Monday, May 5, 2014

Taxi rides nothing short of a ripp-off. Time to look at alternative transport to Auckland Airport.

Very few countries in the world have a situation where travellers are charged such high prices as those that some taxis drivers charge in Auckland. Maybe the $198 a businessman from Christchurch was charged is at the extreme end, but there is no denying that the practice of charging amounts that sometimes approach the airfares for local travel is a common occurrence. For tourists coming from overseas, what a terrible beginning for their trip to a country that has been sold as a 'Pacific paradise.'
Imagine arriving at Auckland airport, late at night and then be ripped-off in the manner described. If you are tired and want to get to your hotel to shake off the jet-lag, you need to be made to feel welcome. How much is 'gouging' our travellers a 'welcome?
For many years it has been suggested that a rail link be built to the airport. As part of the modernization of Auckland's rail link in general, it seems short-sighted not to extend the electrification and purchase of the new trains to the airport, carrying on to Manukau, sweeping through to Manukau City Centre and beyond to the Eastern link. Sure it will cost a huge amount of money, but putting it off, will in the long run, cost even more. Think back to Mayor Robinson and his idea of the 'light rail,' and how long it took for any major moves in  that direction. Through a combination of private enterprise and Government funding (Local too) such a dream is possible. Lets have an end to the ripping -off of patrons and to the increasingly crowded motorways and main roads. Who wants to spend a large proportion of their time travelling to work, when the answer is clear? Just look at the faces of people who are travelling on the Onehunga link and ask yourself--should this not be so for all of Auckland? Dare I say it--- the commuters look pleased with their new trains.
There is, and always will be a place for taxis, but they should not be the only choice for travellers, thereby gaining a monopoly; we all know what happens when there is no competition.