Statement by Brendan Corbett, 1 October 2019:
Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board candidate Brendan Corbett proposes a six month trial period for free public transport in South Auckland, to get commuters out of cars and end daily traffic congestion. Corbett says free public transport could transform the city and be an innovative move to combat climate change.
This plan is similar to the proposal floated by the Manukau City Mayor, Sir Barry Curtis 13 years ago.
[‘Curtis says Manukau rail spur threatened’ NZ Herald 21 February 2006: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10369485 ]
Mayor Curtis nominated three of his city’s suburbs for trials of free bus services, which transport authority chief executive Alan Thompson had indicated could prove a very useful investigative exercise. [‘Increased subsidy hits free bus trials’ NZ Herald 7 Sep, 2005 –
A 4000 signature petition supporting a proposed free bus trial in Manukau, was presented to the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. But opposition from Auckland’s then main bus operator, the multi-national bus company StageCoach, stymied Curtis’s initiative – “a good reason why public transport should be publicly owned and operated” added Corbett.
Free public transport has successfully ended traffic chaos in many overseas cities including Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, and the French city of Dunkirk. “If they can do it, why can’t we?” asks Corbett.