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PT fares change today

Public transport fares have changed today and despite cash fares increasing, for the majority of users the cost of using PT has dropped thanks to an increase in the HOP discount. As I said back when the change was announced.

Overall I think this is a very good move by AT. By raising the cash fares but also increasing the HOP discount it does two things.

  1. It increases the differential between cash and HOP fares which will help make HOP more attractive. More people using HOP is good, particularly for buses as it speeds up boarding time.
  2. Over 60% of all trips now take place using HOP, that means for the majority of PT users these changes will actually represent a decrease in fares.

As of the end of May 64% of bus and train users were already using HOP cards and I suspect it has grown further during June. Since the change was announced I’ve also heard of people who have brought a HOP card simply because of the changes which are clearly designed to encourage greater use of HOP.

The adult bus and train fares changes are below.

July 2014 Fare changes

No everyone has benefited though with most ferry fares increasing.

I think it will be a fascinating to see what happens with patronage which has been growing strongly in recent months and I hope will continue to do so.

In addition to the fare changes, last week AT quietly introduced daily passes on HOP. The daily passes work in the same way and with the same zones as the monthly passes yet oddly despite there being an inner zone there isn’t an inner zone daily pass. There also aren’t any child pricing options. The costs are:

  • Zones A & B – $16
  • Zones A, B & C – $22

The map below shows the zones.

Daily Pass Zone

It seems like there is still some way to go before this can be a product easily used by many people

Duncan Garner on using Public Transport

Radio Live host Duncan Garner decided to have a car-free day on Sunday and take his family from Avondale to Devonport using public transport. He has written about his experience here and it highlights many of the things wrong with our current system. He starts:

So, we decided to have a car-free day on Sunday. We had four kids and the wife and I decided to take them to Devonport to climb North Head, explore the tunnels and have some lunch. We arrived at Avondale station, close to where we live to take the train. First mistake: the Mrs read an expired timetable at home and we arrived as a train was just about to leave. Did they see us? Yes. Did it stop and let us on? No. No worries! Our mistake. So the wife pulled out her ‘Hop Card’ and tried to buy us a family pass to Britomart. Did it happen? No. Is a family pass an option? No. Hopeless. So we bought four kids tickets and two adults. Total cost – $19.40.

After going on to describe his day in more detail he ends with a summary of his impressions

So what are my impressions of going car-less? 1. It’s actually harder and you have to plan meticulously. 2. It’s not cheap – the return train cost us $36.20 – that’s a lot of petrol in my car. 3. It takes longer to get places because it’s not point to point. 4. Why couldn’t I buy return tickets at Avondale train station? 5. Why couldn’t I buy a family pass or off peak pass? 6. Why do they offer cheaper prices at Britomart but not at outer suburban stations? 7. As a first time user my wife’s hop card did not work for the train and therefore we flagged it for the ferry. We paid cash. It’s not user-friendly for families. 8. Why were there four ticket inspectors on my train on Sunday afternoon? Almost one per passenger. 9. It involves a lot of walking and we were all stuffed by 7pm Sunday evening. All up, it cost me $68.20 to get to Devonport with my family – that was return. I could get almost ¾ of a tank of gas for that. And I could have driven point to point. I want to use public transport, but it needs to be cheaper and it needs to go to more places, more often – but that won’t happen unless we get the incentives right. Let’s get this right. Let’s make it cheaper. Let’s get people on the trains and buses. There is still plenty of work to be done.

A couple of the points he makes I think are a little bit wide of the mark, for example the ticket inspectors need to be seen on a variety of services to be effective and surely a degree of walking was always going to be needed however his comments about the cost of tickets and how easy (or not) it is to buy them are what AT need to take on board.

Auckland Transport seem to primarily focus their attention and pricing on competing for solo trips to and from town and there has been almost no consideration of people who might want to travel in a group. That can mean even just travelling as a couple can be more expensive than a car and parking. Family passes are one solution to trips like the ones Duncan made however as he found out, they are only available at a handful of stations making them useless to most people.

The range and pricing for group travel leaves a lot to be desired which is a great shame as particularly on weekends they represent a great opportunity for people to try out the system as part of a family outing.

Downtown to Takapuna: A great, underappreciated cycle commute

This is another post from Peter who you can see we’ve now allowed to post directly [ Matt]

I recently started a new job in Takapuna. Unfortunately, it’s just far enough away from my home on the isthmus to be inconvenient for commuting purposes. Driving means winding through town to get to the motorway and then dealing with the traffic freakshow on Esmonde Road. Taking the bus means transferring in town, and sometimes a 10-15 minute wait if you’re unlucky. (Or worse. Last Friday I mistakenly got on the 922 bus, which only goes to Takapuna after a half-hour tiki tour through Birkenhead and Northcote. If you’re going to Takapuna, take the 839, 858, 875, 879, or 895 instead.)

So when the weather and my out-of-shape thighs permit, I’ve been cycling up to Takapuna. Even without the Skypath, this is proving to be surprisingly easy. I cycle down Symonds St to the ferry building, take the ferry across to Bayswater, and then cycle up to Takapuna on the Bayswater pipe bridge and shared path, which lets me avoid battling traffic on Lake Road. (See map below.)

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna Map

If you commute to Takapuna from the city centre or inner suburbs, I highly recommend that you consider taking the bike. On a good day, I can make it to work in 40-45 minutes, which is competitive with cars and faster than the bus. (Getting back’s a bit harder as I have to go uphill, but I can still do it in 50-55 minutes.) You get to ride on a completely uncrowded ferry, which seems to be a rare experience in Auckland these days. Cycling on the shore side is very safe, as Bayswater Avenue doesn’t get a lot of cars, and the shared path gets none.

And it’s a really beautiful ride to boot. Probably one of the best cycle commutes in Auckland.

And now, for the Tour de Bayswater by cameraphone.

Here’s the view from the Bayswater Ferry back to the city centre on a sunny morning. The ferry runs every half-hour during the peak periods, and hourly during the middle of the day (see the pdf timetable). I was running a bit late on the morning I took these pictures, so I cycled like mad down Symonds St only to have to wait on the wharf as the ferry emptied out.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 1

The ferry is always completely full with commuters when it arrives in town at 8:20 – but I’m usually the only person to get on in the other direction. That is an insanely unbalanced peak flow!

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 2

The bike racks are completely full on the Bayswater side – in fact, they seem to be fuller than the expansive park-and-ride. Auckland Transport seems to recognise that a lot of cyclists use the ferry. A few weeks ago I got a quick bike tune-up and hot chocolate at a winter pit-stop sponsored by AT and Bikewise.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 3

Then it’s up a small hill and onto Bayswater Avenue, which is dead quiet at this hour. Many of the kids at the local Belmont Primary cycle or walk to school, which cuts down the traffic quite a bit. I usually only see three or four cars.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 4

And then it’s off the road and onto the shared path down the side of O’Neill’s Cemetery. At 8:40 in the morning, it’s generally populated by dog-walkers, who sometimes need a bit of notice of approaching cyclists.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 5

The new pipeline bridge is fantastic. You feel like you’re gliding over the mangrove flats, which can be a pretty extraordinary sight on a good morning. It’s also a perfect demonstration of how good cycling infrastructure can make biking easier by linking up areas that are hard to move between by car. It adds a direct connection between two of the little finger peninsulas on the shore.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 6

The shared path wends its way around the bays before terminating at Francis Street. From there, it’s an uphill cycle to Jutland Road, another low-traffic side street.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 7

The intersection of Jutland Road and Lake Road isn’t fantastic. The curb bulbs out just before the intersection, forcing cyclists to squeeze between the cars while making the turn. Frustratingly, this intersection leads to the painted cycle lanes on Lake Road.

For safety’s sake, I usually hop up onto the sidewalk around this intersection. This isn’t an option on the trip back, so I usually do a hook turn using the pedestrian crossing button. I have to wonder what AT was thinking when they built such a terrible intersection between two of the major bits of cycle infrastructure on the shore.

Jutland Rd / Lake Rd intersection 1: Where’s the space for cyclists?

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 8

Jutland Rd / Lake Rd intersection 2: Still not seeing any space for cyclists.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 9

Jutland Rd / Lake Rd intersection 3: The painted cycle lane appears, at long last, in the left corner of this photo.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 10

Moreover, the painted cycle lanes on Lake Road end in a dangerous way at the intersection with Esmonde Road. Rather than continuing along Lake Road to Takapuna, they take a left and go part of the way down Esmonde Road (i.e. towards the motorway interchange) before vanishing entirely. There’s no obvious, direct way for cyclists to continue through the intersection, which forces me to merge across a lane of left-turning traffic. Fortunately, traffic speeds slow down a bit north of the intersection, which means that the last bit of the ride is civil.

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 11

I probably haven’t picked the right time of year to start cycling to work – being winter and all – but it can be a pretty rewarding trip back at the end of the day. The ferry provides an impressive view of the harbour at dusk. Here’s a last look at our beloved coathanger and a few of Auckland’s many sails:

Peter Cycle commute to Takapuna 12

What’s happening with the HOP daily passes

For a number of months earlier this year the Auckland Transport Board Reports included the following lines.

March Meeting

Testing of a new AT HOP Day Pass is underway for targeted introduction by April 2014 across bus, rail and ferry. The pass will offer greater flexibility through three separate geographic zones compared with the existing and to be withdrawn paper Discovery Day Pass

April Meeting

Testing of a new AT HOP Day Pass is underway for targeted introduction by May 2014 across bus, rail and ferry. The pass will offer greater flexibility through three separate geographic zones compared with the existing and to be withdrawn paper Discovery Day Pass. Existing Discovery Day Pass will remain in market until at least 31st May, to ensure customers still have access to multi-modal travel product

April and May came and went with no sign of a daily pass and in the May meeting the references to it disappeared completely. Reader Nigel Jones decided to try and find out what had happened with the day pass so lodged an LGOIMA request with AT to find out. He’s now had the results back and has written about it here. This post will be largely based on his post.

As part of their response to Nigel, Auckland Transport have confirmed the primary issue has been related to technical issues

Daily Pass delay

However going through the responses Nigel found more detailed information on the issues AT were having. These include:

  1. Machines having taking up to 10 seconds to read the cards.
  2. Issues with apportioning revenue to operators – a great example of why we need to get the new PTOM contracts rolled out so AT don’t have to worry about this stuff.
  3. Inconsistent treatment of how the passes are sold depending on the channel
  4. Trouble with purchasing different zone products on the same card- i.e. if you have a monthly pass for one zone but want a daily pass for travel to another zone it won’t work on the same card

Some potential mitigation options for the issues were listed as

  • Delay the daily pass implementation – something that had had already been done twice
  • Reduce the number of pass options from 6 originally proposed.
  • Setting up different processes to account for the apportionment issue.
  • Accept the limitations and try to explain them in the comms process.

All up it seems like a pretty messy affair although one not all uncommon with technology development. However I can’t help but think the whole thing is something that they should have been on to much much sooner. I’m also concerned that are implementing a daily pass option which is something you have to know you want to purchase at the start of the day rather than developing a more customer friendly daily cap which effectively allows for free travel after you’ve spent a certain amount.

AT’s most recent board report states that the pass will be available in July/August and I understand the official roll out date will be 1st July with RadioNZ reporting passes will cost between $16 and $22

AT proposing more ferries to Gulf Harbour

There are many aspects that need to come together for a successful and well used public transport system. Above all else, frequency is the single most important one of these and as the saying goes, Frequency is Freedom. So it’s good to see Auckland Transport proposing to increase the number of ferry services to and from Gulf Harbour.

Good news for residents and visitors to Gulf Harbour, the number of ferry sailings each day between Gulf Harbour and Auckland is increasing to 12.

During peak times sailings will increase from two to three with another two sailings each way in the middle of the day, which should appeal to workers and students alike. There are now shopping and visiting options for those not needing to travel at peak times.

Auckland Transport wants the community to get involved and for people to have their say on the proposed timetable.

Auckland Transport Group Manager Public Transport Services, Mark Lambert says this draft timetable is the result of feedback AT has received about improving services to Gulf Harbour.

“It’s important to get behind these initiatives so that we can further improve public transport options for all Auckland residents.

“We want to hear from both current and potential users if these sailing times are right for them,” says Mr Lambert.

Fairway Bay Development consultant Michael Webb-Speight says “The survey we ran last year showed huge demand for increased ferry services. We are very keen for people to get involved and have their say. These additional sailings will make a huge difference to Whangaparaoa Peninsula commuters working in the CBD.”

As part of the process ferry operator 360 Discovery Cruises will be handing out information flyers to existing ferry passengers, and thousands of questionnaires will be mail dropped over the next week with the objective of canvassing both bus and car commuters.
360 Discovery Cruises Manager, James Bailey, says strong growth in passenger numbers has already been experienced due to increasing congestion on the motorway system. “It’s only 50 minutes by ferry from Gulf Harbour to the city, which is a lot less than the driving time from many suburbs.”

The new timetable could start next month subject to consultation.

Consultation closes Sunday 29 June.

You can see the consultation here.

There are currently only four services a day so increasing that to 12 is a substantial and positive increase. Here are the proposed changes to the timetable

Gulf Harbour Ferry Consultation

The services are still a long way off being frequent – and probably won’t ever be good enough to be part of the Frequent Network but it does seem like a move in the right direction.

AT say that if this change happens it will likely be implemented in July and the changes will be reviewed again after 12 months. They also say they are expecting to consult on the New Network bus routes for the Hibiscus Coast area in July and that it includes improved bus/ferry connections.

Most HOP fares to drop

Auckland Transport have announced the results of the latest public transport fare review and its good. What’s more they appear to be addressing or working towards addressing many of the issues we have raised in the past.

Auckland Transport has completed its Annual Fare Review which sees ticket prices on buses, trains and ferries change from July 6. From that date adults who use the AT HOP card for their travel will receive a 20% discount off the single trip adult cash fare (excluding NiteRider, Airbus Express and Waiheke ferry services). Child and tertiary AT HOP users will also continue to receive discounts on most services, when compared to the equivalent cash fares. In contrast most cash fares for bus and train and some cash fares for ferry will increase (some AT HOP fares for ferries will also increase).

Auckland Transport Chief Executive David Warburton says the annual review takes into account operator cost increases (e.g. fuel and wages), revenue and patronage movements. He adds that Auckland Transport is also undertaking a strategic review of all public transport costs and pricing, due to be completed towards the end of the year. “Public transport must be seen as a viable alternative to the car if Auckland is to even begin to resolve its transport problems”, he says. “By making travel even more attractive on the AT HOP card we are hoping more people will switch to public transport.”

In March there was a jump in the number of people using public transport in Auckland with 7.3 million trips, an increase of 3.9% on March last year. The financial year to March also saw strong growth overall with just over 71 million trips.

In addition to an increased discount on AT HOP Auckland Transport will remove the 25 cent top-up fee and reduce the minimum top-up amount on the card from $10 to $5, both from July 6. The card itself will also remain at $5 until at least 31 January 2015.

From July 6 when the new fares are implemented, cash fares will be in 50 cent multiples which will reduce cash handling on buses in particular (with the exception of the City LINK child cash fare which will remain at 30 cents). Mr Warburton has also signalled that Auckland Transport hopes to move to implementing an exact fare/no change given policy in the future and will investigate the potential of removing cash fares altogether, as has recently been introduced in Sydney.

Here’s what’s happening with adult bus and train fares

July 2014 Fare changes

Overall I think this is a very good move by AT. By raising the cash fares but also increasing the HOP discount it does two things.

  1. It increases the differential between cash and HOP fares which will help make HOP more attractive. More people using HOP is good, particularly for buses as it speeds up boarding time.
  2. Over 60% of all trips now take place using HOP, that means for the majority of PT users these changes will actually represent a decrease in fares.

That second point is important as I’m not sure if we’ve ever seen an actual fare decrease before – although AT’s transport indicators show that fares had been reducing due to inflation for some time.

Change in the 1-5 stage bus cash fares in 2013 prices over time. The HOP fares (dotted line) show the equivalent HOP fares. The HOP stage 1 bus fare is equivalent to the 2004 stage 1 cash fare and for other stages is cheaper than the 2004 cash fares. (Nominal fares are adjusted based on CPI index to provide their relative cost in real terms)

Fares compared to inflation

The one mode that has bucked the trend has been ferry fares which mostly seem to be going up which is probably a symptom of the more commercial nature of ferries.

It will certainly be interesting to see what these change do to patronage. One thing I do wonder though is what the impact on revenue is from the change to HOP fares. Could the difference have been used to provide additional services and would those deliver more patronage growth than what this fare change will deliver?

The one issue I have seen people not as happy about is the ferry fares which mostly seem to be going up. I also like how the cash fares are being rounded to a multiple of 50c which should hopefully help speed up the issuing of change on buses. I’m also sure that people will like the removal of the top up fee, the reduction of the minimum top up amount and the reduce prices of HOP cards – although none of them actually bothered me.

I also like how AT have signalled future changes to further speed up buses by eventually implementing an exact change/no change given policy or potentially removing cash fares altogether. The exact/no change idea is something that I imagine could be fairly easy to implement providing the communications around it are clear. HOP only is probably a little more difficult but perhaps something that could be done on selected services. In my mind perhaps start with the Northern Express and eventually work towards at least the entire frequent network being HOP only.

All up some good changes from AT and ones that should encourage both greater use of HOP and hopefully more patronage too. This should probably be the last fare change before we get integrated ticketing some time next year.

Postcard from Vancouver

This is the first of what will hopefully be a series of picture heavy postcards from great transit cities. City number one is Vancouver, something of a poster child for how to retrofit transit, walking and cycling to a young new world city.

First up we have the amazing skytrain system, which despite the name also runs underground and at ground level. These trains are small but have very high capacity and frequency due to the efficiencies of driverless operation. Also as they are custom designed for passenger transit only, they can manage very steep grades and tight curves. Note the curve coming into the station below, and also notice the clear example of transit oriented development being built. The last picture also shows the silent alarm that switches on the camera and microphone system and alerts the transit police. I’m convinced this is the sort of system we should use for any new rail line in Auckland, especially on the North Shore where the steep grades, tight curves, narrow width and small cross section would care billions off the cost of a new rail line. Also the driverless operation would make super frequent all day service affordable. If we want metro style service levels, this is how.

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Next we have a cycleway, classic two way separated cycleway retrofitted to a busy city street. Let’s do tons of these in Auckland. I also noticed the pedestrian phases at intersections are automatic and very frequent, and their intersections don’t splay out into a zillion turning bays and pockets for every intersection. If it’s a two lane road it stays two lanes, and sometimes you just have to wait.

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Finally some shots of the SeaBus ferry to North Vancouver. Extremely efficient operation, two of these ferries shuttle back and forth every fifteen minutes. They dock in a custom designed receiving bay with multiple automatic gangplanks either side. You board from the middle but exit to the outer side like many busy metro stations. This thing can turn over a full load of several hundred people in a minute or two. At the city end it has an air bridge style connection to the main metro and bus station, while on the north side it has an integrated feeder bus system. Devonport eat your heart out.

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Changing transport trends being noticed

As mentioned yesterday, the second interesting paper going to the Council’s Infrastructure Committee is in relation to Transport Trends (page 9). It highlights many of the same trends that we’ve been noting for a few years now and shows that change is happening in how Aucklanders get around. A summary of the trends is below.

  • Journey to work information from the 2013 Census was released in February 2014. The journey to work data showed an increase in public transport modeshare from 2006-2013 from 8% to 10%, a reduction in private vehicle modeshare from 86% to 84% and an increase in walking and cycling modeshare from 5.9% to 6.3%. 44% of the growth in journeys to work between 2006 and 2013 was by public transport, 41% by private vehicles and 15% by walking and cycling.
  • Journey to work information from the 2013 Census was released in February 2014. The journey to work data showed an increase in public transport modeshare from 2006-2013 from 8% to 10%, a reduction in private vehicle modeshare from 86% to 84% and an increase in walking and cycling modeshare from 5.9% to 6.3%. 44% of the growth in journeys to work between 2006 and 2013 was by public transport, 41% by private vehicles and 15% by walking and cycling.
  • Slower growth in VKT, including declines in VKT per capita observed in Auckland and across New Zealand over the past few years are consistent with changes in transport trends observed internationally in a wide variety of developed countries. Most developed countries show a decline in VKT per capita and slower VKT growth since the middle of last decade (generally pre-dating the Global Financial Crisis) with some countries (such as the United Kingdom) exhibiting a decline in VKT per capita for a much longer period.
  • International literature outlines a variety of reasons behind the change in transport trends over the past decade. These include both short-term (e.g. effects of the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent widespread recessions) and longer term (e.g. cultural shifts, higher oil prices and growing urbanisation) causes.
  • Recent transport trends, both nationally and internationally, are important to note because they represent a significant change from many decades of consistent growth in both VKT and VKT per capita, as well as a change from previously persistent declines in public transport and active transport modeshare. Growing international recognition of the longer term causes of these changes is also extremely important in relation to future transport projections, to ensure that those forecasts are not over-projecting future VKT, leading to unnecessary investment.

The journey to work results from the census is something we’ve covered before including how it’s changed over time. The paper also compares Auckland’s results with those seen in some of the key Australian cities which shows that we still have higher levels of car use for getting to work than our neighbours to the west however we do seem to be doing better on walking.

Census Auckland vs Australian cities

The big news story from the census in relation to transport was that from 2006 to 2013 while all modes grew, the largest growth in trips to work was trips on public transport. It’s probably the first time in many decades that has happened. The report notes that it’s a clear sign the investment in improved transport choice and travel planning has had a major impact.

Census Auckland history

Census Auckland history graph

The report moves on to data from the Ministry of Transport on vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) and says that while the total number of VKT has increased since 2001, the majority was in the 2001-2006/7 period after which the growth slowed and even went backwards in 2011/12.  On a per capita basis however represents a real decline in how far people are driving.

NZ Regions VKT

We also know that similar trends of flat lining falling car usage have been seen overseas and the paper highlights this through the graphs below show US vehicle miles travelled in total and per capita. The second graph compares a number of other western countries, most of which VKT fall off. from around 2003.

US VMT

INTL vkt trends

 

As to what’s causing the trends, this is summarised by this table

Change in transport trends

The report lastly covers off some of the implications from the changing transport trends. Probably the key is that the councils transport models will need to be updated and that is likely to result in changes in the mix of projects that are likely to get built.

Combining the changing trends with the tighter funding that is likely to eventuate and we might just end up knocking a few of the crazily stupid roading projects (like Penlink) off the list for some time.

This report was also picked up on by the Herald yesterday. It’s good to see the mainstream media finally starting to pick up on some of these trends.

Public Transport revenues for April

The Auckland Transport board met last week and while most of the board report didn’t seem overly interesting one part on HOP usage caught my attention. It broke down the patronage by HOP vs paper tickets not just for trips but for revenue (page 31). As far as I’m aware this is the first time PT revenue has been shown publicly – unless it’s been buried somewhere in the financial reports.

HOP Usage and Revenue April

As someone who catches both trains and buses the difference between HOP usage is noticeable although that might also be because  non HOP payers hold up buses due to slower boarding whereas they don’t impact on the journey times for trains. AT say that considering HOP only finished rolling out to buses earlier this year that the result isn’t too bad however they can’t use that excuse on trains which have been using the system for about 18 months now.

Looking at the revenues and trips per mode allows for an interesting comparison of average costs. As you can see in the table below the average fares for trains are about 37% higher for rail than they are for bus which reflects that on average train users take longer journeys than bus users. This could also be partly seen in station boarding data I wrote about a month ago which showed that stations outside the old Auckland City Council boundaries having generally higher patronage than those closer to the city. The average fares for paper tickets on both bus and rail are 3% and 4% higher than the HOP fares which considering HOP fares are at least 10% less it suggests that on average cash payers travel slightly shorter distances.

HOP Usage average fares April

 

Interestingly the average fare of ~$2.20 isn’t all that different to what is seen in the Australian and Canadian cities I’ve looked at. That suggests our fares aren’t completely out of line with what is seen elsewhere in similar cities although

  1. they generally provide better services so you get greater value for your fare
  2. there might be greater differences on individual fare products which affects the averages.

They’ve also provided this graph showing usage although it’s a bit hard to track the history. February showed a big jump across both measures and I suspect that was primarily due to schools being back as NZBus which is the largest operator went live in the last months of 2013.

HOP Usage history April

In addition to above they have broken down the revenues and sales by channel which again provides useful information into how the system is operating.

HOP Sales April

The average top up amount for stored value is similar across all three channels averaging $30 for face to face, $26 for ticket machines and $29 for online sales. In terms of where the sales happen 39% are face to face, 34% at ticket machines and 27% are online.

It’s great that AT have published this level of data and in the interests of transparency I hope they continue to do so. In addition it would also be great to see monthly information on how far people have travelled (should be easy for HOP cards at least) and how much the operating costs were. I also think that they probably need to do a push to get more bus users in particular on HOP.

Metro’s 20 point plan for fixing Transport in Auckland

In their most recent issue, Metro magazine came up with a 20 point plan to fix transport in Auckland.

Better for people, better for cars, better for bikes, better for freight. Easy? Well, it’s not as hard as you might think.

It’s getting good. Integrated ticketing is here and it works. Electric trains were due to start the week this issue went on sale. A radically reinvented bus network will soon be introduced. And even before the impact of all that, train patronage jumped from 2.5 million trips in 2003 to 11 million trips last year.

Something’s up, for sure. Transforming the culture of how we move around this city is not an end in itself, but a means to the end of making the city a better place in which to live. The job’s not done, but the platform on which to do it is getting stronger.

The job’s not done, because there’s so much more to do.

Is it too hard? Is it not what Aucklanders want anyway? The model is New York. The city of yellow cabs has spent much of the past decade becoming a city of people — and if New York can become a great modern city, why would it be too hard here?

New York’s immensely influential former Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan visits this month. Here are 20 ideas for our city, inspired by what she did for hers.

The list is fantastic and pics up on many of the same themes we often talk about. Head over for the full list but this one in particular is worth of a mention.

18 / Adopt the other plan

As Auckland Council, Auckland Transport (AT), the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and the government all wrestle with the mind-numbing costs of transport development, let’s not forget that a substantially cheaper plan for Auckland already exists.

The Congestion Free Network sets out a 15-year programme to enable Aucklanders from Silverdale to Botany, Kumeu to Pukekohe to “move across the city at speed”, using rail, bus and ferry services that run at least every 10 minutes. And it will be 27 per cent cheaper than the official Integrated Transport Plan, even according to published AT and NZTA figures — and that plan will achieve far less over the same period.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one, unless you believe that anything dreamed up by the public transport lobbyists at Auckland Transport Blog and Generation Zero must be inherently flawed. But there’s no reason to think that.

That would be this plan.

CFN 2030A