Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Heather du Plessis-Allan: More Auckland Transport Trouble

Look, it’s very tempting to have a laugh once again at Auckland Transport for once again, being rubbish at its job.

But actually, this isn’t funny anymore, is it?

This has got to be costing the country money now, with people being unable to get to the places where they earn money and where they learn how to do work.

As you know, we are now in March Madness. This happens every single year; it’s the crazy time of year where the roads get really congested with the Uni students heading back to campus and their classes, school kids back at school, and the rest of us back at work.

And March Madness is particularly bad this year, because the trains aren’t running at full capacity in Auckland, the tracks are being repaired.

And the buses aren’t running at full capacity because they’re being cancelled or suspended because we don’t have enough bus drivers.

So Auckland Transport, the lot in charge of this, their solution to the problem is not to deal with the problem and fix the trains and the bus situation.

Their solution to the problem is to ask you not to use their service, public transport. They are asking you to consider avoiding travelling during peak times.

What planet are these people on?

There’s a reason we travel during peak times. Do they think that school hours are flexible? Do they think university classes should just be skipped? Do they think work hours are voluntary now?

The reason there is a peak hour is because that’s when the day starts and when the day ends for most people. This is not a new concept; this is how the western world has worked for decades upon decades.

It is a month to the day, incidentally, that Elton John was playing in Auckland. Do you remember what happened there?

Oh yes, Auckland Transport asked people not to go on public transport on the way to the concert because they’d cut the train services. They wanted people to drive!

Now I get the feeling that Auckland Transport has actually lost sight of its actual job here, which is to get people from A to B so that they can live their lives and learn or earn.

It’s very tempting to suspect these guys at Auckland Transport have got themselves distracted with trying to do some good.

They’ve gotten so busy trying to save the planet from emissions and find nice new streets to clog with planter boxes so we get out of our cars, that they’ve actually dropped the ball on their core job.

And that’s why it’s not funny anymore. Because the rest of us are still trying to do our core jobs.

We still have jobs and we have to be there to earn a crust, and Auckland Transport is now getting in the way of that.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Anonymous said...

Since 2017, NZ has become a heavily centralized bureaucratic system.
In all such systems, bureaucrats cling to their power and areas of control - and will fight to the death to keep this.

Eventually productivity falls and economic performance falters.
So predictable.

Anonymous said...

I remember when waiting for a train on the london underground and if it said " delayed 2 mins" everyone waiting would be furious. Fast forward to 2023 nz and all we have is a north korean type of train system, where there is a beautiful train station but no trains even run. The ones that do, are either delayed or stopped because of rain. It is beyond 3rd world. They must have lowered the standards for bus drivers, as I have noticed that now they drive so roughly that you get car sick. Recently.i got a pulled muscle in my back from being thrown around in an auckland bus. Calm is not a word I would use for akl bus drivers. No surprises that people are going back to their cars.

Robert Arthur said...

A virtue of the original trams was that the motorman "skill" was not transferable.

Anonymous said...

In Kenepuru/Pelorus Sound the roads have been replaced by barges (ask a farmer or beekeeper about that) and the delight of the day is when the postie gets through with post and groceries. This has been going on for quite some time and the rain just makes the damaged in repaired roads worse and worse.