I started taking the bus from Pyes Pa to Mount Maunganui this week to see if this mode of transport is a better option for me. Alas, I can see why the bus system is losing money. Here are my observations.

There is no dedicated bus lane from my house to Mount Maunganui so I found I was sitting in a bus clogged up in the same traffic I do when I drive myself. $6.80 per day round trip or $34 per week is about what it costs for me to run my car to and from work. On the bus itself the atmosphere is stale to say the least.

I am therefore left with two options: drive myself, listen to whatever I want and sit in traffic for $34 per week or take the bus and sit in traffic for $34 per week. There lies the dilemma facing our bus system.

The solution is to have bus lanes everywhere. Sooner or later people sitting in cars will notice the buses zooming past and realise there is in fact a viable alternative to travel throughout our expanding city.

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Ahwen Flopp
Mount Maunganui

Cheque mate

I took my annual TECT cheque to the bank recently and noticed that they had set up a dedicated teller to receive the expected influx of happy depositors.

The payout at this time of the year must be a very welcome injection of cash for most households, and subsequently businesses and the whole local community.

The foresight of those people who set up the Consumer Trust must be applauded.

I seem to recall from the TECT Committee, at the time they were proposing to cancel future payments to Trust Members, that the total payout was about $27 million.

The committee however, unanimously felt that the money, which was the dividend generated by the shareholding in Trustpower, could be better spent by themselves.

I am wondering whether the committee and the altruistic minority that apparently supported their view, have "put their money where their mouth is" and donated their cheques to charitable causes.

The outrageous proposal should never have left the committee room, as every single member, during their election campaigns had pledged to support the continuation of the payments to members.

Merry Christmas to all fellow trust members. (Abridged)

RV Anderson
Papamoa Beach

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