Tomorrow the Auckland Transport board meet once again, only this time presumably via video chat. Here are some of the highlights from the board papers published in advance.
Like everyone else, AT have gone into lockdown and that means projects currently under construction have had to shut down. It’s going to be interesting to see what that does to the delivery of many of them as quite a few, such as the Downtown works and the Puhinui Interchange were timed to be completed just in time for the America’s Cup next year – assuming that still goes ahead.
It looks like a busy closed agenda this meeting with a lot of interesting items up for approval/decision. The ones that stand out are:
- Southern Interchange Progress Update
- Te Horeta Extension – Business Case and Land Requirement
- Eastern Busway Stages 2, 3 and 4 Procurement Plan
- Auckland Network Optimisation Programme Business Case
- Field Device Maintenance Agreement Renewal
- AT’s Future PT Ticketing
- PTOM Contract Tendering Policy
The one that most interests me is the future PT ticketing which would obviously have significant implications for all PT users. So far the project to deliver that has not been a great success and so it will be interesting to see what AT decide to do.
The PTOM contract tender policy could also be significant and I wonder if it will include changes around electric buses and driver employment conditions.
The Te Horeta Extension is to extend the road built in a tunnel alongside the rail line in 2013 from where it joins Morrin Rd through to Merton Rd
In addition to the items for decision, in the items for noting is another notable paper:
- AT’s Approach to Sustainability & Climate Change
There’s not a huge amount that really stands out in this latest business report but there’s always a few things that catch my attention.
AT are working on a business case for improving ferries and that is/was expected to be completed in August/September. One thing they do note about it is below and is good to see.
Significant focus is being placed on the feasibility of electric ferries and broader technology options in relation to meeting the ferry network plan
Separately, the work to integrate ferry fares with HOP has been ongoing and was planned to go live 26 April. I wonder if that will now be delayed.
AT are in the process of re-tendering out rail services. They’ve been run by Transdev and predecessor organisations since 2004. The last time AT tried to re-tender them, back in 2015, they cancelled it after shortlisting three companies and just extended Transdev’s contract. In the board papers they say they’ve decided to “defer the release of the rail franchise Request for Proposal“. At the least that will see the decision on who runs Auckland’s trains pushed back to May 2021 but I could just as easily see a repeat of 2015 where AT just give up and give it back to Transdev for another long period of time.
The physical works for gating Papakura were due to be completed by April, but again presumably that’s now delayed at least a month. They also say that the ‘Pets on Trains’ trial has so far there have been no major issues reported. A decision was due to be made this month on whether to make it permanent.
The consultation on the Outer Link changes had 1,100 responses with 50-60% opposed – although given that in most consultations the majority of people that submit oppose the changes I hope AT push on with improving these services. These changes are much needed so I hope they continue to deliver them.
A review on AT’s subsidised taxi service in Devonport was due to be undertaken at the end of last month. It’s unclear if that’s actually happened although with the current crisis, they have at least stopped running it for now. Between November 2017 and February this year they’ve announced that over 55k people have used AT local, although from what I can tell, that’s not dissimilar to what the local buses serving the wharf have done.
There’s a few interesting comments about right turns at traffic light controlled intersections.
Filter Right Turn intersections
127. A filter right turn is where drivers are allowed to turn right on a full green signal display through gaps in traffic. This type of signal phasing has been historically implemented at many signalised intersections around Auckland to optimise intersection efficiency. However, an unintended consequence of this has been increased crashes at some signalised intersections. In order to reduce death and serious injury at signalised intersections, the traffic signal phasing at a number of high-risk intersections have been reviewed over a two-year period.
128. For the past two years, changes have been progressively made at 29 signalised intersections in Auckland to control the right turn movements with a traffic signal arrow. This has resulted in a reduction of these types of crashes from 46 to seven in 2019. This represents an 85% reduction when compared to 2017 performance.
That feels like a significant change/improvement overall and is great to see.
In a section titled “Micromobility”, AT have a big piece on their role in managing e-scooters. One aspect that stood out to me was this
AT has created a software-based application that utilises the GPS capabilities of operator’s e-scooters. This allows us to identify high density locations, track the e-scooters operations against the code of practice, and communicate identified issues back to the operators. These reports are extensive and are able to highlight a number of possible ways that the operators may not be meeting their obligations. The data in these reports is accumulative and allows for tracking both change/improvements in operations and reoccurring issues.
Later in the report they show some of the analysis they’ve built.
The analysis includes monitoring e-scooter speeds
If you’ve looked through the reports yourself, let me know if there’s anything you’ve seen that stands out.