Opinion: It’s time to Disband Auckland Transport

Admittedly, I’m at my wits ends. Auckland Transport as an organization I feel have persistently failed to deliver for the people of Auckland and has absolutely shown no willingness to reform their ways. This organization I strongly feel no longer has the social license to operate. It’s time to disband the organization, integrate it’s functions back into the council and get leaders in who are willing to do their jobs.

They’ve thrown excuse after lame excuse for their failures, taken a hands off approach and attempted to cast blame on other entities for delivery of frankly a crap end-product (service) to the public. I think it’s time the organization (that is, should this organization wish to have any hope of continuing to exist) took a long look at itself and actually own up + acknowledge the transport issues facing Aucklanders and take the lead to champion delivery of reliable, timely, efficient and cost effective transport networks rather than shrugged their shoulders to say “not our problem / fault”.

Buses are still being cancelled en masse. Yet they want us to change from our cars and seem to be very keen to roll out enforcement cameras to use against the very people who pays their wages in order to coax us to change. How on Earth (or Mars) is that modal shift going to happen when passengers turn up to their stop only to find repeatedly their train service or bus service has been randomly cancelled with the list of these cancelled services running all the way to the moon and back?

I invite anyone who defends what Auckland Transport has achieved to actually convince me what we currently have is even usable, practical, dependable and caters to the day to day transportation needs of most Auckland commuters.

At this point, I will admit to harboring a lot of animosity (I loath to use the word “hate”) towards Auckland Transport, more specifically towards their ongoing performance (or lack of) to date. I’m still figuring out how to channel (Positively harness) this anger as an individual rate-paying Auckland resident. It may be that I have to seriously look at forming my own Lobby / Advocacy group to hold Auckland Transport to account for their actions?

I’m aware that Greater Auckland is perhaps the biggest existing advocacy group already in this space but will be the first to admit while I strongly agree with their vision to reduce dependency on cars, and opening up travel choice, I don’t necessarily agree with the way they appear to be approaching this (which seems to be more to retrofit — at great uncertain cost and great disruption to those neighbourhoods potentially for years — new infrastructure in those existing neighborhoods).

In my view, we are probably best to make the majority of new subdivisions 6-10 story apartment blocks surrounding green space, right beside high capacity public transit corridors in such areas of Albany and Drury with day to day amenities and services within walking distance — See my separate article where I detail my thoughts further. Auckland Council and Auckland Transport should be working in lock-step with respect to urban planning and transport planning – to be frank, I’m not convince they are. If they are, then why are we continuing to sprawl well away from major transport infrastructure (Rail lines, Bus ways, Motorways)? Look at the area east of the Tamaki River.

As a complete aside, I wouldn’t be surprised Auckland Transport have purposely modeled their Logo on a Tortoise (With the ‘A’ forming the shell and the ‘T’ forming the neck and head). May be the organization should just be called “Auckland Tortoise”.

It’s important to note this post is not aimed at the many hardworking grassroots frontline employees both within AT itself and those of their contractors (e.g Bus Drivers, Train Drivers, Train conductors).

Opinion: It’s time to Disband Auckland Transport

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