We’re going through an exciting time here on the blog. We’ve got just a few days to go on our fundraising drive. Last week we launched our new website and formally changed our name to Greater Auckland. We also revealed that one of the initiatives we want to kick off with the funding is to pay for regular professional, independent surveys of the Auckland population. We would like to understand what Aucklanders actually want in transport, rather than what groups with vested interests want.
This post is to give an update on a few of these points and to give a tease of our big new campaign launching next week.
Thank you all for your comments and feedback, we’ve been taking that feedback on board and our magicians at Sandfield have been making some tweaks to the site that we think will address some of the biggest concerns. These will be going live soon and include:
- Improving the readability of posts, by addressing text size and line spacing, particularly in the comments but other areas too, like the quoted text. Quoted text will also be made more distinctive
- The featured post boxes will act more like buttons (currently you have to click the text).
- We’re investigating how to make comments replies more visible on mobile
We’ve been humbled by the support we’ve had so far and thank you to everyone who has pledged already. At the time of writing this post we’ve had 190 pledges for a total of just under $11,000.
Remember, in crowdfunding we must meet the target of $20,000 to make any money. With only 5 days left, if you are a reader who enjoys the content, advocacy, and forum here, please take the time to contribute today. If if we haven’t persuaded you to already, perhaps our big new campaign will.
Introducing the Congestion Free Network 2.0
We’re currently putting the finishing touches on the second iteration of our Congestion Free Network (CFN) and we intend to launch this formally on Monday morning. Here is an excerpt from our summary document that we’ll be releasing along with the map we’ve developed.
It is now nearly four years since we launched the original Congestion Free Network in July 2013 and much has changed. Encouragingly, much of our original CFN has been adopted by both Auckland Council and Central Government, through the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).
Key parts of the CFN are being progressed: the rail network is now electrified, City Rail Link is under construction and busways to the north, northwest and southeast are under development. A completely reshaped bus network is being implemented and we now, finally have both integrated ticketing and integrated fares.
We have also learned a lot more about how Auckland will grow in the future, as decisions have been made on the Unitary Plan, and about what Auckland’s growth means for our transport network. Put bluntly, unless we invest heavily in serving new “greenfield” growth areas with congestion free transport options we will repeat the expensive, disastrous, mistakes that litter our history. Similarly, as existing urban areas intensify we will need to shift more people in the same amount of space – a task that is simply impossible by car.
Aucklanders have flocked to buses, trains and ferries over the past four years, especially where major improvements have been made. Annual ridership on the rail network and the Northern Busway – our still embryonic CFN – has grown from 12.3 million to 22.9 million over these past four years.
With such momentous change, it’s time to re-look at the Congestion Free Network and to align it with present day conditions. With ATAP showing government’s agreement, Auckland needs a strategic public transport network – what we call a “Congestion Free Network”, the debate now is not if we should build it, but when.
And as a teaser, the core of the map.
You may have noticed that one of the options on our fundraiser was a collectible CFN poster. The full version of this is what people who choose that option will get. It will be A2 size and on high quality print on proper poster stock and includes shipping – depending on the location, we may even deliver some personally.
We’re really excited about launching the CFN 2.0 and hope you are too and intend to use some of the money from our fundraising drive to help us spread it to a wider audience
If you hadn’t guessed by now, it’s been a very busy few months behind the scenes.