Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Wednesday 28 November, 02007

Subsidising cars

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:21 am

42 Collective: ideas for lower-cost lifestyles
Xero: online accounting package for $50/month
Tom Beard on the stupid DomPost windfarm article

I read in the DomPost today that Transmission Gully is supposed to cost $955m. If my calculations (based on the NLTP) are correct, that’s about eight times more than the entire government spending on public transport planned for Wellington next year. Which is stupid. We could write to Fran Wilde about it.

From a review of The Bourgeois Virtues by Deirdre McCloskey:

For the last generation, we’ve been admonished to lock “utopia” in the attic of historical nightmares and dwell within the cheerfully commercial boundaries of the capitalist imagination. It’s been busy and entertaining and, until recently, it’s been safe. The poor were forgotten or chastised, the critics were stifled or bribed, and the billions in the slums of globalization’s wake were silenced with promises and missiles. But as Mike Davis puts it in Planet of Slums with grim and austere eloquence, “the gods of chaos are on their side.”

6 responses to “Subsidising cars”

  1. dennis bartlett says:

    I beg to differ on the maths…

    The road is probably going to be good for 50 years and should help to cope with an expanding population. As Michael Cullen keeps saying in Parliament “even buses need roads”

  2. Matthew says:

    How does it add up the way you count it, Dad?

    Trains don’t, though.

  3. But not all public transport are trains. It’s a tricksom beast this thing.

  4. Matthew says:

    No it’s not. We have to start planning society (especially 50-year lifetime infrastructure) with climate change + peak oil in mind. It’s a no-brainer.

  5. dennis bartlett says:

    Busses can run on electricity (but they still.. need roads) I believe Kapiti is growing at 9% p.a. hence the need

  6. Matthew says:

    OK, what about spending some of that $955m on helping people set up home offices & subsidising broadband so that they can telecommute instead of driving to Wellington every day? Kapiti Coast District Council expects about 15,500 more people to be living there in twenty years. You could throw thousands of dollars each at the new people to convince them to work from home or find or set-up local jobs, and hardly make a dent in the $955m.

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