Trans­port study

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

An aca­demic has been given $345,000 to study ways of im­prov­ing the pol­i­tics sur­round­ing Auck­land’s trans­port net­work.

Massey re­searcher Im­ran Muham­mad got the money from the Royal So­ci­ety of New Zealand Mars­den FastS­tart grant for the three­year project.

He will in­ves­ti­gate how lo­cal and cen­tral gov­ern­ments and com­mu­ni­ties can work to­gether to build a bet­ter ur­ban pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in Auck­land.

‘‘Pub­lic trans­port in Auck­land is top­i­cal, con­tro­ver­sial and highly politi­cised,’’ Dr Muham­mad says.

‘‘The fail­ure to pro­vide a high qual­ity pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in the city has its ori­gins in in­sti­tu­tional chal­lenges.’’

He says the city’s trans­port sys­tem has ge­o­graph­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges, in­clud­ing con­flict­ing pri­or­i­ties at cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment lev­els, dif­fer­ing po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies on trans­port strate­gies and fund­ing sys­tems and lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties for gen­uine pub­lic in­volve­ment.

‘‘These chal­lenges de­mand not merely in­cre­men­tal change but trans­for­ma­tive change – a change in pol­icy path.’’

He be­lieves that while am­bi­tious plan­ning doc­u­ments, po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions and re­struc­tur­ing of lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions have a place in de­vel­op­ing pub­lic trans­port, qual­ity demo­cratic de­lib­er­a­tions and the in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity to re­de­fine the prob­lem and gen­er­ate new so­lu­tions are more im­por­tant.

Dr Muham­mad, a se­nior lec­turer at Massey’s School of Peo­ple, En­vi­ron­ment and Plan­ning, says com­pared to over­seas cities, par­tic­u­larly Perth, Auck­land’s trans­port sys­tems have lagged be­hind.

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