Some good news from Auckland Transport that ferry patronage out of West Harbour has increased to the point of needing a larger ferry.
A jump in passenger numbers means a bigger ferry has joined the run to West Harbour operated by Belaire Ferries for Auckland Transport.
Belaire Ferries Managing Director, Adam Tallentire, says the 90 passenger Spirit will now operate on the morning services along with 49 seaters Clipper and Serenity. “With this increase in capacity we are confident that even more commuters will consider the ferry as an alternative, a way to escape the on-going upgrade work on the North-western motorway.”
The new service was immediately popular, on the first sailing of Spirit on Monday 3 March there were 64 passengers (picture attached). The previous capacity on the sailing was 49 passengers.
The West Harbour service has seen a 56 per cent jump in patronage since capacity was last expanded in October 2011.
There are 14 return trips between West Harbour and Downtown each weekday.
A 56% increase in patronage over just a few years is fairly impressive, even if just off a small base. I imagine the service could be especially popular over the next few years now that the North Western motorway has been turned into a giant work site.
On Saturday we finally saw the first glimpses of information on the Journey to Work (JTW) data from the 2013 Census for Auckland (we received the national figures a few months ago). This morning Stu looked at how effective investment in each mode has been since 2006. For this post I’m going to look at how the trends in Auckland have been changing over time and I’ve managed to find the data from as far back as 1996.
First up we have the total number of people in each category.
One thing that surprises me about this figure is just how little the “Worked from home” figure has changed over time. As a percentage of the total it has remained unchanged at 7% despite great advances in the ease and ability of people to work at home. It also defies the claims of those who argue we don’t need to invest in PT because more and more people will work from home in the future and not need to travel.
I’ve also simplified that by looking only at the modes that required transport and grouping similar ones together. I have included the “Other” column with PT as I understand much of patronage in that bucket is related to the ferries. You’ll also notice that I’ve dropped the “Working from home” and “Didn’t go to work” columns to only look at those who are going to work.
So all modes had an increase but the fascinating thing is that there was a larger increase in PT than there was in Private Vehicles. Converting the figures above to mode share percentages we get.
and the simplified version
Private vehicles clearly still dominate the figures for how people get to work although that is slowly starting to change as more people use public transport, walking and cycling as those options improve. During the last census cycle we’ve had big improvements to the rail network and the construction of the Northern Busway, both of which have driven a lot of growth. By the next census AT should have completed the current tranche of projects that will really revolutionise PT in Auckland. These include Electrification, the New Network, integrated ticketing/fares and other customer experience improvements. Combined those improvements could quite possibly push private vehicle usage below 80%.
Further if the current trends continue then from these numbers we might be able to say that 2001 (or sometime around then) was the point when car dominance peaked in Auckland. Imagine just how much further that share would drop if we were to build the Congestion Free Network.
Lastly just to try and put the changes in perspective. What would have happened if the growth that occurred had of been at the same mode share percentage as 2006. By my calculation it would have meant we would have had just over 11,300 more private vehicle trips, 9,000 less PT trips and 2,300 less active trips. Most of the growth of active and PT trips has been to the city centre and so to accommodate those extra 11,300 private vehicles trips on the road network would have needed 2-3 extra lanes of road capacity, in other words effectively we would have needed another motorway to the city centre.
Auckland’s journey to work data from the census was released yesterday by the council on their site www.censusauckland.co.nz. Journey to work is a useful metric but it does have some serious flaws in that as the name implies it’s only recording how people got to work whereas there are generally a lot of other trips at peak times, like to school. In Auckland for example tens of thousands of students enter the CBD each day to go to the Universities or other education providers and those students all have a big impact on transport networks. This can be quite important when looking at PT trends as students tend to be much stronger users of PT than other parts of the population.
I’ll go through the data and how it’s changed over time in the next few days but here are some images from the maps showing the results which in themselves are quite telling.
First up travel to work by car, truck, van or company bus. Unsurprisingly the lowest car use is in the areas surrounding the central city as well as the lower North Shore. Whenuapai West will stick out on many of the graphs which I assume is due to airforce staff having very localised trips. The area around Pakuranga/Howick/Botany really stands out as being quite car dependant which is unsurprising seeing as the PT network in that part of the city have been so poor.
Next we have trips by public bus. What I find most interesting – and completely unsurprising – is that the areas with the strongest bus usage also happen to be the same areas where the most bus priority and frequency exists. Of the dark blue areas, those that surround Dominion Rd happen to have the highest bus usage.
On to train and that is obviously focused primarily on the areas next to the rail network.
For cycling the highest use is once again focused on the inner suburbs and on those along Tamaki Dr
Like many of the other measurements walking to work is something primarily seen in the inner suburbs although there are some stronger patches in some of the suburban centres.
Lastly Other under which ferries sit and because of that it’s unsurprising to see the areas with ferry service stand out strongly.
As mentioned earlier I’ll be looking into the results in more detail in coming days however what is quite clear just from looking at these maps is that the areas with the higher quality PT, walking and cycling links also happen to be the ones with the lowest car usage. In other words giving people high quality alternatives will see more people choosing not to drive.
Patronage for January is out and there’s (mostly) positive news.
Auckland public transport patronage totalled 70,391,404 passengers for the 12-months to Jan-2014, an increase of +0.2% on the 12-months to Dec-2013. January monthly patronage was 4,653,153, an increase of 157,453 boardings or +3.5% on Jan-2013, normalised to ~ +3.3% accounting for one additional weekday and two less weekend days for rail in Jan-2014 compared to Jan-2013 (due to track closures). No normalisation required due to equivalent business days for bus and ferry.
Rail patronage totalled 10,661,048 passengers for the 12-months to Jan-2014, an increase of + 0.5% on the 12-months to Dec-2013. Patronage for Jan-2014 was 588,574, an increase of 50,087 boardings or +9.3% on Jan-2013, normalised to ~ +7.6% accounting for one less rail operational day in Jan-2014 compared to Jan-2013.
The Northern Express bus service carried 2,313,967 passenger trips for the 12-months to Jan-2014, an increase of +0.4% on the 12 months to Dec-2013. Northern Express bus service patronage for Jan-2014 was 146,740, an increase of 9,636 boardings or +7.0% on Jan-2013.
Other bus services carried 51,784,795 passenger trips for the 12-months to Jan-2014, an increase of +0.3% on the 12-months to Dec-2013. Other bus services patronage for Jan-2014 was 3,410,157, an increase of 154,385 boardings or +4.7% on Jan-2013.
Ferry services carried 5,631,594 passenger trips for the 12-months to Jan-2014, a decrease of -1.0% on the 12 months to Dec-2013. Ferry services patronage for Jan-2014 was 507,682, a decrease of -56,655 boardings or -10.0% on Jan-2013.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect is that the 12m rolling figure for total patronage grew for the first time in over a year (although it may have done so in December but AT haven’t released those figures). This is pleasing as we’ve been seeing rail patronage recovering but bus patronage still has a way to go.
On rail patronage, we’re still not quite back to the peak (which was in April 2012) but we are getting closer to it and with the first electric trains just over two months away I’m guessing we might see it met/surpassed by the end of the financial year (June) and we may even crack the 11 million trips on rail mark.
The biggest disappointment was that compared to Jan 2013, ferry patronage was down 10% although with some strong growth over the last year or so the 12m rolling figure is still positive. Here are the graphs.
As mentioned rail patronage is climbing again and you can see it in this graph.
For some time now the AT reports have also been including bus patronage by sector being divided into North, West, South and Isthmus. The isthmus will definitely have some cross with the west and south as many routes of the routes from west/south pass through the isthmus and pick up passengers along the way, that patronage would be counted based on the sector the bus route assigned to. However when combined with patronage on the rail network it does provide an interesting proxy for patronage by area.
Unsurprisingly the Isthmus has the highest patronage (12m rolling total is 25.8 million) which will likely reflect it both having a higher population but also generally a more direct and higher frequency bus network, particularly along routes like Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd etc. This is followed by the south (17.4 mil), north (13 mil) then west (8.7 mil). What’s interesting is when you index the results back to the earliest date the data is in the reports which is Aug 2010 – just before AT came into existence. The west stands out due to the massive jump from the RWC but otherwise seems to generally follow the north and south areas in terms of growth. By comparison the Isthmus seems to do its own thing to a much greater extent. I’m not sure why it is different.
Lastly cycling numbers were down slightly on Jan 2013 however there has been continued strong growth in cycling numbers over the last year so the trend is still pointing up.
Almost all of the major bus operators are now on HOP with only the Waiheke Bus Company (4th March) and Airporter (unannounced) left to go. I have also heard that the Airbus will change over but there is no timeframe for that yet.
With that in mind a few days ago I casually asked Auckland Transport how many people were now using HOP. Today they announced
Aucklanders are now travelling on more than 200,000 AT HOP cards.
AT HOP is a smart-card which can be used for travel on trains and ferries and it is now rolling out to buses across the region.
Auckland Transport has been progressively introducing the system across different transport modes and a multitude of operators.
AT’s chief operations officer Greg Edmonds says the 200,000 card milestone comes with 95 per cent of the roll-out – due for the end of March – completed.
Mr Edmonds says that under the second phase of the integrated ticketing programme, a new Fares Policy will be developed. This will involve a review of fare structures (e.g. stage-based, zonal, distance-based), investigation of different fare products and passes, and pricing levels.
The system was introduced on Howick and Eastern Bus services last weekend (February 16), and will be followed by services on Waiheke.
For more information call Auckland Transport on 09-3664467 or go to: www.ATHOP.co.nz
- On an average weekday some 236,000 trips are taken on public transport in the region.
- More than 3 million trips each month are made using the AT HOP card.
- On an average weekday buses in Auckland travel some 164,000 km – the equivalent of flying from Auckland to London nine times.
It’s good to hear that so many cards are now out there in the wild and knowing that all PT services are using a single card is something that will hopefully lead to quite a few more people picking one up however it does account for less than 15% of the overall Auckland population so there’s still quite some way to go yet before it’s seen as a mainstream thing. As pointed out in the comments on the post yesterday about the HOP scam warning, there are probably a heap of people out there who probably want one and AT need to make it as easy as possible to be able to get cards.
In my view AT really need to be aiming to get the card in the hands of at least four times that number of people (or more). I suspect that people seeing the card in their wallet might be something that will remind them of the PT options that are available (assuming they are decent). One area I would love AT to progress on this front is to roll out HOP to carparks around the city. It would save people having to line up at ticket machines to pay and help get the card into more people’s hands.
Of course a big thing that does need to be sorted next is to get proper integrated fares sorted out. I understand AT are working on it so hopefully it’s something we will hear more about soon.
In a couple of weeks work will start on a $5.5 million upgrade the Devonport wharf and Marine Square as part of a larger $24 million upgrade to Devonport which also includes a new library. One thing I find most interesting about the upgrade is that it will see a number of existing carparks removed and replaced with an enhanced urban space as well as more parking for bikes and scooters.
The new boardwalk will connect the wharf, Marine Square and Victoria Rd and will transform the eastern side of the wharf into a significant public place on the water’s edge, with space for outside dining and for people to gather.
Construction of the boardwalk provides the opportunity to reconfigure and refurbish the tenancies in the front part of Devonport Wharf. Auckland Transport will be offering new, larger tenancies with a food and beverage focus.
Marine Square will be upgraded from a car park to an integral and appealing part of the village’s attractive new gateway. The reconfiguration will provide a more functional layout in which pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists can safely coexist.
Thirty-five long-term car parks will be removed and a variety of landscaping will take place to visually frame and enhance the special character of the area.
Commuters will be encouraged to make the switch to public transport or alternative modes of transport such as biking and/or walking during and after the upgrade.
Auckland Transport has plans to increase the number of commuter buses to the wharf and the number of scooter and bike parking spaces.
Here’s an image of what the upgrade is meant to look like after it’s been completed.
It looks pretty good and much better than the current arrangement while providing a slightly more direct route from the village to the wharf which will be good for pedestrians.
To try and encourage people to shift from driving to the wharf, AT are running a competition to give away a scooter
To provide a little impetus, Auckland Transport is running a competition for all Devonport residents who want to change to another mode of transport. The prize is a sensational scooter courtesy of Scootling.
To go in the draw, simply fill in the entry form (PDF 112KB) and put it in the entry box at the Information Centre in the Devonport Ferry Terminal before 5pm on 28 February 2014.
The winner will be drawn by Devonport comedian Paul Ego at 10am on 1 March on the wharf. Anyone who has entered the competition will be welcome to attend. The winner will be notified the same day as the draw.
I’m all for encouraging people to shift modes but I wonder how effective this will be and wonder what kind of precedent it sets – will it be something expected at all future station, wharf upgrades. Further how many of those driving to the wharf are coming from outside Devonport? Lastly it begs the question of why it is being done for this upgrade yet there wasn’t something similar done for the recent opening of the new Panmure interchange.
Auckland Transport has definitely been improving some of their communications (not all) Late last year they released a new City Rail Link video which finally addressed many of the issues we had with how they were explaining the project in the past
And they did a good job with with the video for the new bus network.
The one downside with these two videos is that they do require someone to sit down and watch a few minutes of video – something not everyone will do, especially those with little interest in transport. So perhaps Auckland Transport could to do something similar to what has been done in Singapore to explain their new transport master plan and make a few quick and catchy images that explain what they are aiming to do. Note: they are also good for highlighting the diversity of the population in Singapore.
Of course they won’t get through to everyone – like this guy.
With AT reviewing their Integrated Transport Programme and it potentially being quite different to the current one then perhaps they could do something like this help explain it.
Over the next few days I’ll be doing a series of posts recapping the year before beginning the new year by looking at what we can expect in the year ahead. For me when it comes to transport, 2013 was always going to be a bit of an “in progress” year. By that I mean that a heap of projects (both PT and road) would be advanced throughout the year however there would be nothing major completed that would fundamentally change transport in Auckland – that will change in 2014. For this post, I’m just going to be recapping public transport.
Wires are now a familiar sight across much of the rail network with primarily just the Eastern Line and the inner parts of the Western Line still to be completed however this was originally meant to have been completed by September. Back in May we revealed that the project was running late and is unlikely to be fully completed till March/April with Kiwirail saying it will be all done by the time the first electric trains are running in April. Britomart and the Eastern line are the focus over the Christmas shutdown and as I was in town yesterday I popped into Britomart which was a hive of activity and flashing lights with crews and vehicles working on each track.
While the case for extending electrification to Pukekohe came out in 2012, the new development that is now expected to occur along the rail corridor thanks to the Unitary Plan is likely to help bring forward the need and justification for it. At the other extreme of the network Auckland Transport announced this year that the Waitakere station would close due to a combination of stubbornly low patronage and high costs to run a diesel shuttle service. The outcomes of two more stations – Westfield and Te Mahia – are still under review after it was suggested they would be closed too.
At Wiri the new state of the art depot to maintain our new electric trains was completed in time for the arrival of the first train.
The first of our new electric trains arrived at the end of August and staff have been busy testing it. Since then it has been joined by three others with more due to arrive soon. The trains are arriving at a rate of two every month till December when they increase to four per month. From my personal experiences of riding on them, I think they’re fantastic and people will be surprised when they first get to try the out next year.
City Rail Link
The City Rail Link perhaps provided the biggest surprise of the year when in June the government suddenly turned around and agreed that it was needed and said they would help fund half of it. This was quite a change from the position they had previously taken, especially their earlier responses including to the City Centre Future Access Study which even Ministry of Transport officials had been a part of. It is believed a large part of the reason the government had such a change of heart was that their polling was showing a lot of unhappiness amongst Aucklanders about the lack of support towards the regions preferred transport and housing solutions.
While the announcement saw the government finally support the project it doesn’t mean they agree with everything about it as the government don’t want to start the project till 2020, roughly the time the council want it finished. They have set some aggressive but potentially achievable targets for starting early. Regardless some parts of the project will actually start next year (or in 2015) following an agreement between the council and Precinct Properties (who now own the Downtown Mall) for part of the tunnel to be built when they redevelop their site. That removed potentially one of the biggest issues from the consenting process which has been proceeding fairly quietly in the background. We should hear the results of that in the new year.
We here at the blog had been getting pretty frustrated with the way the project was being sold by AT (and others). Finally in November we saw a decent effort by AT with this video.
Integrated Ticketing and Fares
Integrated ticketing has one of those projects where if something can go wrong it will, frequently stumbling from one issue to the next with deadlines frequently missed as a result. The project had already been delayed multiple times in the lead up to 2013 and this year showed no sign of that changing with more deadlines missed. This year we were told the roll-out of AT HOP to buses would be completed by the end of the year however issues with the change overs pushed that back again. Birkenhead, Urban express and NZ Bus buses have now all been converted to AT HOP and fingers crossed the rest will be complete within the first few months of 2014. It will mean that for the first time people will be able to get around the city on PT with a single ticket (which is different to a single fare).
While getting integrated ticketing is a good step, integrating fares will be one of the keys to unlocking the system and making it more usable. While it has always been mentioned that integrated fares would come sometime after integrated ticketing, many at AT had previously given off the impression that it was more of a nice to have and there had been no real push. From what I have heard there has be finally been a shift and realisation within AT that integrated fares are desperately needed, especially to support the new bus network and as such work has been going on behind the scenes on this so it should become a reality.
New Bus Network
Early in the year we saw that there was a hugely positive response to the Regional Public Transport Plan of which one of the key features was the new bus network. This enabled AT to go out to the first detailed consultation which was in South Auckland. Once again there was a overwhelmingly positive response to the proposed changes. Auckland Transport deserve a lot of credit for this result as wasn’t just that the new network was good but that AT took their time to explain the reasoning behind it. Despite consultation now being complete in the South, we won’t actually see the changes made till 2015 as AT still need to work though significant issues like contracting with the bus companies. The video below is one AT put together to help accompany the consultation and explained excellently much of what is happening.
Patronage growth was fairly stubborn throughout 2013 after a poor few years partially exaggerated by the Rugby World Cup. However there have finally been signs of improvement in the last few months, especially on the rail network. I suspect we will start to see some decent growth occurring once again in 2014.
Along with some of the big projects mentioned above, below are some of the other important things that have happened over the year:
Anything major PT wise I’ve missed? Upcoming posts will look at and recap what’s happened with road network, walking/cycling, development/planning and finally the blog itself.
The patronage results for November are out and they are an interesting mix. Here are the highlights according to Auckland Transport.
Auckland public transport patronage totalled 69,912,987 passengers for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +0.2% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. November monthly patronage was 5,905,112, an increase of +163,329 boardings or +2.8% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +5.2% accounting for one less business day in Nov-2013 compared to Nov-2012 and AT HOP
transition on rail in Nov-2012.
Rail patronage totalled 10,482,330 passengers for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +1.7% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. Patronage for Nov-2013 was 918,708, an increase of +173,228 boardings or +23.2% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +9.0%. This increase in part reflects the downturn in recorded patronage through Nov-2012 as legacy paper tickets transition to AT HOP.
The Northern Express bus service carried 2,292,434 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, a decrease of -0.1% on the 12 months to Oct-2013. Northern Express bus service patronage for Nov-2013 was 182,775, a decrease of -3,153 boardings or -1.7% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +3.0%.
Other bus services carried 51,482,310 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, a decrease of -0.1% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. Other bus services patronage for Nov-2013 was 4,316,087, a decrease of -45,520 boardings or -1.0% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +3.7%.
Ferry services carried 5,655,913 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +0.7% on the 12 months to Oct-2013. Ferry services patronage for Nov-2013 was 487,542, an increase of +38,774 boardings or +8.6% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +13.8%.
As noted in the highlights there was one less business day in 2013 v 2012 so that has had a decent impact on patronage results. In addition for rail patronage there is quite a difference in numbers which is largely due to the fact that HOP was introduced to the rail network at the end of October 2012 changing the way patronage was counted. This meant that a heap of people were still using up their old ten trip or monthly tickets in November and December but which weren’t being counted. This would have artificially reduced November 2012 results however AT have estimated that even without the change in ticketing systems that patronage would have been up.
The graph below shows the 12 month rolling average for each mode.
Even excluding the change in ticketing systems, less working day and without the special event (in the form of a Coldpay concert), AT estimate that rail patronage increased by 9% on November 2012 which is a pretty good result. The graph below shows that patronage definitely seems to be starting to turn upwards again which has been driven largely by better peak time usage.
While there are good results for the rail network, the results on the bus network are definitely concerning and it makes me wonder if part of the problem has been that people were put off using buses as a result of the HOP roll-out.
Perhaps the most concerning of the bus results is the Northern Express which has seen little growth for some time despite investment like extra park n ride at Albany. Patronage on the Shore in general has also been flat suggesting it isn’t just that people catching other services.
Lastly there continues to be good results for cycling with cycle counters continuing to show growth.
I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been pretty disappointed with patronage results over the last year or so (longer for rail). After about 7 years of almost constant growth we saw patronage decline and then flat line with it only just starting to show signs of turning around. If there is perhaps one silver lining from all of this it’s that it has hopefully shaken Auckland Transport up and made them realise they can’t just sit back and expect patronage growth will always occur.
There are a heap of big projects happening at the moment which will dramatically improve public transport over the coming years, in particular electrification, the new bus network, integrated ticketing and eventually integrated fares. However these are all big, multi-year projects that we won’t see the full benefit from for a while and I suspect that AT may have been resting on their laurels waiting for those projects to be completed. The patronage problems forced AT to start thinking about PT more and we’re now starting to see some of the early outcomes of this with them starting to improve their marketing – and there is likely to be other improvements to come.
The patronage results were even more concerning as in the Auckland Plan the council set AT a target of doubling patronage over a 10 year period to 2022 with a longer term goal of reaching a PT usage of 100 trips per person per year by 2041 (currently at about 45). A big question has become whether the organisation can actually meet the targets that they have been set and to help answer that Deloitte have been analysing what is planned to estimate just what kind of patronage we can expect. They presented their findings to the AT board last week and the report itself has now been made public. The results are both incredibly interesting and concerning.
All of the various initiatives currently on the list have been summarised into the following groups and there are no surprises from this. What it does help to show is just how much will be happening over the next couple of years.
Deloitte say that even if we manage to fund every PT project currently on the list – including the CRL – and we do it well and on time (i.e. not like HOP so far) then the best we can achieve by 2022 is 101 million PT boardings. That’s a ~31 million increase on what we have now but is 39 million short of AT’s target.
They have also estimated patronage by each mode and say that capacity issues on the bus network could start hurting patronage from 2015 onwards and if not addressed then by 2022 it would mean bus patronage affected by up to 15% (roughly 9 million boardings)
Further they say that if the various projects were to get similar results as seen in other cities that have completed similar projects, then patronage could be as low as ~83 million boardings depending on which comparisons are used. The other cities compared were Wellington, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, London, Toronto and Vancouver and they say none of them managed to double patronage in 10 years with it typically taking twice as long as that with the best being Vancouver at about 16 years. They say that the cities that have seen significant patronage growth have also seen sustained network investment and service improvement.
The one thing perhaps in Auckland’s favour is all of these cities did start from a high base and with a more mature PT network which probably makes it harder to double patronage on. However if Deloitte are right then don’t have a hope in hell of reaching the target that has been set.
So what does all this mean for Auckland Transport? Deloitte say there are two primary options to pursue
In my mind cutting the targets should not even be considered to be an option and I would hope our elected officials would feel the same way. That leaves only option 2 which will mean AT will have to rethink what they are doing and helpfully Deloitte have even suggested a few potential options.
1. Operational, network and service initiatives — for example:
- Fare reduction and restructuring
- Increase frequency, coverage, or additional service kms
- Focus on operational improvements including punctuality and reliability
2. Modification of existing planned projects — for example:
- Rescheduling capital projects (i.e. bring forward CRL and potentially other projects)
3. New capital investments — for example:
- Additional investment in busways
- Bring forward the harbour crossing
4. Incentive management initiatives — for example
- Creating a competitive process for operators
5. Structural reform — for example:
- Congestion/road user charges
Basically if AT want to meet the targets then they will have to really invest in improving the PT network. The really big one is 3. where at the meeting Deloitte said we would need one or two additional busways on top of what is currently planned for a capital cost of ~$355 million. Also I must say I have no idea how pulling forward the AWHC does anything to help patronage, if anything it will do the opposite. In addition improving fares, frequencies and/or network coverage as well as other areas of the PT system will be critical and Deloitte estimate that could cost up to an extra $1.5 billion in operational funding (~$150m per year). In addition to the carrots of better services and infrastructure the authors say we also need to consider some stick type approaches by way of road pricing and increasing parking charges.
By in large I couldn’t agree more and of course the need for AT to change their current investment patterns by re-prioritising spending is something we have suggested quite strongly with the Congestion Free Network. We’ve even suggested a number of busways they couple pursue.
Of course my guess is that they will try for option 1 first using the excuse that they can’t afford to invest more in PT without the council giving them more money as to some within the organisation, the thought of cutting the roading budget seems like a concept from a different planet.
At the board meeting the only real question that arose was whether the goal of 140 million boardings was actually worth it and what would it do to mode share. In other words what sort of difference would that extra 39 million boardings make to metrics like congestion, emissions or how the city works. That wasn’t able to be answered at the time so presumably it is a piece of work that will now be happening.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on what unfolds as a result of this report.