Next Tuesday the Auckland Transport board meet again. As usual, I’ve had a look though the papers to find the things I think are interesting.
The closed session is where all of the interesting stuff happens. There are quite a few items but most look fairly boring. The interesting ones are
Items for Approval/Decision
- National Ticketing Programme Update
Items for Noting
- Housing Infrastructure Fund Business Case (HIF)
- Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP)
The updated ATAP is due to be released next week so we should hear about that last item soon.
Street lighting might not be the most interesting topic but it does play an important role and it’s an area where a lot has been changing. Since being approved in late 2014, AT have been rolling out LED street lights across Auckland to replace High Pressure Sodium ones. The first stage of the project has seen 36,000 lights installed by the beginning of February and that number will hit 43,000 by the end of June. By then, over half of all street lights will be LED and AT say that Auckland is “leading the way in Australasia” for it. The stage 1 project costs $22 million to roll out, although it comes with a subsidy from the NZTA of 85% (expires on 1 July and reverts back to 51%). The benefits are significant, including:
- Energy costs will reduce by $1.7 million/year (11.2 GWh/year)
- Maintenance costs will reduce by $1.2 million/year as LEDs last longer
- White Light is better for safety, both of pedestrians and drivers
- The lights are connected to a central management system (CMS) that automatically records faults, can monitor energy used, and allows AT to control light levels.
AT now want to roll out stage 2 of the project. This is both bigger in terms of the number of lights being rolled out (49,000) and in the cost, which at $43.1m is almost double the stage 1 costs. The reason for the higher cost is this round of lights is mainly for feeder and arterial roads so are higher powered and have higher installation costs. This will:
- Further reduction in energy costs of $2.6 million/year (16.3 GWh/year)
- Maintenance costs will further reduce by $1.3 million/year.
- Because the lights are connected to the CMS, they won’t need to go around at night checking lights are working.
Overall this seems like a good project
These are just the items from the main report I found interesting and the order is based on where they appear in the report.
Digital HOP Concessions
For the return of Uni Students, AT rolled out a trial app to load concessions on HOP cards. These are the results so far.
AT Website Refresh
AT say they’re working on refreshing the website, which is good because some areas of it, particularly the PT section, are not customer friendly at all. Here’s some of what they say about it.
This aligned with research on best practice and has identified 11 key areas to address within the website experience. The first three areas of focus are:
- To enhance the Bus / Train / Ferry landing page to ensure that customers maximise the benefits of access to public transport data, and to ensure consistency through improved alignment with AT Mobile.
- To integrate the core way-finding tools (Journey Planner, Real Time Board, and timetables) to reduce confusion between the tools and to ensure that customers seamlessly transition between them.
- To personalise the wayfinding experience through the greater use of geo-awareness and historical usage data, so that predictive models can be established and fewer manual steps will be needed to realise the benefits of wayfinding.
In the last week of March, the team commenced an iterative design approach ensuring that customers are put at the centre of the design process while working within current content management platform constraints.
The path to provide access from the station to Carlaw Park is due to be completed in June and after that AT will be installing HOP gates. This should make the station more useful but changing platforms will still require a far too long trek to the underpass south of the station.
The upgraded Freyberg Square and Ellen Melville Hall are great but the retention of a road through it wasn’t far from ideal. Now, AT are looking at changing it permanently
Working in partnership with Council, AT is proposing to alter Freyberg Place to a Pedestrian Mall. Last year Freyberg Square was upgraded providing a community space in the heart of the central city. At this time, Freyberg Place was maintained as an access road linking High Street to Courthouse Lane in front of Ellen Mellville Hall. We are proposing to change the designation of Freyberg Place to a pedestrian mall, with access for emergency service and authorised vehicles only. This will reflect the nature of the square as a pedestrian space and improve safety. To enable the pedestrian mall a Special Consultative Procedure is to be undertaken. Consultation will be undertaken through April to early May.
Special Events PT usage
The table below shows the level of PT usage to special events that occurred in March where free travel was included in the ticket.
Red Light Cameras
Auckland is getting six more red light cameras by the end of June to complement the 13 that already exist.
The proposed locations for the new cameras for 2017/2018 are:
- Great North Road / Titirangi Road / Rata Street
- Te Irirangi Drive / Accent Drive (two cameras)
- Great South Road / Reagan Road
- Great South Road / Cavendish Drive (two cameras)
Finally two good news stories to end the post.
- Since December when AT increased the timetable on the 380 airporter to have a service at least every 15 minutes most of the day. So far the results are good with AT recording boardings up 10,000 on a year prior.
- The 18 bus route from New Lynn to the city along Gt North Rd replaced 6 previous routes. AT say that “By providing regular service intervals, a simple single bus number and a fleet of new double deckers with dedicated service branding” that ridership has increased by 30-35%
Have you read the reports, is there anything which I haven’t covered that stood out to you?