Home > A Little Blue Marble Called Earth, Social Issues > Letter to the Editor – User Pays is not a very clever solution

Letter to the Editor – User Pays is not a very clever solution


Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking


Some of these “free market types” don’t really follow through on their “bright ideas”…


dominion post - 18 june 2015 - alan waller - public transport



Mr response;


from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date: Fri, Jun 19, 2015
subject: Letter to the ed


The Editor
Dominion Post


Alan Waller demands  “what is wrong with user pays” and complains about “regional ratepayers subsidising a train service that is bleeding money and has never made money and is continually bleeding passenger numbers”. (Letters, 18 June)

Perhaps Mr Waller would realise what is “wrong with user pays” if train fares rose to full market rates, pushing thousands of commuters back into private vehicles, further clogging our already congested roads.

The cost to our local economy would be horrendous.

The purpose of public transport is not to make money. It is to take cars of our roads, thereby lessening congestion; pollution; increased fuel imports; and adding to greenhouses gas-emissions.

The problem with “user pays”, as Mr Waller advocates, is that full costs are often hidden – a fact he might consider next time he is stuck in traffic.

As for claiming “bleeding passenger numbers”, a Fairfax story dated 11 February this year, stated,

“A record 11.9 million passenger trips were taken on Tranz Metro trains last year, a 5.2 per cent increase on the 11.3m in 2013.”  (Ref: ‘Record Wellington train use set to stave off fare increases’)

Mr Waller should check his fun-facts first.  Something he can also do next time he is stuck in traffic.

-Frank Macskasy


[Address and phone number supplied.]




Fairfax media:  Record Wellington train use set to stave off fare increases



= fs =

  1. Deb Kean
    19 June 2015 at 4:39 pm

    IMO the train service is one of the best things about Wellington, and I have friends and family who rely on it. Good on you, Frank!

  2. Geoff Lye
    19 June 2015 at 7:52 pm

    We3ll put Frank as always

  3. 19 June 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks, Geoff and Deb!

  4. Dirk
    27 June 2015 at 10:33 am

    The media received a very clear message from Mr Waller’s letter. Some of us are rather ignorant as to how things work. Rather than print the letter without comment a real publicly minded media would accompany it with well supported facts so as to educate.

    No doubt some people would resist learning which does not support their prejudice. Still, it is reasonable to assume that many of us would be informed and able to make better decisions.

    Tragically media have opted for controversy as a way to maintain their audience. Shrill debate based more upon prejudice than competing well presented and supported concepts and policies does seem to be at a level many relate to. Media pandering and nurturing this is likely a large factor for its popularity. It is cheap and easy, requires little effort from ‘journalists’ or participants and allows the status quo to continue on relatively unimpeded.

    The general good and community health which many media outlets claim to be strongly supporting are not advanced by this approach.

  1. 11 July 2015 at 7:06 am
  2. 18 July 2015 at 8:00 am

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