So, the December report on public transport patronage in Auckland is out. The results reported are good – even with major network closures, rail patronage still continues to rise.
I would post about the cycle stats for December but, that’s right, I can’t.
Why not? Because even though Auckland Transport has (and presumably paid) for automatic cycle counters to be installed in various places around the region, they never publish the data from them (as far as I’m aware).
I’ve said this before but economists have a saying – “What gets measured, matters. And what matters improves.” So I think the fact that Auckland Transport measures vehicle counts on all their major roads, and publishes detailed monthly reports on public transport patronage, but can’t even get it together to publish a two page document quarterly on the cycling counts speaks volumes.
I don’t want some fancy pants analysis here – I just want something that says “Cycling counts in West Auckland rose/fell to xx over the last 3 months of 2011. This is an increase of xx% on the same period in 2010.” And a little bar graph.
The thing that fascinates me is that if it is too much work for Auckland Transport to produce such a document then what does that mean? Does that mean they are not even looking at this data themselves? Because, surely, if they had it in any kind of meaningful format, they could whip up a monthly summary in Excel or Word in just a few hours?
Does it mean there is just one poor soul running all of Auckland Transport’s cycling programmes and, like the Ombudsman, they are slowly being worked to death?
Is there some secret explanation I’ve overlooked? Maybe the automatic cycling counters are not very accurate?
Anyway, perhaps I will ask Auckland Transport nicely and then, if they don’t respond, OIA them to find out.
Obviously, of course, if they don’t respond to that, and I send a complaint to the Ombudsman I might be responsible for the death of some poor civil servant, but I’ll face that moral dilemma when I come to it.