Rates transport levy and freeloaders on trains



Have your SayThe new transport levy recently added to Auckland rates bills to pay for a transport funding shortfall, is a painful sting to already rapidly increasing rates bills with Auckland’s out of control housing market.
I recently rode on the train from Papakura to Auckland and back and was shocked at how easy it is to not pay, and noted the majority of people at nearly every station exploiting this.
It is no wonder train patronage levels have shot up to record highs in recent times and park and rides are all full, the provision of ‘free’ public transport is bound to result in this!
Perhaps this is a deliberate act on the part of the council and Auckland Transport to meet the Government’s patronage target to enable an earlier start on the City Rail Link tunnel project in which the Government will then provide its half share of the funding?
Unfortunately the ease to be able to ride the trains for free has resulted in a high number of undesirables riding the trains and loitering around stations, with many of the new electric trains all scratched into and defaced with tagging already. Papakura station and many of the others in South Auckland are not safe to be waiting around at.
So it could be asked if a more stringent ticketing system and enforcement were in place, as opposed to the present honesty based system, would a transport levy on rates be needed, or would it need to be so much?
G Edmonds, Drury

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