Today the Auckland Transport board meet for the last time this year.

Closed Agenda

There is a bumper crop of items of the closed agenda this month, presumably as staff try to get things signed off before the end of the year.

Items for Approval/Decision

  • Hill Street Intersection Improvement
  • North West Rapid Transit Corridor Indicative Business Case
  • Matakana Link Road – Delegation for Stage 1 Construction Approvals
  • Road Stoppings
  • Puhinui Station Interchange Upgrade – Approval of Lease with KiwiRail Limited
  • Security Services Procurement
  • Annual Fares Review
  • Ferry Fare Integration
  • Active Modes
  • Traffic Signals Maintenance and Upgrades – Tender Process Approval

Items for Noting

  • SH16/SH18 Connections & Northside Drive East
  • Auckland Accelerated Modeshift Plan

It will be particularly interesting to see the outcome of the annual fares review. AT came under a lot of pressure at the beginning of the year for the last round of fare increases and it resulted in the council funding some targeted changes, such as free kids fares on weekends (with HOP). However AT are also under a lot of budgetary pressure and back in October AT slashed a number of bus services, which have helped to make PT much less useful.

Accessibility Action Plan

Our transport system can be hard enough to use if you’re young and able-bodied but many people don’t fall into that category and getting around can be a real challenge. Among other things AT say they were “challenged by the Human Rights Commission on behalf of customers alleging discrimination. The Commission has recommended that AT do more to cater for people with accessible needs“.

As such, AT have now come up with an Accessibility Action Plan for 2020-22 which they’re looking for the board to endorse and approve to be released to the public – however the plan itself is shown on the agenda. Here are the things they’re looking to do over that timeframe.

Business Report

As usual, these are the items that stood out to me from the business report, generally in the order they appeared in the report.

Funding and Procurement

Funding

AT have had a funding boost from the NZTA for public transport services, operations, maintenance and renewals. I wonder if this is related to the fare review in any way?

A Cost Scope Adjustment (CSA) for the 2018-21 PT Continuous Programme was partially approved for a total cost of $45 million, bringing the total approval to $1.16 billion for this three-year period.

Procurement

Between 21-Sep and 10-Nov, AT released 13 tenders estimated to be worth $40.7m, of which five were estimated to have a value of over $2 million. Of those, a number of walking and cycling projects are included.

  • Tamaki Drive Cycle Route Construction – Procurement of a physical works contractor for the construction of the 2.3km cycleway on Quay Street and Tamaki Drive, from the existing Quay Street Cycleway Extension (west of The Strand) to Ngapipi Bridge.
  • Herne Bay Walking & Cycling Improvements – Construction of the Local Area Traffic Management Treatments and Street Light upgrades in Herne Bay
  • Mt Roskill Safer Communities – Improvement of pedestrian amenities, including crossing facilities, and overall pedestrian safety in the Mt Roskill area (Carr Road and Frost Road).

They also awarded the Northcote Safe Cycle Route Stage 2 (bridges over SH1) which was also over $8.5 million.

E-Scooter Analytics

On Friday it was announced that the council were changing which companies had licences to operate e-scooters. Possibly one of the aspects behind the decision is some reporting AT have done on them.

A number of e-Scooter dashboards and reports have been developed in order to monitor compliance with Auckland Council’s cycle and scooter share code of practice and support policy development for the Council. The report is also designed to draw out insights around e-Scooter use and has been well received.

In the report, e-Scooter trip count, trip speed and trip duration are measured in different ways; per time (hour, day of week, date, week, month and year), per location (address, road and suburb) and per operator.

Precise trip analysis is enabled in the report by including many different filters e.g. primary school term flag. Heat maps with zoom in and out functions are added to support a spatial view of e-Scooter activity and locations.

And here is a sample of the dashboards

Motorcycle Safety

I thought the whole section was useful to include

Motorcycling is one of the highest risk activities on Auckland urban roads. Motorcycle DSIs increased 42% from 96 in 2014 to 136 in 2018, making up 21% of all Auckland DSIs in 2018 (including State Highways). Approximately 89% of all Auckland’s motorcycle crashes occur in urban areas, with 20% of these crashes being DSIs. The DSI was 169 in 2017.

Detailed crash reviews and video analyses found the highest risk movements relate to four lane arterials (two lanes in each direction) with the left lane being a special vehicle lane. There have been overly represented intersection crashes involving vehicles turning right into side roads colliding with the motorcyclists and cyclists travelling on the special vehicle lanes.

AT has previously utilised ‘Keep Clear’ zone marking, as specified within the Traffic Control Devices (TCD) rule, in an attempt to improve sight distances at intersections and reduce the incident of right turn crashes. This resulted in some improvement in the safety performance, but it is considered further safety improvements are required.

The Road Safety Engineering team undertook a series of human factors workshops with the subject matter experts and key stakeholders including ACC and various road user groups to identify appropriate treatments that would be understood and correctly interpreted by motorists. The findings from the workshops resulted in innovative safety solutions including the use of technology, advance detection and road marking.

As this solution is not standard, a TCD rule trial was required in order to test the effectiveness of the proposed safety interventions. The trial was approved by NZTA in late October and the trial is expected to commence in early 2020, following public consultation which is due to commence in November.

Public Transport

Planning and Procurement

  • While AT continue to work on their ferry strategy, they’ve just extended four-year contract extensions with operators.’
  • A bit of a Freudian slip in the report?

Four performing bus services were removed as part of the network value for money review, with changes coming into force on 13 October 2019.

  • Negotiations are in progress to introduce e-buses on City Link and Airport to Puhinui services.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction has continued to trend down, especially on ferries.

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything key you thought I missed.

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16 comments

  1. Great to see Northside Drive East being progressed. Hopefully they’ve future proofed the bridge design for a rapid transit solution

    1. You would hope so. It’s a pretty interesting space with lots going on around it. It would be a shame if it ended up like a Harris Road or Bush Road instead of being properly planned.

  2. Because I know AT staff read this page, I would suggest that AT work with Auckland Deaf Society in regards to the Accessibility Plan, in particular, the use of NZSL for PT information.

    Auckland Deaf Society has members from across Auckland, quite a few of whom use PT and can provide valuable information/feedback.

  3. “There have been overly represented intersection crashes involving vehicles turning right into side roads colliding with the motorcyclists and cyclists travelling on the special vehicle lanes.”

    I think we have the problem that drivers have been trained – through the sweeping corners in road design and through priority given over pedestrians – to expect to not have to really slow down for corners.

    I video’d the cars turning right into a local road recently. Every car cut the corner, bar those that had to wait for another car and therefore kept inching forward to keep in motion.

    1. Yes I think this could be another reason. Can’t turn into driveways anymore too without cutting the corner as they are used to keeping the speed on and swooping.

    2. You can also get away with higher-speed cornering in most (not all) modern vehicles compared to what was the case 10 or 20 years ago. People seem immune to the possibility of losing it on a corner – but of course we are actively making silly speeds much easier for them with newly built nice sweeping curves on places like Ponsonby/K Road corner, to name one really depressing example

  4. Year 2 mentions ‘Audio on buses’ as an RFP. Seems odd as when double deckers were introduced on the City-Howick run they had this feature along with on screen GPS displays for passengers. They showed and announced bus location and upcoming stops. This was soon discontinued. I am hoping this is to retrofit the fleet rather than reinventing the wheel.

  5. Looking at the e-scooters heat map, it appears a lot of users uses queen st.

    It is an irony the planner doesn’t want scooter/bike lanes on queen st.

  6. “ AT have had a funding boost from the NZTA for public transport services, operations, maintenance and renewals. I wonder if this is related to the fare review in any way?”

    Yes so perhaps a slight fare decrease for tertiary and adult fares?

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