Quite a good article in the Herald on Sunday today. I do hope central Government takes note of the headline – at the moment they seem to think building more roading capacity is the appropriate response:
Soaring petrol costs are forcing people on to public transport in record numbers.
Bus companies report a spike in patronage since 91 unleaded fuel hit $2 a litre in February and passengers have told of having standing room only on their daily commutes.
The increase has been particularly big in Auckland but repeated in other major North Island centres.
Ritchies bus company director Andrew Ritchie said there had been a 10 per cent growth in passengers over the past year, with the trend gathering pace in recent months.
“There’s no question that it’s on the increase. We’ve never been loading as heavy. We certainly noticed it once we got to March.”
He said the “psychological trigger” of petrol prices topping $2 a litre had driven people from their cars.
His company was in talks with Auckland Council to put more buses on the Northern Express route along the Northern Busway to meet demand.
“Our growth has exceeded our estimations so we’re playing catch-up at the moment…”