Back in May Auckland Transport launched a short consultation to update their Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) on four specific areas to reflect the work and thinking they’ve undertaken since the RPTP was released in 2013. The consultation was limited to four areas:
- The proposed introduction of simplified zone fares
- Proposals for a new light rail transit (LRT) network on some major arterial routes
- Service and infrastructure changes arising from the Ferry Development Plan which was approved by the AT Board in December 2014
- Revised service descriptions arising from community consultation on the new bus network
AT haven’t formally announced the outcomes of that consultation however a paper on them went to the confidential session of the AT board and that has quietly been released publicly. In total they say 1,251 submissions were received however over 1,000 of those were about SuperGold concessions. Below are the main issues and some of the key recommendations staff have made.
Simplified zone fares
AT say there were 107 submissions referring to the simplified zone fares and that people were mostly supportive of the proposal. There was some concern about specific aspects though such the exact boundaries and what happens for short trips that cross them. One example they give is Orakei where some people want it in the city zone. In addition people wanted a number of other areas considered including
- integrating ferries into the zone system
- the time available for transfers along with the number of transfers allowed.
- improved education and work to get HOP n the hands of more people,
- fare caps
In response AT have made minor changes to the document or are undertaking more research. They note that it is desirable to have ferries also integrated but that they are limited in their ability to do so due to the current exempt services that are enshrined in legislation. In the case of fare caps AT say they will look at them once the new zonal system has settled in.
There were 97 submissions about light rail and AT say the majority were positive however five key groups have said there isn’t enough information yet for AT to be including it now. Of these the big and most interesting one is the NZTA who I would have thought AT would have been talking to about it much more. Others with a similar view were AA, NZCID, Bus & Coach Association and the Mangere-Otahuhu local board.
One aspect I predicted would happen with Light Rail has come through with a number of submitters and local boards now also wanting Light Rail in their areas. This includes
- replacement for the Inner Link bus route
- connections to the North Shore
- along the North-western Motorway
- Tamaki Drive
- Pakuranga Highway to Howick
The main recommendation is to start releasing more intimation about the project.
Ferry development plan
AT say that overall the majority of people supported their ferry development plan although some people were also calling for new services. Other than a few wording changes, it doesn’t appear this will change much which seems reasonable.
New Network service descriptions
Most of the feedback related to the new network was actually about issues such as the SuperGold card concessions for which AT say they will improve the wording to make it clearer nothing is changing.
For the actual topic of the new network service descriptions it was raised that there is no set span of times services will run from/to. In response AT say they will add a policy looking at the issue of span of services and in the next version of the RPTP look at developing that in more detail. The policy the hearings panel recommended be included now is below.