Where are the priorities? That taxi trial – again!

Taxi Image Originally From AKTNZ BlogI was rung on Thursday by AT’s Road Corridor Operations Manager inviting me to meet in the new year as consultation for a paper he will be preparing for the AT Board on the contentious “taxis in bus lanes” trial idea raised by Nikki Kaye and supported by the Chief Operating Officer at Auckland Transport a month ago.

When we first heard about this, I asked Auckland Transport why the trial was important, what was its priority (compared with current programmes and workstreams that have been publicly debated and approved), and what was the anticipated cost of the road markings, new signs and monitoring needed for the trial? I was told these questions could not be answered… yet!

I asked the Road Corridor Ops Manager these same questions on Thursday, but he also seems to be working in a void at this stage. I suggested to him that if he had spare money for bus lane operation and management, he would be better to fund more of the successful bus/cycle workshop pilots supported by NZTA in Auckland last year. Sadly our local transport body hasn’t picked up the ball on this clever initiative.

You have to wonder about the time management skills and commercial acumen being displayed on this topic. If AT is so easily distracted by political flights of fancy like the taxi trial, no wonder they are slow to deliver essential and basic items like a cycling-friendly Code of Practice for road management; a consistent cycle lane maintenance regime across Auckland; secure, covered bike parking at train stations and key destinations (still no bike parking outside the town hall / mayor’s office!) or upgrading traffic lights so they respond to cycles as well as motor vehicles.

Come on guys – we’re a team in this Supercity – remember?

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