Track­ing trains

Auckland City Harbour News - - LETTERS -

Your article on Auck­land’s trains ( Auck­land City Har­bour News, June 12) re­vealed why this form of trans­port is where it is and why the out­look isn’t great.

Af­fect­ing the present and the fu­ture is the gov­er­nance struc­ture that sees no less than six or­gan­i­sa­tions, each run­ning an as­pect of the train ser­vice.

One for the tracks, one for the trains, one for the sta­tions, one for the timeta­bles. Surely this could be stream­lined and the per­for­mance im­proved.

Then there is the map of the net­work, that shows that it re­ally doesn’t de­serve the de­scrip­tion, cov­er­ing only a small part of the city, and full of dead ends.

And, lastly, the mayor’s com­ment ‘‘I want to make Auck­land’s (trans­port sys­tem) the most mod­ern in the world’’.

This shows he has no grasp of the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion.

The foun­da­tions of good pub­lic trans­port sys­tems were laid in the first half of the 20th cen­tury, and we missed that boat. Our best bet now would be to go for an im­proved bus sys­tem that would ben­e­fit all quar­ters of the city. air hostesses, so­cial me­dia plat­forms. We need to bring at­ten­tion to an­other kind of hate speech, hap­pen­ing on our streets.

Ear­lier this month I dared to talk to a man beg­ging on Queen St. When I say dared, it didn’t feel like that to me. But it cer­tainly seemed like it to the man who ha­rassed me. ‘‘Don’t pay him any at­ten­tion,’’ he scolded me. ‘‘He’s not worth your time. He’s made his own choices to end up in this sit­u­a­tion.’’

I was hor­ri­fied. How dare any­one talk to me like this? And, even worse, how dare any­one talk about the man next to me like he was do­ing? This is hate speech. It’s worse than hate speech. The clear mes­sage was: ‘‘This per­son is not a per­son. This per­son does not ex­ist.’’

As if that wasn’t enough, a minute later, the man walked off as coun­cil work­ers came down the street. He wasn’t fast enough – as he put his rub­bish in the bin the coun­cil staff de­manded he give them his sign.

I was shaken by the way Auck­lan­ders treat their fel­low cit­i­zens. I found it de­grad­ing. And I won­dered how any­one treated in such an hu­mil­i­at­ing, dis­re­spect­ful way on a daily ba­sis feels.

They might be used to it. But it might be one more kick that makes it yet harder to get up.

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