Today the Auckland Transport board meet for their first formal meeting of the year. Here are some of the highlights from the papers going to the board.
The closed session is usually where most of the interesting items are discussed. There are a couple of items for Approval/Decision that stand out, such as the active modes update – I wonder if they’ll address their abysmal performance in rolling out cycleways over the last few years.
Items for Approval/Decision
- Draft Statement of Intent 2019-2022
- Supporting Growth Alliance Preferred Network and Progression to next steps
- Huapai SHA transport improvements
- Newmarket Bus Layover
- Ormiston Main Street Link
- 26 Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga (AMETI-EB2)
- Active Modes update
- Procurement Strategy
- Auckland Transport Delegations Manual
In the items for noting there’s also a topic about Micro Mobility which could be interesting.
The business report contains most of the updates. Due to the size of it, the order listed below is how they appeared in the report
A number of items are noted as having been approved for funding between November and early January. These include
- A 291 space park & ride for Takanini for $4.4 million (about $15k per carpark).
- Improvements to ferry services for $5.1 million which is also getting higher than usual funding assistance from the NZTA at 75.5% instead of 50% like normal projects
- New Lynn to Avondale Cycleway for $40.3 million. This seems quite expensive but does include a bridge over the Whau River and a rail underpass
With Uni’s starting again in a few weeks, the issue of student concessions often comes up. AT say they’re looking to extend their “automated concessions solution” to AUT and Massey University by 18 February. They’re also looking to develop something similar for secondary school concessions.
An update gives some recent numbers of the results of the transport officers and shows fare evasion on trains remains low.
Airport to Botany
AT say that during their consultation they spoke to about 850 people and had about 500 written comments. On the Puhinui Interchange they note that the current cost estimate is higher than expected and that the required opening date of December 2020 is challenging. They expect to lodge a non-notified resource consent in March/April.
As mentioned above, one thing that’s been noticeable over the last year or two has been ATs abysmal record in rolling out cycleways. Many of the projects identified in the previous government’s Urban Cycling Programme remain a long way from even starting. This is highlighted in by all of the orange and red in the project updates.
On Demand Services
AT are looking at an on-demand services roadmap. Let’s hope WSP-OPUS are able to bring some sanity to this obsession by AT.
The development of an on-demand services roadmap has been awarded to WSP-OPUS following a competitive procurement process. This roadmap will identify a tactical plan to implement on-demand service offerings in Auckland. It is expected to report back in Q2 2019.
The first on-demand transport (ODT) service in Auckland was launched week commencing 18 November in Devonport. An electric fleet of small passenger vehicles will provide on-demand services within a 3km radius of Devonport Ferry Wharf. The service offers customers both pre-booked and real-time pick-up. It is understood that this is one of the first ODT services in the world offering an electric fleet and real-time services.
Bus Punctuality and Reliability
In relation to bus performance, AT say:
NZ Bus and Ritchies experience bus driver shortage affecting their reliability and they are working through a range of initiatives to fill vacant driving positions, while the pending sale of Birkenhead Transport is impacting their performance and is having adverse effect on drivers with many resignations, and management struggling to put corrective actions while awaiting sale and exit from the business. Go Bus, Howick & Eastern Buses and Pavlovich Coachlines have maintained their strong performance and Tranzit have adjusted well to new PTOM measures and have progressively improved to become top performer.
This is concerning, especially as we head in to March and we’ll need all hands on deck to move into the busiest time of the year on our road and PT networks. In relation to the Birkenhead Transport aspect, Stuff reported this yesterday.
The latest quarterly customer satisfaction results are in. Notably, respondents on all modes seem to have asked for better frequencies, cheaper fares, extended hours of operation and more punctual services. They say that bus users are more likely than other modes to ask for better punctuality and also more likely to ask ask for better staff/drivers – but I suspect that is because they’re more likely to interact with bus drivers than they are with train for ferry staff.
Behaviour Change Trial
A separate paper and presentation going to the board gives some results of a trial that took place in August to change travel behaviour using automatic number plate recognition from video analytics to fed travel information to roadside signs. Some of the high level conclusions are shown below.
- 43% of the respondents recalled seeing the VMS signs, compared with 26% who recalled seeing the advertising campaigns
- One in ten of those who saw the signs said they did something different to their commute, i.e. acted on the message
- Bus patronage increased 3.5% in the trial period compared to the same period the year before
- Peak T1 lane journey time during the trial fell ~4% to 23.4 minutes, from 24.5 minutes in June
- Early morning (7:00am) T1 lane journey time increased to 13.0 minutes, from 11.3 minutes in June
They say they’ve now installed similar number plate recognition on Esmonde Road, Manukau Road / Pah Road, and Constellation Drive for future behaviour change projects. They’re also looking at it for other roads such as Tamaki Dr.
Regional Public Transport Plan
The RPTP was consulted on late last year, our feedback is here. AT don’t say how much feedback they have given a summary of the key areas of feedback – the amended document is here. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear they plan on making any real changes to the document.