Why does bus and rail based public transport suck in Aotearoa New Zealand?
There are 16 regions in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 1 region having a population over 1 million, 1 region having a population over 600,000, 2 regions having populations over 500,000, 1 region having a population over 300,000, million, 2 regions having populations over 200,000, 4 regions with populations between 100,000 to 199,999 and 5 regions with populations less than 99,999.
Our subsidized 'turn up and go' urban, semi rural, rural and regional public transport services is uncoordinated, hap hazard, not user friendly and lacks regional connectivity due to the fact it is based on regionalised and commercialised procurement through the PTOM (Public Transport Operating Model), where each regional council develops and grows their own 'commercialised' public transport services using competitive tendering, allowing increased fare revenue whilst reducing reliance on rate and taxpayer subsidies, that has lead to little or no inter-regional cooperation and planning, creating inequalities between regions.
More densely populated regions like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and lessor extent Hamilton have better public transport services and less populated regions have little or no public transport services like the Westland region.
The cost to each region with a population, less than 300,000 to maintain and operate a regional public transport system is expensive, especially for those regions who have populations less than 200,000.
Unfortunately, for too long politicians in councils and central government have spent most transport dollars on trying to make driving easier. By putting cars first and denying us affordable and frequent transport choices, they have forced more and more people to drive allowing for carbon and other toxic emissions to escape into the atmosphere warming our planet.
It about time that Aotearoa New Zealand has an integrated subsidize 'turn up and go' national bus, passenger rail and ferry public transport system, with its own 'open' national 'tap and go' payment/ticketing system, a national information and timetable website and associated smart phone travel app that contains all 'turn up and go' and 'book and travel' bus, rail and ferry services linking communities across Aotearoa New Zealand 16 regions.
For further information concerning the points raised in this article -
- Connecting Communities 2030 Initiative
- New Zealand's National Public Transport Network
- New Zealand's Regional Passenger Rail Network
- Light Rail for Branch Lines
- Can semi rural towns and small rural communities have public transport?
The New Zealand Government parliamentary Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand.
Greg O’Connor, the Chair of the committee, said “We hope interested New Zealanders will take the time to have their say and help us better understand inter-regional passenger rail and its future in New Zealand.”
The committee welcomes your comments and ideas on the topic and is looking forward to learning what the future of passenger rail could look like for New Zealand.
To have your say, please make a submission on the future of New Zealand's inter-regional passenger rail services
If you want to have better public transport services in your community, there are ways that you can have your say or become proactive by getting involved in local better public transport campaign groups.
The introduction of a national public transport network is one of the initiatives of the Public Transport Forum New Zealand.