INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mayor Comments On Public Transport Crisis

Published: Tue 1 Nov 2022 03:06 PM
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says Auckland faces “a public transport crisis” and Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi, the Ministry of Transport, KiwiRail and Immigration Minister Michael Wood need to move to an “emergency footing” to maintain services for Aucklanders – now, and over the next two years.
“Auckland is a car city and a public transport city. We need more Aucklanders using our public transport system, to lessen congestion, lower household transport costs during the economic and fiscal storm, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” Mayor Brown said.
“Aucklanders should not and will not accept two years of rail disruptions and ongoing cuts to bus services, and our transport agencies must do much better.
“Over the next two years, we also have major events like the FIFA World Cup and concerts and festivals that Aucklanders want to get to using the train or bus, to enjoy now that Covid restrictions are behind us.
“I am one of Auckland Transport’s biggest critics but in this case the crisis has been caused primarily by Wellington in the form of badly planned KiwiRail line maintenance projects and Michael Wood not letting bus drivers into the country.
“Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi distract both themselves and Aucklanders by wasting everyone’s time and money on fantasy projects like the $30 billion light-rail project, that Aucklanders don’t want and taxpayers elsewhere in the country don’t want to pay for.”
Mayor Brown said he would have “much more” to say about light rail soon, but was today urging Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi, the Ministry of Transport, KiwiRail and Mr Wood to “forget about that sort of nonsense for now and instead get around the table, pull their business continuity and emergency plans off the shelf, and work together urgently to find a solution to the immediate bus crisis and the risk of two years of train disruptions”.
Mayor Brown said he expected everyone at Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to be firmly focussed on the immediate crisis and not be distracted by “fanciful projects that will never happen”.
He said he supported Auckland Transport’s decision to no longer advertise bus services for which buses aren’t available, “in the interests of clarity and reality”.
“Auckland bus users don’t want to be told buses are going to turn up that then don’t,” he said.

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