Best Moment Of 2010


It’s AKT’s birthday - we’ve just turned three!
What began as a little personal diary about how hard it was to get a train in Auckland has become..well something bigger than that.
The about section makes it clear this is not the usual ego blogger site but a genuine attempt to raise public awareness & debate about public transport and making our cities better places. And thanks to you, you’ve made it a lively place for debate, and that debate and the site is helping make a difference. It’s no coincidence we now live in a city that talks about trains and uses them. So thanks so much.

It’s been an exciting year for AKT - our new look launched in October, including coverage of Auckland stories that the media were missing and full coverage of relevant council meetings for which coverage is hit and miss in the media so AKT now has a reporter to cover them ourselves to make sure we know what is going on.

The new Mayor declared “I love AKT” - we knew he had been following keenly as he drafted his rail campaign strategy, and he granted us one of his first interviews on election day.

Then interest in rail has grown so, and this site has broken so many stories, traffic has lept to the sad point that lately our site has crashed a few times the moment news of new posts reach Twitter and Google Reader feeds posing some future website hosting cost challenges (If there’s one thing I need it’s for more readers to click & read the odd advertisement - as without any income and rising costs, this site may not be able to become sustainable).
The most fascinating part has gone on behind the scenes - stories and debate here have raised interest or eyebrows in the highest places. It has been a little scary to get regular emails from a vast number of politicians in the Beehive and locally who read the site daily and take notice or give me a hard time! Even the couple who remain  ”a little sceptical” shall we say,  check in regularly and at least may enjoy a wry chuckle at how silly and passionate we are about public transport.

A special thanks to all the organisations who have gone often well out of their way to support and help this site even if we are not always kind about their work. That includes KiwiRail, Veolia, NZTA,  NZ Police, Auckland Transport, the old ARC and ARTA and the Council, among others. Thanks to you all. You know who you are and at times this site could not have done its job much without your co-operation, which is so appreciated.

The site’s very biggest stories of the year? Beyond the first one, although in order of popularity, there wasn’t much that separated these very well read posts.

So what is the one moment of news here in 2010 you loved the most?

For me, it was the election of a pro-rail PT Mayor who told AKT moments after the results were announced that  he will deliver his pet rail projects. This was reassuring after John Banks backtracked on his earlier rail promises. But there have been other exciting moments:

  • The many new stations opening
  • Onehunga line coming back to life
  • The CBD rail link business case being launched
  • New locos for KiwiRail
  • Double tracking
  • Improved timetables
  • Movement on the Hamilton rail issue
  • Auckland Transport making an impressive start and opening its meeting doors (a strong editorial stand on that was taken here)
  • The new Matangi trains arriving for Wellington
  • Rail patronage figures breaking records
  • The visible start to electrification
  • Mike Lee being made council transport chair
  • A day of free trains when the Newmarket motorway work was being done……

Over to you. Name your one most favourite 2010 moment and tell us why.

And as some of you vanish early at this time of year - I’ll get in another thanks and wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year!




  1. rtc says:

    My favourite moment this year was also the election of a very pro-PT mayor and council and finally seeing the backs of John Banks and the cit rats, who in my mind have been holding Auckland back for years now, through their out of touch views and lack of any vision aside from their obsession of cutting rates.

  2. Matt L says:

    Thanks for all of your hard work Jon (and the others who have joined him), there have certainly been some big moments transport wise this year, especially with rail. Its great to see more people taking an interest in transport as it all affects us so much in how we live out lives.

    For me the biggest thing are that we have seen so much improvement and the investment seems to be paying off. We now have some stunning stations, much better reliability and services, patronage is responding with huge increases and this is even before we see the affects of electrification.

    I also really like hearing from people who have used the trains for the first time and found they are much better than they expected. I’m looking forward to the improvements over the coming year and hope that some of those doubters in high places start to realise that rail is viable for Auckland and if you build it Aucklanders will use it and we are showing that already.

    Lastly Jon perhaps you should add some way for people to make a donation directly to you, I would certainly be happy to make one as I think you have provided outstanding coverage and have been really dedicated to keeping people informed. Also as much as I would miss the updates I think you deserve a holiday.

  3. Patrick R says:

    Great work Jon, this site and its sister sites are doing fantastic work to bring the changes that are so obviously needed to make AK and NZ what they should be. Ta.

  4. Antz says:

    I have definitely notice much more people using this site than about a year ago. it is very interesting to follow the progress, (and not so much) in New Zealand’s biggest city, Yiou gave a clear prespective of the PT system to others who do not live anywhere near Auckland.

    I favorite moment has to be the Onehunga line opening and the many new stations being built as well as the electrification of the nework being built.

  5. Jim C says:

    Yours has been a great site especially for those who live in cities that does not have good PT. Please keep the news coming

  6. Paul in Sydney says:

    Happy birthday and best wishes for the future of PT

    Jon C top marks for providing current and engaging info and debate

    I’m finally on my way to Auckland to see some of this exciting progress I’ve been reading about

    Once again well done Jon C

    P.S A note to ALL — read the blog, click on the ad — simple

  7. Andy says:

    I didn’t even realise there were ads on this site because I was so engrossed in the content! I just clicked on it and the site doesn’t even work. Does that mean the click is not registered? I hope not!

  8. Paul in Sydney says:

    @Andy. If the click through has taken you somewhere I would expect it to have registered. That’s all that counts - click away. I always have a read then click through when finished.

    The donation is Also a good idea. Jon C, you could set up a paypal account, what’s the uptake in nz like?

  9. patrick says:

    yeah great site jon
    one i visit daily
    it’s great to see pictures and videos of projects when under construction

  10. AKT says:

    Thanks for the kind comments and suggestions which I will follow through. @Matt L I especially like the idea of a day off (I have had only one in 3 years) but have forgotten how that works.

  11. Andy says:

    @Paul, No, that’s what I am saying. It took me nowhere and said the page didn’t exist. (From my browser, it wasn’t another site saying the page didn’t exist)

  12. Pickle says:

    John Banks being given the boot was the best part of the year.
    P:S Thanks Jon for an excellent website.

  13. karl says:

    I too suggest a paypal or similar donation link. Keeps you independent, and you can keep the link up as long as you like, or only until whatever current / yearly server costs are met. We won’t let you (go) down for lack of a few hundred dollars of hosting costs, Jon!


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