Category: Financial Planning

SkyPath Update

Update on SkyPath

 

While away on holiday in Australia I had noticed that the SkyPath project had updated their website and posted a public notice meeting on the North Shore tomorrow night at 6pm (ouch as main rush hour is still happening at that time).

 

You can check the much more easier to read SkyPath website over at skypath.org.nz – with the public notice invitation below:

 

I am still pondering in making the trek to The Shore tomorrow as it means I have to leave Papakura at 4:30 to battle State Highway One traffic (fun – not)

However might be a good idea to trundle along to see where opinion is currently at

 

 

 

Betterment Taxes And Inclusionary Zoning?

Some Homework for Auckland Citizens

 

As we await the release of the Draft Unitary Plan on March 15  I would like to bring to your attention two items being sort for discussion in the Unitary Plan by Council. They are called “Sharing Land Value Uplift from Rezoning” and “Inclusionary Zoning;” of which both come under “Additional Tools for Enabling Affordable Neighbourhoods” under the Draft Unitary Plan.

 

Now these two options can be found from Page 67 in the embedded document below (so you might need to scroll if Scribd does not automatically go to that page):

 

For you homework I would like you to read these two “Additional Tools for Enabling Affordable Neighbourhoods” then post for your feedback here at BR:AKL on them.

Wikipedia also has a nice piece on Inclusionary Zoning which you can see by clicking the respective hyperlinks in red. I noticed Inclusionary Zoning is a tool from the USA while Sharing Land Value Uplift is from the UK.

 

However, I am currently reading it and from what I interpret so far both tools are additional taxes to middle and upper class citizens in a wealth distributing exercise for the lower and working classes here in Auckland. In effect Auckland Council is going to be coercing either directly or indirectly (through developers having to comply and as a result pass extra costs on) citizens and developers through regulations and plans to at least set aside for “affordable housing” (which is often becomes social housing) rather than do the actual opposite and liberalise our regulations and plans allowing at least developers to act more freely in providing a range of housing without costing the citizenry in Auckland.

 

So either you get a tax slugged on top of your rates and maybe targeted rates for whatever the Council decides to do with that money, or coerced into providing social housing at the cost of a large bulk of Auckland citizenry who end up carrying the can for this provision (rather than the State undertaking the social housing exercises via Housing NZ).

Time to delved deeper into these two new coercive and taxation regimes lurking in the Unitary Plan draft.

 

Remembering I stand for a more liberalised planning and provision approach to building neighbourhoods in Auckland.

 

Fare Evasion

Fare Evasion in Melbourne

 

Lesson for Auckland?

 

As AT-HOP continues to be rolled out across the Auckland public transport network (albeit late, over budget and full of bugs) I would like to remind Aucklanders of the Melbourne situation in regards to fare evasion from a similar system to ours which includes “enforcement officers.”

From The Age:

 

Thousands escape fare evasion fines

Date: February 25, 2013 Adam Carey

More than 21,000 people avoided paying a fine after being booked for fare evasion on Victorian public transport system last financial year – meaning almost 11.5 per cent of fines issued were not enforced.

Figures released to the Victorian Greens and made public on Monday reveal that people who challenge an infringement notice have a better than 10 per cent chance of avoiding the fine, despite high-profile advertising campaigns warning “there is no excuse”.

“[Public Transport Minister] Terry Mulder’s whole ‘get tough, no excuses’ line on fare evasion is hollow,” Victoria Greens leader Greg Barber said.

“Ticket inspectors sometimes get it wrong. Special circumstances sometimes apply and the courts form their own view. That’s why 11.5 per cent of all tickets aren’t enforced – a pretty poor hit rate by any standards.”

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The figures show that 188,566 infringement notices were issued in 2011-12 and 21,674 of those were withdrawn.

Most withdrawals, 17,152, came with an official warning, with just 591 notices being withdrawn completely after being reviewed. A further 2417 fines were waived after being challenged in court.

Mr Barber said the state’s system of using patrolling authorised officers to police fare evasion was inefficient. He called for a return of tram conductors and fully staffed railway stations, not seen since the 1990s.

“It’s a pretty inefficient way to try to reduce fare evasion,” Mr Barber said.

“You’ve got to make it normal to meet a human, buy a ticket, have your ticket checked, or you’re never going to get any progress.”

A Public Transport Victoria spokeswoman said everyone was expected to have a valid ticket, but that passengers had a legal right to appeal against their fine.

“By far the most common reason for fines being withdrawn is where a passenger travelling on a concession fare has forgotten to carry their proof of eligibility,” the spokeswoman said.

“Where they can later produce proof of their concession entitlement, the fine may be withdrawn. Clear cases of fare evasion, such as those travelling with no ticket at all, will get fined and no excuse will be tolerated.”

The fine for travelling without a ticket is $207.

Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said last month that much fare evasion was “opportunistic” because of the lack of customer service staff on the network.

“There needs to be a full staff presence at every station from first to last train … it is simply penny-pinching to not provide that staff presence now,” Dr Morton said.

“It is no doubt that some fare evasion on the train system is opportunistic evasion that might be avoided if there was a consistent staff presence on stations and people had an idea that they might get caught.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-escape-fare-evasion-fines-20130225-2f162.html#ixzz2M45Q7Lit

 

Rather disturbing from Melbourne.

 

Now reading the Business Report from the February Auckland Transport Board agenda it states on page 19 that 16% to 23% of passengers travelling by rail were checked by roving Ticket Inspectors with an unknown percentage not having a valid ticket or tagged on AT-HOP card. 16% – 23% means a maximum of 6.000 individual checks done (according to the Business Report) where there is an estimate of around 30,000 passengers travelling per (week)day on the network across some 326 approximate services (Monday to Thursday, with more on Friday, and less on Saturday and Sunday). It means in technical terms that upwards of 23% of total revenue from rail passengers is protected meaning currently some 77% if total revenue if everyone paid their fare (or had a Super Gold concession) per day is at potential risk. In saying that there is safeguards at Newmarket and Britomart where you need a ticket or AT-HOP card one way or the other to get through the gate system, but the idea is to not get that far without a ticket.

77% of your revenue at risk from fare evasion – due to only 23% of all passengers being individually checked by roving Ticket Inspectors – big case of OUCH! So it begs the question would you take the risk on skipping out of your fare providing you were not passing through Britomart and Newmarket ? With those figures I quoted it would be a case of “Why Not!”

 

Now before anyone points fingers, I am a good citizen and tag on and off with my AT-HOP card when travelling by train – so I pay my fare as it is only fair.

 

What I am pointing out is that Auckland with AT-HOP has the potential issues as Melbourne does with Fare Evasion – although Melbournites face a stiffer penalty at $207 (Australian) and a higher chance of getting caught. Our poultry “penalty” fare is $10.30 and moves to $20 next month – however this limitation is due to legislation issues currently being sorted to address.

 

We also have the two issues with AT-HOP of: lack of customer service, and the reliability of Rail Ticket Machines and Tagging Posts (I usually do a post every fortnight on the machines breaking down over the weekends). I will write separate posts on these in due course however, those issues do not really inspire confidence in the public transport ticketing system to the point they could act as a catalyst to fare evade.

 

So a warning from Melbourne and another LGOIMA request to go fill out.

 

I wonder if “we” are taking in the lessons learned from our cousins in Australia?

Wary on PPPs

Proceed With Caution On PPP’s

 

Based on Australian Experience

 

 

I love Brisbane and am going back there for a holiday in the middle of March. Brisbane is my second home and where I lived for two years as part of my err “gap-year.” Brisbane is also similar in some respects to Auckland in regards to its civic structure, urban fabric, transportation systems, and political stupidity in investing in the wrong project.

Now I did just say political stupidity – and why is that? Check these two pieces from NZ and Brisbane on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) not delivering as they were meant to:

 

First from the NZ Herald:

Stephen King: PPPs need better ways to handle risk

5:30 AM Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

As another toll road in Australia fails, what is the future for public-private partnerships?

 

Instead of taking traffic off congested suburban roads, high tolls may mean too few cars use the toll road. Photo / APN

Is there a future for privately funded toll roads? BrisConnections has been placed into administration only seven months after opening the Brisbane Airport Link toll road/tunnel. It has not had sufficient users to make the project viable. So what does this mean for future public-private partnerships (PPPs)?

In the short term, it will mean very little. The citizens of Brisbane have a great tunnel that (from my experience) cuts significant time off a trip to the airport. The investors have done their dough. And there may be various lawsuits about who misled whom.

However, this is the fourth in a series of PPP toll road failures, including Sydney’s Lane Cove and Cross City tunnels, and Brisbane’s Clem7. If PPPs are to have a future, we need better ways to handle the project risk.

The risk associated with large infrastructure projects can be significant. For toll roads, the viability of a project depends on projections of future traffic flows. But these flows may be highly variable, depending on a range of choices by the government and car users

 

You can read the rest over at the Herald website

 

Now what Mr King was referring to in regards to PPP failure and by virtual extension political stupidity in Brisbane is this Brisbane Times piece I Facebooked not so long ago:

From Brisbane Times:

Airport Link in administration

Date February 19, 2013 Bridie Jabour

Brisbane’s Airport Link tunnel has gone into voluntary administration. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

UPDATED

The $4.8 billion Airport Link tunnel has been placed into voluntary administration.

In an announcement to ASX, tunnel’s operator BrisConnections said the company had decided to place the tunnel into administration citing low traffic levels and debts worth more than the tunnel.

The board of BrisConnections entered negotiations in November to restructure the tunnel’s debt but on Monday night, the board was told lenders were not prepared to support any of the restructure proposals.

The latest traffic figures show an average of 47,802 vehicles using the 6.7 kilometre Airport Link each day, about half of the original forecasts which had daily traffic of 90,000 vehicles.

BrisConnection conceded in the ASX statement that an extensive marketing and phased-in toll regime had failed to attract enough traffic but Non-Executive Chairman Trevor Rowe was still positive about the future of the tunnel.

‘‘It’s disappointing that the board has to reach this decision,’’ he said.

‘‘The AiportlinkM7 is unquestionably a world class piece of transport infrastructure that will continue to support Brisbane’s growth into the decades ahead.’’

BrisConnections was placed into a trading halt in November and two board directors resigned after a dismal report to the ASX on Airport Link.

In the report, the company admitted for the first time the tunnel’s debt might be more than its value and a research analyst said at the time the most likely option for the Airport Link was to put it up for sale.

The tunnel had a toll free period which ended in October last year with traffic forecasts falling tens of thousands of vehicles short even when the ride was free.

The costs of building Airport Link blew out so much for construction company Leighton Holdings that it contributed to them posting a yearly loss of more than $200 million which has been turned around to a $450 million profit since it handed over the tunnel and its other high profile troubled project, the Victorian desalination plant.

Airport Link was opened in July 2012 and connects Brisbane’s northern suburbs with Brisbane’s CBD and the airport, the Clem7 and the Inner City Bypass.

The tunnel will remain open and available to users as normal.

Airport Link is the second Brisbane tunnel to financially collapse with the operator of Clem7, RiverCity Motorway Group, going into receivorship in November with $1.3 billion worth of debts.

News of Airport Link’s collapse forced Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to defend Brisbane City Council‘s decision to push ahead with the city’s third toll tunnel, the $1.5 billion Legacy Way tunnel

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/airport-link-in-administration-20130219-2eope.html#ixzz2M2OKsOiE

 

 

The Brisbane saga should sound a warning to both Central Government who are ploughing on with the Wellington Transmission Gully Motorway – which is a PPP (the Herald article above mentions the risks of that as well) and our Auckland Council if we consider PPPs for some of our larger projects including the City Rail Link.

 

I have called for a PPP with the City Rail Link with our public authorities handing the tunnel construction and maintenance, while having private companies operate the stations for say 50 years providing they get the rights for urban development (including sky rights) in the immediate vicinity of stations as part of a wider investment program. Now I know in Tokyo’s railway has stations that are built and run by companies basically on behalf of the rail metro line and in the same token have developed often impressive complexes of residential, commercial office and commercial services (retail, malls, hotels) above and around the said station.

These impressive complexes allow the Tokyo authorities to share some of the costs of rail metro line station building with private companies in return for pretty much guaranteed patronage due to the urban complexes built above and around the stations.

So there are cases where PPPs for in this case with Tokyo – rail can work. This could be a very good example for Auckland to follow-up on when the CRL is being built. However the Brisbane and Transmission Gully Wellington Road PPP projects (go figure – I said roads) are also examples on what NOT to do with PPPs.

 

So Auckland (including AT and Council) still have a long and hard road ahead in plausible financial planning for some of our larger mega-projects like the much needed City Rail Link. On one side it could go extremely wrong and bankrupt the city, on the other we get an golden opportunity for a needed transit link and some actual world class urban renewal in our grey and drab CBD!

 

Food for thought

 

 

Submission to Annual Plan

Submission Sent for 2013/2014 Annual Plan

 

I have just sent my submission through the online portal to Auckland Council for the 2013/2014 Annual Plan. I used the online portal for such submissions as an “express mode” of sending the basics of my idea through to the Councillors and bureaucrats with the main thrust of my arguments subsequently made at a hearing where I can talk to Councillors and bureaucrats (with more success) face to face.

In saying that there are times with submissions where I will go “knit a flag” and do the 55 page spiel where I think the topic is critical. This was both The Auckland Plan and Long Term Plan submissions I did as well a 25 page spiel for the Auckland Transport Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). In all three cases I fronted up to hearings or forum panels to make my points emphasised to the councillors and bureaucrats.

 

As this is an open democracy (and where I expect people to disagree as well) – and the fact my submission is public anyhow, I am going to paste my express online submission here below before going to work in the Hearings presentation:

Express Online Submission to 2013/2014 Annual Plan

 

The Supporting Documents can be found by clicking the links below

Extract From BR on AP in Regards to Stations PDF Mode  (THE RAIL EFFICIENCY PROGRAM #5A)

Extract From BR for AP Submission PDF Mode  (BACK FROM HEARING PANEL)

 

As I said above I will front the Annual Plan Hearings to emphasis the points made in the online submission when the time comes up to do so.

 

But the basic principle of Council Living Within Its Means and Open Governance apply and again will be emphasised in the hearings and beyond.

 

Now I await for the phone call to make the time slot for the hearing which should be… nuts I might be in Australia when this occurs <_<  – will have to wait and see then.

 

In the mean time you have until February to make your Annual Plan Submission. You can find the Annual Plan homepage here: Draft annual plan 2013/2014, which also includes the link to the Online submission portal.

 

Transport Committee Proceedings

Resolutions and Drawn Out Debate

 

Only to Send Two Matters To:

 

Another Committee

 

From 2pm until around just after 5pm I was at and observing the Auckland Council Transport Committee which met today. The public gallery was full for the most part for about two-thirds of the meeting – which is ironic as two-thirds of the meeting were tied up solely on the Auckland Sky Path project which I mentioned in my “AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE – SKY PATH” post this morning.

 

For two and a half hours presentations by the public, Local Boards and various associations; as well as constant debate on the merits and demerits of the AHB Sky-Path between Committee members occurred which meant two things to me:

  1. A numb-bloody backside for listening to all of this
  2. The fact I had a numb backside was made worse by Committee members being extremely inefficient in their debate today on the Sky Path as pretty much 99% of their questions and concerns belonged to the Strategy and Finance Committee (which the Sky Path proposal and recommendations finally got kicked to after that 2:30 hours) rather than the Transport Committee

 

Again you can get the details and information thus far on and from Page Nine of the February 2013 Transport Committee Agenda by clicking on the respective blue link.

However the resolutions in the Transport Committee passed and the matter is now finally off to the Strategy and Finance Committee where the entire AHB Sky-Path Proposal can be fleshed out and either one of these results will happen with the :

  • Rejected outright – project basically dead in the water until after the Local Government Elections in September/October this year
  • Rejected and sent back to Auckland Transport and the project people for more information
  • Rejected but deferred until the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan is operational (this is owing to that there is no budget line for the Sky Path project in the current 2012-2022 LTP)
  • Accepted as is and away we go subject most likely to Annual Plan considerations

 

From the resolutions passed on to me this evening I am going to take a punt that one or both of these is going to happen with the AHB Sky-Path:

  • Rejected and sent back to Auckland Transport and the project people for more information
  • Rejected but deferred until the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan is operational (this is owing to that there is no budget line for the Sky Path project in the current 2012-2022 LTP)

 

These were the resolutions passed this afternoon – please note the following first:

The reports contained within this agenda are for consideration and should not be constructed as Council Policy unless and until adopted

 

The resolutions

Secretarial Note: The motion was taken part by part. 

Resolution number TRAN/2013/9 
MOVED by Cr M Lee, seconded Cr CE Fletcher:

That the Transport Committee:

  1. a) Receives this report on the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway (‘SkyPath’)Project Update. CARRIED
  2. That the Transport Committee notes the project sits within the LTP as an unfunded item. CARRIED
  3. Supports in principle the provision of a shared walk and cycle way across the Harbour Bridge rather than wait for provision once an Additional Waitemata Harbour crossing is in place subject to financial feasibility analysis. CARRIED
  4. d) Acknowledges the significant transport benefits (as well as recreational and tourism benefits) the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway would bring to the Auckland region in terms of completing a missing link in the Auckland Cycle Network and walking network, which would be further enhanced by the completion of the Northern Linkage/Shoal Bay. CARRIED
  5. e) Acknowledges the timing of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway, in the short term, would take advantage of Waterfront Auckland’s planned waterfront cycleway and walkway from Westhaven Marina to Daldy Street, and planned improvements by Auckland Transport to the local streets in Northcote as part of its Safe Schools Programme. CARRIED
  6. f) Requests the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to consider the Shoal Bay proposal as part of the investigation of the Northern Link between Northcote and Akoranga to provide improved walking and cycling connections to the northern end of the proposed Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway. CARRIED
  7. g) Recommends that any construction and operation of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway facility should be subject to an open and competitive price process. CARRIED
  8. h) Recommends that a report should be prepared with further information for the Strategy and Finance Committee to consider funding sources and the Council’s contributions (in the form of part underwrite and assumption of obligations at the end of the public private partnership period) to the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway. This further information would include:
    • – Procurement arrangements: fully contested or the proposed negotiated public private partnership;
    • – Detailed risk assessment;
    • – Comparison of a public private partnership arrangement with traditional procurement process or other processes to determine best value for money; and
    • – Assessment of the project against the Council’s Significance and Public Private Partnership Policies;

CARRIED
Cr Hartley left the meeting at 3.30pm. 


Resolution number TRAN/2013/10

MOVED by Cr C Casey, seconded Cr W Walker:

  1. i) continue to investigate how some or all users can have free access. CARRIED

Resolution number TRAN/2013/11 
MOVED by Cr GS Wood, seconded Cr W Walker: 
That the Health and Safety aspect of the project be reported upon. CARRIED

 

Not all points passed with a unanimous vote

 

So off to the Strategy and Finance Committee the Auckland Harbour Bridge Sky Path goes – just a bugger and a numb backside later it took 2:30 hours to get it to that committee.

Oh and One News were covering the beginning of the proceedings today with an article on the Sky-Path on their website.

 

Next post: Developments on the Manukau Duplicate North Link :-\

Rates Movement

Which Way Are Your Rates Due to Move

 

Yesterday buried at the bottom of my Annual Plan post I had a chart on rates movements for the 2013/2014 Council financial year per Local Board area. I thought I might repost it here along with the percentages of the movements on rates increases and decreased spread over the Auckland Area to see how many got an increase, and how many got a decrease – so lets take a look:

 

Rates Movement by Local Board – 2013/2014

 

By percentage

 

I’ll let you figure out if the majority are facing increases or decreases – and by how much 😉

 

 

Annual Plan Submissions Due

Have Your Say on the Auckland Council Draft 2013/2014 Annual Plan

 

Auckland Council have called for submissions to the Draft 2013/2014 Annual Plan – the main budgetary document for Auckland Council for the next 12 months. All revenue and expected expenses (including capital outlay for proposed capital projects) over this twelve month period are laid out in the Annual Plan documents which I shall link and embed below.

 

I am still working through the Draft Annual Plan at the moment before compiling a submission (submissions close 4pm – 25 February 2013) but will upload my submission to BR:AKL as soon as it is done.

 

Amendment to the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan

It is of note that Council has asked for our feedback via the submissions on the “Regional Facilities Auckland grant towards development of the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre” – which is building this White Water Rafting Facility at a cost to the ratepayer of $32m as well as taking on some financial risk if the project fails. In order for this development to happen (and as stated in the Draft Annual Plan) there will have to be an amendment to the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan which is already in operation. This would be because this particular development is calling on for extra funds made outside what has been allocated already in the existing and current Long Term Plan.

As a result I will be submitting in strong opposition to this as it creates precedent for every other Tom, Dick and Harry project with dubious actual economic merit to come before Council and thus allowing an existing LTP to be butchered to cater for it – when if needed, it should be kicked over to the next Long Term Plan which is the 2015-2025 LTP.

This is not how we budget for things anywhere – and I expect Council to follow the same standard. Besides I can think of better used to go and sink $32m such as cleaning up Otara Creek which is a toxic site or to our struggling Local Boards to fund local community facilities or events.

 

However I will run further commentary on this as I draw up my submission

 

In the mean time some links and documents

 

Web Links to Council Annual Plan

Draft annual plan 2013/2014 – Home Page

Draft annual plan 2013/2014 – Documents

Draft annual plan 2013/2014 – Key topics and events

Draft annual plan 2013/2014 – Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014: Have your say

 

The Annual Plan Documents

VolumeOne of the Draft Annual Plan

Volume Two of the Draft Annual Plan

Volume Three of the Draft Annual Plan

 

And the movements in Rates per Local Board Areas:

(Yep another rates decrease coming my way)

 

Groan – Who Wrote This

Seen This Post Before…

 

, a Consultant in urban, economic and community development who no wait that was someone else who served with Councillor Mike Lee on the former Auckland Regional Council – wrote a post over on his Cities Matter blog about the apparent flawed analysis on the City Rail Link. There are also two comments from various individuals that caught my attention and will also be “mentioned” as well.

From Cities Matter:

 

 

 

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2012

A Flawed Case? Auckland’s City Rail Link Project

 

A tale of two cities
Two newspaper stories on infrastructure investment caught my eye last week. The first praised the approach undertaken by the Port of Tauranga. The Port has performed extremely well for shareholders, including 55% owners Bay of Plenty Regional Council.  This is put down to rigorous analysis of the financial impacts of any capital spending:

For years Tauranga has used its capital resources astutely to lift cargo volumes and improve efficiency to build economic value for its shareholders. …
The port has an outstanding record in kicking for the right goalposts when determining strategic capital development. ….
For Tauranga, a vital key has been to back innovation-driven capital investment with rigorous economic and financial analysis.

Contrast this with the latest addition to the grab bag of evidence assembled by Auckland Council to justify an underground central rail link (CRL) . Admittedly, Auckland Transport is not a commercial operation.  However, making the best possible use of capital is a key to the efficiency and productivity that will underlie the long-term prosperity of the city and the country.  And this project will not deliver.

Fiscal irresponsibility
I have not read the latest report in depth. But I did have a quick look to see what the financial implications of implementation might be for the ratepayers of Auckland, and how risk was assessed.  I couldn’t find any discussion of them.  And interestingly, in their absence it would be easy to use the analysis to demonstrate why we should not be risking substantial public funds on it. Yet the Mayor was quoted as saying that this report provides a strong basis for funding negotiations with the government.

The Transport Minister won’t buy into this.  He quickly responded by pointing out what the latest report demonstrates.  The project is not viable.  There is no financial analysis suggesting that this project has a life.

 

You can read the rest over at his blog.

 

Now that “latest report” McDermott is referring to that our utterly incompetent Minister of Transport responded to was the recently release City Centre Future Access Study (CCFAS) which can be found HERE. Now CCFAS I have mentioned briefly before while other blogs have covered it more in-depth.

 

My simple reply to the post written by McDermott for tonight (more in-depth coverage will come over the rest of the week), it is an exact replicant of what came out of Councillor Cameron Brewer’s Department which is widely believed (might as well been knowing the National Government Spin-Doctors) to have come straight out of Gerry Brownlee’s Office!

There is nothing new there McDermott and what you have said with the BCR’s has been refuted over at Transport Blog more than once – and will continue to be done so again and again and again until one basically “learns.”

 

As for the two comments posted, well that was heart sinking material to read it – but none the less expected!

 

” as it will never generate one cent of a financial return.”

LibertyScott; there is more to this world than the utter Neo-Liberal belief on “financial returns.” The London Underground at 150 years old last week shows the absolute long-term wider Economic returns to our sole World City (in my opinion) – London. And when I speak of Economic I speak of its full utter definition – that is: social, monetary, social and physical environmental, and the wider economic spin off’s out side of the pure revenue and expense which your blinkers can not look past from. Some goods in the world are subsidised (in fact roads are too for that matter) because there is more than absolute dollars and cents here – a fully integrated transport system is one of those goods.

 

“Let’s hope that serious advances in road-based transport will happen soon enough, fast enough, to get the public to re-think their brainwashing on the “inherent virtue” of rail. At the end of the day it’s about public buy-in and sadly they have thus far bought it.”

Andrew Atkin; mate your might as well bugger off to Brisbane mate where they are facing the consequences – and some very brutal ones at that of over investing in road-based transport and not developing a more balanced approach to their entire transport system which includes rail and ferries. Furthermore even our American cousins including such places as Houston and LA (oh look car central) have begun switching slowly over to more integrated transport systems which include – oh look rail. The Republicans in – look again TEXAS are going for a fully privately built and run rail line service and seeing where that ends up. If they make success out of it, it will blow away conceptions that rail is a socialist toy… As for public buy in; well they will keep buying in if real estate statistics are anything to go by. Guess where our hottest real estate is – why the fringe suburbs around the CBD which all sit on major road/bus and even rail corridors. The CRL will be an even bigger booster in those fringe areas when the latent rail capacity is not only opened up – but new areas that carry high density of travel also fall into extended rail catchment of the City Rail Link. I have not included the three new rail lines that can open up too because of the CRL giving the rail system even further reach into areas of Auckland not currently be served by rail. So sorry Andrew, don’t quite think the public will say to your way just yet looking at trends

 

And so this second post coming from me is the one I boot down the paddock.

 

Booting it for being an exact replicant of the crap that came out from Brownlee’s Office and that Brewer was silly enough to publish – with no actual alternative that presents even a better Benefit Cost Ratio than the CRL because there is none – Pure and Utter SIMPLE!

 

My take on all this

GROAN!