At the beginning of the month I started a series looking at how we can improve our train stations, beginning with the lack of shelter. I started this after Auckland Transport sent out a survey titled “Help us improve train stations“ but with a focus on how they could generate more money from passengers through initiatives such as selling advertising, or snacks from vending machines.

In this second post in the series I’m going to look at the layout of stations. For this I’m going to focus on my local station, Sturges Road, which seems to embody many of the issues I’ve seen around the network.

The station has been around for some time but was completely rebuilt as part of double tracking the western line and completed in 2008. The image below shows the station in 2006, not long before the upgrade started, and what it looks like now.

As you can see, like many of the stations built/rebuilt over the last 10-15 years, it’s been built with side platforms rather than an island platform, like at stations built in the past. This has the effect of making using the station easy for some journeys but harder for others. It also has the effect of requiring more station equipment than island platforms, or at least spreading what is needed too thin. For example, with side platforms at least one HOP machine is needed on each side whereas had it been an island platform, both machines could have been available to customers. The decisions on platform layouts were made well prior to Auckland Transport even existing but I know some staff who worked at the former Auckland Regional Transport Authority still work for AT and I sometimes wonder if they regret the decision to use mainly side platforms.

To help discuss some of the issues with the layout of stations, I’ve put together a little diagram of the station features.

Shelter

As highlighted in my previous post, there simply isn’t enough shelter. Like with the HOP example above, had the station been designed as an island platform then at least the shelter that would have been built could be shared. Adding more shelter at least to the Britomart bound direction would not only help improve customer experience but also help spread passengers out along the platform.

Number of HOP Machines

AT seem to want as few HOP machines as they can get away with. At suburban stations like this there is only one machine per platform. I have seen customers left behind more than once because of long lines for the single machine. In addition, it’s not uncommon for a machine not to work properly or if it runs out of paper won’t even accept bank cards. Given the machines are located in the middle of the platform and there is no way to cross quickly between platforms, hiking to use the other machine will almost certainly result in missing a train.

In my view, there needs to be at least two machines on all ‘peak direction’ platforms.

Location of HOP Machines

In addition to needing more machines at stations, I feel that AT need to reconsider where they’re located too. Being in the middle of the station is understandable but it feels like it would be more useful to have them at the entrances to the station, to reinforce that you need to have a ticket before entering the platform area even though we’re not going to gate all stations to enforce that.

There’s another issue with the location of the HOP machines and that’s in relation to the location of tag posts. At the moment if someone tops up their card before a trip they then have to walk/run back to the nearest HOP reader to tag on. Moving the machines closer to the entrances would help address this. If this can’t be achieved, having an additional tag post next to the machine would be useful. An example of this exists with the Gold Coast light rail system. As shown below, there are two machines on the platform and next to them are tag posts (yellow box beside the machine) – I also like how the machines are separated by the wayfinding maps

Number of Tag posts

ATs policy at stations like Sturges Rd, seems to be only one tag post at each entrance. In most cases that’s fine but it can result in delays when a large number of people turn up. For example, during the evening peak it’s not uncommon to see 40 or more people disembarking and heading for the same exit. and why and then having to go and get line to tag off when most probably just want to get home as soon as they can. Additional tag posts, at least on the exit to the station in the afternoon peak direction would be helpful in addressing this issue. At Sturges this issue is compounded a little as most passengers use the same exit.

Better/wider paths

Related to the point above on tag posts, it’s not much use tagging off sooner if you can’t get out of the station sooner. In my case, I’m exiting the station on the path on the left of the image meaning I don’t have to cross the tracks. But most people do cross the tracks and while they wait for the train to depart, they can quickly block up the narrow walkway. Making the walkway a bit wider or at least having a larger ‘waiting area’ by the crossing would help address this issue.

Grade Separated crossings

Ideally though there would be some form of grade separation for pedestrians and trains. It’s not such an issue with the current timetable but in the past trains would often cross each other at the station. It was not uncommon for a Swanson bound train to turn up, then just as it cleared the crossing the Britomart bound train would approach meaning that even though you arrived at the station a few minutes early, you could miss your train while waiting to get across the the tracks.

Train stopping locations

This isn’t an issue at Sturges but is at some other stations, such as at Fruitvale Road. At Fruitvale the station is designed like Sturges with side platforms and with the shelters/HOP machine in the middle. As is helpfully shown on the current Google Maps imagery, a three car train doesn’t stop in the middle of the platform but at the eastern end of it. It means someone making use of the shelter or buying a HOP ticket/topping up their card then has to make their way to the train. For an able bodied person they could go to the closest door but those needing to use the low floor entrance of the middle car will have to make their way there, likely delaying the train.

Some of the issues I’ve raised here wouldn’t be all that hard to improve if AT wanted to.

What are the issues you’ve noticed at other stations that could do with some improvement?

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71 comments

  1. Thanks for a clear article. Living on the North Shore I rarely get the chance to use a train but the last time about a year ago at Greenlane the platform was empty so no problem with a queue for tickets but I simply couldn’t read the ticket machine because of the sunlight. We missed the first train because of it – fortunately another passenger arrived and helped us. Minor problem, easily fixed once they are aware of it.

    Useful comparison photos – couldn’t help counting the trees that have gone since 2016.

    1. Sunlight on the screen nearly got me once also. I needed to top up and couldn’t read the screen where the relevant button was. Thankfully another person present knew the interface well enough an helped me see where to shade the screen.

      This grates on me. The touchscreen reader is above the screen, so that doesn’t affect what screen tech is used. If they used transreflective screens instead of (presumably) TFT, the cost per unit would only go up perhaps $50-200 (assuming one-off pricing on a 7-10″ display). This increase in capex pails in comparison to the lost opex due to disgruntled first-timers/infrequent users becoming turned off by a sour experience.

  2. I think escalators are essential especially in more difficult to access stations.They are easy to use rather than long, and sometimes steep winding stairs or some lifts. The escalator at Panmure is popular and encouraging for young and old.

    1. Escalators break constantly and when they are prioritised over stairs (given preferential placement at station entrances/exits and given more shelter than stairs e.g. at Henderson) it is quite a struggle for some (me) to get up the oversize escalator steps rather than conventional stairs. Mt Albert used to have a ramp – that NEVER broke.

      1. It is easy to take my bike on an escalator but the lifts are small and unfair to others. The sometimes 3 flights of steep stairs is a struggle and dangerous.
        The tunnels at Glen Iness and Morningside are by far the best way to cross over for all

  3. Great article. Of the stations I use regularly:

    Papatoetoe
    Poor connectivity from the street. It takes ages to walk up and over the bridge, so most people coming from Otara direction on the bus get off at the corner and use the northern, level, entrance. It’s a dangerous corner to have people crossing the road uncontrolled., particularly if they’re in a rush. The information displays are in the shelter, miles from the northern entrance – even with 20/20 vision I can’t read them from there. The walkway to the northern entrance is really narrow so it’s hard to pass people coming off a train if you’re trying to get to yours. There also aren’t enough tag on/off points, so there’s often queues with people missing trains. Not completely station related but it’s really confusing in the south where Southern/Eastern trains run through the same stations and they just say “Britomart” on the front. I see people maybe two or three times a week realising at Sylvia Park that they’re on the wrong train.

    Manukau
    When you come down the stairs into the station it’s really hard to tell which platform the next train is leaving from. There’s often trains on both platforms but the information display on each platform is the same – sometimes you have to wait a minute or so for it to cycle back to the current time and I’ve missed trains because of that.

    Orakei
    Shelter at the wrong end of the platform and not enough of it. Only two tagging points, often leading to queues. Narrow walkway up to the bridge so same issues as Papatoetoe if there are trains crossing at the station, as there almost always is.

    Britomart
    Platform signage isn’t great, particularly from the Takutai Square entrance.

    Glen Innes & Panmure
    Not enough tagging points, often queues.

    AT really, really, need some UX design expertise as currently the station experience is pretty terrible.

    1. Manukau: As a daily user of Manukau station I have observed that trains only use Platform 2 when Platform 1 is already occupied. Most of the time when both platforms are occupied, the Platform 1 train would be the earlier departure (since the Platform 2 train would have arrived after the one already berthed at Platform 1 and would turn around to operate a later departure). I have also observed that when it turns out that P2 is the next departure the security guards are pretty good at redirecting people to P2. I do agree they need sign of some kind to tell people which platform the next train departs from. This is another station that would have benefited from a island platform!

      Papatoetoe: Agree and I have also observed the bus/train transfer via uncontrolled crossing as well. I think AT should just accept that people will cross there and put a proper crossing there and relocate bus stops to be right next to the crossing. Another observation I agree with is the lack of ‘via Newmarket’ or ‘via Panmure’ on some train signs. I frequently have to check the front of the trains because the side displays doesn’t aways seem to show the route.

      I don’t always agree with the ‘not enough tagging posts’. I remember New Lynn pre-gating used to get lots of complaints. But when I used to live nearby and used the station regularly I used a tag post near the stairs on the bus end which no one ever used. So I would make a bee line for that post and be tagged off before 90% of the pax had tagged off. I also observed that people would mostly tag off at the post on the side they got off (leaving the tag post on the other side less utilised)—I had wondered if people are aware they can use any tag posts not just the one nearest! Perhaps something AT should put up reminder posters about…

      One thing I think is missing from this post is the location of other AT assets near stations e.g. bus stops. Homai is one where they have bus routes passing right next to the station but the bus stops are 500m up and down the road. Very frustrating to say the least especially since this route was developed as part of the “new” network but still failed to live up to AT’s mantra of “better connections”.

  4. Don’t use it any more but Baldwin Ave was annoying because you’d top up at the machine and then had to run down the platform to the tag post and then back again to catch the train. Realise the tag post was there for people entering and exiting the station but wouldve been good to have one by the machine..

  5. Great post. Highlights how locations of some things aren’t practical to how people use the stations. The train stopping location is a bit of a nuisance.

  6. I believe AT are actively trying to discourage use of the ticket machines because they think that will encourage uptake of Hop – and that’s why there are so few of them. I wonder how many constant commuters really top up at the station? I wouldn’t ever use the machine for that personally, though I don’t have auto set up, I do it on line.
    [edit] recognizing not everyone is in the plastic economy…

  7. I don’t use the train very often, but I went Grafton to New Lynn the other day, at morning peak.
    I had to barge my way down the stairs as the people coming up used the whole double staircase with no consideration for anyone coming down. Some up/down or keep left signage might help here.

    Then I walked past the hop card reader as it was hidden amongst the crowd, so I had to backtrack and missed the train. A flag style sign could help in this case, although it is probably a rare problem at ungated stations.

    Apart from that the journey and stations were great. New Lynn transport centre is awesome. They even have bus only lanes past the station entrance! Imagine if AT did this on customs street in front of Britomart. So many buses get held up there due to general through traffic.

  8. Good post – Hard to know what AT were focusing on when updating certain stations –
    Seems user friendly-ness is the last priority
    Safety?
    Accessibility? – It’s great that many stations have ramp access, but when it’s only ramp access (puhinui and papatoetoe come to mind) it means long long ramps are required to cover a short distance that stairs would make short work of, (of course along with the ramps for people that need them).

  9. Don’t side platforms save you one big long walk up the ramp across the bridge and down another long ramp each day?

    1. Side platforms are great in one direction but make the other direction worse. E.g. Arriving at Fruitvale Road I exit the station on the wrong side of the tracks and have to wait for the train to depart before I cross. But departing I can just walk up to the platforms. Island stations tend to make it not so bad no matter what direction you come in.

  10. Mt Eden station gets pretty congested in the mornings when everyone is trying to tag off using the single tag post at the Mount Eden road end. Kind of frustrating when its raining…Its also a long run from the top up machine to the tag post!

  11. Reading this article and some of the comments suggest to me that the root issue is a misplaced attempt to save money. Perhaps the re-wiring cost was lower in the given locations, the cost of wiring tag points too high for the number of passengers, etc.

    These decisions, proving over time to be wrong, shows that the projections were wrong and/or the emphasis on cost-saving was placed on the wrong targets. In the end, the question becomes: Does AT care enough about UX and passenger satisfaction levels, to warrant a re-examination of how the stations are working in practice and where to spend money on these types of upgrades?

  12. Grade separation is so necessary. There is a very good reason you do not cross railway tracks, its lethal, but then AT and it’s predecessors found an excuse to do just that, cost!

    Another issue with those stupid crossings is that pedestrians consistently bypass the warnings. It is not helped, for example, that trains sit at platforms not moving while the alarms are going but currently that is the state of our level crossings. Baldwin Ave, down main is an excellent example.

    Many a preventable death and injury could have been avoided if someone, even with ACC’s assistance sorted this mess out.

      1. Er Bryce, the Northern busway is full of grade crossings. Albany Station, Elliot Rose Ave, McClymonts Rd. Constellation Drive, Constellation station and the full length of Fanshawe St, Sturdee St and of course the terminal downtown.
        At constellation you literally cannot catch any bus without walking across the path of the NEX.

        1. Fanshaw Street has a busway? Fuck me, that happened fast. 🙂

          Out of the through stations on the actual busway, only Constellation has an at grade crossing. And I suspect that will disappear once the busway is upgraded.

          1. Albany is also at Grade Bryce. Even if it was a proper through station it would still have an at grade crossing from the carpark or footpaths.

          2. Albany is not currently on the busway but yes, I suspect it will still have some zebra crossings once built in as an actual busway. In the context of the location, it is a slow speed area, not a through station like Sunnynook.

          3. Bryce, arguing “the grade separated busway” is only the middle part of the busway where it is grade separated is a tautology.

            Likewise I can argue that the Western Line is fully grade separated because only the the middle bit from Mt Albert to Morningside counts as grade separated railway.

          4. I disagree, Nick R. From Newmarket to Swanson there is a rail way. From Akoranga to Constellation there is a busway. In Wynyard Quarter there is a rail track on which rail services (used to) operate, on the rest of the Northern Express route there is a traffic lane on which buses run. Your confusion is from not recognizing that busway is used to mean ‘the physical busway’ and ‘the operating busway’ at different times.

            Bryce’s claim was, effectively; ‘where the physical busway is grade separated from traffic, it is also, grade separated from pedestrians’. This is clearly true (I’ll accept your argument about Constellation, but that was always designed as a temporary structure.

            AklDude, why would there be an at grade crossing from the car park at Albany is it were a through station? there is no such crossing from the car parks at Sunnynook, Smales Farm, or Akoranga?

          5. Well fine, if you want to define it in terms of the structures rather than how people use the line that’s correct. So Bryce has confirmed that a thing defined by being grade separated is indeed grade separated, except for the bit at Constellation where it isn’t.

          6. By that logic he’s also demonstrated that the bit of the rail network defined by being grade separated is not grade separated. Again, you are drawing false equivalence, this time between ‘grade separation from motorists’ and ‘grade separation from pedestrians and cyclists’.

            The correct summation would be; ‘ the bit of the busway defined by grade separation from traffic is also grade separated from pedestrians and cyclists’.

            Stepping aside from this argument, many elements of the busway stations are exactly what the rail stations should be like; proper pedestrian crossings, full shelter, multiple entry points, information on connecting services.

          7. Ok lets not argue pedantics.

            Here’s another way to look at it, of the five ‘proper’ busway stations, two require you to cross the path of the main busway buses, at grade, to get to the platforms. Four of the five require you to cross at grade across the path of the local buses. The user experience at the stations is one of crossing bus streets.

            I think this is acceptable, I also think it is acceptable on the rail lines. The reality is you often have the choice between an at grade crossing, a grade separated crossing via a long circuitous path in the wrong place, or no crossing at all.

            Like at Constellaton, I’l actually be a little pissed once the extension goes in and the install an up an over overbridge to get from the outbound platform, whereas now it is quick, direct and flat to get any bus or any connection.

            In many cases a ped crossing is the lesser evil.

          8. My issue with the grade separation on the rail network isn’t so much related to safety but convenience. More than once I’ve very nearly missed a train because I’ve had to wait for two to cross where if there had of been separation I would have been at the station with time to spare. That isn’t an issue on those busway cases as there’s a ped crossing which buses have to stop at

          9. Cheers, Nick. I agree with your summation, although I think you may still be downplaying the difference between the buses operating on the busway and the buses operating on local roads with regards to the danger of pedestrian crossings.

            I am much less disappointed that the at-grade crossing of northbound buses will be removed at Constellation. I was nearly run over every other week on that zebra crossing by bus drivers who had completely failed to recognize that they were no longer on a (physical) busway, they were in an at grade bus station with hundreds of people on foot.

  13. Expand catchment thru improved walk and cycle ability. Baldwin Ave looks like one station that could do that with a pathway thru the golf course and a bridge or subway to x the motorway.

  14. My two suggestions:

    (1) The illuminated destination signs under the station canopies (I”m not sure what their proper name is).
    As an older person with eyesight not the best, it worries me that the new type of sign as used at Otahuhu
    may become the standard. To me, they are hard to read when on the platform, and impossible to read
    sitting in a train. The current type on most stations are no problem.

    (2) My old request to have all areas of the stations smoke free. In theory they already are, but it is not
    enforced. I went to Sylvia Park this morning and saw people smoking on Pukekohe, Homai, Papatoetoe
    and Sylvia Park stations. The security cameras never seem to be manned.

    1. Are you talking about the signs that tell you how far away the next train is? If so, I agree with you. I used to always change at Otahuhu but I now change at other stations because it’s easier for me to see how long I have to wait. And sometimes I can see a cancellation from my seat so I can make a decision to stay on or get off and catch alternative transport.

  15. Penrose Station access is annoying – it is an island platform with no access other than the extremely long wheelchair ramps which take ages to walk (or even run) along. I have missed trains which I would have otherwise caught if there was a stairway alternative. Good ramps for those that require them, but the alternative would be useful.

  16. A number of valid points raised in this post.

    I suspect the HOP machines aren’t in more convenient places for security reasons. If they were to be placed at the platform entrance they may attract the interest of undesirables passing by. In West Auckland we have more than our fair share of these sorts of people.

    HOP machines do seem to break down all too easily. Though I did overhear a train guard one day discussing that some people had worked out how to cause them to break down so they could avoid paying fares. Not sure how they’d know that but take it for what its worth.

    I don’t think grade separation is necessarily the big issue some people make it out to be. Crossing train tracks is not a complicated exercise. Yes the consequences are catastrophic but we can’t make traversing the train corridor idiot-proof.

    1. I’m torn on grade separation. It is very convenient not having to go over a bridge, and all it requires is waiting for the train.

      However, it must be very stressful for the train drivers watching people sprint across to make sure they don’t miss the train, especially when there are two tracks. One thing for sure is they need to be close enough to the platform that anyone who is waiting for the train to pass is not at risk of missing it.

      1. I thought the main argument for grade separation is the amount of time you save because you don’t have to slow the train down through level crossings?

        1. There is no requirement for trains to slow down for level crossings. However, the nature of signal placement means in many instances on the western line the trains will be slowed by road level crossings and there is no easy solution to that. I don’t think this applies to pedestrian only level crossings though.

  17. Ranui has a number of those issues – 3 car trains stopping beyond the shelter, trains crossing and blocking the gated crossing, single tag post on the dominant exit, narrow path past the crossing. Has the added bonus of the unique curved shelter roof that drips on the seats and on the natural standing spot in front of the seats, and one of the two roadside parking bays has no footpath.

  18. Totally agree there need to be a hop card tagger near the waiting area.

    So if I forgot to tag it on the entrance I still have an opportunity to tag it near the waiting area without having to walk back.

  19. With the gating, will there be any work to make the single trip tickets able to be scanned in order to walk through the gates (like in every other decent metro system)? Or is this asking too much? I think I already know the answer.

    1. It would be a bit of work, you either need to install readers and a backend to read from a paper print, i.e. a barcode scanner. That means adding a new piece of kit to every fare gate, and getting a new system to speak to the hop system. Alternately you could have a single “paper tickets only” gate at each gate line that runs basically independent of the rest of the system. That’s probably the easy way to do it.

      Or you can print paper tickets onto a single use contactless card which the existing gates can use (and all existinghop readers for that matter), but you need to refit the ticket machines with new modules to dispense and “print” onto paper hop cards. And you have to restock them. And in fact because it’s an intergrated fare system you’d really have to make all paper tickets on the single use hop cards, so all bus and ferry too. That would be easy on buses as the driver would need to pull a paper hop off a stack, hold it to the machine and load the ticket onto it… but it could be slow as they would have to do all that instead of just hitting one button to thermal print a ticket.

      I think we should aim for the latter, and go to an entirely hop based system where single tickets are sold on disposable hop cards and there are no print outs at all… but it’s a big expense I’m sure. Would be great for day passes and weeklies and tourist tickets, etc.

      1. Sounds way too complicated and costly. Maybe we should do a Melbourne and make AT HOP the sole means of payment, provided the machines also dispense AT HOP cards (like the myki machines) and more points of sale throughout the region are available.

        1. Sure, could be good but making hop cards that abundant would be difficult.

          Having the machines dispense hop cards is probably slightly more difficult than having machines that dispense paper hop cards. At least paper hop could come on rolls for easy dispensing and restocking.

  20. Paekakariki (have a look on googlem maps) has a picket fence and a hinged gate that you have to open to enter the train crossing area. I thought this was a good idea and would make pedestrians more aware, especially after the Ranui incident. At Sunnyvale Station, the best parking is via a pathway that goes under the tracks , along twin streams path, and down a residential alleyway. The planting is tall, dense, with no sitelines. There’s already been someone raped on this pathway. Consider a serious chop back of the planting and some solar lighting along the alleyway..

  21. Some observations from the stations I have regularly used:

    Homai
    – The pedestrian crossing across to the carpark is an annoyance – when you get off a Papakura-bound train you have to wait for it to pass you before you cross (people usually just cross in front of it when its still sitting there, even though the lights and bells are going). Also one time I arrived at the station to catch a Britomart service but had to stand at the crossing to wait for a freight train to pass and just missed my train that I could see sitting there (next one wasn’t until 20 min afterwards).
    – Sometimes the ticket machine cannot read my EFTPOS card so I am unable to top up (have had little/no problems elsewhere)
    – Shelter probably needs to be bigger, doesn’t seat/cover many people when there is bad weather

    Britomart
    – When a 3-car train stops at the Lower Queen Street end of the station, it is an annoyance when you have entered from the Takutai Square end and have to walk all the way down the platform. Couldn’t they stop in the middle when it is a 3-car so that the train is an equal distance away from both entrances?

    Parnell
    – They need to hurry up and build a bridge across the northern end of the station and a path to Stanley Street or link to the Domain Walk because to get a Papakura service when you’re coming from the Domain/Uni side is a major pain. Often I have to run to catch my train because of the time it takes to go around and through the underpass.

    Manurewa
    – Needs more tag posts, long lines to tag off form during evening peaks

    1. It is hard to comprehend that a brand new station Parnell) is so poorly designed. I know many others have said the same.
      Maybe the thinking was that Parnell is well served by a bus service and so it won’t be used for short commuter trips to the city. In practice the bus service at evening peak is erratic, often slow and despite a reasonable walk to the train station this option is quicker.

      1. Well they’d be wrong about the bus services in Parnell being good. Frequently the buses don’t stop for passengers because they’re full. The bus ride from Parnell to Pt Chevalier (Outer Link) in the evening is timetabled to take 31 minutes, but frequently takes more than 1.5 hours because you can’t even get on a bus.

    2. The reason why they stop 3-car trains at the end of the platform at Britomart is so they can put another 3-car behind it. This is quite a useful strategy for optimising platform use and may also be necessary if they combine trains at Britomart.

  22. Papakura – the steps leading from the central island platform and the railway overbridge is too narrow and exposed. This is a bottleneck at peak times particularly when you have groups of kids just sitting on the steps. Need an option like otahuhu – wide and covered over bridge and would allow opportunities for gating.
    – pedestrian safety and amenity is a real problem exiting onto the western side of the railway line as pedestrians are funnelled down a narrow path between the new bus interchange and car drop off/collection point. This is incredibly poor planning and design and will lead to a serious accident sooner or later.

  23. In the past they went with island platforms. They were the primary choice of platform construction for the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin suburban passenger networks. But they are more space intensive due to the need to curve the tracks from well before the station, to well past it. It also costs more to maintain the tracks as curves need a bit more attention than straight track, and it can muck up signal sighting distances as well.

    Auckland’s change to side platforms was driven by the rail operator, not ARTA.

  24. I’ve often wondered why there are not more underpasses under the tracks in Auckland stations. I remember them being more common in stations in the UK. While there might be some security issues, if the stations already have some degree of CCTV then the additional cost might not be that much.

    While its good they are finally putting lights to allow people to cross the busy Great South Road from Penrose station, why not have an underpass under Great South Road, under the tracks and across to the Onehunga line platform?

    Even better would be if they built underpasses with a cycle lane…:)

    1. Underpasses are very common on the Transdev network in Wellington. Including Petone, Waterloo, Porirua, Naenae and Paraparaumu along with a few others that have slipped my mind. They also often go under any busy roads that are running parallel to the tracks too.

      1. Underpasses are great if designed properly like the Netherlands, however in NZ with its engineering the value out of everything culture not so sure.

        1. An underpass is a very easy way of getting people across. A short tunnel about 3 meters deep and say 10 meters long would cost $100’s thousands and not $millions. Surely as a service AT should be doing its best to make it as easy, safe and quick as possible to get people to the platform.

    2. Underpasses can be ideal, but there is the idea around that we can’t build them anymore because “people don’t like using them”. Given the option of a short underpass or a long overbridge, i’d take the former.

  25. It would be great if the underpass at the city end of Newmarket Station could be revived.
    From memory it surfaced at the far side of Broadway, about where the Rialto entrance now is.

      1. I used to use train services when I started work, in 1965. The Newmarket underpass was very useful, especially in wet weather. From memory it was closed in the late ’70s. Like the
        Glen Innes underpass it had a bit of a reputation for bad behaviour and I avoided using it after dark.

        When it was closed, it had a large flat wooden cover placed over the station platform access, and this was visible until the station was rebuilt a few years ago.

        1. Presumably the remnants of it were destroyed when the basement of the apartment building between the station and broadway was built, sadly.

          Newmarket really needs a north concourse, not just through the on-again off-again development either. One benefit is it would allow the Link buses to turn straight from Broadway to Khyber Pass and vice versa, without the ridiculous, slow and awkward double back loop thingy. With a north concourse the links would still connect handily to the train and all other buses.

          I think the ideal spot would be the carpark entrance at 176 Broadway, just up from the Rialto pedestrian crossing. From here you can walk straight through to the back where you are next to and above the north end of the platforms. Perfect spot for a concourse.

  26. I also wonder about the Victoria Park bus station. At evening peak it is chaotic with people coming from the Wynyard Qtr on foot and people alighting from either the NEX, or the buses ex midtown, to change over. Because patrons have no idea where their bus will stop it is often a mad scramble as people run from where they are to their arriving bus.
    This problem will only become worse because development of the Wynyard Qtr has a long way to go; NEX services are growing quickly; and more people are realizing how integrated ticketing works and Victoria Park is an excellent changeover point.
    Was this stop under designed even though it was only built less than a year ago? Is this illustrative of what will happen with the K Road station?

  27. Spare a thought for commuting from Botany downs Manukau.
    Bus service takes 1.5 hrs to city
    Nearest train station is Manukau but link takes half an hour to get there. cost $6/ day car park.
    So I have reverted to my car.

    ironically its the same as when I try to post here with my gmail account
    it says ” connecting ” forever

    1. Would it be better and more reliable to transfer to the train at Panmure? Especially if congested morning peak. Bring on AMETI though to fix this.

  28. AT need to standardise the placement of the 3 car EMU stopping markers to either be the same as the 6 car EMU stopping marker, or the half way point along the platform where the lead cab of the second unit of as 6 car set stops, depending on which half of the platform is the main waiting area with the shelter, ticket machine etc.

    This is so that the doors always line up with the painted markings on the platform which should be placed on the half of the platform which 3 car EMUs stop on, meaning it will no longer matter whether a 3 car or 6 car train turns up, the train will always stop with its doors lined up with the painted markings on the platform which should be on all platforms at all stations.

    Doing this simple action will reduce dwell times at stations by removing the current delay caused by people waiting on the wrong part of the platform, or the situation where people such as mothers with prams or people in wheelchairs are waiting at the current painted marking on a platform and a 3 car train arrives and stops at the 3 car EMU stopping marker which can at times be half a train length difference along the platform where the doors open to the current painted markings which are for one unit of a 6 car train set. These people then have to walk all the way on the platform to reach the middle low floor carriage.

    Another classic blunder is where the current 3 car stopping marker results in the train stopping completely past the shelter where everyone obviously waits under when it is raining or when it is very hot, such as Ranui station citybound platform, Parnell citybound platform and Morningside westbound platform.

    The stopping markers for 6 and 3 car trains especially need standardising at Newmarket station with painted boarding points on the platforms with the new berthing arrangements and doors now opening on both sides on platforms 2 and 3.

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