While unfortunately Stu was a bit late getting us the notification for the IPENZ discussion on the new PT network, he has managed to get us a copy of the presentation that was given (and thank to AT for allowing it). A decent proportion of the presentation seems to have been stuff that regular readers of the blog will already know quite well like the proposed new bus network. There is however some new information that I think give a bit more insight on how things will work in the city centre and what is needed make transfers easier at places where a full bus interchange would be overkill.
First up the city centre where the presentation notes:
Need for buses within the City Centre remains – but the new plan will reduce their impact and improve reliability by:
- Concentrating services on fewer streets – resulting in better transport outcomes for all modes
- Reducing bus turning movements – e.g. removing left turn movements from Wellesley into Queen
- Through routing services (where possible) – e.g. Takapuna to Onehunga and GNR to Tamaki Drive
- Terminating services on edges of City Centre – e.g. Victoria Park and University, less so Britomart
And here is a map of how the services will use the city centre
As you can pretty clearly see, buses are largely focused on a couple of key corridors through the CBD with North-Nouth buses via Symonds and Albert Streets and East-West going Wellesley and Fanshawe/Customs Streets. Doing this should allow for AT to focus the needed infrastructure in a few key places rather having to spread it around the all of the streets. There is also a lot less terminating routes in the CBD which is nice as there is nothing worse than seeing fleets of buses parked up for a long time waiting to start their next run.
The other thing I found interesting about the presentation was the integration that will be needed for on street bus to allow for easy transfers out in the suburbs. The example used is the intersection of Balmoral Rd and Mt Eden Rd, both of which have a high frequency corridor along them. As the image shows, the transfer between bus stops is quite frankly horrific.
But as a comparison, here is what is done in Toronto at the intersection of two similarly wide streets (Keele and Wilson).
The stops are put as close to each other as possible on each corner which means there is a good chance that you may not need to cross a road at all and only have to walk a short distance to transfer between lines. At ground level you can see just how close these stops are along with how easy it is to get between them.
Making it easy to transfer between buses (and other PT modes) is something that will be essential to making the new bus network work. I also like the idea in the top photo of having a little park/plaza on the corner and if I was a developer I would think it would be great to have a building opening out on to it along with a good flow of of pedestrians transferring. Hopefully we see a lot of these types of stops coming in soon after the network is rolled out and in many cases we may be able to do so quickly by using the space currently dedicated to things like slip lanes.