Transport rates ‘worth it’
Auckland ratepayers contribute around $320 million to public transport each year, which is an investment a North Shore councillor says is ‘‘worth it’’ for local commuters.
Investing in public transport is the best way to reduce congestion and get people around more efficiently, North Shore ward councillor Richard Hills said. ‘‘More than 50 per cent of morning commuters over the bridge are in buses which shows the investment is worth it,’’ Hills said. ‘‘New double-deckers increased bus capacity on Onewa Rd by 18 per cent this year, meaning 70 per cent of morning Onewa Rd users are now travelling in a bus or carpooling.’’
Despite increased ferry and Northern Busway services, congestion is hitting Aucklanders in the pocket but there is no slowing down on car ownership. In the past year, nearly 36,000 more cars were registered in Auckland, or 700 per week, taking the total number of cars registered in the city to 959,300 as at September 2017. With road congestion costing Aucklanders at least $1 billion a year, according to Auckland Council’s chief economist David Norman, continuing investment in public transport will save money, contribute to economic growth and improve productivity. ‘‘Every commuter benefits, regardless of whether they use public transport or not,’’ Norman said.
Auckland Councillor for the North Shore ward Richard Hills advocated for the double-decker bus along the Onewa Rd.