Airport Rail? Be Sensible!
Transport minister Steven Joyce warned today about thinking about any more Auckland rail projects coming through.
Amid a predictable answer in parliament, the minister gave this cautionary note:
“I must caution that there remains further work to ensure that this (Auckland) network is financially sustainable in terms of fare revenues and subsidies from ratepayers and NZTA.
“This is very important before any new projects to further extend the network can be sensibly considered.”
He is referring to the work he has ordered on local bodies ensuring that users pay more for public transport than the present subsidies.
Auckland’s review seems to have got caught up in the changes to local body reforms so we may not hear about what fare increases we have to pay for a while.
Rail ones would likely happen at the same time as the next timetable improvements in February or March of next year.
Anyway back to parliament this afternoon.
One of the worst features of parliament is the practice of party backbench MPs asking one of their Cabinet Ministers a patsy question so the Minister can boast about the wonderful progress being made in some area.
This afternoon it was the turn of the Maungakiekie MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to ask transport minister the earth shattering question: What progress has been made on developing the commuter rail network in Auckland?
As the MP was present at the Onehunga line opening on Saturday, he must have had had his eyes closed during the entire ceremony!
Here is what happened?