Public Transport Is About Choice

John Roughan’s anti-public transport articles are becoming tiresome of late.  Most recently, he opines that the “active retired do not need free public transport.”

What he fails to acknowledge is that public transport provides choice.  Thanks to free ferries and public transport after 9am, SuperGold card holders now have the choice of spending less money on petrol, car running costs and parking and more on the cafes of Devonport, the wineries of Waiheke or, for that matter, food, heating or gifts for the grandchildren.

Mr Roughan is right to be concerned about the cost of providing off-peak travel to seniors.  His article would therefore have been more useful if he had investigated why tax and ratepayers are paying millions more to transport operators for providing off-peak travel to SuperGold card holders, when the marginal cost must be close to zero.

Perhaps there are improvements we can make to the public transport contracting model. Perhaps the Public Transport Management Act isn’t working as intended.  Perhaps we get greater economic returns from free off-peak travel than we realised.  Unfortunately from Mr Roughans’ article, we’ll never know.

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