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AT December Board Meeting

Next week is the last AT board meeting for the year and comes only three weeks after the last meeting. As it’s a bit earlier in the month the PT numbers aren’t available yet however the board report is. The post below are the items from the reports that I personally find interesting. You may find there are other items within the reports of interest to you.

Closed Session Agenda

As always there is a packed closed session agenda full with interesting looking topics, parts in italics are my comments

Items for Approval/Decision

  • Corporate Accommodation – Long Term Strategy – AT are currently spread across a number of buildings around the region. They will have a desire to have more of their operations in the same location
  • Value for money review – As I understand it the Board have had a review undertaken to see what value the organisation is delivering for the money spent.
  • East West
  • Penlink – confirmation of Notice of Requirement
  • Execution of Deed by Directors – Lease of Land and lease approval
  • Approval of Agreement to lease premises
  • Annual Fare Price Review – Given the strong patronage growth that is seeing farebox recovery rise faster than expected it hopefully means no fare increases are needed.
  • CFS Review – pre-consultation
  • CRL Update
Business Report

AT HOP

One of the frequent ongoing complaints we see about HOP is that AT say it will take 72 hours for an online top-up to reach the card. This has always been an arse covering exercise that has only served to make the system look stupid. AT say that their investigations have shown that if updated before 10pm that in 99% of the cases it will be loaded by 5am the next day. They say work will be undertaken in coming months to improve the communication to customers about this. I’m not quite sure why it will take a few months to fix.

Rapid Transit Network

AT have let a contract to undertake a Rapid Transit Study for the North Shore. It is due to be completed in April and will be used to inform the NZTA who are looking to protect the route for an Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing. They say the study will:

provide an updated view on transport requirements for achieving strategic growth outcomes for northern Auckland, the life expectancy of the northern busway and the most appropriate transport options that could meet the needs of the North Shore.

Project Updates

Albany Highway – Work on the section between Bush Rd and Rosedale Rd is expected to be finished in January with the remaining section finished in late 2016 ahead of schedule.

Eden Terrace Paid Parking – AT are consulting on extending paid parking to some of the streets on the southern side on Newton Rd.

Newmarket Crossing (replacing Sarawia St level Crossing) – AT received 15 submissions, 7 in support, 2 neutral and 6 in opposition to the Notice of Requirement (NoR) for the project. They say those in opposition were all from Cowie St where the proposed bridge will join. The hearing for the NoR will be in February/March next year.

Parnell Station – The platforms are now complete and the next stage for the project is Kiwirail’s responsibility to move the old Newmarket Station building to the site which is expected to occur next year. They say they are still in discussions with the owner of the former Mainline Steam site about who want to amend how the station is accessed.

Urban Cycleway Fund (UCF) Update – AT have provided an update as to which stages the projects being funded from the governments UCF are at. In total they say 64km of cycleways will be built over the three-year period. The report notes that cycling trips are expected to increase by 30% by 2019.

UCF Project Delivery Update Dec 15

Traffic Counting – AT are looking at installing permanent traffic count loops in around the CBD so they can monitor the impact of all of the construction happening in the next few years – of which the CRL is only one part.

Public Transport Update

While the patronage stats aren’t yet available the rail performance stats are and they say November was the best month on record. In total 98.9% of trains turned up at their final destination while 95.1% of those that turned up did so within 5 minutes of their scheduled time. Punctuality has seen a remarkable improvement since AT started running electric trains on all lines.

2015-11 - Rail punctuality - board report

Integrated fares are still being worked on and is due in July.

New Network:

  • Hibiscus Coast – Patronage has grown by 15% since implementation in October.
  • South Auckland – Tenders are still being evaluated and expected to be announced early 2016. The go-live for the network is now not till October 16.
  • West Auckland – Tenders will go out in early 2016
  • North Shore – The analysis and any recommended changes from the consultation held earlier this year is also expected early next year.
  • Central and East Auckland – They say they’re undertaking a parking/ prefeasibility study at Meadowbank and Orakei stations to investigate the potential demand for a feeder bus to Meadowbank station.

Puhinui Station upgrade was completed in November. That would put just Takanini and Te Mahia as stations that haven’t been upgraded (I’ve excluded Westfield as that is due to close).

Bus priority – AT say they’re working on a review to bus lane operating times which will go to the board’s Customer Focus Committee in February. They want to develop a more consistent region wide approach. Hopefully this will mean an end to the stupidly short times along roads like Mt Eden Rd – which was done because retailers complained about losing parking. They also have this table indicating they’re looking at bus priority in a number of new locations – most of which are in South Auckland so will likely be to support the new network.

Bus priority - AT Board - Nov 15

The Christmas/New Year rail shutdown has been confirmed and timetables are now available on the AT website. There are reduced services and with the exception of the Western Line and inner Southern Line services are replaced by buses. One thing I find odd is that on the western line the last service on New Years Eve is just before midnight. Surely there should be one just after midnight

From July 2016 all Supergold customers will be required to buy a HOP card and have the Supergold concession loaded if they want to get the free travel the card provides. AT say they will have a major communications programme early next year about this.

From next Thursday the price of HOP doubles to $10. AT say that in the two weeks after announcing it on 9-Nov they’ve sold 14,500 cards which is twice the number of cards sold in the two weeks prior to then.

Forward Planner

This is a list of interesting sounding items due to go to one of the board committees before the next full meeting.

Customer Focus Committee

  • ATAP Update
  • RMA Reform
  • Park n Ride
  • Bus & Special Vehicle Lane Operating Times
  • Station Gating
  • Transdev Overview of Rail Service and Customer Performance
  • Northshore Consultation
  • Drone Management Guidelines
  • AT Customer Complaint Handling

Capital Review Committee

  • Northern Busway Station Preferred Option
  • Transport Network Greenfield Growth Areas
  • Franklin Road
  • Subterranean Property Acquisitions
  • Enabling Works Contracts 1 & 2 | Award
  • CRL | Cost Estimate

14 comments to AT December Board Meeting

  • Chris Randal

    Puhinui is not strictly speaking complete as the northbound PID has not yet been installed.

  • Exciting to hear that AT are looking at Rapid Transit for the shore (I assume this includes rail as an option on top of buses), but not sure why Auckland rate-payers have to pay for the study on rapid transport options, while NZTA fund expensive studies for AWHC focused on motorways. Would like NZTA to fund the studies including PT options.

    On Hop cards with concessions like Supercard loaded, I was poking around the AT site last night and found some weird gaps on the site. Sometimes links lead to older 2013 pages rather than 2015 information (the CMS is not smart?). Monthly passes for A-B zone are listed in a static PDF as being $190 per month, but if you are trying to figure out (like I was), how much for a monthly pass for a tertiary student… maybe I just missed it despite searching for some time, but looks like information is missing

    • Grant

      Yes I’ve found their site navigation is weird in places. Day passes is one I think, better to go straight from Google sometimes (confusion of all services day passes & family train pass layout also). I also got an ID card application for my son sent out (very clunky, had to email them probably because he is a correspondence student) and the form referred to 2012 dates & seemed to be pre HOP era!?

    • Monthly passes are the same price for all. It’s only single trips that get a concessional discount as far as I know.

    • Steve Withers

      In the past, fares that required entitlement to be qualified by seeing ID (students, etc) tended to be hard to find. One needed to go to the 3 places in the Universe that sell them – during inconvenient hours – to hope to be able to buy them. It looked like a system made deliberately difficult because the operators don’t actually want people to use it. My daughters both had to deal with the issues around tertiary student fares. It was intensely annoying and time-wasting for them.

      That’s the past (until a year or so ago). Hopefully things have improved.

    • Steve Withers

      I’ve been watching the development of the Parnell Station with interest. The slope to and from Parnell Road looks fairly daunting. Longish…and somewhat steep. I don’t see any steps, so it may also be slippery in wet weather.

      I can’t see many seniors (or most other people) using this station unless there is an escalator or lift gantry to assist pedestrians getting from the road down to the platform and back. I suspect it would be much better for most people to get off at Newmarket and take a bus down Parnell Road. I might walk down to the station….but I won’t be getting off a train there unless I’m headed into the Domain’s lower reaches. Perhaps its intended to be the homeless train station?

  • Q: “They say work will be undertaken in coming months to improve the communication to customers about this. I’m not quite sure why it will take a few months to fix.”

    A: “Because we’ve only just now agreed it is a problem that should be addressed. We will refer it to the appropriate person who will draft a brief for our communications team. The communications team will draft a suggested solution, which they will refer back to the appropriate person, who will assess the suggested solution and make any further amendments if necessary (which will necessitate referring the amendments back to Communications for their input). Once the communication is agreed upon it will come back to us for discussion/rubber stamping before being incorporated into our communication protocols, both online and in person. Given that Xmas is now almost upon us and then we have the January break, we are confident this issue can be dealt with quickly ie within a few months.”

  • Disappointing the rail services end so early on Christmas, surely they would run them later for people going to town for the evening?

  • I’d love to know more about the Great North Road bus priority from New Lynn to Ash Street; I haven’t seen anything going on. Is there a map of the new bus lanes proposed as part of the “40km of new buslanes” we were promised by AT?

  • Surely there are other places in auckland that need a train station more than Parnell.

  • EricD

    By the time the CRL is ready for commissioning, the Parnell station will be costing 20 million plus people 2 minutes each. That’s a million hours per year of commuter time wasted. It also reduces the productivity of staff and rolling stock to the extent of absorbing a complete extra trainset. So the capital requirement has been understated by about $16,000,000, and the annual operating costs need to include perhaps $10,000,000 of commuter time wasted. In addition, each passenger delay will have a small tendency to reduce patronage.
    Don’t even think about the timetabling problems between Newmarket and Britomart.
    Parnell should remain closed until after the CRL is commissioned.

    • David B.

      Actually I think this a great place for a train station! Parnell is an attractive destination for visitors and this stop will make it much more accessible for tourists and residents alike.

      Yes there’s lots of Auckland that needs stations more than Parnell (like East Auckland and the entire North Shore obviously) but there’s already the foundation of a decent station there. If we are to continue to become a modern city, where people can move around and do things easily, we’ll want to enrich our transport network, not impoverish it.

      • Grant

        Agreed! Remember also closing of the Sarawia St level crossing & other efficiency improvements will off-set a lot of that. Direct access by student’s & staff to Auckland University also (albeit a bit of a walk and partly uphill), why wait through a slow train around Vector etc and then walk up a hill when you can get off early and walk up another hill instead? Gotta work with what you got.

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