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:

  1. Concentrating services on fewer streets – resulting in better transport outcomes for all modes
  2. Reducing bus turning movements – e.g. removing left turn movements from Wellesley into Queen
  3. Through routing services (where possible) – e.g. Takapuna to Onehunga and GNR to Tamaki Drive
  4. 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.

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16 comments

  1. Interesting to see the placement of bus stops for easier transfers at intersections. All good if your bus stops at the right corner, but it’s still going to be a pain if it doesn’t and you have to cross a busy Auckland intersection twice to catch your connecting bus.

    1. You can configure stops to be convenient for the primary direction of connections. And in the busy locations we may need, dare I say it for want of sacrificing capacity, a “Barnes’ dance” pedestrian phase. Try to think positively: This may be exactly the catalyst we need to get better pedestrian signal phasing at intersections :).

      1. Oh I am positive about the changes to the bus network overall. A Barnes’ dance for busy locations was the first thing that came to my mind too. Well, after a silly thought – stops before and after the intersection. Rather unworkable though. I’ll join you in trying to think positively about this being the catalyst 🙂 .

  2. yay, more crazy suggestions of a Barnes dance on a major arterial. let’s save 1 pedestrian 60 seconds but hold up the 20 passengers still on the bus for 30s. that makes plenty of sense. if you are using NZTA fantasy maths. I’m not against barnes dances in the right environment, but unless there is a significant pedestrian presence, badly conceived Barnes dances are insanely inefficient and will lead to angry drivers who run red lights and run down peds. sure its the drivers fault, but tell that to the dead pedestrian. less delay does not equal increased safety.

    1. Ari, they are talking about the transfer point between two of the busiest bus corridors on the new network. This has nothing to do with pedestrians, it’s about large bus to bus transfer flows on each cycle.

      A barnes dance would allow bus stops right close to the intersection because buses and left turning traffic to both use the left hand lane. I.e. the signal phasing could clear left turns ahead of buses consistently, so they can cross the intersection and stop at stops on the far side. Passengers transferring between perpendicular lines (which the new network is designed around) can then get between stops with a single crossing to make the connection, rather than negotiating two separate cross phases plus probably at least one slip lane, and walking 150m down the street to the closest point you can locate the stop.

      And angry drivers who run red lights can go fly a kite. The self entitlement of ‘but I do own the road’ drivers has to end if we are going to use our roadspace more efficiently in the future, so lets start here.

      1. But still, you’d think by 2016 surely AT and the MoT will have sorted out the details of who’s paying for red light cameras and installed a whole bunch of them.. $150 fines are better than letting red light runners get away with just flying kites.

  3. Dear traffic planners/ engineers- the new bus maps look great.

    Cross-through routes! Or whatever you call them..
    Link route has that irritating Nuffield circuit removed and now goes downtown rather than midtown.
    020 goes up Franklin Rd. this will look fantastic every December but may need some traffic control in the evenings?

    Big ups to whoever is responsible.

    1. Thanks Geoff – appreciate your positive feedback. The network is the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of people, but AT deserve most of the credit. In terms of your comments I will say:
      – Through routes and cross town routes yay!
      – No more kink in the Link yay! Just note that the downtown alignment has been in place since changes in Aug last year
      – Franklin Rd route; good point re: Xmas time traffic control.

      1. There is a change to the Inner Link in that it currently runs along Victoria then down Albert Street, whereas it looks like the proposal is to run it along Fanshawe.

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