Public Transport in Auckland

Loads of people complain about PT in Auckland. Today I thought I’d try it for myself. Unfortunately I found that public transport failed in every single respect.

I live in Titirangi and had a meeting just next to Britomart, where there is poor public parking and excellent public transport. This is a ‘best case’ scenario for public transport.

Option A: Drive

Hop in my car and drive 40 minutes (26 minutes off-peak). Pay $19 for all-day parking. Drive home. Total distance 40km, which is estimated at $12 of car wear. Total time: 80 minutes, total cost $31.

Option B: Drive + Uber

Note that the close parking is unavailable off-peak. If I was travelling off-peak then I’d drive to an inner-city suburb with free parking and Uber the last bit.

Drive 20 minutes. Wait for an uber and spend $7 on the Uber. Total time 60 minutes, total cost $26.

Option C: Train

Hop in my car and drive 15 minutes to the train station. Wait for the train and then wait 40 minutes on the train. Spend $3 on parking, $9 on train fares and $5 on car wear. Total cost $17. Total time two hours.


The train cost $14/day less than driving, or $9/day less than drive+uber. However that saving costs an extra 40 minutes in commute time per day, which works out to $21/hour. Anyone earning more than that is likely better driving.

The core to this calculation is how slow the train is. It took 40 minutes for the train to travel from Glen Eden Train station to Britomart train station, a trip which takes 25 minutes to drive. I don’t see why the train should be slower than driving along the same route. If it was able to go at the speed of a car then the economics would stack up