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.

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