An event readers may be interested in:

Street Talks: Transforming Public Transport with Auckland’s New Network – with Anthony Cross

5:30pm – 7:00pm Wednesday 18th July, Whare Wānanga, Papa Tuarua/ Second Floor, Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero/ Central Library, Lorne Street

Auckland has made enormous strides in public transport in the last two decades – from pity mode for people with no better choice to a key structuring element of a fast-growing, dynamic city. Since its foundation in 2010, Auckland Transport has achieved major public transport transformation. Some highlights include, integrated ticketing and fares; electric trains; making real time information more real; much improved public transport interchanges and more reliable public transport services.

But the workhorse of the public transport system is the humble city bus – carrying over 70% of all public transport trips. Even with City Rail Link and Light Rail, bus will still be the dominant public transport mode into the future. But for City Rail Link and light rail to do their thing, they need a great bus network to support and feed them. And this is where the New Network comes in – as a first-principles review of the entire bus system that had been only incrementally changed since the late 1970s, so that it can perform its key role in the system. This is being implemented in stages with delivery to be complete in September this year.

Anthony Cross, the Manager Network Development under the new Auckland public transport brand AT Metro, and with the AT Metro Service Delivery team at AT has been the architect, champion and spearhead of the New Network. Anthony will share Auckland’s journey from public transport backwater to a bus system redesign widely regarded internationally as being best in class – with significant patronage increases testifying to its success.

I hope that as many of you as possible can learn about the New Network journey from Anthony. This Street Talks event is brought to you by the Auckland Design Office at Auckland Council and MRCagney Ltd. Doors open 5:30pm with light refreshments and networking in the atrium area adjacent to the Whare Wānanga and the event itself kicks off at 6:00pm.

Many thanks to MRCagney for supporting this event.

Go here to register

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  1. Score card for bus based PT

    Firstly the improvements in buses in my lifetime;

    Air con and better ventilation
    More seats (double deckers, dual axle buses), standing is high risk and a turn off
    Far better destination displays that now appear to be front, side and rear on more of the fleet
    More buses more often
    Automatic transmissions meaning smoother rides
    And with that air suspension
    Seem to be universally more powerful meaning grinding up hills not an issue anymore
    Easier to access with low floors to get in and out of
    Bigger doors (we went backwards after the 70’s on that one and currently it’s mostly the double deckers however)
    Tag on and off
    Tagging on monitored by the driver meaning less loss for ratepayers unlike the trains
    Ability to transfer universally in Auckland over all modes
    USB in some buses
    Far better interior lighting on most of the fleet
    Generally clean

    Not so good;

    Slow, so slow
    Big diesel engines that belch forth plenty of carcinogenic pollutants, especially as they get older and the PTOM encourages or at least temps cutting corners on servicing to ensure shareholder returns are maximised
    High maintenance
    Held up, probably worse than cars at times, by all the usual traffic problems, think speed humps, traffic calming measures, traffic lights, heavy traffic

    And worst of all and in the very bad category;

    Because of some insane free market ideology we the ratepayers lost our own bus fleet and now have to pay private companies to provide the buses and pay their shareholders maximum profit for the privilege, meaning less money for services and better pay and conditions for drivers and staff.

    These things listed make or break PT. Plenty of work to be done and I doubt taking the bus provided PT option only is the road to nirvana!

  2. Going to be really interesting to see in the medium term how commitment to the crosstown grid holds up.

    Although it’s early days, an example is the west half of route 66. (Not “Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino”…) Very lightly used because at the moment Mt Albert Road doesn’t have many big nodes. Really – what is the possible motivation for travel between Pt Chev and Royal Oak?

    1. Yes, it’ll be interesting. I remember when the Outer Link first started I was often the only one on it on a Sunday – now it’s very well-used, 7 days. The 66 buses are looking a bit lonely at the moment. It does connect with 8 frequent bus routes, 2 train lines, and 12 other bus routes, so I’d be surprised if that doesn’t provide connections for lots of people to go lots of places.

      Who wouldn’t want to bus between Royal Oak and Pt Chev? 🙂 They have Auckland’s best (only?) second hand children’s book shop and we have the Zoo, Motat and a beach.

    2. The route 20 buses appear to be running completely empty most of the time. I feel that route would be more useful if it’d been branded as a Link and had its loop cross paths with the Outer Link by stopping on the St Lukes Rd side of the mall rather than Morningside Dr. From there it could head down Sandringham Rd and down Bond St

      1. Yes that looks like a useful improvement. Currently, the bus stops you’d get off at for St Lukes are across Morningside Drive from the mall, so there’s a desire line to cross with no pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians won’t go down to the main intersection to cross with the lights and then have to head back in to the mall; that’s way out of their way.

        Another possibility, if they really want to keep the loop where it is: however about reversing its direction? Then, the bus has to do the right hand turns but the passengers get dropped off on the mall side of the road. Also, it means the bus can stop on the block on St Lukes Rd between Taylors Rd and Morningside Drive – in the current direction there is no bus stop. And also, it would allow them to put in a stop for Mt Albert Primary School, on the right side of the road for them.

        1. Yes, I was really surprised that no additional bus stops were added for the route. A Sainsbury Rd stop would make a lot of sense, and I think a stop near the top of Bond St could also be handy for the nearby residences, and for transferring to buses headed west. Currently you’re required to cross Great North Rd in order to do that.

          I’m really not sure about the route in general, though, and that’s mostly due to its destination – Wynyard Quarter. If the route was pushed closer to Britomart, I’m sure usage would explode immediately

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