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What the ship!

November 25 2019

My heart sank when I heard the news that the Ferry is stopping at the end of February. You would think that for a town built alongside lakes and rivers, Council(s) supporting public transport that runs on the water would be a no-brainer. But no. It seems that all they want to do is pass the buck and make excuses - they’ve been about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. QLDC, ORC and NZTA all need to get onboard - they talk of the need to adopt alternative transport modes, yet here’s existing infrastructure staring them in the face. Without supporting the ferry, they put more pressure on the already over-capacity roading network and further stretch the limited parking in the centre of town. The ferry needs to be viewed as a public service, not a money-making venture. Bail it out; and then subsidise accordingly to make it buoyant. It might not be plain sailing to begin with but look at the bus network: a 180% increase in patronage in its first two years of being subsidised! $2 bus is a great start, but it will sink in isolation, particularly as traffic gets worse and worse. But if combined with a subsidised ferry it creates a more comprehensive public transport network and actual transport choices - not to mention the most beautiful commute you could ever ask for. And you can take your dog!

Take the Lake.

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