Tomorrow the AT board meet for their penultimate meeting of the year and it looks like it will be a big one with a lot on the agenda of their closed session.
I’ve added my thoughts after many of the items.
Items for Approval/Decision
- Panuku Framework Plans – I assume this relates to AT working with Panuku Development Auckland on plans for the areas they’re focusing on redeveloping.
- Dominion Road Bus Lane Improvements – When AT announced they were looking seriously at light rail for Dominion Rd, the planned upgrade that was about to go ahead was put on hold but now that ATAP appears to have pushed LRT out, it’s important that AT make some improvements to the bus lanes now. Hopefully this means they’ll be extending the lanes, including through intersections rather than stopping short like now and extending the hours of operation.
- Road Stopping
- Clonbern Road Carpark – AT have indicated previously that there’s a redevelopment proposal for the carpark they own on Clonbern Rd, Remuera.
- Execution of Deed by Directors – Lease of upper levels CPO – Presumably this is for after the CRL works have finished.
- Execution of Heads of Terms – Lease of Land
- 2017 Annual Fare Review – It will be interesting to see if AT propose any fare changes given they’ve just made some with the introduction of Simplified Fares. If they do make changes, past years indicate they would be implemented in January.
- Rail Operator – In the main board report it is mentioned that AT are currently conducting a periodic efficiency audit as part of the rail passenger services contract terms of reference
Items for Noting
- CRL Procurement Update – I assume this item related to AT holding a day long industry briefing on the main works of the CRL later this month before tender documentation goes out next year.
- MRT/LRT Update – One of the outcomes from ATAP was the use of the term Mass Transit instead of Light Rail for several projects. Essentially the NZTA are busily trying to show that a bus only solution to capacity problems can be found but my guess is they will do so by ignoring the capacity issues on city centre streets.
- Parnell Station Update – It appears that Kiwirail have already started some works to move the old Newmarket Station building to the site, presumably this will update progress.
- Procurement Update
Moving on to the items that got my attention in the main business report, in the order appear in the report.
AT say the handheld devices used by ticket inspectors to check HOP cards are at the end of their life and they have a project underway to replace them.
The Mt Roskill Safe Routes is now complete and due to be officially opened on Wednesday while the first stage of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path – from Merton Rd to St Johns Rd – will open on 16 December.
In a piece of great news, it appears AT have agreed to remove the left turn slip lanes from Nelson St onto Fanshawe St as part of the project to extend the Nelson St cycle lanes. Dealing with this intersection is what has delayed the project by so long as I understand some of the traffic engineers were more concerned about vehicle flow than the safety of people. Construction of this section is planned for March 2017
AT are hoping mediation will solve the appeal by Cowie St residents against the bridge that will replace the Sarawia St level crossing. If it doesn’t, the environment court appeal is set down for February.
The Half Moon Bay ferry terminal is progressing with the wharf works due for completion in January and the land side works in April.
As mentioned this morning, double deckers are due to be rolled out on Onewa Rd in February next year. AT say DD mitigation works also planned for Gt North Rd in Feb 2018 and Manukau Rd in June 2018.
AT say they’re on track to meet their target of rolling out 19km of bus lanes this financial year, despite them later in the report claiming to have a target to roll out 26km this year.
The roll-out of the new bus network in West Auckland is scheduled for 11 June 2017. AT are in the middle of assessing the bids for the Central and East networks and have now gone to tender for the North Shore services.
We’ve mentioned before that AT are finally looking at boosting capacity of services prior to the regular March Madness. There’s a little more detail about what this entails.
- For the NEX they say approximately 25-35 extra peak trips will be added in January-February 2017 – but it doesn’t say what timeframe those extra trips are over i.e. per week/month.
- They say Birkenhead Transport have the fastest growing bus patronage after the NEX and as well as double deckers being added in February, eight additional peak trips will be added to the timetable.
- On rail they say “Further line speed, interlocking works and signalling works to improve journey times are being targeted for the March/April 2017 timetable recast.” – although this does also suggests the new rail timetable might be being pushed out a little.
On Friday 21 October, they say for the first time ever had 100% punctuality and reliability on trains.
I continue to hear more and more complaints about Skybus since they took over the commercially run airport service around a year ago. Being a fully commercial service they sit outside of AT’s control so it’s interesting to see that they continue to be the worst performing bus company in Auckland.
A trial a Park & Ride run by Wilsons Parking will take place on Esmonde Rd at the Harbourside Church. It will be interesting to see how popular this is, perhaps cars stuck as part of traffic on Esmonde Rd, and seeing buses wizz past in the bus lane might decide to pull off and park up.
A trial park and ride facility is being prepared for opening on 28th November at Esmonde Road, Takapuna. The facility is owned by the Harbourside Church and will be operated by Wilsons Parking Ltd. AT Metro are facilitating the additional bus stops, services, promotion and planning of this initiative and will be monitoring the uptake and impact of this site on traffic patterns in and around Takapuna. The initiative is also linked to parking consultation activities in Takapuna and offers alternative parking options for both inbound and outbound vehicles
An indication as to some of the things going up to the board and board committees in the next month.
- Electric Vehicles in transit lanes
- Train Capacity
- Mangere future streets
- Strategic PT Network
- 2016/17 Budget realignment
- MRT/LRT Update
There’s certainly a lot going on.