Auckland transport boost vital: commuters

Last updated 11:22 21/07/2014
AUCKALND COMMUTER
CHANGE IS NEEDED: Charlotte Taylor believes the Government should be more focused on improving Auckland's public transport.

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Howick student Charlotte Taylor's father lives south of Auckland and recently had a seizure which means he can't drive for a year.

"He's going to be stuck with public transport now and he's absolutely dreading it."

With no link between his home in Clevedon and the city, his wife has to drive him 20 minutes to Papakura so he can catch a the train to the city - a 50 minute ride. The retirees are thinking of moving as a result.

"It's a real hassle," Charlotte, 22, said.

The Government needed to invest more in boosting the city's public transport system with areas such as hers desperately underserved.

Not only were buses infrequent and often late, there were not enough direct connections meaning users often had to travel out of their way to get anywhere.

"There's not much out here and it doesn't go to many destinations in all honesty."

She wants to see more bus lanes built in the central city and more direct routes as well as a better mobile app to help plan public transport journeys.

Jason Harrison, 46, lives on the North Shore but works in South Auckland - a trip that takes him 30 minutes by car when he travels off peak.

He wants to see more money spent on roads.

"It's like any infrastructure if you've got so many houses in a district you need wastewater that's going to get the sewage away from hose houses and transport is the same - you've got to have the infrastructure there that will cope with the pressure that society puts on it."

Once that was established, a proper public transport network could be established alongside it, he said.

As well as completing the roading network, the Government should look at more innovative measures to prevent congestion.

He suggested variable speed limits which could slow traffic right along the network when pressure started building up in bottlenecks.

Harrison, whose wife catches a bus to work in the city, said authorities should build more carparks at park and rides as many people turned up hoping to use the bus, only to drive when they found no free spaces. He would use a train to get to work in South Auckland if there was a rail service that was regular and direct.

Dee Crooks lives in Mt Wellington and drives the 45-odd minutes to her inner city job but says she prefer to use public transport. It costs her $90 a fortnight in gas and $13 a day for a park.

She used to drive to Orakei to catch the train but since her daughter started at daycare it was no longer practical.

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"It's just become too hard now that I've got a child."

She lives in a new subdivision which she says has no public transport links.

"So there's been no thought in terms of how you then get the people from the subdivision to the city which is where the majority of people work."

Having lived in London she says she is a fan of public transport and believes it should be prioritised over roads, saying it was possible for the city to build its way out of traffic problems.

She also wants to see more car parks built at the city's park and ride train and bus stops, saying they are too few and fill up too quickly.

She believes Aucklanders have a love affair with their cars but with the city becoming more cosmopolitan and New Zealanders spending so much time overseas in cities with good public transport systems this could change. There should also be more links between new subdivisions and transport hubs.

- Stuff

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