Following on from my post last week about March Madness, Auckland Transport provided me with the following table showing how much capacity has been added to the PT system since April last year and showing how much is planned to be added by the middle of this year. As you can see there’s quite a significant amount of capacity that’s been added, although obviously only on specific corridors at specific times. Still, that we are still having capacity issues are a testament to just how much pent up demand there is from Aucklanders for better PT. In this regard I imagine AT are playing a constant game of catch up while also having to balance the costs that come with increasing services.

PT Capacity increases since April 15

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  1. Great to see, but can we have a break down of capacity increases at peak? That is where services are really being strained at the moment. Of course this is also the most costly period to add capacity as all available vehicles will be on the network at peak, so essentially new vehicles and drivers are required.

    1. This is one of the reasons why providing more services in the shoulder peak is so important – it’s cheaper, since you’re just running peak frequencies for longer. You’re addressing capacity problems along many routes – some like New North Road are still sailing past saying BUS FULL well after 9am, or after 7pm.

      But also, it’ll help with the peak. People can move their travel times to be earlier or later and reduce the load at peak, but only if there are shoulder-peak services to actually use.

      1. Yeh I think some people will be happy to travel at the shoulder if they could likely get a seat. However frequency falls off so fast, that shoulder buses are just as full. AT should be running high levels of service for 3-4 hours each peak. Peak services will always be packed, but shoulder ones should have room.

        1. The limited bus lane hours are another problem in taking shoulder services. I took a bus at 8:45 last week from Kingsland and a couple of ladies parking their SUVs (not an exaggeration) in the bus lane up by Mt Eden Rd at 8:55 caused a huge delay compared to usual. It’s the same with buses that leave the city after 5:30 – they get hit by people starting to park in the clearways and bus lanes 5 to 10 mins early just as the start to hit the suburbs.

  2. It is a worry that no more rail capacity can be added for a number of years. AT cannot wait until CRL is completed to order more train sets. They need to order now for delivery 2018.

    1. Definitely agree. We need 10 minute headways on the Western Line ASAP, and well before the CRL is complete we’ll be needing 6-car trains on every line for several hours around peak. This is going to require more EMUs.

      1. If there is a plan to do anything about this it sure hasn’t been made public.

        Head-in-sand perhaps? Just plan for train-overcrowding to become self-limiting by driving demand away?

        I wonder if the Minister of Transport knows or cares about this? I doubt it since it is not a roading issue and roading is all that matters to this government.

        Would be a good question for someone to ask in parliament: “What is this government planning to do about the looming capacity-shortage on Auckland’s rail system prior to the CRL opening?”. Expect a dismissive answer.
        Hello, we have a problem.

  3. Where is the train capacity coming from? I haven’t seen any additional services added. Do they consider change from 3-car to 6-car as extra capacity? I’m not really sure how they are working this out because I still frequently see 6-cars off-peak and 3-cars during peak on the western line.

        1. 6tph @ 3-car sets only 18 cars per hour. A reduction from 4tph @ 6-car sets being 24 cars per hour.
          They must still be running at least some of them as 6-car sets (really should be all of them but not sure we have enough stock for that huh?)

      1. Well that’s good to hear, so the “High Frequency” timetable coming in April-June from what I’ve seen will likely consist of the following:
        – 6TPH Western peaks
        – 4TPH 7am-7pm (non-peak) frequency on all lines except Onehunga
        – Services later in the into the evening (midnight) to connect to New Network buses etc, as they no longer run from the city and for other reasons

  4. Yeah given how things are already on the trains and the time it takes from ordering to delivery they need to be ordering more like…NOW!

    1. They should have been ordered 6-12 months ago, when the effects of the electrification of the Eastern line became apparent.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  5. Just wondering…Would there be any chance that one day some lines would get 9-car sets? Or are there platform constraints?

    1. I think the platform constraints are reasonably significant. With the CRL in place it would be possible to run up to 12 per hour on most lines, which I think is AT’s long term solution to capacity.

  6. what are to extra trains sitting at the wiri station at peak times for? there are usual at least 4 3-car units sitting there each day from my count.

    1. Routine maintenance, and I suspect vandalism repairs. There’s also a spare EMU at the Strand.

      The 4:50 to Swanson yesterday was a 6-car set, hopefully that will be a permanent change. Have they rejigged the EMU allocation to provide more 6-car sets on the Western line?

      1. There was a 6 car set on the inbound 8:04 at Ellerslie this morning so it appears it’s the Southern Line as well.

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