A life just as ordinary

Just like you, but different

Build a Bridge – get over it.


Toll roads are contentious. Nobody want to pay to drive. Driving is a right. Unalienable, god-given right. I can drive anywhere at any time. I can even use my cell phone and speed, if I’m not caught, which I’m often not. (Well never actually, very cautious driver am I)

I’ll start straight up and say that I cross the bridge on average 10 times a week, there and back 5 days a week.  I have a passing interest in this, I travel around 18-20,000 kms a year, just commuting to my workplace and home. I have a passing interest in this.

Anyway.  A toll on using the current harbour bridge. Daft.

 Daft for some reason that I instantly came up with, and there are more, and these are probably not very good but; 

  1. Why only on traffic that crosses the bridge? Why no toll the whole motorway, or have a toll for the on-ramps that you use, so pay as you enter.
  2. Who doesn’t benefit from the harbour bridge? How do things get from markets to shops? Everyone in Auckland benefits from the motorway system and the bridge, everyone.
  3. The CBD. A catchment area of workers that would encompass many of the northern suburbs, adding $60 – $80 a week of tolls to a journey isn’t fair, democratic or right just because I live ‘north of the bridge’
  4. The University at Takapuna. That’s north of the bridge. I’d like to see student allowances stretch to include toll fees
  5. There is no public transport. Sure there is a busway.
    1. Have you ever tried to get on a bus in rush hour?
    2. Have you ever tried to park at the park n ride?
    3. Does the bus go anywhere near where you need to be?
    4. Does it get there in a reasonable time?
    5. How long is the Journey and how much does that cost?
    6. How many exclusions will there be?
  6. Administration costs. Our most successful toll road already has ‘admin’ fees of 0.74 cents per transaction. A one way toll is $2.

I’m in favour of user pays, that seems to fair thing to suggest, but you can’t carve out the current harbour bridge as a “nice to use” feature without taking a wider view of its economic and social benefits.

Do we need a new bridge, eventually we do yes. Badly. Do we need more roads, yes, how else to get goods from markets to shops, workers to offices, students to schools. Do we need better public transport? Yes if it went from where I was to where I needed to be in a reasonable time.  Would I get the bus to work?, Sure perhaps but I can imagine my 45 minute journey being  over 2 hours each way.

Well I looked it up, 1 hour 59 minutes, and $14.20 one way. So I’de leave home at 6am and I’d get home at 9pm $28.40 per day, that could happen.  Oh and I still have to walk to the bus stop on top of that time. Rain or shine, and if the bus/train/bus turns up. Bit of a lottery


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This entry was posted on July 5, 2011 by in All about me, Cars, Denial, Fairness, funding, Idiots and tagged , , .

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