At the Auckland Transport board meeting yesterday, one of the topics discussed was a presentation on the Integrated Transport Programme (ITP). It wasn’t put online before the meeting so we couldn’t talk about it earlier but I popped along to the meeting to find out more. While the Auckland Plan provides the 30 year vision for Auckland, the ITP sits under that and is described as the programme that “Coordinates the investment and other interventions of network providers over the next 30 years”. Its a piece of work that has been put together by both Auckland Transport and the NZTA, and the intent is that the transport system works as one rather than all the agencies working in isolation. This plan will be used to form the next RLTP and LTP as well as various more detailed lower-level strategies.
The first part of the presentation talked a lot about challenges that the city faces over the coming decades, all of which relate to population growth in the city. As a reminder, it is expected that even with medium growth predictions (which are based on a lower level of growth than we have seen over the last few decades), there will be significantly higher population growth in Auckland than the rest of New Zealand combined. Auckland is expected to grow by over 700,000 residents while the rest of the country combined sees growth of around 400,000.
The Auckland plan also sets out roughly where both the residential and business growth will occur, and this has been fed into transport models to determine where the destination demand is. This is shown below and shows that the biggest demand and growth is for trips to the city centre.
Next up in the board meeting they discussed traffic and PT volumes. As you would expect, the traffic graph showed all routes flattening off in recent years. For PT, one thing that annoyed me was the comment that the big drop in PT trips was attributed to the opening of the motorways, with no mention of the simultaneous closing of the tram network.
Coming on the ITP itself, AT has split the various aspects of the programme into what they call the Four Stage Intervention Process which determines what actions will be taken to manage the transport system. How this works is described below, with the second image showing the amount of money budgeted in each category over the next three decades.
The impact of the various investments has then been compared back to the the goals set out in the Auckland Plan, and the currently committed funding.
All up it sounds like an important document but perhaps not one that will get many people excited. There was however one slide that I found really interesting. It contained two maps showing the major transport projects – one with roading projects and the other with PT projects. Attached to each map was a table that included AT’s estimated cost of each project. The writing is too small to show properly on here so I have reproduced the tables below.
I did have to make one change to the table – the note attached to the Southeastern Busway says that the costs weren’t included in the totals, but they had been. Also the map lists rail to the shore as $1b yet it isn’t shown in the table at all. Going through the lists a couple of things really surprised me:
- Rail to the airport from Onehunga is listed at only $491m, an absolute bargain compared to earlier estimates of up to $1b.
- Not including the current Waterview and SH16 widening projects, there is $2.5b attributed just to motorway widening.
- The cost of sprawl is shown with the cost of upgrading state highways, local roads and PT infrastructure in greenfields areas as a combined $3.4b.
- For just a fraction of the cost of all the massive roading projects, we could have a pretty kick-arse PT system.
The full plan comes out next month so we will have to wait till then to see what it looks like.