Connecting Communities Initiative is a concept to connect urban, semi rural and rural communities across Aotearoa New Zealand from the the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island and Oban in Stewart Island, with a sustainable environmentally friendly, easy to use 'stop to stop' subsidize and non-subsidize national passenger transport network to reduce non essential personal vehicle travel and Aotearoa New Zealand's fossil fuel induced emissions by 2030.
Why Connecting Communities Initiative
Passenger transport in Aotearoa New Zealand, especially subsidize 'turn up and go' public transport is uncoordinated, hap hazard, not user friendly and lacks regional connectivity due to the current regionalised procurement through the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM), where each regional council develops and grows their own 'subsidized' passenger transport services using competitive tendering, to allow increased fare revenue return whilst reducing reliance on rate and taxpayer subsidies, resulting in little or no inter-regional cooperation and planning, creating inequalities between regions.
There are 16 local government regions in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 1 region having a population over 1 million, 1 region having a population over 600,000, 2 regions having populations over 500,000, 1 region having a population over 300,000, 2 regions having populations over 200,000, 4 regions with populations between 100,000 to 199,999 and 5 regions with populations less than 99,999.
More densely populated regions like Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and lessor extent Waikato have better subsidize 'metro' style passenger transport services than less populated regions who have little or no subsidize passenger transport services like the Westland region.
Since most regions have a wide spread of low density populated semi rural towns and rural communities, the cost to each region with a population less than 500,000, to maintain and operate a regional subsidize passenger transport system is expensive, especially those regions who have populations less than 200,000, hence their reliance on non subsidize 'book and travel' passenger transport services.
Non subsidized 'book and travel' passenger transport services are regional, inter-regional and long distance bus, coach and passenger train services, like 'InterCity' brand coach services and Kiwirail's 3 'scenic' long distance passenger train services, who operate on a 'for profit' business model and do not receive subsidies from regional councils, as their services cross regional boundaries and are subject to service/s and/or route closure/s if any bus and/or passenger train service/s are deemed to be uneconomical to operate by the respective passenger transport operator.
How will this make passenger travel better
Currently, there is a lack of co-ordination between both subsidized 'turn up and go' passenger transport and non-subsidized 'book and travel' passenger transport services in regards to integrated passenger infrastructure like terminals, payment options, a national passenger transport information, timetable and booking website and related phone based app.
Aotearoa New Zealand's population is expected to increase to 6-7 million by 2030, that will see a move away from the current larger urban centres to the regions, creating a need for a frequent fully integrated sustainable, environmentally friendly national passenger transport network, where people can travel within and/or to and from urban, semi, rural communities across Aotearoa New Zealand, to visit family and friends, for business or scenic leisure travel on a network of modem, quiet, fast, using clean renewable energy environmentally friendly powered trains, buses, coaches and ferries and other passive passenger transport modes.
The Connecting Communities Initiative consists of the following components -
- New Zealand's New Regional Passenger Rail Network
- New Zealand's National Public Transport Network
- New Zealand's National Public Transport Agency
- Light Rail for Branch Lines
For further information concerning the points raised in the Connecting Communities Initiative concept -
- Future of long distance passenger rail services in New Zealand
- It is time to reform rail in Aotearoa New Zealand
- New Zealand's shrinking passenger railway network
- Why does public transport suck in New Zealand
- Can semi rural towns and small rural communities have public transport?
If you support the Connecting Communities Initiative, have your say or become proactive by getting involved in local better public transport campaign groups.
Connecting Communities is an initiative of the Public Transport Forum New Zealand.