Source: Taxpayers Union
Is it possible to commute from Hamilton to Auckland using the new Te Huia train service?
24 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe Te Huia train service opened by the Prime Minister today is claimed to “transform the journey of Waikato commuters travelling between Hamilton, Huntly and Auckland.” The Taxpayers’ Union has investigated whether it is possible to commute from Hamilton to Auckland using the new train service.The following itinerary is based on already-announced timetables and fares.4:30am: You wake up to your alarm blaring in the suburbs of Hamilton. Your day is already off to a bad start.5:30am: Your commute begins. You drive to the Frankton train station.5:46am: You board the train in the nick of time. The carriage is empty. Thanks to a massive taxpayer subsidy, your fare is only $17.7:25am: You arrive in Papakura, after 98 minutes on the train. That’s more than enough time to watch the 1996 Ewan McGregor classic Trainspotting. But your commute is not over.7:36am: You transfer onto Auckland Transport’s Southern Line. Hopefully you’ve got a HOP card. Your fare is $6.80.8:43am: You arrive at Britomart station 67 minutes later. That’s enough time to watch 12 episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine.9:00am: Three and a half hours after you left home, you arrive at the office. You receive a formal warning for being half an hour late to work.8:15pm: You finally arrive home in Hamilton. Your total commute was seven hours. You spent $47.60. By the end of the week, that adds up to 35 hours, costing $238 – the same amount you pay in rent. Taking into account the contribution of taxpayers, the real cost for the week is over $1,000.9:00pm: You crawl into bed after a microwave dinner. You are sad, you are poor, and you are so, so tired.Conclusion: Anything is possible if you hate yourself.In 2018 the Taxpayers’ Union criticised the massive subsidies for the proposed service. Total Government and council spending on the service has since increased. The Union expects per-passenger subsidies be further blown out by low passenger uptake.