Tomorrow the Auckland Transport board have their next meeting and here’s the information from the reports that caught my attention. As usual I’ve started with the items on the closed session items for approval/decision that look interesting.
- Northern Busway – Presumably this is talking about the latest plans for the busway. The NZTA should be building the busway but it will be AT who build stations and obviously run services on it. Of note, the NZTA said on Friday that one of the clear themes from their recent consultation was related to the busway
Strong recognition that the Northern Busway extension would help improve not only bus service speed and reliability, but also reduce motorway congestion further. The majority of feedback supported the idea of an additional bus station being considered on the extension, and many people talked about the importance of car parking at the stations.
- LRT Alignment – This was also on the agenda at the last meeting.
- Corporate Accommodation – Long Term Strategy – AT are currently spread out across numerous buildings across the city. Many functions are based in the city but they also have a decent presence in Henderson, Smales Farm and Manukau. Could they be looking to combine staff into a single building?
- Masterbrands – AT seem to be splitting off different parts of the organisation into separate brands. One of those is AT Metro which is their public transport brand and another is AT HOP which is currently only used for PT but will eventually be used for other payments.
- CRL Update
It would be interesting to know what was being discussed. Moving on to the main business report.
It appears that AT will get a decent saving on their insurance for trains which I’m gathering is due to the electrics being safer. It also sounds like they’re close to selling the old diesel rolling stock
Rolling stock insurance is due for renewal at 31 October 2015. Initial market quotes indicate that a saving of approximately $100,000 is likely to be achieved on the 2014/15 premium for a similar loss limit.
Further progress on the diesel train sale process was achieved during the month with a visit from representatives of the prospective purchaser and further discussions on shipping and payment arrangements.
AT are obviously impacted a lot by the growth that is or will be happening across the region. They say they are working with the NZTA on business cases to identify what transport infrastructure is needed over 30 years for the large greenfield development areas in the North West and South. They also say
A number of business cases are also being developed on the rapid transit network. These include the Northwestern Busway and a business case for the addition of a station(s) along the proposed Northern Busway Extension. A business case is also progressing for improvements to Fanshawe Street in the vicinity of the Wynyard Quarter.
AT have outlined a few consultation/public information days that will be coming up soon.
- Consultation for the New Network covering the Isthmus and East Auckland starts 1 October
- Consultation for the Quay St cycleway between Hobson St and Tapora St starts in October
- AT’s Community Liaison Group on the Franklin Rd Rd upgrade starts later in October and is made up of representatives from Franklin Road, CAA, utility companies, the Waitemata Local Board and AT.
- AT have outlined the changes to the city centre for Phase 2 of the CRL enabling works. There are open days in the council chambers at the Town Hall on Saturday 3 October from 11am to 2pm; Tuesday 6 October from 4pm to 7pm. The changes include bus lanes on Queen St north of Victoria St.
AT are launching a series of short videos this week with the aim of reducing trips by single occupant vehicles during peak times. They say the theme is “cool the love affair with your car”. The posters below show.
See it here https://at.govt.nz/findnewlove
For specific project updates:
- The Te Atatu Rd project is now underway
- Work at Parnell continues – The platforms are well advanced and work is focused on the connecting ramps and paths as well as the works for the old Newmarket Station building. Train passengers might also have noticed that the old Mainline Steam sheds are now completely gone as you can see from the image below from a reader.
- The concept design for the new Manukau Bus-Train interchange is nearly complete and will go to the local board prior to public feedback. It is now not due to be completed till August 2017.
- The architectural and structural design for the fixed walkway for the new Half Moon Bay Ferry wharf has been completed. There are also some new images of what is proposed
On progress towards their key PT priorities
- AT say the software upgrade to deliver integrated fares is due in September with handover to testing by AT in November
- AT are reviewing low patronage bus routes to see if they can free up any resources that could instead be used for highly patronised routes. They want this in place for the busy months of February and March next year.
- AT have signed a contract Ambient Advertising (NZ) Limited. They say “This strategic media partnership will see outdoor assets progressively consolidate under a single advertising platform to leverage improved third party revenue from public transport and other assets.“
- They are going to start installing LED lights at train stations. Ranui was the first one completed and the next stations on the list are Henderson, Glen Eden, Orakei, Manurewa and Glen Innes
- The increase in service to Gulf Harbour a year ago has seen patronage growth by a greater amount that predicted with recent months seeing over a 100% improvement. They are now looking to add more capacity.
- A new ferry is under construction to improve capacity on services to Pine Harbour.
- On safety and security they say “Strategy discussions are progressing with Police around an enhanced joint approach to Metro security and fare enforcement. This will be reported back to the Board by the end of the year.” It will be interesting to see if this relates in any way to an announcement being made tomorrow by Simon Bridges on new measures to combat Fare Evasion
- Finally you may recall that AT published a table of all the changes that were intended to be made by CAF, Kiwirail, Transdev and themselves to improve the reliability and speed of the trains. There is an update at the end of the report highlighting what’s been achieved, what is a work in progress and in some case where the changes haven’t or can’t be made. For example they intended to increase the speed of the Onehunga line saving around 15 seconds per trip however they’ve found it would cost more than $100,000 to make the changes needed so they’ve put the changes on hold.