As the end of the year rapidly approaches it seems the government are rushing to get out all of the things they’ve been working on before heading off for a summer break. As such, last week had a lot of transport-related news. This included both the Government’s announcement of substantial extra infrastructure investment over the next few years, and the final release of studies and next steps for moving Auckland’s Port.

But they weren’t the only things and the release of a couple of really important plans on mode shift has slipped under the radar a bit. These are:

  • Keeping Cities Moving‘, a national-level mode shift plan that seems to largely focus on changing the role of NZTA away from being just road builders and towards becoming a true multi-modal transport agency.
  • Better Travel Choices‘, a mode shift plan for Auckland that has been prepared jointly by the different organisations involved in ATAP

This post will focus on the national plan “Keeping Cities Moving”, while tomorrow I’ll dig into the Auckland document.

One really good thing the NZTA plan does up front is to explain in some detail why mode shift to public transport, walking and cycling is so essential to the success of our urban areas. This is really helpful as I think too often arguments around mode shift get tied up in ideological debates, whereas actually with a bit more explanation it quickly becomes clear why mode shift is so necessary in helping to achieve the kind of outcomes that people across different political perspectives are generally interested in.

Over the past 70 years New Zealanders have become increasingly reliant on private vehicles to meet their travel needs. While private vehicles are well suited to many transport tasks due to their flexibility and speed, such a high level of reliance in cities where space is constrained, and the population is growing, is not sustainable.

Current reliance on private vehicles also means that owning and regularly using a car has become a pre-requisite to fully participating in society. This is contributing to a number of problems like congestion, poor quality urban environments, pollution and carbon emissions, poor public health and high travel costs.

Growth in our population and economy means we need to work now to develop a modern transport system that addresses these issues and supports our cities to be thriving places with great quality of life.

Increasing the share of travel by public transport, walking and cycling in New Zealand’s cities (what is known as ‘mode shift’) has a critical role to play in improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders by shaping a more accessible, safe and sustainable transport system. It’s not possible to accommodate more and more private vehicles within limited street space. They are a relatively inefficient means of moving people. And adding road capacity without providing alternative travel options tends to encourage more vehicle travel, often negating any initial congestion relief over time.

The ‘space efficiency’ of public transport and active modes means that we can help people move around more easily without reducing their quality of life.

Providing alternative transport options that are convenient, reliable and cost-effective will support people to make changes to the way they travel. Private vehicles won’t disappear anytime soon but providing a better-balanced transport system with options that reduce the need to drive or own a car is increasingly important to ensure population and economic growth doesn’t translate into more congestion, more emissions and ultimately less successful and liveable cities.

While there is a high overall level of car dependency in our cities, public transport, walking and cycling* already play an important role in meeting some of the country’s most critical transport tasks – especially at peak times. In recent years there has been significant growth in the use of these shared and active modes in some of New Zealand’s big cities, but there remains a need to do much more.

It’s good how the plan clearly explains the necessity of mode shift in achieving successful cities in the 21st century – and that car dependency really undermines so many of the big outcomes we are aiming for. This diagram showing the amount of space taken up by different modes is especially compelling:

Significant change is required because New Zealand’s cities are incredibly dependent on private vehicles for meeting their travel needs – as shown in the graph below:

The Plan itself is built around targeting the causes of car dependency through a three-pronged approach:

  • Shaping urban form – Encouraging good quality, compact, mixed-use urban development will result in densities that can support rapid/frequent transit (and vice versa); shorter trips between home and work/education/leisure; and safe, healthy and attractive urban environments to encourage more walking and cycling.
  • Making shared and active modes more attractive – Improving the quality, quantity and performance of public transport facilities and services, and walking and cycling facilities, will enable more people to use them. This can involve both optimising the existing system (for example, through reallocating road space), investment in new infrastructure and services, and providing better connections between modes.
  • Influencing travel demand and transport choices – Changing behaviour may also require a mix of incentives and disincentives (or ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors) to either discourage use of private vehicles (by making them less attractive relative to other options) or making people more aware of their options and incentivising them to try something new. This may include parking policies, road pricing, travel planning and education.

A variety of different actions are then detailed. They are helpfully summarised in the diagram below:

It seems like these actions are a mixture of NZTA getting its own act together to ensure its systems and processes no longer undermine mode shift, alongside them working much more closely with local government to help make PT, walking and cycling safer and better. There are also some useful little hooks in the details of the plan, such as how it supports Auckland Council’s excellent ‘Access for Everyone’ plan for Auckland’s city centre. Hopefully that will stop Auckland Transport from sabotaging progress!

A Stuff article by Todd Niall last week focused more on Auckland’s mode shift plan (which I’ll discuss more tomorrow) but one thing that stood out to me in the article was the emphasis that Transport Minister Phil Twyford placed on the mode shift work:

The Minister of Transport Phil Twyford described the plan as part of a “re-write of the transport agency (NZTA’s) job description”.

​”Just co-funding a list of projects or building some state highways is not going to cut it for Auckland in the 21st century,” Twyford told Stuff.

After a pretty disastrous year for NZTA, this plan gives me a bit of hope that they might finally be getting their act together.

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79 comments

    1. I’ll only believe that NZTA is biased in favour or roading from anyone who’s ever worked within them or with them for any period of more than 18 months.

      A lot fo the anti-NZTA stuff I see on here is merely people looking for a scapegoat. NZTA don’t ultimately call the shots.

  1. If the NZTA is to be transformed away from being a road builder into a true multimodal government transport agency, will there be any moves to have them take responsibility for the infrastructure part of KiwiRail?

    It seems rather counter-productive to leave KiwiRail in it’s current form as both the network provider and an operator as a State-owned Enterprise where decision making about rail is purely from a commercial point of view, as per the legal requirements and expectations of an SOE.

    This sort of 1980s/90s approach to rail does not support the objectives of this Government with regards to mode-shift and reducing carbon emissions, such as what is trying to be achieved with refocussing the role of NZTA.

    Whilst the Government recently announced changes to the way KiwiRail will able to be funded in the future, such as through the National Land Transport Fund and introducing ‘rail user charges’, the operating business using rail is never going to fully cover the cost of the infrastructure (just like roads) and as a SOE, KiwiRail will continue to be negatively reported as operating at a ‘loss’ and requiring ongoing ‘subsidies’ – but this is not the way roads are reported due to the structure and funding approach and the role roads (and now other modes such as cycleways, footpaths and light rail) play as being considered essential infrastructure.

    1. Fully agree.

      A major Government-led review should be made into to the way rail and public transport services are provided with regards to their structure, funding and ownership. Doing this with the objective to make better use of all public money from NZTA and council ratepayers, by having it actually going into improving public transport services and infrastructure, and not out of the country as profits to private foreign-owned bus and rail companies like Transdev.

      A return to council ownership of buses and have KiwiRail operating all passenger train services should be considered. Doing this might help address the issue of “race to the bottom” contracts which are resulting in the appalling low wages and conditions bus drivers are on, and trying to remove Train Managers off passenger trains.

    2. Of course another option is to make NZTA an SOE, ask it to make a profit, and require it to pay for emissions. Kiwirail will find it much easier to compete then.

    3. Green – I agree with you.

      The national rail infrastructure (below and above track), signaling and train control be separated out of Kiwirail Holdings Ltd and be a separate strategic asset (similar to national state highways and regional networks) crown entity under the Ministry of Transport operating as an ‘open access’ cost recovering operation with funding from track access charges, percentage income of fuel tax/RUCs with central government topping up any shortfall in income to expenditure. This short fall would be ongoing infrastructure “investment’.

      Kiwirail the rail operator, will still be a SOE operating regional, inter-regional and long distance semi and bulk freight and long distance passenger train services like the current 3 scenic ‘tourist’ passenger train services.

      Opening up the national rail network will allowed other rail operators whether they are heritage rail museums, other passenger train services like the Antipodes Explorer, freight operators, etc and the re-introduction of intra and inter-regional passenger train services.

      Currently our urban, semi rural, rural and regional public transport services is uncoordinated and hap hazard that favours Auckland region and lessor extend Wellington region. There are 16 regions in NZ, with 7 regions having populations over 200,000, 4 regions with populations between 100,000 to 199,999 and 5 regions with populations less than 99,999.

      Reasonable to good public transport services are available in NZ’s 7 major urban centres with other urban centres, in regions that have populations less than 199,999 with little or no public transport services.

      NZ needs to have a separate strategic asset national public transport agency operating as a crown entity under the Ministry of Transport to plan, fund and procure integrated ‘turn up n travel’ urban semi rural, rural, intra and inter-regional bus, train and ferry services using a national ‘tap n travel’ payment/ticketing system for all 16 regions within NZ, as an alternative to fossil fuel private vehicles. The national public transport agency would operate as a ‘public service’ non-profiting making entity, fund by fares, percentage income of fuel tax/RUCs, proportional regional public transport levies based on population size of any region with central government topping up any shortfall in income to expenditure.

      With planet warming and expected rapid rise in population growth through climate change immigration. as a country we need to stop dithering and having talk fests and start doing some serious long term sustainable environmentally friendly urban and transport planning.

      1. I’ve always thought that allowing freight companies (or other large companies who might want to make movements – e.g. Fonterra) to have more control over their freight movements, allow them to lease (and take some responsibility of) and maybe even own their own rolling stock to use on the rail network (which they modestly charged usage for) within the regulations could be a way to encourage more usage of the railway network, making it more competitive with road freight.

        And it could also result in more support for investments in the railway network over the roading network. At the end of the day: Private companies want what makes their books look the best, and if enough of that is due to rail freight…

        1. I agree that should be allowed for. However, I think most big companies would rather just contract that work to a company that specialises in running trains such as Kiwirail. They already send most of their goods by rail and Kiwirail generally treats is big customers pretty well.

        2. Ravensdown walked away when they were told they needed to pay for there own wagons to cart fert. Assume it all goes on taxpayer subsidized roads now.

        3. When was that Luke?
          I’m pretty certain that most of the fertiliser from Napier was moved by rail back in the ’80s.

        4. Daniel Eyre – Mainfreight and Owens have expressed interest in operating their own freight trains individually or work as joint venture. I also heard the Pacific National would be interested in operating in NZ using some of their locomotives and wagons from Queensland, If the national rail network is an ‘open access’ network.

          Currently, the national rail network is under utilized.

  2. Just another document written by someone because they had to. All of these organisations produce documents like this and then completely ignore them.
    Looks like if National win the next election (which seems likely unless Labour can actually deliver on something), things are going to get much much worse. They aren’t even trying to hide their colours now, they love cars, cars and more cars, and now they want to fine cyclists that don’t use the obviously poor quality cycling infrastructure and use the road instead!

    1. Correct. There will be dozens of these aspirational documents with pretty charts and pictures of people riding and smiling alongside near-empty roads. The chances of them ever becoming a reality are next to nil.

      This, I would suggest, is puffery designed to distract from the fact that the Light Rail bids have only just made it to MoT and they haven’t even started looking at them yet, according to interest.co.nz.

    2. I tried to tell people here that Labour is no more in favour of public transport and railways than National are, and I copped a fair amount of abuse.

      Just look at their track record from when they were in power 1999-2008 and how much funding they gave for major roading projects and how they just ignored railways. That was the government that allowed what was left of TranzRail to be further asset-stripped by the Australian TOLL company (who obviously had a good laugh repainting locomotives yellow & green). And this continued until the very end when David Parker and then Annette King became the minister(s), by which stage they could no longer ignore that the proverbial had hit the fan. And even then; there was still a clear reluctance to buy what was left and restart as Kiwirail and fund Project DART for Auckland.

      One of those ministers was that Paul Swain, the same sleazy walking turd who got rid of the trolleybuses in Wellington. That man has no love for public transport, he’s more the type of baby-boomer libertarian who’s impressed by sports cars and mansions! I doubt he’s taken any bus for 40 years.

      1. Good grief; they did buy the national rail system back in this period, you realise.

        However in general the Clark/Cullen govt was v cautious on funding PT, as they were with all transport projects in general, including highways; Cullen a very conservative Fin Min: built surpluses. Though they did precisely enough to kick start the AKL PT revival, just enough to make it unstoppable by the much more sceptical following govt: Northern Busway and Project DART in particular, these were absolutely critical.

        For without them AKL would be like Christchurch now; with nothing. Joyce certainly would have seen no value in the following electrification plan, which DART made all but inevitable; as something had to be done.

        Without DART the obvious thing would have been to close the rail system, little meaningful passenger growth would have been projected. And without the Busway; I shudder to think. We know the Nats had no time for m’way busways as they scotched the one on the NW, despite the proof from the NB.

        It was much braver to build the earlier Busway that the Labour led govt did; it faced huge opposition from disbelieving bus sceptics. The Shore, it was claimed, is ‘too posh to bus’. To some degree this is understandable because there was no precedent in NZ of a proper off line ‘train-like’ busway, like we do now.

        So no, the facts just don’t support your argument at all. That Lab govt, frustratingly cautious as it was, definitely made the key decisions that have changed AKL for good (in every sense). Joyce certainly deserves praise for continuing investment in Metro rail in AKL (electrification), when a more spiteful lump could have cut that. And Key (contra Joyce and Brownlee) really deserves praise for going with Brown’s CRL plan….

        And here we are now; with CRL, Eastern Busway, NB extension, Airport to Botany, and at last a NW busway, all underway, or in the works: Revolution!

        That we’re bitching about the failure of this govt to leap right in with another multi-billion dollar urban rail project is really an extraordinary thing, viewed in this historical perspective.

        1. To repeat: The Labour government of 1999-2008 refused to buy Tranzrail and allowed it to be further asset-stripped by Toll Holdings. It was only with reluctance that it bought Kiwirail in 2008 and only because the alternative was worse.
          And it provided very little funding for Kiwirail with no turn-around plan for any long-term viability.

          How can you say that that government was in any way “cautious” when it came to funding roading projects?! Why would the be cautious when they enjoyed strong majorities in parliament for their three terms? The record stands: that government fast-tracked and fully-funded roading projects. No time was wasted on the Upper Harbour motorway, extending the South-western motorway, upgrading Pukerua bay to Pauatahanui, extending the Dunedin Southern Motorway, and all the upgrades and extensions to the Auckland Motorway. In the final 4 years of Tranzrail and the 5 awful years of Toll holdings; NZ’s railway network saw probably its worst period with lines being mothballed, stations being demolished (and in the case of Huntly being removed altogether).

          It wasn’t until Chris Carter became minister that Public transport was even looked-at. The northern Busway and project Dart were almost parting-shots for an outgoing government. They gave Christine Fletcher very little help with Britomart. Neo-liberals like Michael Cullen just don’t consider public transport.

          To say that without them; Auckland would be like Christchurch is and with railway corridors (which I should remind you are mostly shared with freights) is ridiculous hyperbole given that the Auckland council would’ve still built an interchange at Britomart and that any government could’ve been compelled to make investments like DART.

          The facts are there and those include the electrification and CRL being funded under National party administrations as was the super-city which has allowed Auckland more local say in its transport administration. And I’m being completely apolitical and objective here.

        2. You are wrong Daniel.

          Whilst Tranzrail was going broke in 2002/3 leading NZ into the very real possibility of no rail at all, the then Labour led government was quietly trying to buy it back, the company was essentially worthless as most of its assets had been sold and leased back by the Fay Richwhite controlled ownership, (those sales caused NZ Rail to post a massive annual profit for about the first time ever and boosted share prices exponentially at about which time FR quickly divested their holdings to zero).

          By the time TR was going under, the total infrastructure was in a terrible state. We were verging on no rail system in less than 10 years of privatization.

          About then John Key asks his infamous questions in parliament as associate transport spokesman for the opposition about the government’s intent on Tranzrail, not declaring his shareholder status in TR. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10533576

          Into the breach created with the government now having its cover blown as a potential bidder, they pulled out. Toll leapt on that knowing, as they did with Tasrail, they could hold both governments to ransom by threatening to shut sections of the networks down….unle$$.

          Labour were backed into a no win corner and paid well over the odds in 2008 and Toll walked away laughing with our money.

          Also in the early to late 2000’s after Ontrack were created, the Labour government along with the ARC double tracked the North Auckland Line to Swanson, funded and started the resurrection of the Onehunga line and the new Manukau branch, plus set up a funding mechanism for the electrification of the Auckland metro lines, latterly stopped by National.

          Try not to reinvent history!

        3. Oh the irony in Waspman telling me to “try not to reinvent history” at the end of a post where he did exactly that.

      2. Labour have definitely been more in favour of PT than National. They kickstarted things with the Busway, DART and funding electrification.

        Since 2017 they have finally got the Eastern Busway started and have got the ball rolling on Hamilton-Auckland rail. That’s more than National had achieved in 2010.

        1. National continued the commitment to electrification despite being in a position to cancel it (and with uncertain economic conditions) and also allowed the CRL to commence. Not only that; Christine Fletcher a mayor with links to National was the driving force behind Britomart.

          Really: One is no better than the other. They’re both rather rubbish when it comes to PT.

        2. Mostly agree, neither was great and there isn’t a huge difference but I’d maintain Labour are a bit better. National actually cut PT opex spending from the NLTF when they came into government.

      3. Paul Swain was a bus driver in Wellington for a while. There was no way that any rational case could be made for retaining the trolley buses in Wellington, given the amount of money required for upgrading of the power supply and the constraints of the NZTA funding system.

        1. That was a long time ago that Swain ever sat in any bus.
          Are you sure that the options weren’t doctored to make the power supply (used for all of those decades) upgrade seem required?
          Besides: There was no way that any case could be made for transmission gulley but hey that didn’t stop it.

        2. ALPHATRON – NZ Bus where assured by the regional council, that money had been set aside for the remaining 4 substations when NZ Bus paid for the rebuilding of the 68 trolleybuses. In essence the regional council shafted NZ Bus when the regional council introduced the shambolic multi hub rapid bus network.

  3. There was an interesting letter to the Herald the other day suggesting that golf carts should be allowed on the road. The point was made that the NZ Post Paxter mail delivery vehicles haven’t caused any problems. Is that right have there being any accidents. I can’t recall any being reported. Given that we are moving to 30 kph and 40 kph zones it seems not a bad idea. The other point I would make is they can be powered by lead acid batteries. I can’t see the world being able to produce anything like the number of lithium batteries in time to save the planet, People understand lead acid after all the have being around for close to 150 years and they don’t have all the complicated electronics that are required by lithium batteries. For many years I was responsible for the maintenance of a lead acid battery forklift. It was lovely to drive went well and over the period (12 Years) not one of the 24 cells had to be replaced. We could even make our own golf carts. Off course they will need to be registered and have a wof.

    1. Discovery Bay in Hong Kong does this: cars are totally banned from all streets within the development, but golf carts are allowed and widely used. You might think that replacing one type of SOV with another wouldn’t change much, but when I went there I was surprised at how civilised it all felt. Speeds are low, and it isn’t uncommon for people to actually speak to one another when they meet in the street.

    2. Recently observed a rail contractor road truck that had tiny rail axles that could be lowered to allow running on rail.
      That’s the golf cart I want, drive from home to Huapai station then run on rails to Christian Rd crossing near Swanson station then road onwards.
      Crazy maybe but better than the daily car park called sh16.

      1. Those utes used by Kiwirail that can also run on the railway tracks are only allowed to use those tracks when there are absolutely NO trains running on them.
        Because if there was ever a train coming the other way: It would be a catastrophic collision. The best thing occupants of the ute could do is try and evacuate the ute and get clear in time before it was obliterated.

        They would (quite rightly) NEVER allow private automobiles to run along railway corridors in usage.

        1. The north Auckland line from Swanson northwards has one northbound train weekdays about 10.30am at Swanson and one southbound train about 11pm weekdays. I live within view of the NAL near Huapai and its a completely wasted resource. Have never been able to figure out why one of those Pukekohe 2 carriage diesels can’t do a Huapai to Swanson run peak morning and evening times. From my research the cost would be quite tiny compared to making busway from Huapai to Westgate. Even sorting out, if needed, that tunnel near Swanson don’t look very expensive or complex.
          Reading historical posts on Greater Auckland I see rail line use Swanson to Huapai was dismissed because the Light Rail was soon to be underway. But now that Light Rail looks unlikely then using the rail line must be looking more attractive.

        2. I completely agree that it’s a disappointing shame how Auckland Transport seems to have completely lost interest in services along the NAL beyond Swanson (preferably to Helensville).
          I know that previous services beyond Swanson didn’t attract too much patronage. But I believe that if a service was persisted with: It would over time. I think that that particular North-Western part of Auckland has some real potential for growth and Waitakere, Kumeu, etc could see some residential development as commuter towns for Henderson, New Lynn & Auckland CBD itself. And this sort of development need not be more suburban sprawl of detached housing like what has blighted NZ for the last 70 years, they could be small, compact villages of mostly 2-4 story buildings as is seen in commuter towns across Europe and Asia.

          I wouldn’t put any faith in any light rail occurring in Auckland unless it’s the eventual upgrade of the northern busway. The North-West looks like it’s getting a busway and that may well end up being upgraded to light rail in the future, but that will not be convenient to living in proximity to where the NAL goes anyway.

          Not sure what any of this had to do with those utes that can run along the tracks though 😉

        3. From the moment a NW busway is built the bus will be the quickest way of getting from Kumeu to the CBD, in the same way NEX buses run to Silverdale even though the busway stops at Constellation.

          It doesn’t need to have LR all the way to Kumeu to be beneficial.

        4. I note in previous posts that you, Jezza, said exactly the same with LR to Kumeu. To get a rail shuttle up and running, a year to two, busway at least 5 but probably 10 considering work needed between Westgate and sh16 causeway, especially bus stations.
          20 years or more to get light rail but even further in future if busway is successful.
          The road-rail golf cart is looking very attractive now

        5. The North-Western Busway may not be able to get buses between Massey and the CBD in good time for 10 years.
          And even then; it won’t do much for people along the NAL who might need to get to Henderson or New Lynn.

          So why not have both options? It could also serve as a one-interchange means of getting people between other stops on the NAL and Massey (which will probably become more built-up in the decades to come)?

        6. Even the proposed shoulder bus lanes would probably give a quicker journey than the train. Once the bus takes all the Massey and CBD bound passengers that doesn’t leave a lot for the train to make it viable.

    3. I have to say: I never quite understood how those NZ Post Paxter mail delivery vehicles were ever allowed to become road legal in NZ. That is; unless they’re expected to generally avoid other automobiles the same way bicycles are.
      Methinks that this is merely symptomatic of a very slack WHS culture that has crept into NZ in the last 20 years and that they’re a nasty accident waiting to happen. A bit like how tourist tours of White island were allowed….

      1. There no more dangerous than a motorbike or trike, which both a road legal, posties have ridden motorbikes for years in Dunedin and Wellington.

        1. They look wider and with less lateral visibility (and capability of getting out of the way) than a motorcycle.

          We’ll see if anyone perishes on one of these.

    1. Well, not sure what your evidence is for this statement (none offered) but going by the quotes above I’m feeling much more positive about the guy…

    2. Twyford isn’t an idiot. He’s just a politician. He talks a lot of bollocks and makes idle promises to get people to vote for him.
      He’s obviously got some level of intelligence. And he’s on some level a complete pillock. He’s really not much different from Phil Goff.

      1. Oh come on doesn’t he realise he only had three years to deliver. If the coalition or the labour party for that matter because you never know what Winston will do fail to be reelected this man will be responsible. Completely pathetic. The two most important reasons as to why the coalition was formed were housing and transport. Housing because it is what lies behind social inequity and transport because it is the most pressing issue that needs to be changed to fix climate change.

        1. He made false promises to help win an election (which his party didn’t actually poll that well in anyway). Politicians do that.
          And when he was in power: He found that the NZ government had to commit to things the previous mob had begun.

          He’s just a typical politician, it’s all about them getting power not about them serving the nation. He is nowhere near the only, first nor last politician to not deliver on promises.

          And if anything: Winston and Shane Jones seem to be scapegoats for Labour.

  4. That graphic (Figure 3) is distinctly dodgy. Neither the diameters nor the areas of the circles are proportional to the amounts of space putatively represented.

  5. Greater Auckland I think you are fundamentally wrong in saying we just need to make active and public transport better. What we actually need to do is make them the default option. And to do that they need to be the BEST option, significantly better than taking a car. Sure cars will always be great for getting out into the countryside but for urban travel we need to make other things better than taking the car.

    1. That’s not going to happen overnight. Gradual but sure and steady improvements to public transport are the sensible approach.

    2. “And to do that they need to be the BEST option”
      But what does that really mean? The 82 bus service to Takapuna is generally undertaken by older buses. However it doesn’t appear that people prefer to take the much newer NEX2 and transfer at Akoranga. I suspect that targeted improvements in areas that are shown to produce the best outcomes are best; rather than say glossy bus stations that the local board or Councillors can point to as a marvelous achievement. After all, it may only be once or twice per hour that you can point to better frequency, and an extra bus or train looks much the same as the last, or next one.

  6. I would like to see all approval authority taken away from Auckland Transport and given back to Auckland Council. AT could then become just a PT agency and parking enforcement agency, and could possibly fund street upgrades like Panuku do for land but even that I think is beyond their competence. AT fly in the face of Auckland Council’s vision and also stand steadfastly in the way of progress.

    1. Be very careful of what you wish for. That’s the structure we used to have with ARTA and councils. Disaster. Could never even get 1 metre of buslane cos some councillor would intervene if a parking space was under threat. Council didn’t run the buses, so didn’t care how inefficient and slow they were.

      What we need is the culture at AT to catch up with the strategy, it has come a long way, but soooo slowly… perhaps still too much deadwood at key levels?

      Or perhaps there still is insufficient clear direction from Council? Does Goff ever say anything like those unambiguous quotes from Twyford above?

        1. Think it through. AT didn’t come into existence until 2010 at which point all the long bus lanes already existed: Great North Road, Dominion Road, Symonds St, the New North bits etc. AT didn’t do any new buslanes in their first four years. https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2014/11/15/what-happened-to-the-promised-bus-lanes/
          In the last five years they have done Fanshawe St and a bunch of bits and pieces. If you measure in km then the Councils have done more, if you measure by project then maybe AT have done more, but most are very short.

        2. AT were slow to start but they’ve been doing the ones the Councils wouldn’t; Fanshawe certainly, Queen etc, but more importantly they’ve made those ones you mention actually functional. Remember the perfectly useless 4:30-5:30pm Mt Eden Rd one? Timed to exactly miss both the post school and the post work rush, unenforced, and too short for drivers to observe anyhow….

  7. Thanks for letting us know about this. It does seem positive. I agree with Peter Olorenshaw that the public and active options need to be improved until they are the modes of choice. The document does talk about space efficiency – I hope reallocation is seriously undertaken now.

  8. It feels odd me having to defend Phil Twyford given the generally low opinion I have of him as a human (which I have previously expressed here).

    But I think some of you need to bear in mind that it’s probably only now that he’s been in any position to act much on transport. The previous National-led administration (who were expected to win the election) had already committed the NZ government to many contracts and projects.
    If Labour manages to win a second term: Don’t be surprised if he also finally acts on the housing schemes.

    1. Good to hear Phil Twyford not getting shot down in flames here (seems to be the norm from many commenters here).
      I wish he would act a whole lot faster too, an pull more rabbits out of the hat.
      I also wish a whole lot of other things I am just having to be patient about.

  9. The “space taken up by various modes” drawing makes false comparisons.

    Firstly, parking spaces are 13 square metres, so how do they get 20 for a car? A car is about 10.

    Secondly, what’s a bike at 50kph, the same speed as the car? Yep, that’s right, it occupies more space than a car because cyclists demand 1.5m clearance, making them about 3.5m wide, wider than a car.

    The numbers are so wrong that diagram is essentially a lie.

        1. plus all the space that you drive between the rows of cars to get to the carpark, which i would think doubles it to 50m2/car.

    1. Or is it the car that demands 1.5m to safely pass the cyclist without killing them?
      Two bikes side-by-side on a cycle path need way less than 1.5m, for good reason.
      This would be a good time to recalibrate your mode bias, methinks…

      1. Right, sounds like he doubled the 1.5m, assuming there is some mythical 1.5m needed for the kerb side. You’d only need that next to parked cars, but obviously that space would be accrued to the space needed for a parked car, not a cyclist because that space would be required no matter what vehicle was passing the parked cars.

  10. Would be good if they included in their rationale the significantly higher rates costs for providing all the infrastructure to car-oriented developments.

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