Auckland Transport have just in the last hour or so released the independent report into what went wrong on opening night of the Rugby World Cup. The report was prepared by Chris Moore of Meredith Connell and is a fairly extensive document at 48 pages.
Here’s the executive summary:
It’s worth noting a number of points here, but in particular I did find myself chuckling about the point that if Britomart was a through-station it would have far more operational flexibility. An excellent point.
Further detail on what went wrong is provided throughout the rest of the report, much of which seems to have simply been the result of vast overcrowding on the rail network. The report makes some quite sensible conclusions: While this leads to the obvious question of “would things have been completely different if we’d known so many people would turn up?” the fact that the event was on a Friday, you had both a match and a huge event downtown, makes this issue somewhat questionable as well: I think generally this report seems to back up the two fundamental reasons for the problems that I identified a week or so ago:
- ATEED didn’t communicate correctly to Auckland Transport the increase in expected numbers to the downtown area. Even though both ATEED and Auckland Transport had (independently it would seem?) both initiated contingency plans before the day, they still seemed to be operating on a “it probably won’t be that big” mindset.
- The system, even with the best planning possible (which didn’t happen) would have struggled with the numbers of people on that Friday. Combining getting 60,000 people to Eden Park, 200,000 people into downtown and a Friday (with its own commuter and school demands) was probably too much for even the best drilled system possible to cope with. This is largely due to our historic under-investment in public transport.
I have only really glanced over the report so it would be useful to see what others think of it.