The first full AT board meeting for the year is today and as usual I’ve trawled though the reports to find the things I find interesting – there may be stuff I haven’t covered that you find interesting so if you do, post it in the comments.

Closed Session

This is usually where all of the most interesting stuff is discussed, the stuff in italics are my comments about these.

Items for Approval/Decision

  • Road Stoppings
  • CFS Review pre consultation findings
  • PTOM Bus Procurement Update – In the business report AT say the South Auckland bus contracts will be awarded end of February. Presumably this will be approving them.
  • Draft SOI
  • Quarterly Report to AC

Items for Noting

  • VfM – Delivery – The AT board look at how AT are operating to ensure they are delivering value for money. I’m told this is nearly complete and will be released publicly.
  • Deep Dive–Revenue from events – AT charge organisers of large events for things like running additional PT services. This will presumably look closely at that.
  • Light Rail Update – There is a lot of work going on looking at light rail to ensure it’s the right solution and as I understand, it’s being worked on by both AT and the NZTA. We should hopefully hear more on light rail soon.
  • CRL Road Stopping – I assume this relates to the sale of QE2 Square
  • CRL Property Update – For some reason there are two property updates listed, neither provide much information based on the titles. They must be getting close to having all property they need for the CRL now.
  • AT Deliverables

General Business

  • DSC Development Agreement – Board execution – I assume this is the formal agreement to build the CRL tunnels through the downtown shopping centre site.
Business report

As usual I’ll work though it in order of the items that are in the report of interest to me.

Sale of Diesel Trains – AT say a heads of agreement with a purchaser was signed in late 2015 and they are currently drafting up the sale and purchase agreement. They expect to make the first shipment of trains by the end of April. There is no indication who the purchaser is or how much they are likely being sold for.

EMU integration trial – A “trial is underway to pilot automatic data downloads from the EMU’s, e.g. automatic passenger counting, and CCTV, as well as enabling the CAF GPS system to feed into RAPID real time tracking system”. I hope this means this will allow for trains to be shown on AT’s real time tracking results.

Aerial Drones Management – Following the CAA’s regulations around drones last year, AT have created some rules for its property. They’ve declined requests for recreational use however commercial drones are allowed providing they follow an approval process.

Rapid Transit Network – We’ve mentioned before that AT have started a study looking at future rapid transit options to the North Shore. This report gives a little more information including that it will be completed by April and be used as part of the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing works by the NZTA. They say they’ve been looking at what parameters exist for using the existing bridge in the future. Unfortunately, it appears that this study has a base case of assuming another road crossing will be built first or at the same time.

AT also say they’ll be starting indicative business cases for the Northwestern Busway and Bus improvements around the Learning Quarter (CBD Universities) in the second quarter of this year.

Nelson St Phase 2 – AT say the work on phase 2 between Victoria St and the Waterfront is 85% complete with the delay a result of needing to respond to a large number of submitters that called for the cycleway to stay on the western side and link into Market Pl rather than swap to the eastern side.

Newmarket Crossing (Sarawia St crossing) – The hearing for the Notice of Requirement is scheduled for late April with a decision by the end of May. AT expect to have all land negotiations completed by the end of June.

Parnell Station – The platforms are practically completed and it is now just waiting for the station building which they say will be done by the end of the year and Kiwirail have all of the consents they need to do the work. However, as I understand it, the station won’t open till the Newmarket Crossing is complete.

Otahuhu Bus/Train Interchange – AT say it is on track for completion in August.

Key Priorities

Integrated Fares – AT are on track for deliver Integrated fares in July.

SuperGold – AT is working to have all SuperGold users converted to using HOP by 1 July as required by the Ministry of Transport.

PTOM – As mentioned AT are due to award the contracts for the new South Auckland bus network by the end of the month. The tender for the West Auckland routes starts in March. A tender for the contracted ferry routes will happen in the second quarter of this year.

March Madness – AT say that for the March madness PT spike they’re doing the following:

  • Additional bus frequency for Birkenhead Transport buses along Glenfield Road and Onewa Road – an additional 17 urban and school trips per day introduced 2 February
  • Additional capacity on Howick & Eastern Buses. One additional trip each to the 545, 575 and 580 services in East Auckland to improve customer travel options
  • Additional West Harbour ferry service capacity was provided from 1 December 2015
  • Additional Pine Harbour ferry services will be introduced from late February
  • Additional Gulf Harbour ferry services will be introduced from late February
  • The order for 53 new double decker buses by Howick & Eastern Buses, Ritchies and NZ Bus, under contract to AT, is progressing. February saw the full operation in the off-peak of double deckers on the Northern Express route, 14 in total. 14 Howick & Eastern double deckers will be progressively enter service in the next few months.
  • Waiheke Bus Company will put in place additional service trips to meet the additional Fullers ferry services from 28 February
  • Additional 7 trips will be introduced on Ritchies services from 29 February
  • Additional NZ Bus trips and frequency will be implemented in March on Mt Eden Road, Dominion Road and New North Road

New Bus Network – The final design of the new North Shore bus network will go to the AT board in March for approval. For the central Auckland consultation, they had 3604 submissions and for the East Auckland consultation they had 1026 submissions and they’re still analysing those.

PT On-Time Performance – The percentage of train services that rain on time in January was the highest ever at 95.9%. This is shown in the red line on the chart below. You can also see just how much it has improved since we stopped using the diesel trains.

2016-01 - Rail Performance

Bus performance in January was also the highest it’s been. It has been improving quite a bit ever since AT stopped relying on the bus companies self-reporting their results. Buses performance is based on when buses start their route and just over 95% of all buses departed on time. The best performing bus was the Northern Express at 98.6%

2016-01 - Bus Performance

Other stuff

In mid-March AT will trialling a shuttle bus between the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal and a 100 space park & ride at Lloyd Elsmore Park. I’m not a massive fan of P&R but making use of existing resources rather than building expensive new parking facilities is something I’d like to see more of.

Over Easter Kiwirail are installing additional pedestrian level crossing lights and barrier gates will also be installed.

Indicators Report

This wasn’t available when I wrote the post on patronage last week. Now it is a couple of things caught my eye.

This always a month or two lag with this and the results to November show a remarkable increase in the last month to 48.8% (it appears the comment in the image below is wrong based on the January indicators report). Consequently, the subsidy per passenger KM for rail has continued to fall considerably.

2016-01 - Farebox

This is of course quite interesting based on the fact that some fares are increasing from this Sunday. On that note, AT have released the board paper that they used to justify the fare increases. They expect the changes will increase farebox recovery by another 0.76% which would push it very close to the NZTA target of 50% by the end of June 2018. If we reach that 50% mark early it will hopefully give AT some additional funding to further increase services. If you’re interested the board paper also gives some quite detailed information on how many trips are affected by each of the fare changes.

Also interesting is that both on and off street parking occupancy in the city centre remains at the top of the target bands AT have set. If these measures start to go over 90% it will indicate that AT are likely to increase these prices further.

2016-02 AT Board - Parking Occupancy

Anything else that caught your attention?

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  1. “Nelson St Phase 2 – AT say the work on phase 2 between Victoria St and the Waterfront is 85% complete with the delay a result of needing to respond to a large number of submitters that called for the cycleway to stay on the western side and link into Market Pl rather than swap to the eastern side.”

    Ha! So, business as usual then – the cycleway is staying on the eastern side of lower Nelson Street, with all of the stupid inconvenience that entails. And as for me, I’ll be riding down in the general traffic lanes permanently.

    1. I agree on paper staying west side is obviously better, but once I checked it out the difference in grade between the two sides is considerable and this I think matters especially for people riding up the hill. This is the steepest part of the route so on balance I now think flipping over to the east is the better option, at least for as long as it’s bi-directional. Of course for downhill you’ve always got the option of using the gene real traffic lanes if you prefer to stay west, as you say.

      Victoria St needs lanes too from this point on Nelson St, as heading both due west towards the park is a great option, and of course east into the heart of the city.

  2. A PnR and shuttle between Lloyd Elsmore and HMB?? These passengers are better off using the PnR, but getting the Pakuranga Road bus and transferring at Panmure!

        1. Valid point Matt and yes as Patrick asserts, this is why a bus lane needed. This shuttle service is merely a band-aid that won’t do much for ferry patronage. Gotta focus on key corridors like Pakuranga Road and encourage more transfers at Panmure. PnR is a good idea though if car park isn’t well-utilised anyway. Probably better off running a private on-demand shuttle around Bucklands Beach, Eastern Beach and HMB if this is responding to local pressure.

  3. We need those extra buses on MT Road already. My bus this morning was completely full by MT Eden Village and was leaving multiple people behind at the MT Eden village stop and all the following big stops.

    On a side note, any news about when AT will be doing their consultation on the bus lanes on the isthmus?

    1. “Additional pedestrian crossing lights and barrier gates will be installed at Morningside pedestrian crossing over the Easter
      line closure.”

  4. I got a letter from AT saying they’re about to start trialing new Metro signage in my area. Public feedback will run through to April. This is in New Lynn and Avondale area.
    They want to have one consistent signage look and feel, for everything from Trains to Busses to Walking and Cycling. The pictures look promising.

  5. I wonder why the ferry subsidy is so low and does this relate to the farebox recovery? I don’t know how to read this data…wondering if someone can explain it to me. The ferry really is an expensive way to travel and if you have two people in your household going by ferry, a car makes more economic sense. (But not other sense!)

    1. Ferry subsidies are low because the majority of patronage is on the Devonport and Waiheke routes and they are fully commercial. Also ferries only tend to be focused at peak times and there’s not much in the way of off peak services. That helps keep costs down but also limits usefulness

    2. True indeed, and that 10 percent subsidy is only to cover concession fares such as seniors with Super Gold cards.

      Devonport and Waiheke are commercially operated services, so they need a separate arrangement with AT to make the cost of commuting fair. The only reason normal ferry users don’t pay the same fares as bus/train users is that AT haven’t made that arrangement yet.with Fullers. It should by no means be a difficult negotiation, and I presume our Councillor Chris Darby is applying maximum pressure for it to be completed quickly..

      Our Council is currently charging an interim transport levy of about $114 per household.- however until AT gets ferry fares sorted out the levy is about $1300 per year in Devonport. It’s a super-urgent problem and it’s vital that it gets resolved before integrated fares comes along in July.

    3. The ferry companies are generally able to make better use if their fleets across the day as they can send their vessels that cover peak periods off on tourist trips such as Rangitoto, Motuihe and harbour cruises during the day. This is also likely hindering them from offering better off peak services.

  6. Deep Dive–Revenue from events – AT charge organisers of large events for things like running additional PT services. This will presumably look closely at that.

    Extra PT users are already paying fares. I see no reason to charge the event organisers.

    If the charge the event organisers, many event’s wont be feasiable and there will be less events for us to enjoy in the weekends.

      1. Presumably that’s just the “included in the cost of your ticket” events (rugby, league, V8s, etc), not the “pay your own fare” events like Xmas in the Park and lantern festival? Or are AT attempting to analyse whether the fares cover the costs of providing those additional services for large “free” events?

  7. Thanks MattL. I catch the West Harbour ferry, patronage has really risen in the last year. Would be nice to have some off-peak services and something in the weekends.

  8. In previous months there was an item on the agenda regarding wait/dwell times.

    Has a solution been formulated for this important item?

  9. “EMU integration trial – A “trial is underway to pilot automatic data downloads from the EMU’s, e.g. automatic passenger counting, and CCTV, as well as enabling the CAF GPS system to feed into RAPID real time tracking system”. I hope this means this will allow for trains to be shown on AT’s real time tracking results.”

    I wonder if that will allow a website such as this one:

  10. “Works completed by AT and KiwiRail on two pieces of work, the extension of the third main to Middlemore and yard reconfigurations within Westfield.This benefits both Freight and Metro customers through reduced delays previously caused by slow yard entry and exit speed at Westfield junction off the main trunk line and improved yard flexibility for freight as drivers can now alight at Westfield with access to their long holding roads now does not cross the busy shunting throat at the north end of the yard.”

    Have they really completed that?

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