It’s the first weekly roundup of 2020, our weekly collection of smaller pieces.
I came across this excellent video released a few months ago from Tamaki Regeneration about their plans. It’s great they explicitly talk about changing streets to make them safer
One of the most interesting parts is this concept for a significantly upgraded Glen Innes Station. I’m not sure of the timeline for when it might happen or even how advanced this is but it looks great and feels like it blends design elements from some of Auckland Transports other major station upgrades such as at Panmure and Otahuhu stations.
It even shows the plan includes space for a third track and platform.
Here’s the video
I really like how we’ve been getting more and more high-quality stations like this across the RTN network and while it often doesn’t feel like it, since Britomart opened we have actually been getting them every few years
|New Lynn||2010||Smales Farm||2008|
On top of these high-quality stations we’ve also had a number of other stations not quite at the level of these but still pretty good, including Ellerslie, Mt Albert, Kingsland, Papakura, Pukekohe etc.
It seems public transport ticketing projects always have issues and we’ve been seeing it again with plans for a new national system – which HOP was originally meant to be. Stuff this week published a good summary of what’s happened and is going on with the replacement project.
When Snapper announced plans to launch into the wider Wellington region in 2007, transport officials were in talks with Auckland authorities about linking up to build a smartcard system together that could be rolled out to every train and bus across the entire country.
Anywhere you went nationwide, you could hop any ride you wanted and pay with a simple scan of the same card. It would put New Zealand on the level of global cities like London and Hong Kong, with a streamlined system that would save time and eliminate the need for outdated paper tickets.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) jumped on board in 2009, enthusiastically committing to a “core centralised system” that would let transport services around the country tap into the same payment system.
Thirteen years later, Wellington commuters still use paper tickets for trains and ferries.
Vancouver Rapid Bus
From Wellington to Indianapolis, speeding up buses is the new hotness right now. And for good reason too as cities realise it’s a quick, affordable and cost-effective way to significantly improve public transport, especially compared to big infrastructure projects. The latest to join the movement is Vancouver, a city that already a bit of a role model for good public transport offerings (and usage with around 450m annual boardings).
They’ve launched four ‘Rapid Bus‘ routes which are routes with more bus priority, fewer but better stops along with larger specially branded buses that use all door boarding. It’s all about providing faster, more frequent and more reliable buses which will help get more people using them.
Auckland Transport really need to get onboard and start delivering some more rapid buses
More Scooter Hire Launches
Two more of the new scooter companies allowed in Auckland have/are launching.
Last Friday Beam started rolling out their scooters.
Auckland’s e-scooter shortage is set to end as hundreds of Beam scooters hit the city’s pavements.
The Singaporean micromobility company launched in the City of Sails on Friday, a month after Auckland Council granted it a licence to operate e-scooter rental services.
The company joins Kiwi start-up Flamingo, which became the sole shared e-scooter operator in Auckland after Lime and Wave models were pulled from streets in December after they failed to meet stricter regulations
During January, Beam’s scooters would be free, instead of its usual $0.45 charge, to unlock.
Today it’s the turn of Neuron with their larger scooters
So when Singapore-based micromobility brand Neuron announced it was rolling out an e-scooter with the “highest levels of safety” (according to Neuron chief executive Zachary Wang) in Auckland on Friday I decided to finally give e-scooters a chance.
On arrival, I immediately notice how much bigger Neuron’s scooters are than Lime’s or Wave’s.
The wheels measure 30cm in diameter and the foot plate appears to be nearly twice the width of other models.
If you want to give Neuron e-scooters a try, you can find a few hundred of them in the CBD from Friday. By the end of the month 880 will be available across the region.
They cost $1 to unlock and 38 cents per minute.
Devotees can also buy three-day, weekly or monthly subscriptions for $25, $33 or $89 respectively which allow riders to use them for up to 90 minutes per day.
I like that we’re starting to see more pricing models available – although it would be even better if they could be integrated with PT fares.
I literally have a ride share folder… pic.twitter.com/AMMzq2dyC2
— Glen Barnes (@barnaclebarnes) January 6, 2020
Bus to the Beach Update
Following our “Bus to the Beach” guest post just before Christmas about AT’s curious decision to inconvenience bus users instead of enforcing the parking rules, we saw a flurry of activity from elected members looking to fix the situation. Initially, it appeared the solution was solved. Freshly painted lines, the parking team in attendance, and a tow truck in action:
— Julie Fairey (@juliefairey) December 20, 2019
But the problem wasn’t solved as it seems AT have only been partially enforcing the rules. But it’s too little, too late each day to ensure the illegal parking doesn’t occur. So we’re told bus drivers are advised on a service by service basis whether they should go down to Coyle Park or not. Partial enforcement might seem like partial success to AT. To bus users, of course, it’s confusing. Some were left stranded, waiting under the “The Buses are Back” sign for buses that never came.
Enforcing parking rules to keep the bus network running is Auckland Transport’s responsibility. Are they up to the task?
Today's question for NZTA. pic.twitter.com/PI8gYkjCqG
— The Traffic Jam (@ThetrafficjamNZ) January 5, 2020
It's amazing what a few days difference make. Ōtāhuhu station is getting a third platform and main line in preparation for the City Rail Link. In the future, some services will stop and start here. A new station building will be built on the right, connecting to the bus services. pic.twitter.com/5FidIUa2uN
— John (@johnage) January 8, 2020