The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention.
The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or for noting. The topics include a number of items that I imagine a lot of people would be interested in these include (but are not limited to).
- Papakura Pukekohe Electrification
- Auckland Rail Development Implementation Pathway
- Rail Procurement Strategy – Presumably around the re-contracting of rail services
- PT Network Name & Bus Livery – there is some more on this later in this post
- Wayfinding – there is some more on this later in this post
- CRL Update
- Mill Road
- Rail Fleet Disposal Update – What’s going to happen to our old diesel trains post electrification
- EMU Implementation/Timetable update – there is some more on this later in this post.
- Bus Development Initiative
- EW Connections – The infamous East West Link
- CCFAS2 – This is the first I’ve heard of a second City Centre Future Access Study. Hopefully his is just fixing up the modelling issues in the first version.
- Newmarket Crossing – The grade separation of the Sarawia St level crossing. AT’s plan was to build a bridge to Cowie St but residents there are challenging the decision in the environment court.
The trend of lots of closed session items continues for the months ahead too according to this document
|End of October||November||December|
|CCFAS2||Ferry Services Strategy||HOP Extension and Loyalty Programme|
|Integrated Fares Business Case||Parking Strategy||Digital and Social Media Strategy|
|PT Security & Fare Evasion||Transport Funding Agreement|
|Bus Service Commercial & Sth Auck Tender||Dominion Road|
|Customer First Strategy|
On to the information that is available and from the business report we have
On specific projects:
- AT are only just now getting around to talking with locals affected by the alternative cycle route being built as part of the Tiverton/Wolverton upgrade. From memory the alternative cycling route was originally meant to have been completed as one of the first stages of the project but we now have the road finished but the cycling portion yet to start.
- The new AMETI Link Rd – which has been named Te Horeta Road is almost complete and will open on 1 November. This is the road I highlighted the other day for its unprotected cycleways on what is almost a motorway.
- For the East West
LinkConnections, AT say an indicative business case has now been completed. In addition to the plans for the Onehunga-Penrose area they say they have also identified some improvements needed to planned bus route between Mangere, Otahuhu and Sylvia Park. Presumably that will mean more bus lanes/priority being added.
- A separate paper says AT will replace 40,000 of Auckland’s 108,000 street lights with LEDs and a management system for them which allows control over each individual light. It will take place over a 5 year period for a cost of $22 million and over the next 20 years is expected to bring savings of at least $36 million.
Historically AT have travel planning for schools (Travelwise) and for some businesses but never really focused on individuals.
The Birkenhead Personalised Journey Plan ran from April to August 2014. The project recruited 438 commuter car drivers and provided advice on alternative travel options – public transport, carpooling and active modes (including to public transport). Although 76% were aware of the AT HOP card around 30% of recruits had never used public transport for commuting. There were strong perceptions that public transport offered a lesser quality of service and experience than their private car.
The programme was effective in getting participants to try an alternative to driving for their commute, with 61% trying an alternative during the trial period. This was particularly focused for the city bound trips with 86% of completing participants (111 completed full evaluation) trying another travel choice.
The project achieved a 49% reduction in morning peak single occupant trips and 42% reduction in vehicle kilometres in the morning peak. This included an extra 282kms of walking, to destinations or public transport, equating to 5km every week on average per participant and an extra 17,640 public transport trips annually.
The programme achieved a high level of satisfaction with 85% stating they were satisfied or very satisfied with the customer service they received and 60% agreed that the programme had helped them think about their travel options.
A Personalised Journey Planning project is now in development for Titirangi and Green Bay to support the new bus network implementation (which sees higher frequencies and more direct routes).
Getting people to try other ways of getting around is the hardest part so I hope this is something that can eventually be rolled out to a much larger audience.
Not really related to transport other than the impact on the road corridor but about the rollout of Ultra-Fast Broadband AT say
In an effort to reduce the costs of deployment, Chorus are now trialing a new build approach of single sided core network deployment with road crossings being installed to every second house boundary. While this approach is not favored it does provide an upside to AT through less customer and asset disruption. If these road crossings cannot be installed with trenchless technology then deployment is required on both sides of the road.
HOP usage increased to 71% of all trips in August, up from 67% in July. I suspect a large part of this was the fare changes in early July which for buses and trains increased cash fares but reduced HOP fares by increasing the HOP discount. They say over 38,000 cards have been sold over the last 90 days. As noted earlier a paper to the board at the next meeting will about the installation of additional gates across the rail system (including potentially security gates). That is the same meeting another report will go to the board with the business case for Integrated Fares.
They say “concept development for 1/3/7 day and customized HOP cards for visitor / tourist PT and tourist attraction discounted access is nearing completion“. I hope this development includes multi day pass options for regular users too. In addition they have come up with “a NRL Nines AT HOP card with discounted tourist attraction passes is targeted for January 2015. This is a collaboration exercise with ATEED and pivots off Auckland visitor research.”
A new rail timetable has been approved by all parties which will be implemented in early December and see some substantial changes for the Southern Lines.
The new timetable will provide for full 7-day EMU Manukau via Eastern Line services with increased frequency to 6 trains per hour peak, and 3 trains per hour in the interpeak and off-peak, with weekends at 2 trains per hour. Diesel shuttle services will run an hourly service between Pukekohe and Papakura on Saturdays and Sundays and connect with arriving/departing EMUs at Papakura. Papakura / Pukekohe diesel services will all operate via the Southern Line (via Newmarket) rather than operating an alternating via Southern Line and via Eastern Line. This will improve the customer legibility of the Eastern Line (Manukau) and Southern Line (Papakura / Pukekohe) service patterns and improve resilience and robustness of the timetable.
So effectively will see this service pattern implemented although the off peak/weekend services will need to be increased at or before the new network is launched next year. Disappointingly there is no mention of any service improvements for the Western Line which has seen basically no change for a number of years now.
On the new network, AT say they received over 900 feedback forms for the Hibiscus Coast consultation and nearly 400 on Warkworth. This is in addition to over 1200 people spoken to at consultation events. AT are now working through these. They also say the consultation for all of West Auckland is due to launch on 21 October and is something I’ll be keep a very close eye on seeing as I live in the west.
AT say work is continuing on a series of bus priority measures, which involve both quick wins as well as longer term programmes. There are 16 quick wins and 10 corridors for investigation. Hopefully this means lots more bus lanes around the region soon helping to make buses more efficient, reliable and therefore attractive to the public.
AT are currently testing displaying comparative bus travel times for the Northern Busway and motorway on the motorway signs. This sounds like a fantastic idea and another way to encourage people to give PT a go. The only problem I foresee is that it will lead to even more calls for big and really expensive park n ride facilities.
Also on the real-time front AT will be displaying real-time train departures on ANZ Bank digital displays in both the Customs/Queen and Victoria/Queen branches from early next month. This idea is one that will hopefully be increasingly rolled out to locations near the rail network.
Details about closures to the rail network over Christmas are included in the report. They mention the works needed to build the new Otahuhu Interchange but there’s no mention of why the Western Line will be shut for 2.5 weeks. The network will be shut for the following times
- Sunday 23 November: diesel trains required to operate on the Manukau via Eastern Line all day replacing EMUs.
- Saturday 29 November: diesel trains required to operate on the Manukau via Eastern Line all day replacing EMUs.
- Saturday 6 December: bus replacements south of Penrose and Sylvia Park replacing trains.
- Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 December: bus replacements south of Penrose and Sylvia Park replacing trains.
- Thursday 25 December to Sunday 4 January: full network shutdown with bus replacements on all lines.
- Monday 5 to Sunday 11 January: Western Line only closed between Waitakere and Newmarket with bus replacements. All other lines open.
And saving perhaps the most interesting part till last. AT say they have completed a redesign of bus livery that will be rolled out as part of new contracts with operators. They say they’ve used the EMU livery as the starting point for their designs and the intention is to deliver a consistent look across the modes. This is something we’ve needed for a long time so it’s great that it will be finally happening and will really help in highlighting that we have single integrated PT system rather than the multi coloured mess we have now. On the designs themselves they do feel like evolutions of what we have now on some services which is probably a good thing. I like that they’ve cut back from the massive AT sign that currently exists on the NEX to one that doesn’t obscure the view out the rear windows. It also appears they are planning some large wayfinding signs on the side of the buses which should hopefully help customers.
It is also the first time I’ve heard about NEX2 and all I can assume is it’s another service pattern on the Busway. Also with AT going for a multi-modal look I wonder if they’ll do anything about the look of the ferries.
Lastly linked to the bus livery AT is looking at improving wayfinding signs. Below is an example of this.
They say improving wayfinding is an AT led all of council project which presumably means the same types of design will also pop up in other places such as parks.