Kiwi Polemicist

August 6, 2009

• Useless public transport information service

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go-west-bus

Today someone in Auckland told me that the buses were on strike and that they’d heard nothing about it. This led me to having a look at Maxx website – which is supposed to be the one-stop-shop for public transport information in Auckland – and found no mention of the strike there.

north-star-bus

I then had a look at the NZ Bus website: NZ Bus runs the Metrolink, North Star, Waka Pacific and Go West buses in Auckland. It’s the biggest bus company in Auckland, they were affected by the strike, and for some insane reason they run four brands and confuse their passengers by doing so. Anyway, sure enough, there’s a press release on their website which announce the stop work meeting and the disruption of service.

metrolink-bus

Now get this: the press release is dated 30 July and announces that there will be four-hour stop work meetings on 4 and 6 August, together affecting the vast majority of Auckland’s bus services. The people running the Maxx website had at least 4 days to put the information there but they didn’t. Surely that is a useless public transport information service.

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waka pacific bus

This is what happens when we have monopolistic government services that aren’t accountable to the public in any meaningful way. In a free market the profit motive keeps companies honest because if they treat their customers in the way that Maxx does those customers vote with their wallets and go elsewhere.

Did you hear any advance publicity regarding the strike?

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