Auckland is the place to be. The figures say so: During the past three years, our city’s population has ballooned by a massive 121,000 people — the size of Tauranga.

Third most liveable city

As Aucklanders, should we be thankful to live here? Sure: The ‘City of Sails’ has plenty going for it. And, The Mercer Quality of Living Survey, which ranks 221 international cities, judged Auckland as the world’s third most liveable city.

Here is a quote from the survey:

“It’s big enough to feel like a bustling city, but I love that you can get on a ferry and 30 minutes later be picking oysters at one of the small Islands, such as Waiheke.”— Monica Galetti, celebrity chef.

Well, that’s lovely, Monica. But, what about the people going about their day-to-day business, which usually doesn’t involve picking oysters?

Traffic crush

The Tom Tom Traffic Index 2017 recently offered an alternative view and ranked Auckland as the 47th most congested city in the world.

Apparently, it is easier to pop out for a cup of sugar in Hong Kong, a city with a population of 7.2 million, than it is here in Auckland.

A growing population is necessary for investment and jobs. That’s a given. However, this massive growth has come with a price tag.

For a start, there is the much-talked-about housing crisis. However, from the perspective of a waste disposal company, traffic congestion is a major concern.

And it’s hardly surprising because with people come cars — we sure can’t rely on Auckland’s public transport to get around. So, every year an additional 44,000 vehicles hit Auckland roads.

As we write this post, we can almost feel the city splitting at the seams, leaving its infrastructure bare.

Turtle rush

One essential quality is required to live in the world’s third most liveable city: the ability to spend long periods of time in a semi-stationary vehicle without losing your mind. Why? Well,  because traffic speeds are getting slower.

For example, between 2014 and 2016, motorway speeds decreased from 64km/hour to 55km/ per hour during peak times.

And Aucklanders now spend 45 minutes a day stuck in traffic. That is 172 hours, or four working weeks, per year.

This is concerning news for a waste disposal company, like ours, that needs to collect a certain number of bins per day to be profitable.

David Aitken, the boss of National Road Carriers, told NZ Herald that ten years ago, a truck could make five trips across the city every day. Today, it would be lucky to make three. Mr. Aitken went on to say that truckies are so sick of sitting in traffic that they are seeking alternative employment.

The Waterview Tunnel

The Waterview Tunnel, which we discussed in last month’s post, isn’t the complete solution, but it should help.

Unfortunately, due to some engineering faults, it is now scheduled for completion in August/September, not April as originally planned.

We have no doubt that Auckland’s traffic woes will eventually subside. We just hope that this happens sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Waste disposal will continue to be a tough business in the city of sails.

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