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Learning from Singapore

Auckland Transport has definitely been improving some of their communications (not all) Late last year they released a new City Rail Link video which finally addressed many of the issues we had with how they were explaining the project in the past

And they did a good job with with the video for the new bus network.

The one downside with these two videos is that they do require someone to sit down and watch a few minutes of video – something not everyone will do, especially those with little interest in transport. So perhaps Auckland Transport could to do something similar to what has been done in Singapore to explain their new transport master plan and make a few quick and catchy images that explain what they are aiming to do. Note: they are also good for highlighting the diversity of the population in Singapore.

Singapore Transport Plan cartoon

Singapore Transport Plan cartoon 2

Singapore Transport Plan cartoon 3

Singapore Transport Plan cartoon 4

Of course they won’t get through to everyone – like this guy.

With AT reviewing their Integrated Transport Programme and it potentially being quite different to the current one then perhaps they could do something like this help explain it.

60 comments to Learning from Singapore

  • you really didn’t need to include that link at the bottom. It doesn’t add anything to the post.

    • Yes it does – it shows the ridiculousness of the high caste parts of our society (and this blog readership) who think they are too good for PT in Auckland.

      • Peter

        He was kidding around obviously, read the entire article, anyone who thinks otherwise takes things way to serious and is extremely up themselves.Give the guy a break.

        • I dont think the guy was joking around at all. I am sure he was deadly serious and wants to instill that attitude in his children. The only reason he is wanting to appear repentant is because he realises that actually even high caste people like him have to live in a society.

          I have met plenty of people like that in my legal career, who honestly believe that they are too good to use PT. Especially where it makes them come into contact with “poor” people.

          • Peter

            I think most “rich” people don’t use PT because they prefer the comfort of there own vehicle, they don’t care about cost, and travel time is *usually* less, plus they can venture out of the Auckland region. I am pretty sure he was kidding, as from just walking around a shopping area you would come across “poor” people, he would have to be a hermit to not come across such a prominent stereotype of people. I seriously think he was just messing around, I was treated similarly in regards to a similar case, but not on such a large scale or regarding the same thing, where people blew it way out of proportion.

      • I don’t think it is the first time that that new story has been linked to on this blog in recent days and I think it was originally intended as a derogatory statement about one of the commentators.

  • Dan C

    700km of cycle lanes! Come on auckland!

    • Neil R

      Singapore has concreted over rivers and the cycle lanes are part of the flood plane of the river. Auckland has lots of drains/rivers we could do this but the environmental lobby would rise up to forbid it.

  • Ian Auld

    This is great. Although I’m not a fan of the more authoratarian tendencies of the Singaporean government, they do seem to know how to deliver a very workable and modern city.

    I particularly like the two simple and measurable goals for their public transport planning. Does anyone know whether AT has similarly clear objective (ie. 85%PT trips of under 20km in under one hour). I also wonder – is the 85% of PT under one hour including the walk time to and from stations or stops? If so, that is a great way to measure frequency, speed and coverage together.

    Finally, the fact that Singapore is building 5(!) new MRT lines, while Auckland is struggling to get 1(!) rail tunnel built is fairly telling.

  • Riccardo

    No I’m happy to read it. It shows the hard core that sometimes PT advocates pretend doesn’t exist. Some of this hard core is in the political class, some in business, some in the different Treasury and Transport Ministries, some in the media, and all of them make implementing public transport improvements difficult.

  • Riccardo

    ^^in response to fiddlestixbob comment

  • Riccardo

    “Note: they are also good for highlighting the diversity of the population in Singapore.”

    So why can’t NZ do this?

  • Stevenz

    Since AT has shown they can make a good promotional video, perhaps they can turn their attention for a few moments to the “Journey Planner” part of their website. For those who don’t know the public transport system well (like me) it is maddening. Google maps does what the journey planner should do, only more accurarely, simpler and faster. And more intuitively for the user. AT should just source theirs out to Google and sack whoever made theirs.

    • Steve D

      I believe they are evaluating replacement systems at the moment. There’s several fairly good off-the-shelf systems nowadays, including an open source option.

      In the meantime, you can use Google’s transit directions anyway. AT share the data with Google (and you can even download it yourself).

  • Although given the current issues of housing affordability, I can see politicians coming down on AT like a tonne of bricks if they started to talk of “increased property prices” as a benefit of its expanded PT system :)
    (even though it certainly is)

  • Riccardo

    But greenwelly I guess the simplicity misses three key points:

    -higher property prices COMPARED with another area that doesn’t have rail (ie not all property prices in the city are rising)

    -presumably the higher prices reflect higher underlying productivity or desirability (no point complaining the cars in the local dealership are all more expensive, if the dealer used to sell Toyotas but now sells Mercs)

    -and if Singapore as a whole grows in value because of its superior infrastructure, then the whole island is clearly producing outputs (services) of more value to the rest of the world, reflected in higher salaries (so you can afford these properties).

    If I asked you would you rather work in Switzerland on Swiss salaries, or Ukraine on Ukrainian salaries, not hard to guess the answer. You don’t cut your nose off despite your face simply because if we dare to invest in ourselves, shock horror, we make a good return and everything about us ends up more expensive.

    Politicians I know can’t cope with this though.

  • Peter

    Sheltered walkways, NZ needs these, even the train stations themselves lack them, they only have sheltered seating areas, exception of britomart and perhaps new lynn to an extent. But sidewalks near/upto the train station being covered would be great. Umbrella’s and heavy coats put a lot of people off using PT during bad weather.

  • Jeff H

    One of Singapore’s strengths is it’s genuine people focus and good to see they have taken the noise issue seriously and will install sound barriers near residences where the noise exceed 67 decibels.

    Our new EMU’s will be a great improvement on the existing DMU and suburban diesels (75-85 dBa) but that still leaves the issue of port shuttles which are expected to increase significantly over time, particularly at night. These trains exceed 90 decibels through the suburbs. It would be good to see KiwiRail using quieter electric locomotives on these freight trains at some stage in the future.

    • Steve D

      The clear noise barriers along the motorway in St. Mary’s Bay have made a huge difference to motorway noise, and likewise the solid barriers in Kingsland. (I don’t know if there are others around). Now they’ve proved their worth, they should routinely be included when any works happen on a stretch of motorway.

      • TheBigWheel

        And retrofitted onto stretches of existing motorway that run close to residential or business areas. Like on the southern motorway in Greenlane, Ellerslie, Penrose, Mt Wellington, Otahuhu, Manurewa…….

    • nonsense

      ah ah you dreaming for Kiwirail to go electric

      • Luke E

        They already have electric locos between Hamilton and Palmerston North. Not that they would work on Auckland’s lines (I think?), but it’s still possible!

        • Shane

          They should work in Auckland as well. Same Electric line set up (25k AC) as that section of NIMT

          • Bryce P

            Although the voltages is the same, I understand there are some issues with the existing EF locos and ‘fault’ settings that prevent this. Having said that, I’m sure there would be no such issues if new electric loco’s were bought. They could be dual voltage and run right into Wellington.

          • MFD

            “They could be dual voltage and run right into Wellington.”

            That is not correct. The section from Papakura to Hamilton is not electrified and there are no plans to electrify it. In addition, more rail tonnage travels between Hamilton and Tauranga (non-electrified) than between Hamilton and Wellington.

          • Bryce P

            Yeah, I know that but given our advantage in electricity production I’d love to see it completed. Wires to Tauranga would be great as well.

          • I wonder if electro-diesel running under 25kvac would be useful, So they could run under wire in Auckland and the NIMT, and under onboard power elsewhere.

          • MFD

            The eectric locomotives would be a small part of such a proposal. The cost of the civil works, signalling and electrics would be very substantial. Load these costs onto Kiwirail and they become less cost-competitive with trucking. I know of several bulk commodities that have recently gone to road (with a rail option all the way) because trucking is “cheaper”. Is accelerating this process “great”? I think not.

          • MFD

            Electro-diesels are typically used to to get issues of servicing sidings and local areas without electrification. The diesel mode is of smaller output.For line haul work the power and tractive effort of both the electric and diesel modes would need to be similar. Since locomotive mass is strictly limited an electro-diesel for main line freight duties will have to be of significantly lower power output than either a diesel or electric of the same mass. The net result would be more expensive locomotives of lower capability. From a rail operator’s standpoint wherein lies the attraction?

          • Kiwi Rail is a logistics company and it’s operations need to be separated from decisions about management of our strategic infrastructure. I would like to see Ontrack folded into NZTA so that the management of the rail and statehighway assets are coordinated. We need to transition the foundations of the economy to electricity where ever possible, and this requires longer term economic analysis and not simple short term financial competition. This of course is a political as well as technical argument [as they all are].

          • Greg N

            So Patrick you think we need to have a agency who is the oversight manager for all “Transport Resources of National Significance” (TRONS) – bringing the Roads of … and Railways of … together under one roof again?
            I propose we base this in Hamilton as well, closer to the center of the major Transport hubs.

            Thus NZTA putting the TRON in Hamiltron since 2014.

            And Winston Peters – You saw this idea here first, so next time you want to steal this idea for policy or speeches, at least give them credit?

          • About Peters, er no. If that’s his policy, good, but it thought this up all by myself…. anyway it’s rather obvious that transport policy should not be stuck in mode silos.

          • Bryce P

            I agree Patrick. The transition to electricity makes too much sense to not happen. In fact it probably makes more sense to concentrate on rail first rather than motor vehicles due to the more consolidated nature of the infrastructure. A nice quiet trip via the ‘overlander’ from Auckland to Wellington would be something as well.

          • Greg N

            “A nice quiet trip via the ‘overlander’ from Auckland to Wellington would be something as well.”

            Agreed, as would one that didn’t take 12-14 hours long to complete.

            I know trains are relaxing, but they’re not that relaxing that you want to be on one for the same amount of time as a plane trip to LAX or Singapore.

          • Bryce P

            Fair enough but it could also be a great tourist route and I bet with a bit of spending on the track they could straighten the route out a bit and allow higher speeds on sections. If it’s good enough for roads then why not rails?

          • MFD

            So…having spent several billion dollars electrifying the route from Papakura to Tauranga are we able to address the issues that would attract shippers from road to rail? Factors such as improved transit times by better curve alignments, gradient improvements, fewer temporary speed restrictions, new sidings and loading/unloading facilities?
            No.

            Is there increased capacity to even cope with an increase in demand? Factors such as more and better wagons, longer passing loops, more track doubling, better signalling or perhaps increased axle loadings?
            No.

            Is it enabling hi-cube containers to travel on rail routes that are currently not open to them?
            No

            Diesel-hauled railfreight currently has a tonne-km fuel economy 3 to 4 times that of trucking and a mode share of around 12%. Simple mathematics shows that it doesn’t take much change in mode share from road to rail to exceed any fuel savings (and emissions reductions) brought about by your proposed electrification.

            Does it enable the operator to reduce operating costs? Yes (a bit since fuel is around 13% of revenue), but nowhere near the cost of the capital required. Maybe the idea is to get another organisation to front up with the capital so that we can ignore it. It doesn’t make it go away.

            On the basis of the above and the fact that rail’s market share has been decreasing does your electrification proposal “make too much sense”?
            Rail has high fixed costs so it needs volume. Electrification adds to those fixed costs and adds no volume. Electrification can come later, assuming rail outside the main urban centres survives.

            It really is a case of the best being the enemy of the good.

          • Bryce P

            Easy on. The discussion was about electricity and electrification. Yes, all these other issue are valid but they weren’t being discussed.

          • MFD

            Yes, I see that those issues raise some awkward questions so best we move on.
            Tell us (if you would, please) why electrification of Papakura to Tauranga makes too much sense not to happen. Given the apparent strength of your convictions, tell us why it represents a good investment and what objectives it achieves. What is your estimate of the cost?

          • Bryce P

            My viewpoint is based on wanting to use our natural advantage – renewable electricity. That was the point I was making. To divert to the general issues facing KR was off topic in my view. I’m not avoiding the other questions as I share the same views, just staying more or less on the topic that Patrick raised.

          • nonsense

            In my very simple world IF the trucking companies were paying the full costs for the privilege to use our public roads then electrifying and rail would be a nobrainer. Costs like building and maintaining roads for trucks, pollution, noise, deaths, oil imports balance, trucks imports, traffic, enforcement…

          • MFD

            Cost aside, using more electrical energy, renewable or otherwise, is a foolish objective. Using less fossil fuel, however, makes much more sense. I have outlined above how expenditure other than electrification can be much more effective in achieving a reduction in fossil fuel use. I am all for taxing the crap out of trucking so let’s conduct a thought experiment: let’s suppose new taxes are introduced that spur a big increase in demand for railfreight. Would electrification provide more wagon capacity or track capacity to allow rail to meet this new demand? No. Could we perhaps load more stuff onto existing wagons (similar to the recent changes to truck weights). No. Axle loadings are set by existing infrastructure and wagon construction. Can we run freight trains faster to turn rolling stock around quicker? No, the track alignments generally set the maximum speeds and with so much single track the frequency of passing loops constrains mean speeds.

            Yes, the no-brainer approach says electrify but it would be putting lipstick on a pig. We need brainer solutions; solutions that are though through in a rational manner.

          • “using more electrical energy, renewable or otherwise, is a foolish objective. Using less fossil fuel, however, makes much more sense”

            What a curious statement. The purpose of converting the rail freight network [or at least more of it] is to run it on our home grown electricity and not on imported fossil fuels. No one is suggesting using more electricity is, on its own, some kind of aim [I am not long on shares in struggling power cos].

            In order to use less Diesel moving freight one clear programme is to move it with another energy source. And one that is readily available is electricity. We also have the remains of a rail network, a chunk of which already has the necessary infrastructure in place. So such a programme would clearly comprise of two parts. 1. Electrifying more of the network and 2. Incentivising a greater use of this network over road freight.

            The reasons we should want to do this include increased energy security, reduction in death and injury from road accidents, reduced destruction of our road assets, savings on transport funds for highway repair, renewal, and expansion, noise and air pollution reduction, increased utilisation of an existing network and therefore increased efficiency… These are economic and social aims that require financial and technical solutions, and these require analysis and discussion, not starting with the assumption that they are insurmountable or that current factors and especially policies can’t or won’t change.

            I’m not clear what you are trying to say? That the rail network is at maximum capacity? That structures can’t be changed to incentivise more use of rail for freight as opposed to current policy which is to push everything onto the road? That the current cost structures in freight movement are permanent? Or that this is a bad idea?

            “We need brainer solutions; solutions that are though through in a rational manner.”: Dazzle us.

          • Greg N

            If we had decent electric locos (not the 30+ year old designs we use on the NIMT now, but modern ones, akin to the electric engines we have in the EMUs for the Auckland network), then we could either run longer trains (length of passing loops allowing), and/or simply put more pulling power on each train, which means a given train can accelerate much faster than now, and can slow much faster through regenerative braking.

            Since we’re talking freight we don’t need to limit the acceleration too much either, but with superior acceleration/deceleration an electric loco will get any train freight or otherwise up to the same top speed in a shorter distance than a diesel powered equivalent. This means the trains on a given line (even if single tracked with passing loops) can be scheduled closer together, in effect getting more carrying capacity on the line, simply by changing the engine.
            This is the same effect we’re going to get when the Auckland PT network is fully electric – the length of a given trip will drop, so the overall efficiency of the network will improve.

            As for constraints on the line (loops, single tracks, curves, wagon loading limits), these can be removed over time as similar issues with the roads have all been – which is what has allowed those heavier trucks and whatever to compete with rail on long haul.

            And those improvements to the road didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen – all thats needed is the will to make it so.

            As to whether LNG powered locos would be of benefit, they’re only an option for the US due to Fracking producing so much natural gas that the price for it has dropped so much. Union Pacific in the US has experimented with Gas Turbine powered locos before in the 60’s – they worked well, the price of the Gas they used being the reason they didn’t take it further.

            UP says that 25% of their running costs are diesel fuel costs, so if you assumed the same %age applied here then I am sure KR could come up with cost effective electrification plans between Auckland and Tauranga that actually saved them money in the medium to longer term.

          • MFD

            Greg N:
            The ability of a locomotive to accelerate a train is determined by the maximum tractive effort it can exert at any given speed. This tractive effort is a function, on one hand, of the mass of the locomotive, the number of powered axles the coefficient of friction at the wheel-rail interface and, on the other hand, by the maximum power that the locomotive has available for traction.

            Friction at the wheel-rail interface is largely independent of speed whereas power is the product of speed and tractive effort (force). The net result is that at low speeds friction (or lack thereof) limits the force that the loco can exert whereas at higher speeds the maximum power output limits the tractive effort. Applying more power in the speed range where friction is the limiting factor spins the wheels, damaging them and the track. Control of wheelslip is therefore important and much technology has been brought to bear in this area. With a state-of-the art wheelslip control system, AC traction motors and dry rail and effective coefficient of friction of 37% can be achieved but 32% is a more realistic figure to cope with the realities of our weather.

            In NZ we have various maximum axle loadings but the aim is to get main routes up to 18 tonnes. The most a 6 axle locomotive can weigh is therefore 108 tonnes. This means that the most tractive effort (TE) a 6 axle locomotive (with each axle powered and a state-of-the-art wheelslip control system) can exert is 32% x 108,000 kg x 10 N/kg or around 346 kN. No additional power will improve on that. Increasing the mass of the locomotive would increase the TE proportionally (in the US the maximum axle loading is typically 30 tonnes) but that would require upgrading of the track, bridges etc.

            The speed above which locomotive power rather than rail-wheel friction becomes the limiting factor is around 30 km/h on level track so increasing the power of the locomotive improves acceleration by less than the ratio of powers would suggest but let’s take a look at a typical locomotive of, say 4 MW rather than the 3 MW of the EF class. Something like the Siemens E40 AG-V1 recently built for Queensland (same gauge as NZ).

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_E40_AG-V1

            A third more powerful than the current EFs but at 132 tonnes (22 tonne axle load) it is 24 tonnes more than our system will allow without considerable capital investment.

            Your performance comparison with Auckland’s new EMUs is not particularly relevant. They have 67% of their axles powered vs 18% for a 4 car SA/SD set. Having 67% of a freight train’s axles powered is not a practical proposition.

            You mentioned increased deceleration capability of electric-hauled freight allowing closer train spacing – how? It’s a function of the braking system of the rolling stock and the signalling system. Nothing to do with electric vs diesel. Investment in electric brake systems for the rolling stock would improve braking (and safety) as it avoids the propagation delays inherent in the current technology:
            http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/222173/1970s-technology-bought-kiwirail.

            The fixation with electrification for the freight network seems to rely on a number of assumptions that just don’t stand up to scrutiny.

            To cut a long story short, improving the state of the track (and associated bridges, tunnels etc) will have much (much) more effect in improving transit times and operational efficiency than electrification (and with much better return on capital).

            Patrick Reynolds:
            All of the goals you state can be achieved by moving freight from by diesel-hauled trucks to diesel-hauled trains. Every tonne-km of freight thus transitioned achieves 3 times the reduction in fossil fuel use than transitioning the small proportion of freight that is currently move by rail from diesel-hauled rail to electric-hauled rail; freight that already incurs practically all of the non-fuel-related benefits and 75% of the fuel-related benefits.

            “The purpose of converting the rail freight network [or at least more of it] is to run it on our home grown electricity and not on imported fossil fuels. No one is suggesting using more electricity is, on its own, some kind of aim”

            Classic cases of failing to express the problem in solution-neutral terms, failing to differentiate between problems and solutions and of failing to see the bigger picture. It’s very common.
            Understanding and expressing the problem(s) is essential to finding optimal solutions.

            You make reference to incentivising a move to railfreight. This requires capital. There are numerous potential investments that would attract market share by making rail more attractive than the road equivalent. Diverting capital ( a lot of it) to electrification which addresses none of the potential shippers’ wants and adds large fixed costs to a mode that already has a high proportion of fixed costs is counterproductive. An electrified freight railway with declining market is pointless…and watch Kiwirail’s market share drop once the RONs around Hamilton and Cambridge are completed and are populated with “high productivity motor vehicles”.

            A list of practical and feasible investments in rail ranked by cost per litre of fossil fuel reduction would see electrification down near the bottom. One day that may not be the case but it is now.

          • tuktuk

            Gosh – a bit of discussion there. Broadly speaking, MFD is bang on in that axle loads and loading gauge (…and all round customer service) are the critical factors in making rail freight competitive. Higher axle loads and larger loading gauge mean bigger wagons and bigger, more powerful locomotives – which generally cost the same to buy and operate as the smaller vehicles currently in use. And, yes KiwiRail will need a large capital injection to stay competitive on routes that parallel the RoNS and any other roading corridors that have or are being converted to operate “high productivity vehicles”.

            In NZ’s political climate, National and right wing partners are generally in power more than 50% of the time. When Labour has been in power it has also been fairly soft on the whole trucking industry. Therefore, it is essential that rail be as competitive as possible within the narrow definition of an accountant’s spreadsheet. Therefore, no question that any scarce investment dollars have to be spent on getting best bang for bucks – bigger axle loads and loading gauge, and hopefully also a rebuilt NAR through to Marsden Point. The USA with a long history of big axle loads and loading gauge demonstrates that rail freight can be competitive with road, even on short (<50km) hauls with wagon-load (rather than just bulk-load) traffic. This is the model for KiwiRail to follow.

            The Hamilton – Palmerston North electrification is a beautifully elegant solution in an environment sense – off-peak power for overnight freight trains sourced from nearby Waikato hydro power-stations – brilliant. Unfortunately, currently, KiwiRail gets punished financially for operating such a scheme. Fingers crossed that it survives until the day that our nation has a more enlightened attitude to renewable energy.

          • This is good, but there is yet to be any discussion about freight and energy, only freight in short term financial terms. Certainly a focus on more efficient Diesel use is good, but that doesn’t actually address the fuel security and air pollution issues. So evaluation of all costs and benefits is required. Currently private motorists are subsidising the road freight industry, against their own interests, so analysis needs to begin at a higher altitude than simply assuming that the favoured position of the trucking industry with the government and past governments is permanent.

      • Another interesting possibility is following the Americans into LNG powered locos. The viability of which would depend on the outcome of current hydrocarbon exploration around NZ. If it yields a another Maui gas field or two it could be a useful form of import substitution, lower cost fuel, and health outcome improvement, gas emissions being nowhere near as carcinogenic as Diesel.

  • Christopher T

    Optimistic, aren’t you! The standard AT PR campaign comprises a banner of cheesy colour photographs of smirking people followed by an inane caption and then a series of instructions, often bullet-pointed, just like in a business presentation. It’s generally aimed at the wrong demographic; the message is usually unclear; and there are usually about three or four repetitions of the new, exciting AT ‘working’ logo in varying sizes, just in case we didn’t recognise it or realise that it related to public transport and not a Sydney television station of thirty years ago. And then there’s the coup de resistance: the overall decal which is where AT blocks any view that the poor, benighted passenger might have in favour of letting passing road users know that AT has a new, exciting logo.

    • I share your appraisal; stodgy, staid, poorly considered communications.

      Then again, it’s only advertising, not a multi-million dollar piece of infrastructure. Surely AT can turn this around without having to ask the government for permission?

      C’mon AT, pull finger. This stuff could make a major difference to the punters, and the voters that your masters are mandated by, and to your bottom line.

  • Rob Mayo

    This cartoon style and its artist have been used regularly over the years in Singapore, to effectively convey a number of public service messages, including toilet usage etiquette.

    Similarly in Japan, cartoons are used to communicate key service improvement messages to the public and to effect service usage behaviour change.

    Tokyo Metro run regular PT etiquette campaigns but it was their cartoon-based campaign of 2008-2010 – http://gakuran.com/36-iconic-tokyo-metro-subway-manner-posters-2008-2010/ that has been their most successful to date.

  • Rob Mayo

    This cartoon style and its artist have been used a number of times over the years in Singapore to convey public service messages, including toilet usage etiquette.

    Similarly in Japan, cartoons are regularly used to convey key messages to the public and effect behaviour change.

    Tokyo Metro run service usage etiquette campaigns annually but it was their cartoon-based campiagn of 2008-2010 that has been their most succesful to date:

    http://gakuran.com/36-iconic-tokyo-metro-subway-manner-posters-2008-2010/

  • Rob Mayo

    The Singapore Land Transport Authority have used this cartoon style and its artist a number of times over the years to convey public service messages, including toilet usage etiquette.

    Similarly in Japan, cartoons are regularly used to convey key messages to the public and effect behaviour change. Tokyo Metro conduct service usage etiquette campaigns annually and it was their cartoon-based campaign of 2008-2010 that was particularly successful.

  • Rob Mayo

    Images of the entire 2008-2010 Tokyo Metro etiquette campaign can be found at http://gakuran.com/36-iconic-tokyo-metro-subway-manner-posters-2008-2010/

  • Rob Mayo

    From Ian Auld: “…the fact that Singapore is building 5(!) new MRT lines, while Auckland is struggling to get 1(!) rail tunnel built is fairly telling.”

    Singapore has 5.3 million people shoehorned into 715 square kilometres and its govt sits on a mountain of cash thus they not only need the number of MRT lines they’re building but have the funds and the will to do the work.

    AT and NZTA would do well to get closer to their counterparts in Singapore since where SG has been already, NZ is heading from an urban planning / land usage perspective.

    • TheBigWheel

      In the mid 50s, Singapore’s population was about the same as Auckland’s today. Based on global and local trends I wouldn’t bet against Auckland’s population in say 2070 resembling the size and diversity of Singapore’s today. Or that we won’t have five new rail or metro lines. Or that the more valuable (popular, desirable) parts of the city will be central rather than peripheral. The 1950s car lovers will be long gone by then.

      • Steve D

        Although I hope we can do a bit better than Singapore – the first line of the MRT only opened in 1987, when the population was a bit north of 2.5 million.

        Singapore’s quite neat in parts, but there are considerable sections where walking is made quite difficult. It relies heavily on multi-lane mini-expressway arterials, with pedestrians consigned to rare overpasses and underpasses. It’s nothing like cities that were mass-transit oriented from the start.

  • NCD

    A quick google told me Singapore has 3200km of roads.
    So 700km of cycleway. is 20%ish
    Auckland has 8000km of roads, so 20% of 8000 is…
    The cold light of day.

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