Monday, 4 February 2008

$150,000 per car!

12_bus_180 After four years of delaying traffic the North Shore busway gets its first proper use today. With its opening the government has spent nearly $300 million of your money in order to get 2000 cars off the Northern motorway every day. That's $210 million, plus the cost of bus stations and buses.  That's $150,000 per car!

Couldn't they have invested our money in a few private taxis instead?  Or a viable second crossing?

That's $300 million to keep an empty lane open next to the Northern motorway's clogged lanes just so that (as Liberty Scott says) a near-empty bus can whiz by every three minutes. At that price, the bloody thing deserves to be better used.  It won't be -- not unless, as Scott suggests, it becomes a tollway.

As a tollway, it could charge vehicles a premium to bypass congestion, like the 91 express lanes in California. The tolls would be high, and vary according to demand, and would ensure free flow conditions remain. However, the tolls could ultimately pay for the road (except that past road users have already paid for it). An even better option would be to sell it, let bus companies pay for the right to use it, along with other road users. People could hardly moan about there not being an alternative, the government owned "free" motorway beside it would remain available.

He has another even more radical solution for North Shore's drivers to consider: see 'Auckland's Northern Busway Opens, But...' - LIBERTY SCOTT.


  1. Hail to the busdriver4 Feb 2008, 16:02:00

    PC, seriously, did you (and Liberty Scott) bother to activate even a few brain-cells before writing, or were those posts just a natural reflex driven by blind ideology?

  2. Did you bother to actually think up a counterargument, or did you think merely insulting someone would better display your intellect?

    Try again.

  3. PC

    those numbers would be fine if the tollway had a life of one day.

    But it doesn't.

    If it has a life of a year the cost would be $410 per car (300m/2000/365) and I presume reducing proportionally for every year that it is used thereafter.


  4. Does anyone know if its 2000 new commuters on buses? or 2000 who are currently using the service anyway (regardless of the busway). Because if the latter is teh case then the figures could be MUCH worse for the busway.

    BTW Peter its $105,000 per car off the road (over the lifecycle of the road) not $150,000.

    Insider. That would be the cost of the car for a day (if the lifecycle was for a year).

  5. MikeE No one seems able to tell anyone whether it's 2000 new commuters on buses, or 2000 who are currently using the service anyway, or whether that's per day, per week, or what.

    So for our rough calculation, that's $210 million + the cost of bus stations and buses = [the figure given by Helen] = $300 million /2000 = $150,000 per car.

    based on the average salary, that could pay 2000 people to stay home for five years.

  6. HTBD said .... nonsense.

    BTW, did someone mention "blind ideology"?

  7. I drove alongside it today and was stunned by the sheer Number of bues NOT driving along it.....there was just empty road.What a fucking waste of space and money....I will see if volume increases while I sit in the STILL jammed main motorway over the next few weeks...

  8. Yeah - fucking typical - lets turn it into a toll road so that only rich pricks can afford to use it!

    (just in case you were wondering, I was being sarcastic - a toll road would be a good idea)

  9. Wow, nice maffs bro. I think you've got some good arguments but playing with the numbers like that is a little bit embarrassing.

  10. Hail to the busdriver, did you bother to challenge your own presumption that buses should have a subsidised dedicated corridor paid for by all road users, or was your response just a natural reflex driven by blind ideology?

    I'd like a big new roadway to be used, and if it is just for bus users, let the bus users pay through the bus companies for the full costs of the busway.

    PC may be wrong, as the buses I suspect wont be empty - but the road will be.

    The busway is a far better project that wasting money electrifying Auckland rail, I just think it would be better as a tollway.


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