Friday, March 23, 2012

Submission to Auckland Transport Plan

Submission on the key transport challenges and priorities for the Auckland region.

With the past & current emphasis on catering for cars and building more & more roads, traffic congestion and resulting pollution, health & other problems are having a serious, detrimental impact on Auckland, and this can only get worse as the population and vehicle-use grows.

There needs to be a substantial shift from cars to public transport.

I submit that to acheive this big shift in mobility modes and outlook, the Auckland Council should urgently consider introducing fare free public transport across the region.

This should be accompanied with an immediate halt to all spending on extravagent roading projects & diverting these funds to the free public transport programme, purchase of a large fleet of modern, low-emission buses, upgraded electric train services & ferries, improved public transport traffic flow measures, and passenger and walking & cycling amenities across the region.

Simple colour-coded integrated routes should be introduced to make public transport easily accessible to all, and allow for an easy, seamless switch from one route to another. Buses, ferries & trains should run at frequent intervals. Services should run 24/7. 'Public Transport Ambassadors' should be engaged to assist passengers, discourage anti-social behaviour, and allow drivers to concentrate of safe driving.

With a massive PR promotion, fare-free & frequent public transport could rapidly attract a large proportion of people out their cars and onto public transport.

This would have a major impact on reducing the road toll (deaths & injuries), reducing pollution & related issues, such as respiratory illnesses & stress, big reduction in wasted time sitting on gridlocked roads, big reduction in fuel costs and wastage, reduction in road maintenance costs, reduce the need for parking, eliminate the need for expensive fare collecting systems, and greatly increase the ability for Aucklanders to move about their city safely & easily.

Thank you,

Roger Fowler
5 Tennessee Ave,
Mangere East
Auckland 2024.

[Submitted Friday 23 March 2012]

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tallinn Receives Swedish Free Public Transit Award

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

See Also

Tallinn's free transportation initiative has won the city an award by a Swedish NGO,

The award, founded in 2010, has been handed out to organisations, individuals or cities that have made a notable contribution to changing urban traffic policies towards the better.

"Tallinn has shown that there are alternatives to the current model of fee-/ticket-financed public transport which would also lead to great benefits from a climate and resource perspective," Anna Nygård of the award committee said in a statement.

The award will be presented to Tallinn officials during the city's transportation referendum held from March 19 to 25.

If passed, the law implementing free public transportation in Tallinn would become effective beginning in 2013, the city government has said.

Erkki Sivonen

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beijing introduces free public transportation plan for the disabled
Global Times | March 01, 2012 00:50
By Xu Wen

Beijing transportation authorities and the city's association for disabled people have announced that the disabled from today on will be able to enjoy free public transportation.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT) and Beijing Disabled Persons' Federation (BDPF) said in a press conference Tuesday that, in addition to buses, blind people may ride subways for free.

Beneficiaries only need present their certificate of disability issued by the China Disabled Persons' Federation to enjoy the specialized services, the China News Service reported.

An official with the BMCT indicated that the free rides for the disabled would be on buses with initial digits from 1 to 9, as well as the express 101 and 102 buses, and routes to remote counties and districts. The blind are also allowed to have one person to accompany them on subway lines for free.

"Disabled persons are also permitted to carry on board with them their indispensable equipment free of charge, but it must be stressed that all disabled persons ensure their certificate photo is clear so that identification can easily be made," the official said.

"The new policy applies to not only local Beijing residents, but also to disabled people from other cities," Li Caimao, director of the policy research center at the BDPF, told the Global Times.

Zhou Huibiao, a 26-year-old physically disabled man who works at a technology company in Beijing, told the Global Times that he felt the measures highlighted the government's concern for disabled persons.

Although it will decrease transportation costs for the disabled, Zhou believes it is not enough to help the physically disabled people move around, as there are few specialized accessible doors on public buses in Beijing.

Cheng Jiyong, a disabled entrepreneur in Beijing, told the Beijing Daily that the measures will really benefit the disabled, and recommended disabled persons avoid the use of public transportation during rush hours.