One of the features of the new bus network is that in return for a much greater number of frequent routes, some people will need to transfer. It’s important that we make that process as easy as possible, especially at the major interchanges – like the Panmure one that Luke posted about this morning. In South Auckland where the new network has already been consulted on – and received really positive feedback with something like 70% support – one of the biggest interchanges will be at the Otahuhu train station where there will be two frequent and numerous other bus routes.
The the current situation is fairly grim with the station being hidden from the main road by walls of empty shipping containers, there’s not even really any bus stops nearby. Here are some images from Auckland Transport of the station and it’s surrounds as it is today.
Auckland Transport are now consulting on a design for a fully interchange to make it easy to transfer between train and bus (or bus and bus). They say key design features include:
- Integrated platform – dual bus bays (x4 buses each site)
- Canopied bus and rail platforms – continuous coverage for passengers moving between bus and train services
- Enclosed waiting room on bus platform
- Concourse – linking bus and rail platforms, incorporating retail kiosk, staff facilities, gating and ticketing
- Multiple bus / train platform access options – stairs/lifts/ramps/escalators
- Kiss & Ride parking, taxi stand
- Secure cycle storageOtahuhu bus train interchange
- WiFi Hotspot facility
- CCTV security – real time information
I really like the idea that there will be an enclosed waiting room for bus passengers. That’s something we haven’t seen be a feature in Auckland so far so a nice addition. Here are some images of the proposed upgrade.
If the final design turns out like this then I think it will be quite a neat station. I really like the wide concourse building and the close integration with buses. Certainly a much better use of the land than what is currently on the site. If this is the standard for the major interchanges – which it must be considering other major stations like New Lynn and Panmure – then I think it suggests we are heading in the right direction.
If I was to have one concern about the project though it is that it focuses only on the interchange, why not also take the opportunity to upgrade the local roads to improve walking and cycling connections for locals but that is something that can be included in the feedback.
Note from Matt L: Please welcome Luke to the TransportBlog team. He has been a long time reader and commentator of the blog. He is half way through a Masters of Urban Planning Degree at Auckland University, and is also the Auckland Policy Director for Generation Zero.
As we have previously highlighted work is ongoing around Panmure as part of the first major stage of the AMETI project.
Panmure is an important node on the future frequent network as it links buses from Eastern Suburbs such as Pakuranga and beyond into the rail network.
The Howick and Eastern buses are timetabled at about 40 minutes from Panmure, while the trains take 20 minutes. This new interchange will allow very easy interchange between rail and bus, and this may mean that passengers bound for Britomart from the East will find it best to transfer to train if they are headed for the Britomart part of town. This will give further capacity to the buses down the line for passengers from Ellerslie – Panmure Highway and Great South Road.
This interchange also includes the first part of the Eastern Busway, which is planned to extend to Pakuranga by 2020, and Botany by 2030. Of course as part of the Congestion Free Network we would really like to see this fast-tracked, and generally complete by 2020.
Substantial progress has now been made on the new Panmure Station and Bus Interchange. I must say it looks very impressive and will allow the easiest rail-bus interchanges in Auckland, with the bus interchange being right on top of the station.
Panmure Station and Interchange from the slopes of Maungarei/Mount Wellington. This shows the relation to the Panmure town centre, the roundabout (soon to be removed), and the new roading connections around the station.
Interchange building from opposite side of Ellerslie-Panmure Highway. Note the white bus shelters to the right of the photo.
Close up of interchange building from the future busway. The lifts inside are already in use as disabled access. Managed a quick look inside and must say looks very impressive.
The project website does not give an update as to when this interchange will open, however I suspect it be in January, soon after the summer shut down. Should see a big boost to Panmure station patronage as a result, as well as helping renewal of this part of town.
This is another guest post from Ben L that originally appeared on Cycle Action Auckland.
Following on from our posts on cycle streets and cycle boulevards, this post will look at how this cycling infrastructure can increase the catchment areas of public transport.
It is generally accepted that the maximum acceptable walking distance for public transport like trains and ferries – or a busway – is around 800m. Ideally it should be less than this and the tram system that operated in Auckland until 1955 aimed for a 400m maximum walking distance, by the use of smaller blocks and spacing of the stops.
Using an 800m catchment area, we see the public transport catchment area around the existing train network and ferry terminals as something like this:
As you can see this gives a fairly good catchment but there are large white areas where walking to trains and ferries would be beyond the distance most commuters are happy with. This is because time is probably THE main consideration for commuters and it will take the average person around 10mins to walk 800m at a reasonably brisk walking speed of 5-6km/h, allowing for the occasional delay such as crossing roads. Beyond such distances, the walk becomes too long for most, in more than one sense [Though with increasing residential densities around transit hubs in the future, even at walking pace, a sizeable percentage of Auckland will be close enough to the 10 minute frequencies the electric trains will give us and the even more frequent services after the completion of the CRL].
As most of you are aware, one of the biggest uses of bicycles in cycle friendly countries like Netherlands and Denmark of bicycles is to travel from home to the local public transport station. Around 40% of train passengers in the Netherlands use bicycles to reach the train station and another third walk to the station.
This is made possible the fact 45% of Dutch people live within 3kms of a train station, with great cycle conditions – and you can see it by the legendary cycle parking facilities at train stations:
Is that a tree growing through the middle?
Overcrowded cycle facilities are actually becoming a problem in the Netherlands – though it’s a problem the Dutch are very happy to have as it is far cheaper to solve than Auckland’s transport issues. The Netherlands spends around 30 Euros a year per person on cycling facilities, about $50 NZ.
[CAA Editor's note: Depending on what you include, a rough estimate for NZ's own spending on cycling currently might be around $7-14 per person per year, despite a much worse backlog than the Dutch have.].
Over 70% of cycle trips in the Netherlands are less than 7.5kms. In Auckland, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) estimated in 2007 that approximately 43% of peak morning trips are less than 5 km, and that approximately 67% of these are currently undertaken by car (ARTA 2007). The Ministry of Transport, Household Travel Survey, 2003–2009 revealed that one-sixth of household car trips in New Zealand were less than 2km long and almost half were less than 6km long. So it appears that our travel patterns are not that much different than in the Netherlands – only our choice of mode.
If we keep our 10min acceptable travel time for commuters to travel to high-quality public transport, we can calculate that most commuters should be happy to travel up to 3kms by bicycle at an average speed of 20km/h. This is a very comfortable travel speed and doesn’t require a huge amount of physical effort, no more than walking for the same period of time. If you have an electric bike, it is even easier! The 3km cycle range has also been found to be a suitable range by NZTA research.
A catchment area of 3kms gives us the following catchment map for train stations and ferry terminals:
As you can see, residents of almost the entire central isthmus, most of West Auckland and large parts of South Auckland are within a 10min cycle ride from a train station. In addition, almost the entire Devonport peninsula, Northcote, Birkenhead and the Howick area are within a 10min cycle ride of a ferry terminal.
Unfortunately this map doesn’t show western and far southern Auckland, nor the scope of the Northern Busway stations – or the future AMETI busways to the east – but you get the idea!
I know many people list hills as a major consideration as to why cycling won’t work in Auckland. I suggest this is mainly because cycling has been presented as a commuting option to your place of employment, which is often a distance of more than 5kms and may often include at least one major hill. However, despite Auckland’s hilly topography, there are many people who would have a fairly flat ride if the distance was less than 3kms (or you might chose to go to a train station that is 3km away, but has a flat ride, instead of the closer one that needs you to go up a hill).
In order to make this a viable option for a significant percentage of Aucklanders, there will of course need to be adequate infrastructure in place to make cyclists feel safe. The fact that cycling in Auckland is in fact already statistically safer than driving on a per hour basis is irrelevant – we must have infrastructure in place that FEELS safe, that allows children, women and the elderly to cycle, not just the 1-2% of Aucklanders who currently ride and who are largely males between 25 and 40 years of age. In fact, one of the biggest indicators of a safe cycling environment is the percentage of female cyclists. For example, 55% of Dutch cyclists are women. In NZ it is more like 15-20%.
Most Aucklanders have some anecdotal evidence of why it is impossible for them to cycle to their local transport option. But two things need to be considered. First, what would it take for that situation to change? Do they need better cycle infrastructure or is there something inherent in their job (tradesman, travelling salesman) that requires them to use a car? If the problem is their job, what percentage of people they know have the same issue?
Second, it is well know that traffic in Auckland improves significantly during school holidays, often dramatically. This situation is attributable to a 5% drop in traffic volumes, an amazingly low percentage. If only a small number of commuters were to cycle to public transport, that would create huge knock on benefits for all motorists.
The real change needed for a network of cycle streets would be ensuring lower travel speeds of 30-35km/h on residential streets. Remember this would not apply to arterial roads, only to the quiet residential streets that usually make up 5-10% of most driver’s travel distances. That seems to me to be a small sacrifice to create a safer and more pleasant street environment for us all. So the benefits of offering this option to even a small minority of Auckland’s population will create benefits that can be enjoyed by everyone:
- More cycling – creating a virtuous cycle increasing safety, public acceptance and funding
- More public transport use – using our investment more efficiently, and creating a real mixed-transport city
- Decongesting existing roads for those who still want or need to drive, easing the constant pressure for “more roads!”
- Creating more liveable and safer suburbs for our communities
The costs of putting in place cycle boulevards and cycle streets are incredibly low. The amount spent on consultant reports for one Road of Dubious Significance would pay for a large network of such facilities in Auckland. The cost of separated cycle infrastructure on arterials is greater but will also happen alongside this, if the cycling numbers and modal share can be increased.
So let us go for this, big time – if this isn’t seen as low-hanging fruit, then only because we still need to open our eyes!
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.
Unfortunately rail commuters on the Southern Line in particular are in for a slow trip home tonight as a result of a women being fatally hit by a train in Takanini. Here are a couple of updates from Transdev.
Rail replacement buses have been arranged for Homai, Manurewa, Te Mahia, Takanini and Papakura Stations on Auckland’s Southern Line. Train services are currently suspended between Homai and Papakura due to a person fatally struck by a train.
Due to the time of day buses may not arrive in some locations until 4pm so rail passengers are encouraged to phone AT on (09) 3666400 to find out about alternative transport options which may be quicker.
Maps to rail bus stops can be found at station entrances.
Delays and cancellations will be in place for Southern and Eastern Line services this afternoon and we sincerely apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused.
We will update on the resumption of train services as soon as possible.
Transdev staff and customers who witnessed the incident will be offered counselling.
Train services are not expected to resume between Homai and Papakura stations until around 6pm after a person was fatally struck by a train. Police are completing site investigations at Takanini.
Rail replacement bus services are in place at Homai, Manurewa, Te Mahia, Takanini and Papakura stations. In addition, Howick & Eastern buses are accepting train tickets on their services between Homai and Papakura.
Delays and cancellations will continue to affect Eastern and Southern Line train services well into the evening. People wishing to travel by train are encouraged to use the journey planner at www.AT.co.nz or call (09) 3666400 to find out about alternative travel options which may be quicker.
We apologise for the inconvenience and thank rail customers for bearing with us during this disruption to train services.
We obviously don’t know the exact details and it isn’t wise to speculate either however one thing we can be sure of is that this is going to be incredibly upsetting to:
- the women’s family who have lost a loved one
- the driver of the train
- the passengers on the train
- anyone else in the area who may have witnessed the incident
With our new electric trains – which really are both quicker and quieter – already being tested and the first services only ~6 months away it’s timely to remind people to be careful around the rail network.
I’m also aware that over recent months Auckland Transport have once again been reviewing the situation around level crossings. Hopefully this will finally lead to some action as to the removal of level crossings, especially from within the urban area. It’s not something that can happen straight away but is something that we should progressively be working towards, perhaps by doing one or two per year. Of course it won’t stop every incident but should hopefully help reduce the number of them.
This incident also follows a number of accidents on the motorway network on Friday which ground the road network across much of the region to a halt.
Another of the board papers presented to the AT board yesterday seemed fairly innocuous and so I didn’t cover it but at the meeting today I actually found it slightly interesting but then more details have emerged which has raised a heap of questions.
The paper was about all of the upcoming major events in Auckland and what the impact was for Auckland Transport. There are a surprising number of major events coming up over the next few months and the table of them is below.
The event that caught my attention in the board meeting was the mention of Christmas in the Park where AT said for the first time they would run a proper rail service right through the evening an into the next morning. This is a change from normal where they might run a couple of special services but trains often quickly fell away to hourly leaving PT as a terrible option for families. They didn’t say exactly what the frequencies will be but I’m hoping for 15 minutes on all of the main lines. AT also mentioned that for the first time the event will be alcohol free.
Others to note are an incredibly busy weekend in the middle of February during which there are the NRL 9′s, the Lantern Festival, Eminem and the Weekbix Triathlon. That has the potential to be one of the biggest weekends of PT use we have ever seen.
You might also notice in March that AT are planning an open day for the EMU’s where it sounds like they will be showing off the new trains with rides between Britomart and Newmarket.
However the thing that really got be frustrated – and I don’t know if it was just that I missed it in the meeting – but was definitely in a press release shortly after was about the upcoming Santa Parade. Here is the press release:
Plan your travel early to the Farmers Santa Parade
Take the family on board a bus, train or ferry to a magical day out at the Auckland Farmers Santa Parade on Sunday 24 November, 2pm.
The parade is one of Auckland’s most popular Christmas events and public transport and roads in and out of the city will be busier than usual.
To accommodate the parade and public safety, roads around the parade route will be closed and parking restrictions will apply.
People should expect crowds and plan to travel early. Check by using the journey planner at www.at.co.nz
If the event is moved to the rain date of Sunday 1 December some services may not operate.
Travel to the parade by train:
Event trains operate approximately every 15 minutes on most lines in to the city from 10.30am.
Limited services will depart from Pukekohe and rail buses will replace trains at Helensville, Waimauku and Huapai. These services will transfer to trains at the Swanson Train Station.
After the parade passengers travelling to Helensville and Pukekohe will have dedicated entrances for priority boarding.
Travel to the parade by bus:
Bus services will operate to a Sunday timetable.
Some bus stops in the central city will differ due to the parade. Auckland Transport ambassadors will be on site to help passengers.
Travel to the parade by ferry:
Ferries will operate to a Sunday timetable.
Parking in the city:
If you are planning to drive to the Parade, be aware that road closures and parking restrictions will be in place. Public parking is free at the Auckland Transport Downtown and Victoria St car parks for vehicles exiting between 12noon and 6pm. Check road closures here at Auckland Transport’s website
Trains will have decent frequency but buses and ferries will be left on what are normally crappy Sunday frequencies however the really annoying part is the last point. AT are making two of their parking buildings free for the afternoon. Are they completely insane?
Firstly it completely undermines the any incentive for people to use public transport to get to the city, the one location that would be easiest to ramp up services to. But worse it is likely to cause nightmares on the day. The free parking only covers the Downtown and Victoria St carparks which according to the AT website have 1,890 and 850 spaces respectively so 2,740 all up. Even if every space was taken up with a car carrying the mythical nuclear family of two parents and two kids, that only represents about 11,000 people. That might seem like a lot but would only represent a small fraction of the overall crowd, often estimated at up to 300,000 but more realistically to be around the 80-90k mark.
The problem though is that lured by the potential for free parking heaps of people will then decide to drive to the CBD, after all why pay for a train or bus when you can get free parking in the CBD. Also worth pointing out that it isn’t possible to buy a family pass now unless you are at one of the handful of train stations that still sell them and it is also the same day that the rest of the Metrolink fleet switch over to HOP.
Those car parking spaces will be gone in a flash (probably before the free period even starts) and that will leave the CBD clogged with cars trying to find an alternative places to park and will potentially even see people missing the event as a result. It has the hallmarks of the RWC opening night all over again but instead of the trains failing it will be the road network. Further the congestion is likely to spread out of the CBD which is then bound to affect the few buses that are running – and because it’s a weekend the bus lanes aren’t in operation.
Seriously this sounds like it is going to be a nightmare. If AT were serious about this they would have
- Put on more buses and ferries
- Put the bus lanes into operation
- Made PT free for the event and encouraged as many people as possible to use it.
I’m not looking forward to hearing what happens on Sunday.
Never before seen in Auckland: A breeding pair of EMUs
Thing One on the left and Thing Two on the right:
… and from behind:
…with the depot building
Very nice and a credit to the specifying team in NZ and all the people at CAF both here and back at the factory in Beasain:
Above: The factory nestled in the beautiful Basque countryside, and below the town just outside the gates
… more soon.
All photographs ©Patrick Reynolds 2013
The Auckland Transport board meets again on Thursday and as such we now have the patronage results for October. Even better is there seems to be good news all around with all modes improving compared to October last year. Further there were the same number of working days making for an easier comparison – although on the rail network there were two full weekend shut-downs compared to one partial one in October 2012.
Auckland public transport patronage totalled 69,749,658 passengers for the 12-months to Oct-2013, an increase of +0.7% on the 12-months to Sept-2013. October monthly patronage was 6,321,771, an increase of 460,631 boardings or +7.9% on Oct-2012. No normalisation is required due to equivalent business days.
Rail patronage totalled 10,309,102 passengers for the 12-months to Oct-2013, an increase of +0.9% on the 12-months to Sept-2013. Patronage for Oct-2013 was 964,380, an increase of +91,309 boardings or +10.5% on Oct-2012.
The Northern Express bus service carried 2,295,587 passenger trips for the 12-months to Oct-2013, an increase of +0.4% on the 12 months to Sept-2013, a record 12 month performance for the Northern Express service. Northern Express bus service patronage for Oct-2013 was 206,265, an increase of 9,041 boardings or +4.6% on Oct-2012. A promotional campaign to areas around the Northern Busway contributed to the growth.
Other bus services carried 51,527,830 passenger trips for the 12-months to Oct-2013, a 0.6% change on the 12-months to Sept-2013. Other bus services patronage for Oct-2013 was 4,654,739, an increase of 298,591 boardings or +6.9% on Oct-2012. The implementation of AT HOP on further bus services has contributed to growth, along with promotional campaigns and improving service and on-time performance on the North Shore. Attachment 2 provides an overview of bus and Northern Express patronage growth marketing activity for the remainder of the financial year within the context of the over-arching public transport marketing approach.
Ferry services carried 5,617,139 passenger trips for the 12-months to Oct-2013, an increase of +1.1% on the 12 months to Sept-2013. Ferry services patronage for Oct-2013 was 496,387, an increase of 61,690 boardings or +14.2% on Oct-2012.
Summary performance against SOI targets is provided in Table 1
There are some pretty decent increases in there. For rail it’s the second month in a row with double digit growth and also finally reflects us being able to shed the RWC patronage boost from the 12m comparisons. Once again the increases are being driven by the increases in both average weekday usage as well as increased usage on the weekends – the latter of which was substantially higher than the year before and that only included one day of the finally improved weekend services on the western line.
The ferry increase is also extremely substantial, especially after a number of months where patronage growth had appeared to be slowing down. Even the buses saw increased patronage compared to Oct 12 although the 12m figure is still down. Overall some pleasing results and what’s more the graphs now show that the worm is really starting to turn once again.
The one downside as pointed out in the first chart is that with the exception of ferries, AT are already quite far behind their targets for the year. For each mode, the patronage report also highlights some of the initiatives being undertaken by AT. There are two buses ones I really like. The first one is this which is a retention campaign talking about the benefits bus users get or provide.
The second one is some neat and quirky art work being used to promote buses in the inner western area. You can see all five posters here.
Personally I think it’s great that AT are trying stuff as for a long time there was little to no advertising. All up some positive signs continuing to emerge.
Moving on to the main board report, as usual there is some interesting information in there. On integrated ticketing they say
Metrolink Inner and LINK went live on 10 November 2013 and is averaging 27,000 passenger trips a day. There is customer feedback on having to carry two cards Snapper HOP and AT HOP but otherwise the rollout went as planned. AT HOP card usage on Metrolink Inner and LINK has continued to grow during this week (see table below) and AT HOP card usage is expected to grow during the next week and a half.
Metro Inner & LINK AT HOP card Usage
Sunday 10/11/2013 – 21%
Monday 11/11/2013 – 28%
Tuesday 12/11/2013 – 32%
Wednesday 13/11/2013 – 35%
Based on the comments the other day I don’t think AT can really say that there was customer feedback on carrying both cards as if it was just a minor point.
On the EMUs they suggest that train testing is going well and over in Spain that CAF are cranking into the production with them already working on parts of trains 14 and 15. Things don’t look so good on the electrification side though with it noted that Kiwirail are asking for the Newmarket to Britomart section to be closed for an extra week over the Christmas shut-down so they can get work finished and it also mentioned that they are preparing an updated electrification programme. The project was already meant to have been finished by now but we found out that it had slipped with completion being pushed back to sometime in the first 3-4 months of next year. I wonder if this has slipped further.
Fare evasion is noted as being 7% (was 7.1% last month) which is based on ticket checks of just 15.3% of all trips. 7% is a similar level to what we saw prior to HOP rolling out to trains.
Over at Panmure, AT say that the new station building is coming along well and they are already starting to plan for an official opening. This will be one of the first tangible benefits from the AMETI project towards PT. After the station has been completed it will become even more critical that AT focus on how they can get the busway from Panmure to Pakuranga and beyond.
On CBD spaces the report mentions that there is/has been a tender for the upper part of Khartoum Pl with works starting early next year and that they will be going out to tender for O’Connell St in December. It’ll be good to have a few more improved public spaces.
There are a few other reports that look quite interesting but unfortunately I don’t have time to go into them right now.
We have been extremely critical of Auckland Transport for how they have undersold the City Rail Link to the general public through vague statements that suggest things like that services will actually be worse than they are now or will be with electrification. So it’s good to see them starting to take some of that feedback on-board in their latest video to explain the project. A couple of points I really like:
- That the CRL is described as the heart of the transport system.
- That it is explained that Britomart is a dead end.
- That the CRL doubles the number of trains and that we will get really good frequencies as a result.
- That the CRL greatly increases capacity, especially compared to a motorway lane.
- That the CRL enables the rail network to be expanded in the future.
While there are probably a few minor points, all up it is a much improved effort from AT so well done.
I’ve talked before about how important I think it is that agencies like Auckland Transport attempt to make public transport fun. Here’s a new example from Russia where in the lead up to the Sochi Winter Olympics some of the metro stations in Moscow are allowing people to pay for their train ticket by engaging in a little public exercise.
One of the things I noticed in particular was the smiles on peoples faces of those both participating and watching.
What’s also important is that this is something that isn’t forced upon anyone, it was given as an additional option and people choose to do it. Making PT fun is something AT need to be seriously thinking about and I think there sis so much potential to really capitalise on it.