Different coloured buses have long been one of the more vibrant aspects of living in the varied communities that make up the Auckland. Forcing private bus contractors to paint out their individual company colours has upset many local communities who see this action as an attempt to further erode the unique character of each area.
Birkenhead in particular has been fighting a rear guard action to save their buses with a community petition. The organiser Karen Goa rightly points out that the blue is one of the least safe colours on the road especially at night. The petition is supported by local MP Dr Jonathan Coleman, and local Councillor George Wood who has produced a video about the issue. Here is the link. AT has ignored public pressure and is forging ahead regardless.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has found out that the waste of money doesn’t stop with re-branding on the outside.
Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson, Jo Holmes says:
“Auckland Transport's demand that all buses meet its colour is set to cost ratepayers and travellers a lot more than loose change. According to an industry source, by the time a bus is prepared for painting the total cost is between $5,000 and $7,500 for a paint job which complies to AT’s new requirements. Add in the cost of having the bus off the road, and the total for the whole fleet comes to upwards of seven to nine million dollars.”
“And we understand the costs are going up even further. The Council is now considering forcing bus companies to retrofit buses with AT embroidered fabrics on the seats.”
“Wasting ratepayers’ money to require private bus companies to paint out their local liveries shows how muddled AT’s priorities are. No wonder local communities are up in arms.”
“Auckland needs more buses not more expensive Council branding.”
Auckland communities already feel alienated and resentful towards Auckland Council. This latest high handed behaviour by Council will only create further cause for grievance against BIG Brother Blue.