Victoria St entrance to Aotea Station

Two new images from Auckland Transport on what we can expect the Aotea Station to look like.

The first shows what the entrance to the station will look like from Victoria St.

Aotea Station - Victoria Entrance

A few things is you can see this will result in a significantly narrowed down Victoria St, the rest o which is meant to eventually be turned into a linear park. The image also shows there will be a cycleway along Victoria St and is obviously fairly realistic as like Beach Rd, it has a lot of people walking on it. In the distance you can also see escalators back up to Victoria St on the other side of Albert St. I think this route will become quite popular as a way of avoiding waiting at the lights. This can also be seen in the image below which was released a few months ago.

Aotea Station Design North

The second image is a more fleshed out version of what we’ve seen the station look like from the platform

Aotea Station Design Platform Oct - 15


Grey Lynn bus stop madness

Madness has set in over changes a bus stops in Grey Lynn

Public transport upgrades in Auckland’s Grey Lynn have residents and business owners worried.

Auckland Transport is planning to upgrade the bus stops at the Surrey Cres shops to make them more accessible for public transport users.

However members of the community are concerned about the village becoming a bus hub.

Business owners and residents Darryl Ojala and Soala Wilson say the new stops will have a negative effect on the town centre.

Both are campaigning to move the bus platforms out of the village.

The proposed upgrades will see the extension of the stops outside 586 and 531 Great North Rd, which would provide space for two bus routes.

At the public meeting in April 2015 business owners voiced their concerns, which included the loss of parking for their customers.

However AT spokesman Mark Hannan says the new bus stops will have greater benefits for the village and points to the “public transport strategy of having public transport to places where people do business”.

Hannan says three car parks will be lost as part of the redesign.

Ojala and Wilson formed a working group with other business owners and residents. They have drawn up alternate options for AT which would see the platforms moved 35 metres out of the village towards the Surrey Hotel.

“We are definitely not anti-buses and we encourage people to use buses but we want our area to be kept as a village,” Wilson says.

Yes they definitely are anti-bus as moving the bus stops out away from the shops has about as idiotic as it gets. For more there’s also this column in the Ponsonby News on page 22. The whole thing seems ridiculous so here’s a bit more information about what’s going on.

The whole thing began in February when AT originally proposed making changes. They want to improve safety particularly at the intersection with Surrey Cres and want to cater for a greater number of buses that are expected to use the route in the future. AT say that a minimum of 8 services per hour per direction will travel along Gt North Rd and pass through Grey Lynn. They also need to move the bus stop that’s outside 134 Williamson Ave as that’s the location of a new fire station.

To improve safety they want to add a new pedestrian crossing across Gt North Rd and for buses they proposed to extend the existing main bus stops, close one outbound stop and move the 134 Williamson Ave stop closer to the town centre. All of this would have resulted in the removal of 12 car parks.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes original proposal

It’s the removal of those carparks that first got some in the community upset and making comments such as none of their customers use buses. Some even said they want more vehicle lanes and traffic sped up.

In terms of bus usage HOP data show that over a six month period which includes the slow Christmas and New Year period over 7,000 people boarded at the city bound stop.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes Bus stop usage

Following the initial feedback Auckland Transport have even taken the step of conducting a parking survey and pedestrian intercept survey – which asks pedestrians how they got to the area. The results are quite interesting.

Pedestrian Survey

For the pedestrian survey they had over 1,000 responses over four different days including weekdays and weekend days. They found that despite the retailer’s claims, over 50% of people in Grey Lynn got there not by driving. This is similar to many other studies which have confirmed that often retailers have no clue about just how their customers arrive.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes Ped Survey - arrive

The report also states:

It is worth noting that on Saturday a surveyor overhead a retailer encouraging respondents to complete the survey and state that they travelled to the Grey Lynn town centre by car.

Most who left Grey Lynn did so via the same mode they arrived on with the biggest difference being over 20% who arrived by foot departing on a bus. Given the low car and bus share the results suggest there isn’t that much hide and ride going on.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes Ped Survey - depart 2


When it comes to spending there are some differences with drivers having a slightly share of spending in the higher brackets but not considerably higher.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes Ped Survey - spend

Parking Survey

For the parking occupancy survey they found that the area seems to be and well below parking thresholds.

Grey Lynn Bus Changes Parking Survey 1


So the short outcome of these two bits of research is that parking isn’t an issue and most people to the area don’t drive.

Following all of this AT have come up with a new version of the plan that while largely still the same makes a few minor changes and means that there will only be a net loss of three carparks as mentioned in the article at the start.

As I understand it most retailers and the local board are happy with this outcome however there is a select group who continue to fight it and as mentioned in the article want the existing bus stops pushed out of area. I’m quite not sure where things are at right now but in situations like this at what point to AT keep consulting?

Pukekohe Station upgrade on the way

Auckland Transport have announced that construction will start next year on an upgrade to the Pukekohe Station, turning it into an interchange with the buses that will serve the area.

Pukekohe Interchange Graphic

Construction will begin in the first half of 2016 on the upgrade of Pukekohe Station to a new bus-train interchange.

The project, being delivered in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency, is expected to cost about $13 million.

The upgrade will feature a park and ride for about 80 vehicles, a six-bay bus interchange, cycle parking, a covered walkway and a new canopied pedestrian over-bridge linking buses to trains. Auckland Transport is about to begin work on detailed design.

The new bus-train interchange is at the heart of the new public transport network to be rolled out across Pukekohe and Waiuku by October 2016. New bus services, operating every 30 minutes, seven days a week from 7am to 7pm, will connect to trains at the interchange.

Temporary bus stops will be in place during construction to allow the new network to operate smoothly until the interchange is completed in mid-2017.

The new public transport network is designed to maximise the efficiency of the entire public transport network between buses and trains and provide more frequent journeys to get around south Auckland and the rest of the region.

Franklin Local Board Chair, Andy Baker, welcomes the proposed changes to Pukekohe Station.

“We all know about the pressures of growth in the wider Pukekohe area and the challenges we currently have with our rail based public transport.

“The upgrade of Pukekohe station is incredibly important as we try to make travelling by rail more attractive to people and this is actually something that we can control.

“Creating the ability for people to transfer between buses and trains, together with the improved bus networks in Pukekohe will hopefully reduce the need for people to park their cars in and around the station.

“Similarly, we want to really promote the use of bicycles to get to and from the station, especially with Pukekohe being a relatively flat and easy place to bike around. I am keen to see additional things like a coffee cart or café at the station and a reflection of our history there as well.”

Councillor Bill Cashmore says it’s great that improvements are on the way for Pukekohe commuters.

“It’s a huge growth area and I’m pleased to see we are finally getting a transport interchange that will be able to cope with the increased demand.”

Auckland Transport Project Director, Nick Seymour, says the new interchange will make it easy to use the new bus services being introduced with the new Pukekohe public transport network.

“Pukekohe Station will be at the heart of the area’s new public transport network, so one of our priorities is to provide a modern and accessible interchange that connects commuters both locally and to the wider region.”

Key features are likely to include: 

  • A six-bay bus interchange
  • A covered walkway between the new bus stops and station over-bridge
  • A new canopied pedestrian over-bridge, linking the buses with the rail platform and Station Road with stairs and lifts thereby making it more accessible
  • A park and ride facility for approximately 80 vehicles
  • Cycle parking facilities
  • Plans to provide public toilets within the interchange area
  • Improved pathways leading to the interchange
  • Improvements to the Manukau Road and Custom Street and Harris Street intersections to aid bus movements.

A public information day has been organised on 14 October 2015 at Pukekohe Station from 5 to 7 pm for members of the public to speak with the project team and get their questions answered.

Auckland Transport will also be engaging with mana whenua, Franklin Historical Society and the Franklin Local Board to identify possible opportunities to incorporate cultural and historical connections into the design.

Here is the confirmed bus routes that will serve the Pukekohe area

New Network Pukekohe Post Consultation Map

Now if we could also get some wires strung up between Puke and Papakura along with some additional trains to run on the tracks that would make things even better.

Auckland Road Performance

Every month we report on what’s happening with public transport patronage however Auckland Transport also report on many other metrics too such as how roads are performing. In this post I’ll look at some of those other metrics.

Instead of just measuring traffic volumes, AT use a measurement called Arterial Road Productivity which is a based on how many vehicles, how fast they’re travelling and how many people they have in them. To me this seems like a very bad metric primary because it only seems to count people in vehicles. It could also be interpreted as encouraging bigger and faster roads as a way of improving the metric which goes against many of the city’s wider goals. In saying that another way to improve the result could be improving vehicle occupancy so therefore bus lanes which speed up buses carrying more people will improve productivity. Regardless it seems that AT is performing quite well and is above target.

The second metric is AM Peak Arterial Road Level of Service and as you can see even then around 80% of arterials aren’t considered congested.

Aug-15 Road Productivity

The next set of charts look at how a number of key freight routes are performing. For each of these routes AT have a target for how long it should take to travel. As you can see for almost all of the routes the target has been at least met and some such as on Kaka St/James Fletcher Dr/Favona Rd/Walmsley Rd the target has been significantly exceeded. If the results here are indicative of other parts of the road network then they certainly don’t support calls from the freight industry for significant projects such as the East-West link.

Aug-15 Freight Routes 1

Aug-15 Freight Routes 2

Aug-15 Freight Routes 3

Parking obviously plays a big role in transport and AT measure occupancy rates for both on street and off street carparks. On street parks are only measured quarterly and the result is based on top four busiest hours of the day at each of the three sites around the city centre. The last survey occurred in August and as you can see at the upper level of AT’s target. This suggests there’s possibly room to increase prices to better manage demand.

Occupancy at AT’s off street carparks have dropped quite a bit recently which is almost certainly attributed to the change in parking prices at the beginning of August.

Aug-15 Parking Occupancy

One area that isn’t looking great is road safety with the number of deaths and injuries 6% above target.

Aug-15 Road deaths and injuries

While AT don’t publish monthly traffic volumes, the NZTA does for some selected state highways. The one we look at closest is the Harbour Bridge which is currently experiencing a growth rate of around 1% p.a. Compared to the other state highways that the NZTA publish this appears incredibly low as most are experiencing growth of around 5% annually – although off a lower base.Aug-15 AHB Traffic Volumes

Overall – with the exception of road safety – it seems that our local roads are not performing too badly.

The Future Design of Albert Street

Albert Street is going to be a mess for a few years while the City Rail Link is constructed and a report to the councils Auckland City Centre Advisory Board highlights that we can expect it to be reinstated looking better than it does now. The section involved is only that affected by the enabling works which is everything north of Wyndham St. They say there has been over 12 months of design and consultation to come up with the current plans which will create “a high-quality urban street which functions as a key bus corridor while providing improved pedestrian access and amenity“.

The history so far:

  • July 2014 – brief completed
  • August 2015 – consultant team engaged – ACADO
  • March 2015 – concept/reference design completed
  • April 2015 – brief updated to support findings from reference design work
  • May 2015 – consultant team engaged – Boffa/BECA
  • July 2015 – draft developed design completed for review and further feedback
  • August 2015-September 2015 – final amendments made, final option prepared for sign off
  • September 2015-October 2015 – Albert Street detail design/tender drawings

The developed design is below, if differs slightly from the reference design we saw in April with the biggest change seeming to be the lane layout of the downtown development – although there may be other changes that can’t be seen due to the low res image.

Lower Queen St and Albert St public realm Sep 15

Below are the key design outcomes that AT have come up with.

Albert St Key Design Outcomes

Most of this is good although a couple of potential concerns stand out. One being the last point that the section of Albert St between Customs and Quay Street will be bus only except for local traffic. That combined with some of the images below suggests that there will be access to underground parking in the middle of the bus interchange.

The other main concern is that there will be no segregated cycle provision. The street on these sections is very wide and my personal observations is that a lot of cyclists use Albert St to get up from Quay St up to the middle of town. It seems that having a cycle facility at least on the uphill section would be useful. It seems based on the latest image from AT on their planned city centre cycle map that they instead want cyclists to use Federal St which long term will be a shared space.

Below are some images of what’s proposed.

On the Wyndham to Swanson section the biggest difference is the wider footpaths. Currently there is space southbound for the bus stops and a separate bus lane however now it seems that will be combined in one lane. Similarly there is currently a separate right turn lane Northbound into Swanson St which will in future be combined with the general traffic lane.

Albert St Design - Wyndham to Swanson

On the Swanson to Customs Section there are a couple of notable differences to what exists now. The wider footpaths take over the parking/loading zone space outside Quay West building and the northbound bus stops are concentrated opposite this rather than split between that location and just south of Wolfe St


Albert St Design - Swanson to Customs

And here is an image of what it would look like – although it seems the traffic are on the wrong sides of the road.

Albert St Design - Swanson to Customs - graphic

And a prettier version from April.

Albert St post CRL

The section between Customs and Quay St where the bus interchange will be. As mentioned earlier you can see there appears to be an entrance to an underground carpark on the eastern side – where one exists now – although it appears not one further north to the HSBC building carpark. Perhaps this suggests the HSBC carpark with views overlooking the harbour will be redeveloped as part of the mall redevelopment.


Albert St Design - Customs to Quay

Albert St Design - Customs to Quay - 1


Albert St Design - Customs to Quay - 2They say the next steps are:

  • Tidy up plans, create supporting illustrations for communications. – September, October 2015
  • Get formal agreements for funding from relevant and various sources – October, November 2015
  • Complete and agree canopies to lower Albert (Downtown development surrounds) working with Precinct, AT, AC, ACPL combined. September, October 2015
  • Present design to relevant PCG’s, Committees, Boards for information. September, October 2015
  • Complete detail drawing as part of tender document for C2 contract. September, October 2015

It’s good to see some progress and the report notes that the advisory board have previously endorsed in principle the allocation of about $7 million from the City Centre Targeted Rate to go towards the street improvements.

Lastly it might be a while before they start focusing on it but I’m really interested to see how they’ll deal with the two sections south of Wyndham St which have service lanes narrowing the road space available.

Slip Lanes be gone

The council is hailing the fact that just over one quarter of the slip lanes in the city centre have been removed over the last few years. This is excellent news for pedestrians as it will make many intersections much safer.

Pedestrian safety and access in the city centre has taken another step forward with the removal of three ‘free left turns’ at intersections as part of the upgrade of Beach Road.

More than a quarter of the turns (11 out of 40) have now been removed from the city centre since 2012, when the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) advocated their removal. A free left turn is one where traffic is regulated by lights when going straight or turning right, but vehicles can turn left without a signal.

Local Board chair Shale Chambers says: “These turns can make crossing a road unsafe and unpleasant for people on foot, especially for younger or vulnerable pedestrians, so it’s great to see this progress in such a short space of time.

“The city centre is rapidly becoming a much more pleasant place to walk, with these improvements adding to the creation of a laneway circuit. This helps the centre buzz, which in turn attracts people and – crucially – business investment. “

The completion of stage 2 of the Beach Road project removed the free left turns at the intersections with Britomart Place and Tangihua Street. The first stage of the Beach Road upgrade removed two others, while more have been removed along Mayoral Drive and at the bottom of Albert Street.

Council design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid says “Free left turns tend to create over-sized intersections that encourage vehicles to travel too fast, compromising pedestrian safety. Instead, the focus needs to be on creating a vibrant and pleasant walking, shopping or browsing environment, where people can walk with confidence.

“Rather than being anti-car, removing these slip lanes can be a win for everyone. If people can cross more quickly, this can also reduce waiting times for cars.”

The remaining 29 include four along Symonds Street, eight along the Grafton Gully and five surrounding Victoria Park.

Here’s a map of the status of all slip lanes in Auckland. It’s worth noting that this only includes ones where there is a free left turn, so situations like the intersection on Nelson St and Fanshawe St where the slip lanes are signalised are not counted.

City Centre Free Left Turns 2015

Here’s one example of slip lanes that have been removed. This is the intersection of Beach Rd and Tangihua St, and with the slip lanes traffic would travel at speed through the slip lanes.

Beach - Tangihua St slip lanes

And now that the Beach Rd project has removed the slip lanes.

Beach - Tangihua St slip lanes gone

One of the reasons slip lanes are so dangerous is that they can shift drivers’ focus away from what’s in front of them, and instead they focus on what traffic may be coming from the right to see if they can get through the lane without stopping. Depending on the situation, that could result in them speeding up to get ahead of approaching traffic or braking sharply to avoid a crash, but almost always the last thing on their mind will be the person on the left who may be trying to cross the road. This isn’t surprising, as if you’re in a metal box you’re much more at risk from other metal boxes than you are from squishy humans.

There are a few questions from this, including how long until we can get the rest of the slip lanes removed, why aren’t we removing them from suburbs all across Auckland, and why are we still letting engineers design them into projects?

Central and East New Network Consultation

Today Auckland Transport their biggest consultation yet for the new bus network covering both Central and East Auckland. Being the largest consultation it will also run the longest with submissions open till 10 December. The previous consultations have been for South Auckland, West Auckland, Hibiscus Coast – which rolls out in a few weeks, Pukekohe/Waiuku and most recently the North Shore. Like with the rest of the New Network the focus goes is on getting more out of our existing bus resource by creating a simpler, connected network that has greater frequency.

Central Auckland

Central Auckland already has some of the best bus services in the region thanks to much of the area originally being designed around trams. The New Network turns up the dial on buses in the central area really showing what a frequent connected network looks like. To put things in comparison, the confirmed or consulted on networks for the North, South, East and West have two or four frequent routes (running at least every 15 minutes, 7am-7pm, 7 days a week) whereas the central area has 15 including a few frequent crosstown routes. This is shown below.

Central Proposed New Bus Network

I’m not an expert on the bus routes in Central Auckland but a few things that are immediately noticeable:

  • There are a number of frequent crosstown routes. This will make it much easier to get locations on the other side of the city without having to go through the CBD.
  • The Outer Link – now the Crosstown 4 – has been cut open runs between the Mt Albert and Onehunga via the city.
  • I know Patrick will be happy his 020 route no longer takes odd detours around Freemans Bay so will be much more direct.
  • The 32 route appears to be an extension to one in the Southern Network and so would go from Mangere to Glen Innes via Otahuhu, Sylvia Park and Panmure.
  • Like the other new network maps, this one is considerably more legible, the current map is shown below.

Central Existing Bus Network

One big issue is how the new network will move around the central city. Over the coming years the whole area is going to be in a state of flux thanks to the construction of the City Rail Link however AT have included this map in the consultation.

Central Proposed New Bus Network - CBD

The biggest alarm bell to me the retention of buses eastbound on Victoria St. That’s because previous studies all pointed to Wellesley St being a dedicated bus corridor with Victoria St largely turned into a Linear Park. My understanding of the reason for the change is that it’s a compromise after the University strongly objected to having buses use the ramp between Wellesley St and Symonds St thereby going past their new building. I get the impression they care more about being able to show off pretty pictures to compete against other universities overseas rather than how their students actually get to their campus.

I guess one thing is that if AT build light rail it would address a lot of the problem as would get many buses off that Wellesley St route.

Victoria St Linear Park

The maps below show just how much the networks will change. For Central Auckland it is Sundays that will get a massive boost.

Central Bus Network - change

East Auckland

In East Auckland the changes are a little less dramatic and the focus of the frequent services is on trips between Panmure and Botany or Howick. What is also harder to see is that some of the routes south of Botany aren’t shown much as they were consulted on as part of the Southern Network. There are a few things that spring to mind when looking at this map.

  • There is no frequent service between Botany and Manukau.
  • I wonder if the person/people who decided on where to locate Flat Bush ever thought about how buses would run (I doubt it)

East Auckland Proposed New Bus Network

Here’s the existing map.

East Auckland Existing Bus Network

Here’s the map of the changes which also happens to show parts of the network from other areas e.g. South Auckland.

East Auckland New Bus Network changes

There are quite a few open days that will happen in both Central and East Auckland so if you’re interested make sure you check them out.

Lastly related to the new network, recently I got to have a quick look at the first double decker bus that Howick & Eastern have purchased to run one some of these routes – NZ Bus are buying some for a few of their routes too. It was pure coincidence as I noticed it parked up on my way home. These new ones are quite nice both inside and out and it will be good to see them out on the network.

H&E Double Decker

Double Deckers soon to be running in East Auckland

Keep Left on Nelson St

A few weeks ago I highlighted the consultation for phase 2 of the Nelson St cycleway. Consultation finishes on 5th October and while I really want to see this project I feel that some parts of it are very sub-optimal and as such encourage you to make a submission so it can be better.

Nelson St Map

Below are some areas where I think AT need to make changes. Feel free to use some or all of these in your submission.

North of Victoria St

The diagonal crossing at Victoria Street will slow cyclists down as instead of being able to ride across the intersection with the normal North traffic flow cyclists will have to wait for a separate cycle. Like with Beach Rd that will likely see a lot of cyclists simply ignoring the cycleway and create confusion amongst less confident cyclists. I’ve heard suggestions that one reason for shifting the cycleway to the eastern side was because there is an aversion to removing or changing the slip lanes on to Fanshawe St.

Nelson St - Victoria St intersection

Apart from the crossing a cycleway on the eastern side by itself isn’t bad however it doesn’t last long and just before Wyndham St becomes a shared space. Wyndham St itself causes problems too. Issues with this section include:

  • Cyclists will be coming downhill, likely at speed and be clashing with pedestrians where it transitions to shared path.
  • Those cyclists will then likely have to come to full stop at Wyndham St as due to travelling in the same direction it will be difficult for cyclists to know if a car is about to turn in front of them.
  • This is made even more difficult and confusing as cars turning right into Fanshawe St use the same lane and indicate from before Wyndham St.

One alternative solution would be to reverse the direction of Wyndham St and make them give way to cyclists however that may have wider implications for the CBD road network.

Once at the Fanshawe St intersection cyclists will then have to contend with pedestrians to get across. My personal observations is that this intersection is surprisingly busy as Fanshawe St is used by a lot of people walking to work from the areas just west of the CBD. Further those wanting to get to Market Pl and around to Wynyard or eventually on to Skypath have to cross three sets of traffic lights which will mean a lot of waiting and therefore very slow. It’s worth noting that I already often see cyclists brave Nelson St and almost all go straight on to Market Pl before going around to the city as it’s a much more desirable route than Sturdee St.

Nelson St - Fanshawe Intersection

Speaking of Sturdee St, from what I can tell AT plan to just make the existing footpath a shared path. For a shared path it is fairly undesirable as will be narrow and often a bit of a canon with a solid wall on one side and a row of parked buses on the other.

Sturdee St shared path

When it gets to Lower Hobson St there are more crossings to navigate including a pedestrian crossing for which it is not technically legal for people to ride bikes across. There are also issues in that there are frequent kerb cuts and ramps to negotiate transitioning to and from the path.

Sturdee St - Lower Hobson

Things don’t get much better on Lower Hobson St as the space is very tight so the path is narrow and gets narrower the closer it gets to Quay St – especially when it gets to area with the pedestrian bridge as shown below. AT are effectively just legalising riding on a narrow footpath. Those wanting to get to the new Quay St cycleway will then two sets of lights to cross – again taking more time and adding further delays.

Lower Hobson St from Quay St

My alternative idea is

  • Keep the cycle lane on left (Western) side all the way to Fanshawe St. (Green line below)
  • Remove the slip lanes from Nelson St on to Fanshawe St and signalise the left turn after a bike/pedestrian crossing phase.
  • Continue the cycle lane on Market Pl till at least Pakenham St.
  • North of Pakenham St use traffic calming to ensure slow traffic speeds making the road a slow cycle friendly street. This may also require some parking changes. (Blue Line below)
  • Less confident cyclists could then use either the area around the Viaduct while those more confident could use Customs St West and Lower Hobson St.
  • Another solution I’ve heard suggested would be to also have a cycleway on Hobson St and have a cycleway on the Hobson St flyover to access Quay St. At the northern end of the flyover there are three lanes however only two lanes access it from any direction so there is likely space to spare.

Market Pl idea

Pitt St

There are also some issues at the Pitt St end. The biggest of these is that the cycleway stops short of K Rd and it’s not clear what cyclists heading uphill are meant to do to if they want get to K Rd. Also why start the cycle as a shared path rather than just starting the cycleway.

Beresford Square

Additionally at the intersection with Pitt St, again multiple transitions to and from shared paths, it isn’t clear how cyclists riding up Vincent St would then access the new cycleway

Pitt St - Hopetoun St option A

All up these two sections seem like a bit of a clusterf**k of focusing on how a route could be added that had the least possible impact rather than thinking of something that would encourage people to ride. Cyclists will be constantly transitioning between shared paths and dedicated cycleways, waiting to cross numerous sets of lights and frequently having to check for turning cars. In short there is no sustained level of service afforded to cyclists. Auckland Transport, you can do better than this, please submit telling them to keep left on Nelson St.


Time to cool your love affair with your car?

As noted in the post this morning, Auckland Transport have today launched a series of short videos with the theme of “Time to cool your love affair with your car?”


Love Affair heart break

Here are the five different videos all pushing a different alternative.

It doesn’t have to be a permanent split, but finding new ways to commute could give you a whole new lease on life. You could save money, improve your well-being and reduce your stress levels. Check out your options:

What do you think of ATs new campaign?


AT September Board Meeting

Tomorrow the Auckland Transport board have their next meeting and here’s the information from the reports that caught my attention. As usual I’ve started with the items on the closed session items for approval/decision that look interesting.

  • Northern Busway – Presumably this is talking about the latest plans for the busway. The NZTA should be building the busway but it will be AT who build stations and obviously run services on it. Of note, the NZTA said on Friday that one of the clear themes from their recent consultation was related to the busway

Strong recognition that the Northern Busway extension would help improve not only bus service speed and reliability, but also reduce motorway congestion further. The majority of feedback supported the idea of an additional bus station being considered on the extension, and many people talked about the importance of car parking at the stations.

  • LRT Alignment – This was also on the agenda at the last meeting.
  • Corporate Accommodation – Long Term Strategy – AT are currently spread out across numerous buildings across the city. Many functions are based in the city but they also have a decent presence in Henderson, Smales Farm and Manukau. Could they be looking to combine staff into a single building?
  • Masterbrands – AT seem to be splitting off different parts of the organisation into separate brands. One of those is AT Metro which is their public transport brand and another is AT HOP which is currently only used for PT but will eventually be used for other payments.
  • CRL Update

It would be interesting to know what was being discussed. Moving on to the main business report.

It appears that AT will get a decent saving on their insurance for trains which I’m gathering is due to the electrics being safer. It also sounds like they’re close to selling the old diesel rolling stock

Rolling stock insurance is due for renewal at 31 October 2015. Initial market quotes indicate that a saving of approximately $100,000 is likely to be achieved on the 2014/15 premium for a similar loss limit.

Further progress on the diesel train sale process was achieved during the month with a visit from representatives of the prospective purchaser and further discussions on shipping and payment arrangements.

AT are obviously impacted a lot by the growth that is or will be happening across the region. They say they are working with the NZTA on business cases to identify what transport infrastructure is needed over 30 years for the large greenfield development areas in the North West and South. They also say

A number of business cases are also being developed on the rapid transit network. These include the Northwestern Busway and a business case for the addition of a station(s) along the proposed Northern Busway Extension. A business case is also progressing for improvements to Fanshawe Street in the vicinity of the Wynyard Quarter.

AT have outlined a few consultation/public information days that will be coming up soon.

  • Consultation for the New Network covering the Isthmus and East Auckland starts 1 October
  • Consultation for the Quay St cycleway between Hobson St and Tapora St starts in October
  • AT’s Community Liaison Group on the Franklin Rd Rd upgrade starts later in October and is made up of representatives from Franklin Road, CAA, utility companies, the Waitemata Local Board and AT.
  • AT have outlined the changes to the city centre for Phase 2 of the CRL enabling works. There are open days in the council chambers at the Town Hall on Saturday 3 October from 11am to 2pm; Tuesday 6 October from 4pm to 7pm. The changes include bus lanes on Queen St north of Victoria St.


CRL City Changes Phase 2

AT are launching a series of short videos this week with the aim of reducing trips by single occupant vehicles during peak times. They say the theme is “cool the love affair with your car”. The posters below show.

Cool your love affair with car posters

See it here

For specific project updates:

  • The Te Atatu Rd project is now underway
  • Work at Parnell continues – The platforms are well advanced and work is focused on the connecting ramps and paths as well as the works for the old Newmarket Station building. Train passengers might also have noticed that the old Mainline Steam sheds are now completely gone as you can see from the image below from a reader.

  • The concept design for the new Manukau Bus-Train interchange is nearly complete and will go to the local board prior to public feedback. It is now not due to be completed till August 2017.
  • The architectural and structural design for the fixed walkway for the new Half Moon Bay Ferry wharf has been completed. There are also some new images of what is proposed

On progress towards their key PT priorities

  • AT say the software upgrade to deliver integrated fares is due in September with handover to testing by AT in November
  • AT are reviewing low patronage bus routes to see if they can free up any resources that could instead be used for highly patronised routes. They want this in place for the busy months of February and March next year.
  • AT have signed a contract Ambient Advertising (NZ) Limited. They say “This strategic media partnership will see outdoor assets progressively consolidate under a single advertising platform to leverage improved third party revenue from public transport and other assets.
  • They are going to start installing LED lights at train stations. Ranui was the first one completed and the next stations on the list are Henderson, Glen Eden, Orakei, Manurewa and Glen Innes
  • The increase in service to Gulf Harbour a year ago has seen patronage growth by a greater amount that predicted with recent months seeing over a 100% improvement. They are now looking to add more capacity.
  • A new ferry is under construction to improve capacity on services to Pine Harbour.
  • On safety and security they say “Strategy discussions are progressing with Police around an enhanced joint approach to Metro security and fare enforcement. This will be reported back to the Board by the end of the year.” It will be interesting to see if this relates in any way to an announcement being made tomorrow by Simon Bridges on new measures to combat Fare Evasion
  • Finally you may recall that AT published a table of all the changes that were intended to be made by CAF, Kiwirail, Transdev and themselves to improve the reliability and speed of the trains. There is an update at the end of the report highlighting what’s been achieved, what is a work in progress and in some case where the changes haven’t or can’t be made. For example they intended to increase the speed of the Onehunga line saving around 15 seconds per trip however they’ve found it would cost more than $100,000 to make the changes needed so they’ve put the changes on hold.