At the time the post is published, the Auckland Transport board will be in the middle of their six-weekly board meeting. Here are some of the highlights from the documents available.

Closed Session

The closed session is usually where all the juicy decisions are made. There are quite a few things on the agenda today, including an hour strategy session on governance. I wonder if that relates to the new CEO?

Items for Approval/Decision

There are a number of items up for approval/decision. It’s not clear what each of them refer however.

  • Governance Framework Review
  • AT Metro Senior Citizen Concession Review
  • New BT Contract – Things That Move
  • Northern Corridor Improvements
  • Road Stoppings
  • Execution of Deed of Licence to occupy land
  • Housing Infrastructure Fund – Heads of Agreement
  • Annual Report
  • Lease Extension-20 Viaduct Harbour

Items for Noting

There are only a couple of items for noting, the second one being interesting as that relates to light rail on Dominion Rd and to the airport.

  • New BT Contract – Enterprise Asset Management
  • Mass Transit Update

CEO Report

The business report covers a lot of areas. As usual, I’ve just listed some of the items that caught my attention.

AT have a section listing all the briefings they’ve given recently to local boards on issues for each of them. I won’t list them here as they’re long but you’re interested in what you’re local board is getting briefings about, this may be of interest to you.

Under the heading of Key Strategic Initiatives, AT comment on a few particularly interesting items:

AT and NZ Transport Agency will be commencing public engagement on the proposed Northwestern Busway in October, delayed from the original date so as to not straddle the election period. This will run for six weeks and seeks community feedback on the emerging alignment and proposed stations to improve future design and planning processes. AT will be reporting on the recently completed programme business case for the North Shore RTN, including how this relates to NZ Transport Agency plans for the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing. AT is setting out a way forward following recent public consultation on the Lake Road Improvements proposal, and engagement with the Devonport Takapuna Local Board continues in September.

AT’s new Roads and Streets Framework is due to finalised this month. This is going to be a very important document for the future of how our urban environments. Here’s how they explain it.

The draft Roads and Streets Framework was developed to balance and integrate the intended strategic and local place and movement functions of roads and streets, as well as the levels of service for all modes. Its primary purpose is to ensure integrated planning amongst AT divisions and that the ‘Place’ aspirations of Auckland Council are fully taken into account early in the planning process.

Business Technology

  • AT HOP Web Rebuild – AT are still having technical issues with this and it has been delayed again.
  • EMU 4G Tender – it sounds like should be finalised soon and would see WiFi made available on our trains.

Customer improvements

  • AT Mobile – AT plan to keep improving their (relatively) new mobile app. Some of the recent additions to it include “school bus routes and improved accessibility for partially sighted users.” They also say the next significant change will see HOP balances added to the app.
  • Digital Concessions – Loading concessions on HOP cards has long been complained about. AT say they’re working on streamlined process that will undergo a “tactical business pilot with Auckland Uni for early 2018“.
  • Journey Planner – AT have recognised their journey planner is horrible and costs them over $1 million a year in enquiries so they now plan to improve it. There is not timeframe for this though.

Projects

Here are a few of the projects AT mention in the report.

  • Te Atatu Road – AT say the main works are finally complete and work is now just resolving works with property owners
  • Ian McKinnon Cycle Route – Detailed design has been completed and AT are now getting approval to use NZTA land. Resource consent is expected this month and a construction tender is due out in October.
  • Manukau Bus Interchange – The building is now mostly watertight and they’ve started some of the fitout work. However, due to some issues the practical completion has been delayed 3-weeks. Following operational fit out and training early next year, it is expected to open to go into use in the first quarter.

  • Eastern Busway:
    • Panmure to Pakuranga – The consent hearing is likely to take place in December.
    • Pakuranga to Botany (including Reeves Rd Flyover) – A contract for the design and consenting is due to be awarded in October. AT say they’ve also started some internal and external consultation with key stakeholders on the architectural concepts for the Reeves Rd Flyover.

An update on the Bullock/Great North Road intersection works highlights one of the issues we have with how we currently treat safety. As the report notes, the intersection is ranked number two in the NZTA’s Top 100 High
Risk Intersections (2016). Yet it goes on to say that the project was only approved after it could be shown that the upgrade wouldn’t impact traffic flow.

it was agreed that the impacts to the operation of the network are within acceptable operational parameters. This decision was based on the findings from network modelling covering St Lukes interchange and a number of adjacent intersections in the study area.

They also say later in the report that the works site was shut down during July “to allow for smooth opening of Waterview tunnel”

Bus lane hours – AT say they’re working through their internal processes to make changes to hours. They also give this specific update

  • Mt Eden Rd – “Consultation under way with Mt Eden Village Business Association for extending hours of bus lanes and improvements to bus stops, this work is to be delivered in conjunction with a proposed parking zone change.”

Public Transport

  • New Network:
    • In South Auckland, the 380 bus service will have its frequency improved from every 30 to every 15 minutes in December, bringing it into the Frequent Transport Network and making it easier to train/bus from the city to the airport. Within the airport itself, two new “bus only” link roads will speed up buses.
    • AT say South Auckland is showing a 3% increase in journeys (i.e. net of transfers), compared to before the new network was rolled out. Prior to the new network, trips in the south had declined for two years.
    • In the west there has been a 2% increase in journeys which is better than their predicted stagnation or decline for the first four months following the change.
    • East Auckland new network goes live 10 December
    • Central Auckland is not due till April next year
    • North Shore isn’t till later in 2018
  • Extra trains: It appears that following the election pledges on electrifying to Pukekohe, AT are re-evaluating their options. They say the NZTA has asked Kiwirail to put together a business case and confirm timing for electrification so a decision can be made on the trains after the election.
  • March Madness 2018 – AT are already planning for the 2018 madness. This year they put on a lot of extra capacity and that seemed to deal with a lot of the issues we’d seen in the past. As part of this they note that the Mt Eden services were a stand out this year and saw a 10% increase.

Forward Programme

The forward programme gives us an indication as to what’s coming up in the next board meeting

Open Session

  • Roads & Streets Framework & TDM
  • Annual Report ‐ for public to speak to
  • Public submissions on the SOI

Closed Session

  • STRATEGY & DEVELOPMENT
    • North Shore Rapid Transit Network
    • AT‐Panuku Development Auckland Collaboration ‐ Takapuna
    • Mass Transit ‐ Technical Advisor Contract Review
    • Drury South Limited Road Stopping
  • METRO
    • Bus Frequency Network Priority Strategy
    • Annual Fares Review
  • TRANSPORT OPS
    • Special Events Planning
  • FINANCE
    • Quarterly Report
    • Other Reporting VfM ‐ 5 Critical Areas (31 July FRC Action)
    • Deep Dives PMO Office
    • Delegations
    • Update on 10 yr Capital programme and Draft RLTP 2018

That’s all for this month.

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19 comments

    1. That princely sum is just enough to cover the city’s legal bill for dealing with the Cowie Street resident associations quixotic demands.

    2. Give it a break – it’s clear that the money has not been “filched” and to assert otherwise is just mischievous disinformation that feeds the worst anti-PT sentiment.

  1. Wouldn’t their newer AT Mobile app replace the Journey Planner? – ahhh web version I guess & general back end logical handling of routes etc perhaps. I always use Google as first port of call – hard to compete with their development might…but doesn’t have prices or distinguish from school buses, not normally an issue pretty easy to figure if you want.

    1. AT Mobile journey planner doesn’t have the route/operator/mode filters like the website one, which is really annoying.

      It just feels so clunky. They could make the UI a lot more user friendly if they took some tips from other apps like KiwiTransit or Auckland Transit.

      Also the “notification” area with disruptions only ever had one disruption ever for me since I started using it… lol. Get plenty of Transdev texts about disruptions but nothing in the AT Mobile app.

  2. Extra Trains, so in light of the election promises for electrification to Pukekohe does this man the battery emus may not be ordered?

    1. “Approvals have been received from Council and NZ Transport Agency for the procurement of the next tranche of EMU’s to ensure demand can be met from mid-2019 to opening of CRL in 2023. Approval for x15 3-car EMU’s has been received to deliver capacity on the core electrified network. NZ Transport Agency has requested KiwiRail develop over the next 2-3 months a business case and confirm timing potential for Papakura/Pukekohe electrification to permit a decision to be made post general elections. An adjustment can then be made to the EMU order withregards battery power and/or number of units depending on this decision.”
      This sounds like something straight out of Yes Minister, but I think it means the order is going ahead and could be adjusted when the electrification schedule is confirmed.

      1. I thought that was the case. So it really depends on the KR report and if it is feasible to install the OLE Papakura-Pukekohe by late 2019. Since this is probably unlikely then the order for bemus will proceed.

  3. I would like to comment on ‘March Madness’ on Mt Eden Road.
    This year, because AT has increased capacity on Mt Eden Road, things are much better. At most, I have to miss one or two buses because they were full, but this is acceptable as the buses on Mt Eden Rd are very frequent. In previous years, I would wait for about five or six buses to pass before an empty one would come. So, well done AT.

    What the Mt Eden Rd buses now lack is not frequency. Even the NEX does not parallel the Mt Eden Rd bus frequency, with a bus every two minutes in peak and no less than a bus every 10 minutes off peak (during weekdays). The 274/277 now need better bus lanes, and there needs to be less ‘bunching’ of buses. The bunching problem happens quite often around the Balmoral road intersection, so sometimes a two minute frequency in the mornings turns into 5 buses that come at once, and then no buses for the next 20 minutes, and then 10 buses come at once. It’s not uncommon for the bus stop outside the Langham to be filled with 274/277s at the same time.

  4. Walking from the Manukau Station to the Mall a couple o times this winter has made me reality aware of how much that walk is cld and wet. Next winter I will be able to walk through the bus station.
    I wonder if there is any proposal to cover more of that walk before next winter?

  5. of interest to anyone from Waiheke (fra99le?) from the CEOs Report:

    “A part of the governance review will see a pilot on Waiheke Island (for three years). Exact details are still being worked through but indications are there will be the appointment of an ‘operations manager’ for the island and the provision of a separate budget and staff resource for planning and operational matters. It’s likely that the pilot will include development of a ten-year transport plan for the island, something that the local board has been advocating for, and specific design guidelines for infrastructure to be included as part of the AT design manual.

    sounds promising

  6. So with the Bullock Track, accidents/injuries/deaths come second to “traffic flow”? It’s like some sort of cult: “And the people bowed and prayed; to the traffic god they’d made.”
    (Apologies to Simon and Garfunkel!).

  7. I found this paragraph at the end of the CEO’s Report to be rather enlightening :-
    Electronic HOP gating of Henderson and Otahuhu rail station was completed in August. In the first few weeks patronage recorded a +30% and +12% respectively.

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