Role of politics in public transport planning and investment.

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Public transport has a range of opportunities both in revenue and sustainability; however, politics is an ever-changing dynamic system making planning, investments and implementation of public transport facilities difficult to fully apply. Public transport is available to the general public as a shared means of transportation. In the age of diminishing oil reserves and an expanding population, Governments are faced with a demand for improvements in public transport as the cost to travel privately rises. This essay will critically review literature regarding the positive and negative roles of politics in public transport planning and investment. This will include decision making and processes regarding the public and government decision making; funding and public support with the use of the cost-benefit analysis. The last part will look at Auckland to determine whether the role of politics promotes or obstructs public transport planning.
Western cities have several complex issues with public transport planning, investment and implementation. Prior to the establishment of the automobile people relied heavily on public transport services, but the rise of the automobile has created heavily motor-dependent societies. In 2006 there were over 500 million motor vehicles in use globally, and since the 1960’s the number of motor vehicles increased faster than the global population (Jakob & Craig & Fisher, 2006). Private transport affordability caused the decline in public transport use and mass increases in private road use, transportation globally makes up 75% of carbon emissions (Jakob, 2006). There has been a change in thinking since the 1990’s; where Government goals were facilitating the predicted growth to traffic, to current ...

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... local government; limited community involvement; lack of co-ordination between public transport modes and ‘pro-automobile’ culture. Boock (2012) identifies how Auckland’s decision makers have been ‘training’ Aucklander’s not to bother with public transport rather than trying to promote its integration over time. The trend of the majority of residents and planners is their preferred interest into building new roads and bigger highways resulting in short-term solutions.
Governments and councils alike need a massive focus on promoting the use of public transport. As most public stand, they prefer the use of private travel as it provides flexibility and efficiency which is not granted in public transport. In order to achieve more efficient and effective planning and investment for public transport, there needs to be better support ad direction from central government.

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