On Tuesday the Auckland Transport board met again and as I always do, I’ve had a look at the board papers and pulled out what I found the most interesting.
The closed session is where the most interesting papers get discussed. Here are the most interesting items on the list.
Items for Approval/Decision
- New Lynn to Avondale Shared Use Path
- City Centre to Mangere LRT Project Update
- Downtown Ferry Basin Redevelopment, Stage 1
- Airport to Botany Rapid Transit: Puhinui Station Interchange
Items for Noting
- Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme Update
The business report is where the normal month to month information
The paper presents an update on the transport officers AT have hired to check for fare evaders. They say they have now hired 67 of them and are looking for more. They also give some stats on them and I was surprised at just how low the rates they’re finding for fare evasionl. Just over 1% fare evasion is a very low number
It seems there are a heap of projects going through the business case stage, so much so that I wonder if it will put pressure on the industry to deliver them. This is on top of projects like Light Rail which is being run by the NZTA.
- Airport to Botany Corridor – (also includes the route protection of this corridor)
- Puhinui Interchange – looking at what can be completed by the end of 2020 before the America’s Cup and APEC
- Integrated Corridors – is effectively 11 business cases, one for each corridors where they’re looking at things like bus priority and safety improvements.
- Wellesley Street Upgrade – the midtown bus corridor
- Papakura Park and Ride
- Long Bay Southern Corridor – includes Glenvar/East Coast Road and East Coast Road/Glamorgan Drive intersections
- Huapai Access Improvements – Intersection upgrades of SH16 with Access Rd and Station Rd
- Mill Road – for the new focus on the project from government/council
- Lake Road – most likely to be transit lanes on Lake Rd and downgrading the Esmonde Rd bus lane to a transit lane.
Regional Public Transport Plan
The Regional Public Transport Plan is a statutory document that sets out how AT will run and improve public transport in the coming years. It was last updated in 2015 and is due for a refresh, something especially needed since the new Government Policy Statement and the latest funding levels which sees PT funding increased by 25% in the coming three years. For months AT have been saying it will be out for consultation in September/October and adopted in December. This is now not due till November.
Hopefully when the draft version does emerge it includes some of the improvements I outlined here.
AT have started automated audio announcements at a few stations (Onehunga, Papakura, Pukekohe and Swanson – all terminus stations) with Britomart coming by the end of October. This is intended to help those visually impaired. They’re also looking at rolling these out to other stations starting in October and will be triggered by signalling data.
AT also say from this month they’re looking at trialling them on buses.
AT have been highlighting their growing capability around automated video analytics in recent months and have done so again. They say three more intersections along Albert St now have the technology working with one detecting 1608 red light runners over a period of a month. That’s over 50 red light runners a day.
They haven’t said how many intersections currently have this capability but that they are looking at rolling it out to another 20 intersections. Also, these cameras aren’t infringement cameras.
There’s a lot going on with improving safety at the moment which is long overdue so great to finally see. One thing that stood out in the board report to me was this:
Two areas have been prioritised for delivery of residential speed management in this financial year. The areas have been selected based on safety concerns raised by local residents, local crash data, vehicle operating speeds and the location of community facilities such as schools. Speed calming measures will be introduced such as speed tables, humps and gateway treatments. The two areas identified are Te Atatu south (Henderson-Massey Local Board) and Papakura (Rosehill) (Papakura Local Board). Local Boards are supportive of the schemes in reducing speeds in these areas
City Centre Access
AT have been tracking city centre access at a monthly level for some time. I don’t have the most recent data but the report notes this.
It is estimated that on average 72,436 people travelled into the City Centre during the morning peak period (7-9am) in July. The number of people entering the city centre continues to be comparable to last year. However, statistics show a 4% shift from car to PT in July compared with July 2017.
Christmas Train Timetable
Once again large swathes of the rail network will be shut down over the Christmas/New Year period for maintenance and other works. The board paper outlines what is being planned.
- Services will run on December 25th and 26th to a Sunday timetable.
- From December 27 through to January 6 only the Eastern Line will run, mostly to a Sunday timetable. On New Year’s morning the last service will depart Britomart at 2:30am
The other lines will be closed and this is what they say will be being done.
- Southern Line:
- Rail and sleeper replacement between Pukekohe and Papakura.
- Sleeper replacement at Papakura (including the stabling yard).
- Takanini Motorway widening project.
- Southern & Onehunga Lines (Penrose to Newmarket).
- Formation upgrade and sleeper replacement.
- Newmarket Branch (Newmarket to Britomart).
- CRL – Strand Crossover, bridge inspections and any necessary remedial work.
- Western Line
- Track work, formation repairs, mudspot removal, bridge repairs, and preparation work for Cycleway.
AT will also be taking the opportunity to carry out maintenance and upgrades at stations while the overhead power is isolated
AT sometimes list the papers that are expected to go to the next board session. Some of the interesting ones flagged for the next closed session of the board meeting include:
- Low Emission Bus Roadmap
- PTOM Agreements and New Network Implementation Review
- Acquisition of Howick and Eastern Bus Depot, 380 Ti Rakau Drive Burswood – this is likely related to the Eastern Busway project
- Cycling Programme Update
- Speed Bylaw & Statement of proposal – this most likely refers to here the proposal to reduce speed limits on Queen St.
Is there anything notable that I missed from the reports?