the wrong queue, but I had already missed the 1:10 to papkura. No matter, I walked over and bought a day pass and went down to the platform to wait for the 1:40.
The platform area owes much to the Stalinist era and my perceptions of Eastern Europe in the old days. Bright cheery lights and bright cheery music could not hided the fact that the centre was made out of breeze blocks, while the trains looked like pre-war tin sheds. The music was interrupted by "The Britonart Transport Centre is a smoke-free facility" (yeah, till someone burns it down) and "Please keep behind the yellow line" and all the usual virtuous stuff.
The 1:40 arrived after an apology (well, three actually) for a 12 minute delay, but the train was in poor shape and retired at Otahuhu, where passengers then got onto the next train...
There is lots of beautiful scenery in new Zealand: indeed, the country has made its name on it, but there wasn't any here. Graffiti, piles of tyres, piles of other rubbish, sad grassland and derelict railway carriages. That was the good stuff. The quality of the service: not good.
This probably does a great deal to account for why Auckland is in the world's top ten for per-capita non-use of public transport. Even Los Angeles does better, but maybe it's because their rapid transit also goes through places where people live and work, rather than places that might have become suburbs but didn't seem to be the best ones. The other famed Auckland opinion is also to blame: "Yeah, I think Auckland should have good public transport, because if it did, there'd be more room for me and my car".
This LJ rant comes to you with apologies to 617 and any other JAFAs who might be reading this.
It's now time to head back to the motel for a shower and a change of clothes before dinner, the main reason for the trip. All over the CBD: Asian owned cybercafes - $2 per hour. Be seeing you.


[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
I watched a tv news magazine article on the Auckland trains a while ago, probably a few years back now, and the platforms were disgusting then, the trains were all late and were dirty, and there was barely a passenger in sight. It seemed so ridiculous when Auckland was such a big city.
Clearly nothing has changed!!
[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2004 04:26 am (UTC)

Nice Entry!

I have a simple solution to Auckland's public transport. Move the seat of power to Auckland. That way all the civil servants would have to live with the consequences of underfunding Auckland's infrastructure in comparison to the rest of the country.

I have a simple solution to Auckland's motorway congestion. Aucklander Only lanes. Random checks in these lanes and if you a pulled over you must prove you were born in Auckland, be wearing a rugby jersey from a team within the Blues franchise and produce a rugby ticket proving you attended a Blues or NPC game involving such an aforementioned side, a ticket that verifies you were wearing said rugby jersey at the time. It would cut travel time in half for the true Aucklanders.

Seriously though, there is no incentive to provide decent public transport in Auckland and there is little point doing so until the ring routes planned in the 1960s are actually completed. Then cross town public transport might actually happen instead of having to travel into the city first in order to get anywhere. Geographical layout is a major issue, unlike Wellington, however if public transport was cheap, efficent and convenient you would see a lot more Aucklanders using it. Right now it is none of these things and nobody wants to pay to make it.

Here's a classic example. My from parents place it takes 30mins to walk to the train station and another to travel. Or it takes 30mins to wait for a bus and 30mins to travel (if you are lucky), or 30mins to drive by car. Bus only lanes are becoming more successful but they are very limited.

I think Auckland traffic is probably the way we get back at everyone for bagging us all the time! I don't mind you bagging Auckland at all, after all I think I've been quite forward in bagging Wellington in the past and besides, us Aucklanders expect it from the rest of the country, it's not like it comes as a shock :-)
[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2004 01:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Nice Entry!

I really did want to say nice things about it if there were any to say. As I walked down Queen Street yesterday, two thoughts crossed me: "this is certainly not the same city as Wellington" and "this is certainly not the same city as Auckland was in 1998" (when I lived there)
I was also interested in a snippet in yeterday's Herald from someone complaining that Wellington had kept the Unknown Warrior commemoration ceremonies to itself and excluded the rest of the country. It's a fair point. It also means that for once, Aucklanders get to feel how the rest of the country feel the rest of the time.
[User Picture]
Date:November 11th, 2004 02:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Nice Entry!

I think Aucklanders are developing the same feeling about Wellington. I don't think most of us want the arts all moved up here but once Auckland started getting promised money for their (old) motorways (planned in the 1960s) suddenly Transmission Gully and the Inner City Bypass took it. I think if Auckland wasn't so big everyone would hate Wellington instead
Powered by LiveJournal.com