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Central & East New Network consultation closes tomorrow

Tomorrow is the last day to submit feedback to Auckland Transport on the new bus network for central and east Auckland. You can see some of my thoughts in this post from when the consultation was launched. The maps for each are shown below (click to enlarge)

Central Proposed New Bus Network

East Auckland Proposed New Bus Network

One reason it’s important to submit if you have a view is that there are bound to be many submissions like the one below. This comes from the Grafton Residents Association and was provided by reader Logan.

Grafton Residents on NN

Arguing that bus volumes should be removed because there are too many cars is one of the most arse about face arguments I’ve ever heard. But just how many bus movements are there going to be along Park Rd.

You can see from the map below (and even easier using this map), using Park Rd there are a couple of frequent routes – the inner Link, Remuera Rd and Gt South Rd/East Auckland. There are also some less frequent routes such as the NEX3 and buses from around Manukau Rd – although they can be frequent in the peak.

NN Park Rd

Handily AT provide an idea of the frequencies each route will have. From that we can work out that there are around 41 buses an hour in peak directions at peak times using Park Rd – roughly a bus every 1½ minutes. But how does that compare to what’s there now. Well the current map is such a jumbled mess it’s difficult to work out just which routes use the bridge. Of the routes I could make out I wasn’t able to find timetables for each of them but based on what I did find it would appear the number of buses currently using Park Rd would be at least the same as what’s proposed if not more. In other words, it appears even without cutting routes like the residents association want there will be fewer buses on Park Rd.

Lastly our friends at Generation Zero are pushing for better night buses. They’ve created a little quick submission form on the issue if you don’t want to include it in your own submission.

Better-night-buses2

So if you use buses in the central or eastern parts of Auckland and want to make a submission make sure you do so.

32 comments to Central & East New Network consultation closes tomorrow

  • aucklanderinaus

    At first reading that, I was thinking that wow they’re a really supportive and progressive RA, then as I got down to the second part of it, it sounded more like the stereotypical RA rambles.
    I especially loved the argument that more buses will mean that the suburb will be ‘cut off’ from the Domain.

    • Stephen

      Are there any RAs in Auckland that are supportive of growth or just people in general. Or is RA synonymous with “House owners wanting to protect their equity value at the cost of everyone else”?

    • Early Commuter

      It is a nightmare crossing Park Rd unless you use the lights though. They have a (small) point

      • conan gorbey

        They do, and the solution would be more crossings, which they haven’t suggested. Less buses is a silly suggestion given most of the traffic along there, cutting them off from the Domain, is cars.

        • David B.

          I 100% agree conan, and here the problem is AT and its love of fast-moving traffic. Grafton is indeed being cut off from the Domain, more so with recent road widening, and the lack of pedestrian crossings is making Park Road more and more dangerous. Less traffic rather than less buses is part of the answer of course, but maybe their suggestion of routing more bus and car traffic though Khyber Pass (and making Park Road safer by narrowing it and putting in more pedestrian crossings) is actually worth looking into?

          • conan gorbey

            Personally I think Park Road is a better route. There’s a much larger catchment (Hospital, Med School, Grafton itself) along Park Road than the rather sad upper Khyber pass.

            If anything we should be looking at reducing car traffic through there (they can take Kyhber/Grafton instead) and have the main car access to the hospital off Grafton rather than Park. Maybe even in time more people will take PT to the hospital (if my 80yo uncle can manage a ferry and bus to his daily treatment at ACH then most should be able to).

        • Steve Withers

          Having been along there many times, the buses are the SOLUTION to the congestion problems. The cars are waiting to get into Khyber pass Rd to…many of them…then go onto the motorway. Traffic backs up right past the hospital. It’s almost all cars. Maybe close the Khyber Pass southbound on-ramp to the motorway and much of that traffic will have to go elsewhere.

    • Arguably the most nonsensical part of their list is the opposition to double-deckers, as using higher capacity buses can clearly help with the total quantity required to shift the same number of passengers.

      This is really just a sign of how deep we are in auto-dependancy; they hate the traffic volume but only see one kind of that traffic that they can try to remove. No suggestion at any point that private vehicle numbers be restricted in any way. Only buses, yet imagine if all those people on buses were each in their own car? Buses are part of the solution, not the problem.

  • Early Commuter

    A topic close to my heart (given my handle) is early morning PT.

    Now, the fact is that the current system punishes the earlybird, and incentives leisure over work – those of us who want to get to the gym or work by 6am are punished, while those of us who want to flap around with a beer until 11pm are rewarded! From a moral policy perspective, we need a system that PROMOTES healthy behaviour (e.g. going to work early, active modes of transport such as cycling and walking rather than driving).

    The obvious counter is that “if there were more demand at 5:30am there’d be more buses”, but as this blog constantly talks about, “if you build it they will come” – whether roads leading to induced congestion or the new electric trains building demand. And your dear friends at Gen Zero are pushing for more buses at night.

    My feedback was simple – we need to have a FAIR system that provides as many buses 5 hours from midnight on either side (7pm, 5am) not one that is aimed at the 9-5 crew and forces the rest of us to drive into town if we are going to get where we need to go by the time we need to be there.

    Plenty of cleaners, hospo workers, and bakers need to be at work earlier than the current timetable allows.

    • Steve Withers

      How does one exhibit demand for a 5:30am bus? Go out in the pre-dawn and wait at a bus stop to demonstrate demand? 🙁

    • Simon C

      Exactly early Commuter. I work for a large corporate in the CBD and every so often have a 7am Sunday shift start but apparently AT thinks the world only wakes up from about 8.30am onwards on a Sunday! I don’t have a car so i live near work in the city. I’d love to be able to move further out and commute in but historically there’s been no PT (trains, buses, or ferries) that would get me in before 7am on a Sunday. Finally in the latest train timetable there is now a service from Onehunga. It’s the first one!

    • mfwic

      There is nothing morally superior about getting up early. Most people do that simply to lay claim to all the unpriced things in life ahead of there fellow people.

    • SteveC

      the other side of “if you build it, they’ll come” is “if you don’t build it they can’t come” the only real way to judge demand is to give it a go and not be too hasty to reduce service

      the early cross towns ran every 2 hours and surprisingly demand even at that abysmal LOS led to today’s service

  • conan gorbey

    Anyone have any idea why GRA oppose double deckers? Wouldn’t higher capacity buses less often be better than more smaller buses?

    I certainly hope they look at light phasing on this route- last evening I waited 6 mins for a link I could see on Khyber Pass to make the turn into Park Road due to the short phasing of the right hand signal and number of buses waiting to turn.

    • harrymc

      I read that they think people on the upper deck will be able to perve into houses.
      This is from their website: “No double-decker buses in Park Road (to look into houses and the hospital).”
      Frankly these people are barmy if this is all they can come up with. How those poor Londoners survive with all those people looking into their houses all the time.

  • Alex

    Did the GRA ever consider how lessing the frequency of the buses will implicate road usage?
    Its doesnt take a maths genius to figure out that less frequency equals less people taking the bus.
    It does not mean that people who need to go to the hospital/domain will decrease, it would only mean that people will find alternate way to get there which is likely by cars. So hypothetically 100 people used to take the bus to the hospital but now the frequency decrease or changed route. Now those 100 people will now bring their car. So 1 bus will be replaced by 100 cars.

  • Grant

    Has the deadline been extended? Seems so if you are doing an online one anyway to 9am Monday 14 December 2015: http://haveyoursay.at.govt.nz/New-Network-central-suburbs

  • Matthew W

    I would be interested to know if the GRA would also want trams rerouted up to the corner of Symonds St and Khyber Pass.

  • We are losing our bus stop at the very end of Jervois Rd (officially still up for consultation, but I know what the outcome will be) so that buses can turn left into West End Rd instead of proceeding through the roundabout and then doubling back from Herne Bay Rd. That may seem on paper to be more efficient, but the reality is that LINK Buses always stop for a few minutes to ‘maintain schedule’ so why not keep the stop?
    Besides, if you really want to make buses more time efficient why not just ditch every second stop on any route and make users walk further to another stop? In that way you make journey times quicker, since they don’t include the commuters time to get to the bus stop.
    With our soon-to-be-removed stop it’s ‘only’ a 400m walk to the next bus stop, but that means little since it means locals already have to walk 1-1.5km to get to this soon-to-be-removed stop anyway. That’s quite a walk for school kids and the elderly, and (since assumptions are always made) not everyone living in Herne Bay is wealthy with 3 cars and no use for PT.
    The obvious answer is that if the stop was well patronsied then AT would keep it, but IMO it *does* seem very popular (as far as I can tell) so I’d be interested in learning what sort of number AT require to keep a stop active.

  • Nicholas O'Kane

    How will the proposed networks work in with the proposed light rail? Also how much will it cost to make the Panmure – Pakuranga busway a dual busway/light rail route and having the light rail replace the proposed busway to Botany running down the middle of Te Rakau Drive? And make the 53 bus go from Howick to Manukau instead, using the 53a route, and then the green 35 route to Manukau.

    • Dion

      Good question. I guess the southernmost portions of the routes (eg 24a and 24b) will become feeders for the Light Rail. They could also divert Crosstown 9 to Roskill Centre to comepletely replace the 25 (and then have it travel back to Richardson Rd).

      Closer to the city, a diagram posted here on Transport Blog recently suggested that the 55 and 70 routes will switch to Parnell Rd, with Light Rail heading up Khyber Pass and Park Rd, though that diagram has already changed once already (an earlier version had Great South Rd buses travlling up Khyber Pass to Grafton rd, then travelling down there to Wellesley).

      • It will be a long time before there’ll be light rail in Pakuranga. Or at least there won’t until the buses are booming off the hook, so really the answer is LRT will work with buses out once the buses are so successful they need upgrading, and then yes, it’ll be LR on the main spine and bus feeders… But we have yet to get LR funded for Queen and Dom, so the focus needs to be on optimising buses for the forseeable there.

  • Have to say I agree with at least half the buses going through Upper khyber, as that’s where I work, removing buses is essentially cutting the entire area off from decent bus service, you will have to work up or down the steep part of khyber to reach any buses, as it currently is with trains… I have never once used PT to get off at park road, yet I have got off at upper khyber/upper symonds for both work and my own things. I get the hospital and some education places are on park road but I think both really deserve frequent buses, not one completely without buses?!

    As for night buses I have submitted that form, fully support it, however no mention of trains which currently stop at 10:30pm most nights, the new network relies heavily on connecting with trains, so unless buses finish at 10 too (which they don’t, 12 is suggested for many routes), then why aren’t trains running until at least 12 on weekdays too. Doing it now would be great, bc its just ridiculous, I was going to watch a movie tonight but the last citybound train was 21:40, so couldn’t go home unless I drove or took an expensive cab.

    • The ridiculous rail service end times currently, which range from as poor as 20:58 to 22:28:

      EAST

      Mon-Thurs last citybound 21:59
      Mon-Thurs last outbound 22:12

      STH

      Mon-Thurs last citybound 21:58 (21:34 Pukekohe)
      Mon-Thurs last outbound 22:28 (20:58 Pukekohe)

      WEST

      Mon-Thurs last citybound 21:33
      Mon-Thurs last outbound 22:04 (21:34 Swanson)

      ONE

      Mon-Thurs last citybound 22:03
      Mon-Thurs last outbound 21:54

      I think 23:00 should be looked at as the bare minimum for rail. But 00:00 would definitely be preferable, with later options perhaps on Fri/Sat nights.

    • Grant

      As I previously posted but got no comment from local: Would a one way loop bus route (1 bus, 1/2 hour frequency?) work anti-clockwise from South down Piwakawaka St, Ian Mckinnon, Left onto Minnie, Virginia Ave E, Charlotte St, Mt Edem Rd, Boston, Normandy, Clive,Mountain Rd, L Khyber Pass up to Newton Rd. See map I sketched up here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80131140/Grafton%20Newton%20Loop.JPG
      Seems a strange route but is a difficult area to fix & would fill in a bit of gap in the proposed services. Issue could be the size of the roads around Charlotte St etc? How would it work with the schools there? Good thing it would link well with Grafton Station & also the thousands of buses turning right up Park Rd.
      Note that I roughly know the area/used to bike up Park Rd years ago to university, but visit hospital etc etc recently!

    • Stu Donovan

      I disagree. I think Park Rd is a much stronger corridor than Khyber Pass, because the former connects with the Hospital and the Medical School – and connects the med school to the rest of the university on Symonds Street. Thus it can be used for intra-campus travel.

      The stop on Park Rd outside the hospital/med school would have to be one of the busiest on the network outside of the city centre. I don’t think you would get anything like this amount of patronage from services on Khyber Pass.

      In saying that I agree that the latter should get *some* service. From where I’m sitting that would seem to be best provided by a service which ran on New North Rd and then down Khyber Pass to Newmarket, i.e. a cross-town connection. This would connect inner west with Newmarket.

      • Might be a “stronger” corridor and certainly deserves decent frequency, but upper khyber definitely needs some service, it’s not that hard to transfer off an upper khyber bus at the grafton station intersection and jump on a park road bus if that’s where you need to go and vice versa. But completely removing the service means people have to backtrack on a busy mt eden road bus to upper symonds to get close or walk up pedestrian unfriendly/steep upper khyber pass rd. I think there’s plenty of frequency to go around and upper khyber could maybe get a couple of frequent & connector routes or etc.

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