FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. WHY IS ONLY THE DEVONPORT FERRY INCLUDED?
A. "Supermaxx" must function effectively and cater for demand from day one of its implementation. We believe demand would far outstrip available ferries and therefore cannot be included except the Devonport ferry where additional capacity would be needed. Lake Rd is a major choke point in the Auckland transport system and we need as many people as possible using the ferry and connecting bus services. We are happy to talk to the ferry operators about how this need can be met. Buses can be very quickly and easily adjusted to meet market demand.
Q. HAS "SUPERMAXX BEEN REVIEWED"
A. YES. "Supermaxx" has been reviewed by some leading international transport experts with years of experience in developing public transport systems around the world.
Some of their comments are:
"The principle of an integrated and simplified transfer network with a limited number of high frequency services makes sense and is in line with European best-practice guides including the so-called Hi Trans guide on bus service design written by Gustav-Nielsen and Truls Lange"
"The biggest thing that "Supermaxx" has going for it is that it is a clear region wide plan with a catchy name".
A paper by Graham Currie and Ian Wallis in the Journal of Transport Geography Vol 16, 2008 shows that service simplification delivers the greatest of several subsidy-saving initiatives, namely $3.50 in subsidy saved for every $1 spent on additional services required to produce a network effect.
In fact Supermaxx reduces the number of buses required as the network is simplified.
Q. CAN "SUPERMAXX" BE IMPLEMENTED IN OTHER CITIES
A. YES. The "Supermaxx" template will work in virtually every city with more than 100,000 inhabitants anywhere in the world although normally works best with a minimum of 250,000 inhabitants. It does need a critical mass of population to achieve the network, frequency, and volume of passengers required for unlimited travel passes, both of which are essential to "Supermaxx" success.
"SUPERMETLINK" (Wellington) and 'SUPERMETRO" (Christchurch) can also be introduced within the same 6 month time frame. Although the subsidy savings will not be as large as in Auckland (Wellington and Christchurch public transport is already operated more efficiently than Auckland) they will still be significant. The much reduced travel costs will achieve the same objectives of making public transport 'transport of choice' for residents and assist those struggling financially in the current economic climate.
Hamilton and Dunedin are other potential New Zealand cities for full "SUPERMAXX" service. A limited "Supermaxx' service can be provided in smaller cities.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A STANDARD CARD USED IN ALL CITIES IN NEW ZEALAND WITH COMPLETE INTERCHANGEABILITY FOR ANY CITY USING THE 'SUPERMAXX' TEMPLATE.
Q. WHY OFFER UNLIMITED TRAVEL INSTEAD OF ZONAL FARES?
A. A stated aim of the politicians, and in fact most of the community, is to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto public transport. This reduces congestion, pollution, and costs to ratepayers and travellers.
The first part of the answer is to provide an attractive service - the "Supermaxx" system does that with its seamless interconnectivity, standard timetabling, and frequency of service.
The second part is to ensure that public transport is sufficiently cheaper than private cars to encourage people to use it, especially in times of financial stringency. "Supermaxx" is.
Unlimited travel passes provide a huge psychological as well as practical incentive over zonal based fares. the thought "I have paid for the pass and therefore may as well make use of it" is far more powerful than "this bus journey is going to cost me money so I may as well take the car", or "I wonder how much money I have left on my card".
Unlimited travel passes are vastly cheaper to operate. AUCKLAND TRANSPORT have paid over $100 million dollars for a computer system for their new highly complicated zonal integrated ticketing system. "Supermaxx" would cost less than $10 million.
Q. CAN 'SUPERMAXX' PASSES BE USED FOR OTHER SERVICES AND SHOPPING
A. NO. Supermaxx passes cannot include shopping, theatre tickets, etc. They are simply for unlimited travel on "Supermaxx" services and can be used in any "Supermaxx;' city.
There is no reason why a CITY CARD cannot be introduced in any city for say 3 or 7 days which would include "Supermaxx' public transport in that city for a percentage of the cost PLUS shopping, sightseeing attractions, theatres, etc.
Q. WILL SENIOR CITIZENS GOLD CARDS BE VALID ON 'SUPERMAXX'
A. YES. Gold cards will have to be used to obtain an off peak "Supermaxx' unlimited travel pass. Discussions will have to be held with Government to ensure they will pay the same percentage of the costs as currently but overall costs for the government should not increase.
Q. CAN SKYCABS BE INTEGRATED INTO 'SUPERMAXX'
A. YES. The Skycab system can be built and operated by the private developer and leased to "Supermaxx" in the same way that trains are. The costs will be less than trains for a far more efficient, attractive, economical, and eco friendly service.