In 2013 Auckland Transport adopted the current Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) – a document required by legislation and which sets out how the regions public transport system will be developed and operated. The 2013 RPTP was significant as among other things it officially added the New Network to Auckland’s plans. There were however a number of issues left unresolved and in the last 18 months there have been other developments in AT’s thinking on PT in Auckland. As such AT are now consulting on a variation to the RPTP to include all of this. The consultation will cover and be limited to only four specific areas:

  • The proposed introduction of simplified zone fares
  • Proposals for a new light rail transit (LRT) network on some major arterial routes
  • Service and infrastructure changes arising from the Ferry Development Plan which was approved by the AT Board in December 2014
  • Revised service descriptions arising from community consultation on the new bus network

Submissions on the RPTP variation open from today to 05 June and AT hope to have the variation adopted in July. Below is a bit more detail about each of four areas mentioned above.

Simplified zone fares

This is another name for integrated fares and AT are setting out how they think the system should run. This includes both the fare zones themselves and future fare products.

For HOP card users, fares will be based on the number of zones travelled in as part of a journey. A journey may involve travel on up to three different services, provided the transfer between services is made within the prescribed transfer time limit.

The zonal fare structure will apply across all bus, train and future light rail services. For ferries, the existing point-to-point fares will be retained, subject to further investigation of how they should be incorporated into the integrated zonal structure in future. The different approach to ferry fares reflects the fact that some ferry services are deemed exempt services, and not subject to the policies in this Plan. It also reflects the higher operating costs and premium quality of ferry travel.

The fact that ferry services will sit outside the rest of the fare structure seems to once again highlight the stupidity of the government’s decision to bow to the lobbying of fullers and allow some of the ferry routes (Devonport, Stanley Bay, Waiheke) to sit outside of the rest of the PT system. The zone boundaries are based on approximately 10km intervals from the city centre. We saw a low res version of the proposed zones around a month ago.

RPTP Integrated Fares Zones Map

I still think there needs to be some larger zone overlaps, particularly between the Isthmus to Manukau North/Waitakere zones and Waitakere to Upper North Shore. As an example it seems like the Upper North Shore zone should extend to cover Hobsonville Point.

Looking to the future AT say they hope to replace the monthly passes with weekly caps that will automatically limit the amount that customers will be charged for travel in any calendar week. They also say that in future that using stored value on a HOP card will be a minimum of 33% off the cash fare to encourage HOP use. As a comparison currently all fares 3 stages and over are just 20-26% of cash fares. AT also mention wanting to look at ways of using fares to grow patronage – especially in the off peak where there growth doesn’t affect operational costs. This includes wanting to:

  • Investigate and implement off-peak fare discount options to spread peak demand and encourage off-peak trips
  • Introduce 24/72 hour pass options to encourage off-peak travel by residents and visitors
  • Provide fare incentives for weekend family travel

All of these things are aspects we and many readers have suggested for a long time so it’s great to see AT pursuing them. One thing that is important to note is that it’s not likely all new fare products will be introduced at once and instead AT are likely to stage implementation over a period of time.

Light rail

PT services can’t be implemented if they aren’t in the RPTP and so AT are adding in the references to light rail now so that it’s possible for them to proceed with the project in the future should they wish to. We’ve already covered off AT’s light rail proposals quite a bit already and the proposed variation focuses most attention on the changes that would be needed to implement light rail on Queen St and Dominion Rd. There isn’t a huge amount of new information in the document with one notable exception – mention of light rail to the airport.

Subject to the outcome of these investigations, approval to proceed and funding, AT proposes a staged implementation of light rail, with completion of the initial stages (Queen Street and Dominion Road, with a possible link to Wynyard Quarter) within the 10-year planning horizon of this Plan. A possible extension of this route to the airport is also under investigation, along with metro rail options

The potential extension to the airport is also shown in the map below. I still believe that duplicating and extending the Onehunga line would be a better option due to a speed advantage compared with going via Dominion Rd- although it would possibly be a more expensive option.

RPTP potential LRT + RTN Map

Ferry development plan

Ferries are often touted as an area Auckland should focus on more and frequent suggestions included adding ferries to places like Browns Bay, Takapuna and Te Atatu. The RPTP suggested a review of the role of ferries and so last year AT created a Ferry Development Plan that was approved by the board in December. The outcomes from the development plan are included in the proposed variation. While I haven’t seen the full plan it appears from the variation information that AT’s have taken a sensible approach.

The Ferry Development Plan focuses on improving existing services and infrastructure and on greater integration of the current ferry network with local bus routes and supporting feeder services. It calls for service level improvements on existing ferry services to reach the minimum levels specified in the RPTP, with further increases to be implemented in response to demand. It also identifies a number of ferry infrastructure improvements and renewals that are needed to address capacity and customer amenity and safety issues at key ferry wharves.

The Plan also evaluated proposals for extensions to the existing ferry network, including new services to Browns Bay, Takapuna and Te Atatu. It concluded that due to the high infrastructure costs involved with new services, the priority for additional resources should be on improving the frequency and capacity of existing ferry routes, rather than network expansion.

The reality is the immediately viable ferry routes have already been developed and with the bus infrastructure that exists (or will shortly) it will be very hard for ferries to compete on speed, frequency, coverage and operating costs with some of the other locations mentioned. Getting service on existing routes up to regular all day every day frequencies will help make them a much more viable form of PT and useful not just for commuting.

New Network service descriptions

As mentioned at the start the RPTP sets out how the PT system will run and that includes exact and minimum frequencies. Since the RPTP was adopted AT have consulted on the new network for Hibiscus Coast, Pukekohe, South Auckland, West Auckland. The variation will update the RPTP with the changes that have already been consulted on.

There are also some changes to the network categories and maps with the new ones shown below.

RPTP Network Categories

As our network exists now, as you can see not much of the network meets the frequent definition being just a few bus services and the Southern line north of Penrose although arguably it should also be considered frequent between Westfield and Puhinui. You will also notice many of the ferry routes don’t exist on the map as they don’t have all day frequency.

RPTP Current Network

By 2018 with the new network implemented and all electric trains rolled out this is what we should have.

RPTP Proposed 2018 Network

And by 2025 with the CRL and even more bus improvements this is where the city will be.

RPTP Proposed 2025 Network

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84 comments

  1. The main thing for Waiheke is that it should be in the same fare zone as Manukau South. Exciting developments for the Hop season passes should certainly integrate Waiheke too.

  2. Re the maps at the end. Fantastic upgrades coming to almost everywhere. But still AT really need to understand what their own figures tell them: People are piling onto true Rapid Transit services at a way faster rate than all others [rail and busway]. So these maps need to clearly show what’s Rapid much much more clearly red and redder is not not good vis coms AT. Why not black for Rapid?

    1. I looked at the colours and wondered why they chosen the black border and then saw it had been applied to all segments with a dedicated right of way.

      I like your idea of a different colour, primarily because people are all about the frequency.

      I’d suggest the traffic light colours:
      – Green Rapid
      – Yellow Frequent
      – Red Connector
      – Black Local

      Admittedly it’s all about personal preference and the differentiation of dedicated right of way maybe useful at some point in the future.

    2. why not use the same colours they’ve chosen for the vehicles? Yellow for rapid transit etc. Then there’s continuity from graphic to vehicle.

    3. I agree with showing the services by their service level. It is primarily a service-level map, as the RPTP is the plan of services. The infrastructure is dealt with in other plans.

      Whether it gets rails/busway or not is a bit arbitrary, as you can see there are some rail lines that have poor service levels, and many infrequent bus routes that use part of the busway.

      1. I feel the light rail map could do with a few tweaks as well.
        For example the Northern Busway. It currently only goes as far as Constellation but the map shows it going to Albany. Then Albany to Silverdale is a different pattern. Is this suggesting the Albany to Silverdale section is a different mode? This would not seem logical to me but happy to discuss this if there is good reasoning for it.

        1. That is the long term plan. ie dashed lines are non-rapid, but still high quality services, or future growth.

        2. It seems as if the major difference between Rapid and Frequent is the dedicated ROW. So it’s likely to be the same buses and similar if not the same frequency, but without separation from traffic on that section. Upgrading the section to Rapid will depend on NZTA extending the busway. (Which deserves to happen sooner rather than later, like the NW busway, but who knows.)

  3. I imagine the big savings of light rail to the airport compared to heavy rail would be at the airport end where heavy rail would need to go underground with underground stations while light rail could probably stay above ground.

    1. The Airport co say rail ‘has’ to be underground. Haven’t seen their case. Is this just another planning fail? No route protection. Or white-anting?

      LRT is easier to physically retrofit as it can have steeper grades and tighter curves, but won’t be as fast. Also I think this is to do with AT’s PPP model for LR, which means they believe they can get it happening without having to deal with the government dragging the chain as they are now with the CRL. Fighting it every step of the way. Not clear that there’s much difference, as the weekend’s interview with Bridges shows. Government hates rail, any rail, not interested in any vision of Auckland that isn’t sprawl and motorways, no matter how strong the case.

      ‘Alignment’

          1. Yes, George Bolt Memorial Drive will be undergrounded as part of the runway extension/addition.

  4. Light Rail to the airport instead of extending and upgrading O-Line seems like choosing coverage over speed. Without a speed advantage and complete separation from congestion to give reliability of journey time it is hard to see it being significantly competitive.

    That LRT route from city via Dom Rd and Onehunga running on streets is hardly direct and is surely not going to be that quick. But additionally the inner section at least is likely to be very busy with more local movements. It is hard to see it working for airport access, maybe handy for employees, etc which is good, but why not have the LRT terminate at Onehunga for a transfer to the O-Line to the Airport? In other words the other way round.

    Best of both worlds: fast rapid connection of Airport/Mangere to city out of traffic congestion with a reliable journey time and all the coverage advantages of connecting the Isthmus routes to this service.

    1. I think the reason for light rail is the cost difference, no other reason. If light rail can go above ground at the airport it would save a significant amount.
      I don’t see light rail taking that much longer than heavy rail. Assuming light rail has dedicated right of way from airport to Mt Roskill the only real time difference will be the congestion time down dominion road. Assuming LRT has dedicated lanes down the middle of the road, it should only be red light time – all up probably only about 10 minutes different.
      Also light rail would probably be much more frequent than heavy rail so there will be less waiting time.

      1. Airport to Onehunga may be similar, if same number of stops, ie if you try to run LR as Rapid Transit [not really it’s nature]. But Onehunga to city via blockhouse Bay and Dom Rd, street running with traffic lights down Dom rd… is going to be tens of minutes slower. O-Line is a leisurely 28 mins to Britomart. v slow to Penrose as not yet grade separate there. Can LRT get even close to 1/2 from Onehunga to city via Dom Rd?

        Keen to see the maths, all the stops, the quality of the ROW….. not confident.

        1. I think LR to the airport is a terrible idea. Too many stops, too much people movement, and it would be so slow as to be useless. That’s without the logistics of fitting dozens of passengers on a tram with their luggage.Even the large E-class trams here in Melbourne are a nightmare if some has Baggage with them.

          1. Zurich has trams out to the airport as well as buses, intercity and suburban trains. The tram is certainly slower but serves a different catchment really, no way it can compete with a direct train to the main station. I’ve frequently used it with luggage and have no problem, but if there were no trains to the airport, the trams and buses wouldn’t cope such are the numbers piling onto the trains with their bags. I would note that in Zurich there is basically nowhere that trams share road space with cars, so unlike places like Melbourne they’re always out of congestion.

            If a tram is built to the airport then I’m assuming it will link in with Onehunga station for transfers to Britomart. Certainly better than what we have now.

    2. I disagree. The government aren’t going to agree to heavy rail to the airport, in terms of political capital we will either get airport rail or the CRL but not both. The CRL is obviously the higher priority to the network so should be prioritised. We then think of the light rail sort of like the SE busway. If you were going airport to Panmure you would obviously catch the bus to Puhinui/Manukau and then the train to Panmure. The Airport line will then be the same. Going the the CBD you tram to Onehunga, then take the train to town. As long as the LRT is fully grade separated with a max of 3 stops between the airport and Onehunga and capable of ~90 kmh it will be no slower than the heavy rail option.

      By running the light rail we can also through route Manukau Road, and Dominion Road trams through to the airport, allowing 24 services per hour each way on the corridor instead of the 8-10 we would realistically have with heavy rail. This then elimates the transfer cost at Onehunga. This will also provide an even stronger anchor at the ends of these light rail lines providing better all day full length ridership.

      1. Also, not everybody is travelling between the cbd and the airport, lrt is at least plugging the airport into the pt network. For somebody travelling between the airport and mt roskill for example would benefit from it and there will still be the opportunity to xfr between heavy and light at onehunga.

        1. Not everyone is going anywhere. The question is how can we most efficiently serve the needs of the higher volumes. So the question becomes, as I said above, which way should the transfer be? Got to be a case for one fast direct route to a major destination and Transit hub, the city centre, with as many good high frequency connections along the way. Like up to Mt Roskill.

          Needs good unbiased study.

          1. Airport heavy rail or probably all four tram lines is the likely trade off. I know which I prefer.

          2. My job as a trainer sees me travel all over Auckland from my base on Greenlane. I used to do the same job based on the North Shore. I go literally everywhere – week by week. Last week I was in Papatoetoe. The week before, Ormiston/ Flat Bush. This week I’m in Silverdale. This year I’ve also been Wairau, Newmarket and New Lynn. Others I can’t recall.

            The network has been surprisingly usable. It may take me almost 2 hours, on occasion and the North Shore base was far worse than the central-ish Greenlane base. I may be something of an exception, but the system still needs to be usable by people like…and the more usable it is, the more people there will be like me. Many people can / could travel to do their work with a small case or backpack and would do so if the system was fast enough and cheap enough.

          3. In an ideal world I agree 100% – heavy rail to the airport would be great. But someone has to pay for it.
            Lets assume that Auckland does what most cities do and charge a significantly higher fare to the airport. Lets say the fare for heavy rail would need to be $25 each way, but for light rail it would only need to be $10 each way (lower implementation costs, lower running costs). Lets say light rail takes 20 minutes longer than heavy rail. Now which option do you think people would prefer? It obviously depends on each individual’s situation, but I imagine most people wouldn’t mind the time difference if it saves them $30 on a return trip.

            In London you can catch the Piccadilly tube line from the city to the airport (approx 1 hour), or the Heathrow Express (approx 15 mins). The Piccadilly line costs about 8 pounds and the Heathrow Express about 21 pounds. The only time I ever caught the Heathrow Express was if work was paying for it.

  5. It’s a good plan overall, but I’m appalled at the neglect of ferry services. It’s just not acceptable to continue to charge ferry users double the fare that bus and train users are charged. What’s going to be the deal with weekly and monthly passes I wonder?

    Also, it really amazes me that AT has forgotten to include ferries in the frequent network. Being a service that will always require changing modes at both ends, it is essential that this middle link in the chain is frequent to avoid long journey times.

    1. Read above, National passed legislation which doesn’t give AT choice, complain to Bridges.
      How much of this will be implemented based on previous rumours on this blog that NZBus were back in the government’s ear demanding further changes to maintain, increase their profits.

  6. This will not help congestion on Lake Rd. It will discourage people from using the bus to get to the ferry and encourage people with onward journeys to city fringe destinations to drive.

    For example travelling from Belmont to Newmarket using bus + ferry + train you will pay for three journeys whereas someone travelling from Takapuna to Newmarket using bus + train will pay for just a single, two zone fare.

      1. In my view there’s nothing in the legislation that prevents AT from offering ferry users proper integrated fares.

        The legislation was created to protect Fullers capital investment in new ferries, not to inflate fares. Fullers have always made their support for integrated ticketing clear. All that is needed now is for AT’s contribution (half of the fare assuming a target of 50% farebox recovery) to flow from customers’ HOP cards to the ferry operator. It’s not complicated and not too different to how bus companies work.

        AT has already been paid to do this – we pay AT for public transport with our rates every month – so they have a duty to either deliver equitable fares or return the transport portion of our rates.

        1. Now that Fullers’ monopoly has been broken, Explore could be integrated in the zone scheme, even if Fullers won’t, as a point of difference and greater options for passengers.

    1. Yeah I was wondering too. One of the first things I noticed is there’s no frequent service along Lake Rd until 2025.

  7. I like distance based fares, based on start and end destinations rather than route, however there is a cap to the funding available for services, so at some point choices have to be made.

    The increase in frequencies and resulting lift in farebox recovery that can be used to fund additional services, depending on the operating model is probably the only way services increases will occur, so this plan is encouraging.

    1. Yes why all this Zone based system? Trying to make it simple but not actually simple? Are they trying to encourage certain behavour?

  8. GWRC recently went through a fare structure review and opted to remove monthly/30day passes in favour of fare capping. (http://www.gw.govt.nz/fare-structure-review/) I’m a bit disappointed with this change because of the shift in the mental model for passengers. When I’m holding a bus pass, every trip is free and I can use it for anything that strikes my fancy. When my fares are capped, either to dollar value or to a trip count (most expensive 10/week), there’s always the question of whether I’d get value out of this particular trip or if I should do something else instead. After the threshold has been achieved, they’re basically equivalent. Before that point, it’s a subtle disincentive to use the network.

    On the other hand, monthly passes are expensive and not everyone can spend that much money at once. Passes aren’t perfect.

    1. London has both options (i.e you have daily, weekly or monthly caps and can choose to have that zone 1, 2, 3, 4 etc or 1+2, 1+2+3, 2+3 etc).

        1. It’s actually pretty simple Gregory. A weekly pass pays itself in the most part if you use it 5 days a week (which is easy to do in London as most people use PT all the time except the odd weekend getaway by car – even then a lot just fly somewhere in Europe cheaply or take a train to another part of the UK). The zones are quite large so for a lot of people they might only use zone 2+3 for example and not go into the city centre. If they do happen to go into the city centre on occasion then they either just get charged that portion of the fare (ie zone 1), or if they move around a bit on that day then they reach the daily cap £6.40 (zone 1).
          http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/tube-dlr-lo-adult-fares.pdf

        1. There is no population in the rest of Rodney to support PT. You’ve got your roads to travel on instead. The very expensive roads that carry virtually no traffic that the rest of Auckland get to pay for.

          1. Well, I was referring to the lack of plans from AT, but am curious conan, any evidence to back thay up?

          2. Hard to say Patrick. It’s difficult to find a plan for anything ’round here.

            Hard to make plans when there aren’t any plans to make plans for, if you know what I mean.

          3. No one knows what you are saying. The Auckland Plan and Unitary Plan cover Rodney, what more PT would you like to accompany those?

          4. Well, since ATs plan for rail to the south east is to, um, stop it, then there would be a good place to start? And as Peter notes below, the NW bus-lane is no where to be seen. Are they afraid that if they include it, the Govt wont stump up to make good on SHAs or something?

            As for unitary plans they seem to be no more than a bit of renaming of zones for regulatory control then any sense of future direction, for Helensville for least.

          5. I would have thought that there would be a big enough population in Warkworth to justify a 1 per hour service to Silverdale and 2 per hour 7-9am, 5-7pm connecting with NEX (well when that finally arrives at Silverdale). Silverdale Park n Ride is typically full of cars from Warkworth etc long before HBC commuters get there in the mornings.

  9. I noticed NW busway is completely omitted on 2018 and 2025 plan it shows frequent on SH16 but not rapid… surely this will be implemented before 2025?

  10. Rather than zone overlaps, why not halve the size of the larger zones and charge fares covering two adjacent zones, or multiples of two additional zones? Otherwise there’ll always be disincentives for short journeys over zone boundaries, but incentives to travel from one side of a zone to the other. For example, the 12km Swanson-New Lynn would be one zone, but the 4km Fruitvale Rd-Avondale would be 2 zones. Splitting zones would make them both the same fare, rather than a higher fare for the shorter distance.

  11. Give us your feedback via the consultation please- starts at 4pm today. Also feedback via the Simplified Fare Zones (Integrated Fares) consultation- which began this morning. Both consultations run until 5 June.

  12. How do the zone fares work is you are travelling to a destimation within the same zone but go through another zone to get there? Eg. if I travel from Meadowbank to Kingsland I can catch buses that go via Balmoral Rd (stay within Isthmus zone) or via the City zone (potentially 3 zones?). Will the fares be different depending on which way I travel?

    1. To quote the AT website: “With simplified zone fares, AT HOP fares will be calculated based on the number of zones you travel through”.

      So for a start it would be at most two zones, because you wouldn’t only travel through two zones (Ithsmus, and also City in the second case). However yes it does seem that going via the city zone would be more expensive than if you avoided it. There is some logic to that, it effectively provides a discount for crosstown suburban trips but pay normal price for radial trips through the city centre.

      1. Yes that change will make Orakei trips $3-$3.30 or so each way (compared to under $2 each way now).

        Might make those Park n Riders are Orakei move to other locations in the Isthmus – as it will be the same fare for anywhere between Panmure and Orakei to get to the CBD.

        For NR’s question, I read it as 1 Zone.
        Because you can get to Kingsland by Bus within a single Zone from Meadowbank, so you’ll pay a single Zone fare even if you traverse the Central City area as you do so.

        As system supposedly works out the cheapest way to get there. In theory HOP knows you tagged on at a train station ‘first’ so could charge you the cheapest train fare.

        Regardless it would still be cheaper under the zones – even if charged for 2 zones – than the current fare which would be at least 4 zones (Orakei, Britomart, Newmarket, Kingsland) and cost you over $5 according to the AT travel planner if undertaken now.

    2. Will be interesting as in many cities so long as you tag on and off in the same zone then it doesn’t matter how you got there (provided you don’t take longer than an allocated amount of time and don’t tag off/on in a different zone along the way).

      1. Except in Auckland, you’d tag on and off on each bus you took, each train etc rather than at the start and finish, and the system would therefore you’d travelled through x number of zones. Many systems, particularly subways, are self-contained hence only your entry and exit are known, not the route, this isn’t the case in Auckland.

  13. Love this -> “Investigate and implement off-peak fare discount options to spread peak demand and encourage off-peak trips”

    1. Got to happen. I reckon off peak at 50% of peak, with HOP. Could well be revenue neutral or even positive, with marketing. Guess it depends on definition of peak; too complex to have three prices? Peaks, Shoulder, Off-Peak?

  14. I reckon they should scrap the special treatment for the limited catchment, limited speed “City Link”, instead, create a special short-distance (short-time?) fare irrelevant of zones. That could be a solution to the inter-zonal, and other short trips (ie. Hospital ->Symonds St, Britomart->Pitt Street, North Shore hospital->Milford Shops, University->Victoria Park, Glendene->Henderson, Sunnynook->Wairau Park, K Rd->Aotea Square, Britomart->Wynyard Quarter).

    It’d be very hard to implement as number of stops isn’t a good measure, and distance is just too hard to work out… but a time limit – say 5 / 10 / 12 / 15 minutes (?) from tag-on to tag-off with no excuses would nicely fix this dilemma.

    1. 10 cents a minute tag on to off time or 1 zone fare, whichever is the least amount.

      That way very short trips are still encouraged.

      Get a fast bus [or LRT] uptown with few stops and get there within 10 minutes you’ll pay $1.00 – get a slow bus trip pay no more than a 1 zone fare no matter how long it took.

      1. That sounds very reasonable to me. Otherwise, short trips are very much discouraged, and use of private vehicle for short distance trips is encouraged. If I need to pop in to the local post shop, which is 2km away – it’s only 2 minutes by car, 2 minutes by bus but 25 minutes walk. With a $1.70 fare or $3.40 (if my errand takes over 30 minutes) – I would probably choose the car.

      1. I’m not sure I understand what you mean – people waiting for a bus that hasn’t shown up haven’t tagged on, so they don’t get charged…!?

        1. Aha – I think I know what you mean – you’re probably talking about the 30 minute transfer limit. I agree, it should be longer – say 60-75 minutes, so that people are able to do personal errands / eat dinner / get takeaways at transfer points, which should become bustling hubs – another benefit of using Public Transport system !… But with 30 minute transfer limit, this is definitely discouraged (At is looking at the small picture, rather than big picture)…

          1. I’d go even further: just have two “journeys”, one in the morning until just before the evening rush hour, and one from just after the morning rush hour until the end of the day.

            You can travel around as much as like, but your fare is capped to your longest two trips of the day. So CBD commuters are paying a full fare, but off-peak users and those making multiple legs effectively get a day pass for the price of one trip.

  15. I’m a bit torn on the light rail plans over heavy rail to the airport – which is to say I don’t really mind which one, as long as it is one, and soon.

    They both reach through the SW to provide a RTN to that area, its just the extra time of passing through Dom Rd at the Northern end. I suppose a change at Onehunga – for those wanting to go to Newmarket etc, isn’t an issue. And not everyone will be travelling to/from the CBD. Its biggest catchment may be in those new SW stations, so it might not matter.

    My only concern is that heavy rail would have been a better extension on any access from the SE. Linking up with the southern line means no change for people riding on that line, to/from that part of Auckland.

    But even then you can make an argument that light rail from Onehunga, continuing through the airport and on towards Manukau, would be the start of the line through Botany and up to Pakuranga, ultimately finishing at Panmure

    1. They need to stop being short sighted as per standard NZ mentality and think long term. The costs of building HR vs LR are not that much more for this route (since it is above ground for the most part – it only gets considerably more expensive when undergrounding or using separate space rather than shared space (which AFAIK both plans would use a dedicated route). LR is NOT suited to long distances with baggage. They just need to get on and extend Onehunga line to the airport and eventually have it loop back around to Manukau. This is a large employment area (with some significant housing areas too). Naturally this would increase the frequency on the Onehunga line to benefit those living in that area also.

  16. I commented online (at.govt.nz) about the new fare structure and zones.

    1. Too many zones. Greenlane to Silverdale via the City is 5 zones, but if I can find a combination of bus routes via West Auckland it’s four zones…..but would probably be more than 3 legs. So the zone vs leg thing has some fish hooks in it.

    2. Time between legs. Traffic on the North Shore often sees a bus route like the 555 cancelled altogether and the 15;15 becomes the defacto 15:45….and the wait can easily be more than 30 minutes. But you aren’t tagged on anywhere.

    3. Monthly passes are too expensive for groups. A family of 4 would cost over $800 / month for passes. There should be a family pass for perhaps $500 that actually encourages everyone in the house to ‘vest’ in using public transport together and individually. As it stands, when one wants to go somewhere they may take the bus. But if two or more want to go somewhere….we drive BECAUSE the combined transport cost for 2, 3, 4, 5…..more people becomes prohibitive compared to a car. It shouldn’t be.

    1. > Time between legs.
      Good point. See my other comment about it. I completely agree. Another bus service that I often want to transfer onto that would fit in the same topic is 803 (and 804).

    2. ANY improvements they can make to groups of people travelling together will help. If I want to take a friend with me on the train, currently they need to pay cash because I can’t opt to be charged for an extra person on my Hop card. What about kids that are old enough to be charged but not old enough to be regularly travelling on public transport?

  17. Matt, I agree that the zone overlaps need to be looked at carefully. Here is an example. One you have not mentioned is the zone overlap between the two North Shore zones. At the moment we have the stupidy of a fare stage two bus stops short of Rangitoto College when travelling north along East Coast Road, a busy bus route. From the poor definition map it looks like this will happen again. Rangitoto College needs to be in the overlap zone. It is the largest school in New Zealand with over 3000 students and so is bigger than many suburbs and yet it is placed at the very southern edge of a fare zone. The large number of people travelling just 1.5 km to the school from the south will pay a two zone fare if rangitoto is not in the overlap zone..

  18. Team, Tonight on TV3, There was only a tiny mention by John & Len regarding rail passenger service to Pokeno. Len said, drive your car to Papatoetoe Station, Park n Ride. All good, but once again as this area is developed, another 1000-3000 plus cars heading to the nearest train station….No I don’t agree…Build into the framework regular train services from Pokeno. The other factor to consider which I’m unsure of is: electrification of the line out that way…Has it continued to this destination? Anyway continue the great work you are all doing. God Bless.

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