Tomorrow the Auckland Transport Board meet and as usual I’ve picked through the main reports looking for any bits of information that I find interesting. First up the items in the closed session
Items for Approval/Decision
- Tamaki Ngapipi – AT say this will be publicly released soon and my guess is it will be a decision as to whether to proceed with a signalised intersection like AT staff want or a roundabout like the local board want.
- Real Estate Inventory Optimisation
- Assignment of Lease to Ferry Building Limited
Items for Noting
- Deep Dive – EMU post implementation review – Hopefully this is something that will soon be made public but it almost seems a bit soon to be doing a post implementation review giving they’ve only just rolled out and AT are still meant to be fixing issues like dwell times.
- AT Metro subsidy – this could be another fascinating paper, especially in light of the fact farebox recovery has been improving rapidly of late thanks to the roll out of the EMUs and surging patronage.
- CRL update
On to the main business report – comments are based on the order the items they refer to appear in the report
AT have been saying for a few months that some of the options for renewing their rolling stock insurance. They’ve now done that and the saving ended up at $130,000 which is more than they had been saying. The news on the sale of the old trains seems to be about the same as it was last month.
AT signed off their Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP) in July however occasionally things come up that require them to add a variation. They say they can add minor changes themselves but major ones need to be consulted on and as such they’ve added two projects to the current RLTP. One is the Auckland Transport Alignment Project which meant to be about coming up with a transport programme that can be agreed on by both the council and the government. The other one they’ve added is from the NZTA and is SH20B to the Airport for which the NZTA say they need to undertake an overarching strategy for the corridor. Perhaps they’re lining this up as a project to fill the void when the current tranche of projects finish.
The upgrade of the northern part of Albany Highway is on track for completion late next year which AT say is well ahead of schedule. They say significant sections of off road cycle and footpaths are now open for people to use with more to come before Christmas.
Consultation on stages 2 and 3 of the shared path between Glen Innes and Tamaki Dr will happen in early 2016. That will see the path extend as far as the Orakei Train station
Early 2016 will also see the consultation of quite a few walking/cycling projects including
- Stages 2 and 3 of the shared path between Glen Innes and Tamaki Dr will happen in early 2016. These are the stages that will see the path extend as far as the Orakei Train station
- Waitemata Safe Routes which will involve three separate routes, one from Westmere Shops to Grey Lynn, one from Coxs Bay Reserve to the NW Cycleway and one on Richmond Rd to link the two together.
- New Lynn to Waterview Shared Path which will take place in late January.
All Electric trains have been provisionally accepted into the fleet and had software updates over Labour Weekend to address a number of performance issues with the traction control and passenger information systems.
A council decision on the Newmarket crossing project (closing Sarawia St) is likely to happen in May 4 months earlier than expected. AT say that at the time of writing the report only two submissions had been received on it, one in support and one neutral. Submissions would still have been open at the time of writing that though.
At Parnell AT say the platforms should be complete by the end of November but won’t recommence on the station till next year once Kiwirail do their part of the work on the station (they need consent to bring in the old Newmarket Station building and refurbish it). AT are seeing whether they can get some funding to build a link from the station to the developments in Carlaw Park – something that should have been core part of the project. They also say the new owner of the old Mainline Depot site (Summerset, who will build a retirement village) have made requests to amend the station access which AT is reviewing. All of the station works aren’t due to be completed till June next year.
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the traffic lights in New Lynn in the local papers. AT say that after a review and incorporating feedback they’re going to make some changes to them to “improve flow of traffic through the town centre” which will apparently enhance “public transport reliability and pedestrian accessibility”. I find it odd how much the report talks about it all being about pedestrians when the real reason is about driving – pedestrian washing if you will. They will
- Removal of signals to the access way at McCrae Way and Great North Road
- Trial camera detection on a pedestrian crossing at Memorial Dr to “optimise the use of the intersection for pedestrian movement and traffic flow” in other words to stop people crossing the road from holding up cars.
- Trial removing signals at one of the intersections of Ward St (not sure which one).
AT are now using Bluetooth to monitor travel time data in real time across six city centre routes. The NZTA also use this technology to monitor travel times on the route to the airport and explain it a bit in this press release.
One interesting bit of information that normally stays behind the scenes appears in this board report. It is an explanation about ATs traffic counting programme. They say it costs them $678k annually to count traffic and have 1882 programmed for this financial year with 643 completed by the end of September.
Integrated Fares are now not due till July 2016.
AT are still evaluating the tenders for the new bus network in South Auckland
AT say they’re consulting with schools who have school bus routes that duplicate existing rail or bus routes. The intention is to remove the school bus routes with children obviously catching a normal bus or train instead.
The Puhinui station upgrade is due to be completed by the end of the month.
The Park Rd bus lane between the Hospital and Carlton Gore Rd is due to be completed in December – I hope they have some enforcement lined up so that people will stop parking in it
Apparently there is new journey planner software being implemented today that will finally allow for multi-modal and multi trip journey planning.
Something I haven’t really covered in the board paper posts before is the boards forward programme. This highlights the subject of papers going to the upcoming board committees and next full board meeting. Like the closed session there are some very interesting topics. For example
CFC on 3 December – Customer Focus Committee
- ATAP update
- Car Sharing Policy Framework*
- Draft Statement of Intent
- Berm Planting Policy Update
- Station Gating*
- Security & Fare Enforcement*
- Annual Fare Price Review*
CRC on 3 December – Not sure what this stands for
- Potential Purewa Station
- Joint review of AMETI Delivery Strategy – update and key next steps
- East West*
- Penlink – Confirmation of Notice of Requirement*
- LRT Strategic Case*
- CRL – Albert Street ramps
The items with a * are also due to appear in the next closed session of full board meeting. That also includes a few other papers too such as
- Northern Busway Station Preferred Option – although it appears this may be moved to next year.
- PwC – Value for Money Report – As I understand it, this is looking at AT is delivering value for money in how it operates so could be very interesting.
- NZTTL Briefing Paper – NZTTL is the NZTA organisation which owns and controls the back end systems that HOP uses.