Auckland fuel tax begins to bite

Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN

There is a Labour backed, ex-Labour politician led Auckland City Council which runs Auckland Transport and there is the NZ First led Coalition of Labour and Greens who hate cars and want us all on bikes and buses and between them all, they cannot agree who they are going to steal the money from to pay for it.

I love the smell of irony in the morning. Quote.

The decision to lift Auckland public transport fares by up to 7 per cent is forecast to cut trips by 830,000.

The estimate, in a paper to Auckland Transport’s board members, means there would still be a growth in patronage but says it would be lower than if fares had been frozen.

Mayor Phil Goff has rejected that forecast by his own council’s agency.

“I’m uncertain as to whether that is the trade-off. I think there are far bigger issues around what happens to the rise and fall of public transport, than what you are looking at with a 1.9 per cent average fare rise,” Goff told Stuff.

Auckland Transport’s board had hoped to freeze fares to encourage more motorists to leave their cars behind, but failed to get a funding boost from the council or NZTA to cover the revenue that would be lost.

End quote.

A Labour led council convinced a government with Labour politicians and a Labour Minister of Transport to raise the cost of fuel in their area. So bus fares need to rise to cover the running costs – that is obvious.

Then the Labour led Council’s 100% owned transport arm comes and asks for money to cover this additional cost and both the Labour led council and the Labour Minister controlled NZTA tell them to take a hike, so to speak. Quote.

Auckland bus and train users face fare rises of up to 7 per cent next month. The AT board paper argued one of the reasons for the freeze was to meet the stated desire of both the council and government to switch more motorists to public transport. […] End quote.

Julie Anne Genter witters on about getting us out of cars so, to make it more palatable, Auckland Transport decided to not pass on the added cost of the Auckland fuel tax and instead ask for a subsidy. A sort of put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is approach to their masters. It failed. Quote.

While the average fare increase is 1.9 per cent, 22 per cent of trips are two-zone journeys where fares will rise 4.5 per cent for most passengers, and 7 per cent more for tertiary students. […]

AT dropped the approach to get more money from the council when its co-funder NZTA declined the bid. End quote.

And rightly so. Why should the Auckland ratepayers or the wider New Zealand taxpayers have to pick up the added fuel costs for someone to ride an Auckland bus? Quote.

The board paper showed AT faced a $15 million funding gap in the public transport budget, and would claw back only $3.7m of that through the eventual fare increase.

Goff said the sum sought to fund a fare freeze was not huge but it was just one part of Auckland Transport’s budget problems.

“We will have some major challenges this year with the construction costs of public transport, and the demand for the expansion of services, and demands to improve the quality of it,” he said.

The mention of “construction costs” could be a pointer to a significant increase in the cost of building the downtown rail tunnels, known as the City Rail Link. […] End quote.

Stuff


Oh yes, that’s right; they have a train set to pay for. Oh, and a tram down Dominion Road.

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