Today is the latest Auckland Transport board meeting. As usual, I’ve been through the papers.
There are quite a few items on the closed session agenda this month and all are up for approval/decision. The most interesting ones are:
- AT Board Policies
- Contract Variation Agreement for the Provision of Manned Services
- Ferry PTOM Procurement Update
- Future Ferry Strategy
- Deed of Lease of KR Land at Takanini Park and Ride
- Lease of Units at Devonport Wharf
- AMETI EB1 Revised Forecast
- Procurement of ETCS equipment
- Review and Approval of AT Board Subcommittee Charters
There’s quite a few interesting items in this report and I skipped some of it due to how long the post was already getting. As always, these are in the order they appear in the report.
Of the myriad of plans that exist, the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) is the one that lays out specifically what AT intend to do with public transport, including what services they’ll run. The plan is due for an update and the paper says this about it
The review of the Regional Public Transport Plan has begun. The plan is being updated to reflect the significant progress since the current Regional Public Transport Plan was adopted in 2015 (including Simpler Fares implementation, and the roll-out of the New Network) and to signal “what’s next?” in terms of the ongoing transformation of the public transport system. Emerging focus areas include an emphasis on the customer experience; expansion of the Rapid Transit Network and Frequent Transit Network (and increased frequency of services) and signalling the potential for on-demand services to supplement or replace low-performing services where appropriate.
The review timelines have been extended to take into account the results of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project Refresh, and the Government Policy Statement and Regional Land Transport Plan processes. Public engagement is currently scheduled for September/October 2018. Formal adoption is targeted for December 2018.
Of course, this doesn’t mean AT will always follow it exactly, after all, we’re still waiting on the off-peak rail frequencies promised in previous versions.
AT talked a bit about using CCTV in their last board report to analyse pedestrian movements and parking/cycleway enforcement. This time they’re talking about using it to help improve road safety.
Road safety outcomes in Auckland have been in decline over the past three years, with road fatalities and serious injuries each rising by over 70% between 2014 and 2017. As a result, safety has been identified as a priority by AT and in both the Government Policy Statement on Transport and in Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP 2.0). A workshop is being scheduled with various Road Safety teams to establish the feasibility of using CCTV Analytics capability to increase reporting on the number of incidents and thus the size of the problem.
During June a project was initiated to count red light runners at high-risk intersections. The first analytics were built at a Lake Road Pedestrian crossing. The data gathered will be used by the Traffic Systems team for statistical and decision-making purposes. Imagery and data will also be used as part of communications and safety messaging.
This seems like a good idea. Most, traffic light controlled intersections, and especially all major ones, will have CCTV installed and even if it’s not good enough to issue tickets for red light running, it would surely help more accurately assess the scale of the problem.
They’re also used it to identify stationary vehicles on the yellow hashed area of the Glen Eden level crossing based on how long they were stopped for, again to help improve safety. Presumably invaluable information in any future discussions on grade separation.
The much maligned journey planner is finally getting some love
Earlier this year, customers rated the Journey Planner tool as unsatisfactory and noted that it lacked a robust list of place names or landmarks. Following work to improve data sources and speed capability the Journey Planner Public Beta (0.1) launched on Monday 25 June. This also incorporates a more intuitive interface along with high priority accessibility changes recommended by the Accessibility Audit (Completed May 2018).
Customer feedback will be processed and included in an iterative beta (0.2) release in July 2018.
Full launch of new Journey Planner – replacing current Journey Planner is expected in late July or early August.
A large number of business cases are currently or about to get underway for a variety of projects, many of them bus priority measures.
Business case development is underway for a number of initiatives to support Auckland’s growth. These include the Supporting Growth Planning Alliance, Airport – Botany Rapid Transit Corridor and the Puhinui bus/rail interchange.
A number of new business cases are expected to commence shortly to advance projects identified in the Regional Land Transport Plan. These include detailed business cases for upgrades to Lake Road; a park and ride in Papakura; improvements at Matiatia; and bus priority measures on Wellesley Street as well as whole of route priority measures on a further ten corridors. These include Sandringham Road, New North Road, Mount Eden Road, Remuera Road, Manukau Road, Great South Road, Pakuranga / Ellerslie Panmure Highways, Ponsonby Road, Parnell Road and Mangere – Otahuhu Sylvia Park.
The business cases will also be updated for the Mill Road and Penlink corridors as well as East Coast / Glenvar Intersection and Tapu Road / Station Road intersection.
There are quite a few project updates. Here are just a few of them which I’ll try and summarise even more succinctly than in the report
- Victoria Street Cycleway (Beaumont to Hobson) – going through urban design review
- Tamaki Drive Cycle Route – Resource consent likely lodged this month and construction likely to start early 2019
- Parnell to Tamaki Cycle Route – outcomes of current analysis due this month
- New Lynn / Avondale Cycle Route – Still going through design again
- Westhaven to CBD Cycle Route – Previous option of bikes sharing with cars dropped on safety grounds, now looking at separated lanes
- Great North Road Cycle and Bus Priority – concept design project cost estimate will be completed in mid-July
- Herne Bay to Westhaven Cycle Route – Construction due to begin later this year
- Newmarket Crossing – The new bridge opens this Friday and the Sarawia St crossing will then close. During a rail shutdown this weekend, Kiwirail will implement signalling changes which are needed for the August timetable change
- Takanini and Te Mahia Station Upgrades – Work continues on the upgrade of these stations. At Te Mahia a property has been purchased which will allow the pedestrian entry to be improved.
- Panmure to Pakuranga – Two of the appeals have been resolved leaving only one which is due to be heard in August. The tender for construction is also due to be awarded then.
- Pakuranga to Botany – design work continues. On the Reeves Rd Flyover they say “Ongoing design work of sub-elements such as the flyover form and alignment is yielding notable improvements, especially in terms of safety, integration, risk mitigation and value.”
- Matakana Link Road – The NZTA have knocked back this hugely expensive project unless the total project design, land and construction costs are less than $55 million (currently about $89 million).
As part of the commentary into the performance of ferries, AT note:
Services in May suffered for a variety of reasons. Four days affected by fog, resulting in a large number of Inner Harbour and West Auckland services running late. Other impacts included three days low tides affecting the Half Moon Bay services. In addition breakdowns in the Fullers fleet affected about 1% of contracted trips.
Inner Harbour services to Bayswater and Birkenhead continue to be affected by journey time issues and berth congestion, and a proposal is being considered with Fullers to review timetable journey times to more accurately reflect actual journey times, that may include a review of the frequency for the Birkenhead service.
Patronage is flat for the year on year, where growth is being hampered by lack of capacity and overall service reliability. Hobsonville continued growth of 44% year on year from the March variation.
Making Stations and terminals more visible
AT are looking at some new totems to try and make stations more visible.
The visibility of AT Metro, particularly at train stations around Auckland is low, making it difficult for Aucklanders to realise where our stations are. An initial prototype is being developed to illustrate how we can elevate AT Metro’s brand presence at key locations (stations, ferry terminals, busway), through installation of new ‘totem’ illuminated signage. A number of different designs are being assessed to maximise our brand presence, prior to the development of a business case and procurement process.
Many stations already have totems and some even still have the old MAXX branding.
Devonport rideshare trial
It appears this trial is still going ahead
The Devonport on-demand rideshare service Request for Proposal (RFP) process is complete. VIA an international on-demand rideshare vendor has been appointed to the technology solution and GoBus appointed as the operator. The initiative moves into delivery phase, with the trial expected to commence in October 2018 for a 12 month period.
AT occasionally publish what papers are likely to be coming up at future board meetings. Some of the items for the next closes session are expected to be:
- Road Gradients
- Low Emission Bus Road Map
- Regional Bus Terminal
- Cycling Programme Update