Around a year ago Auckland Transport launched a trial and consultation of three potential new bus shelters that they intend to eventually roll out across the region. The trial was held on Symonds St where the three different designs could be trialled next to each other.
The desire for AT to have a new unified shelter design is understandable. There are currently around 32 different shelter designs across the region and each have different materials and therefore maintenance costs. There are also benefits showing PT as a single unified network and benefits to customers from having a consistent experience no matter where they travel. AT say the customer experience will be improved through
a) Enhanced wet weather and wind protection
b) Improved safety features
c) An overall more consistent and legible user experience
d) Sensor activated solar powered lighting
e) The ability to incorporate local identity via art
f) Integration of an enhanced real-time system and (trial of) enhanced customer interface into the shelters
g) Incorporation of other facilities (eg retail, cycle racks etc)
h) The smart shelter concept
i) Way-finding and information
For each design there were variations for small, intermediate and major stops along with a design for large neighbourhood interchanges. The major stops were the ones trialled and are below.
Design A – Design Brand
Design B – Jasmax
Design C – Opus
A paper to the AT Board for Tomorrow has finally recommended a preferred design. The shelters were assessed on 5 key criteria each with a 20% weighting and under which there were additional criteria. This is shown below
And here are how each design rated for the 5 high level criteria
As you can see design A by Design Brand is preferred and scores the highest in most categories. It would be interesting to know the more detailed results to see what would need to be improved to get the score up even higher. I’m surprised the Jasmax design scored so low in areas like Look and Feel as I certainly felt it was at least better than the Opus one. Of the Design Brand shelter AT say
The overall design is characterised by timber, extruded recycled aluminium, glass, and solar powered lighting. There is also the ability for a mains power connection. There is provision for an advertising or digital panel but this can be swapped out for glass and/or timber/ steel/ aluminium and the ability to integrate real time signage. The roof can be glass, solid, or a combination depending on the locational needs. Locations that are more prone to vandalism can have materials changed. This shelter design received the least vandalism during the trial.
Here are the three standard versions of Design A.
AT say the neighbourhood interchanges will be bespoke designs using elements and parts of the design however they will have individual public and stakeholder engagement. Up to 20 neighbourhood interchanges will be needed and AT want to ensure that they “are impressive from both a form and functionality perspective”. Some concept designs for one are below
AT do note that there are some risks with the new design and one of those is advertising and that a number of shelters are currently owned and maintained by Adshel. They say they’re examining the agreements they have and the impacts the new design will have and that over time those may change but they suggest long term (8-10 years) it will likely result in AT owning and managing any advertising on their own. This suggests that we’re not likely to see advertising disappear from bus stops in the future.
The normal shelters will be rolled out as budgets allow and will be replacing existing shelters that are approaching their end of life as well as targeted around supporting the roll out of the new network. They will also be installed on road upgrade projects such as Te Atatu Rd. Funding for the shelters comes from three areas, budgets for bus stop improvements, bus stop renewals and as part of larger corridor projects such as Te Atatu Rd. The improvements and renewals budgets over the next three years equate to $10.6 million and are broken down below
The new shelter design including assembly, hardwood seat, carved front portal and a lock-up box comes in at approximately $13,977 +GST which is ~$1,200 more than the existing shelter design being rolled out today. Install costs vary considerably dependant on the site and whether the installation is at a new or existing site but there is unlikely to be any real difference to current install costs (which range between $5,000 – $10,000 per shelter). At time of writing the final cost for the shelter is yet to be finalised as it is dependent on order numbers (bulk orders will produce further discount) but is expected to reduce further from the price above.
It is the intention to bulk order these shelters through tender, once budget certainty is gained.
I’m looking forward to seeing these new shelters starting to appear around the city.