John Roughan’s anti-public transport articlesÂ are becoming tiresome of late.Â 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.Â Â Thanks to free ferries andÂ 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.Â His article would therefore have been more useful if he had investigated whyÂ tax and ratepayersÂ are payingÂ millions more to transport operators for providing off-peak travel to SuperGold card holders, whenÂ 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.Â Â Perhaps we get greater economic returns from free off-peak travelÂ than we realised.Â Â Unfortunately from Mr Roughans’ article, we’ll never know.
2 thoughts on “Public Transport Is About Choice”
Perhaps there’s an argument that Super Gold cards shouldn’t be valid in the evening peak – although I think it’s pretty cool they are.
As you say Cam, the investigation should go into why NZTA are subsidising the full fare of all off-peak travel when those same off-peak routes are already being subsidised by ARTA. The bus companies are winning twice, and must be raking the funds in.
Perhaps John Roughan should enquire with the shopkeepers/cafeowners on Waiheke Island as to whether their daily takings have increased. Surely the increased patronage on buses, trains and ferries in off peak times will help to ensure services are maintained or in fact increased. In the long run everyone must benefit. Perhaps what it is really about is that he doesn’t like to be reminded of his own mortality. I finds his comments are miserly and patronising to the people who helped build this country tp where it is today.