Auckland Council has released a very encouraging, 80 page document: the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway (TERP).

The TERP describes what is required for Auckland to successfully reduce transport emissions in line with Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan.

To be clear, the TERP is a pathway, not a to-do list. It doesn’t give an exhaustive list of projects Auckland Transport and Auckland Council need to undertake. And this is why we at Greater Auckland are impressed; it works at a more fundamental and effective level than this. As well as setting objectives across many areas, the TERP describes the changes needed to the planning system itself, to ensure we achieve our transport emissions reductions targets by 2030.

Councillors are being asked to approve the TERP at Thursday’s meeting of the Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting. Here are links:

Will it lead to action?

We are hopeful that adopting the TERP will lead to action, because it has the support of the Auckland Transport Board, according to their latest meeting minutes:

And the recommendations to Council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee were clear about the governance required:

d) instruct Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to embed implementation of the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway through all of their activities, including future updates to key transport planning and funding processes such as the Auckland Transport Alignment Project and the Regional Land Transport Plan, and land use policy such as the Future Development Strategy and the Auckland Unitary Plan.

i) note that Auckland Council and Auckland Transport will develop a proposed governance and monitoring framework to oversee the implementation of the TERP, for approval by the Environment and Climate Change Committee (or its equivalent) in early 2023.

k) instruct Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to immediately commence implementation of actions earmarked for delivery in the first two years of the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway, including advocating to central government for supporting action.

In addition, following the TERP is the most affordable way forward for our city. Car-dependent transport systems are very expensive but don’t deliver on our goals. With the rising costs of fossil fuels, carbon mitigation strategies, and land – and the economic risk of trade sanctions for poor climate planning – the TERP will increasingly show the most pragmatic pathway to a sustainable future.

The document has three parts:

  1. What the transport system needs to look like in 2030
  2. The transformation required
  3. Pathway implementation

1. What the transport system needs to look like in 2030

This introduces the strategic context, first by walking the reader through the history of Auckland’s climate plans and commitments, and explaining how this fits within Te Tiriti o Waitangi and mātauranga Māori. This is followed by an extensive case for how tackling emissions can improve equity, and a description of how the Pathway was developed.

The goal of TERP is to reduce emissions from transport by 64% compared to 2019 levels.

Section one explains that:

  • Every single system lever must be pulled as hard as credibly possible
  • Aucklanders must drive less
  • A massive mode-shift is required
  • Many current car trips can be taken by more sustainable modes
  • Cars can still have a place in the system, but they must be more efficient
  • Trips need to be shorter

2. The transformation required

In all, there are 11 key areas of action. We’ll look at each one very briefly.

1/ Supercharge Walking and Cycling

This calls for a 10-fold increase in distance travelled by walking, cycling and micromobility.

Proportionately, the small-wheeled modes need to make the largest leap: cycling from around 1% of trips to 8%, and micromobility from <1% to 9%. With a change in planning focus, Auckland can quickly create the conditions which will enable this scale of change. As we saw on our local streets during Lockdown Level 4, there’s an immense reservoir of latent demand, which is currently suppressed by everyday traffic.

To supercharge the active modes, the TERP calls for:

  • safe, attractive and accessible pedestrian environments
  • an extensive dense, connected network of quality cycle routes, supported by destination infrastructure
  • safe speeds
  • anyone who wants to cycle to be able to do so
  • and regulatory changes that support people to walk and cycle.

2/ Massively increase public transport patronage

Public transport mode share (by distance) needs to increase 7-fold, from 4% of all km travelled in 2019, to 29% in 2030.

This means the number of trips needs to increase by a factor of 5 or 6. The TERP suggests that better uptake of the under-utilised off-peak capacity of existing services – more people riding at times buses are currently less full – means we may only need to triple the number of services.

To massively boost PT use, the Pathway calls for:

  • a better-performing and more attractive network (in other words, services should run often, on time, efficiently, and when and where people need to travel)
  • fair fares
  • improved accessibility across the network (accessible public transport vehicles, and good safe walking and cycling access to routes and stations).

We can absolutely do this: achieving the “ambitious” public transport usage called for by the TERP would, per capita, get us back to 1940s levels – and that wasn’t even Auckland’s busiest decade for public transport ridership!

3/ Prioritise and resource sustainable transport

This item includes three main actions.

First, it says we should prioritise investment by how efficient a transport mode is (hard to believe this idea isn’t already adopted!), and this should be embedded in all transport decision-making and planning. Here we encounter one of the most important aspects of the Pathway: rapid reallocation of street space:

Secondly, it calls for “all projects to repair current network imbalances”. (An obvious example of this? Leverage the road renewals programme, which is a significant chunk of the budget, to progressively make all streets safe for walking and cycling.)

Thirdly, it says that from now on, we should use “vision-led transport planning” or “decide and provide”. This would replace the old “predict and provide” model, which reinforces the car-dependent status quo and is what got us where we are today.

4/ Reduce travel where appropriate

The most sustainable trip is the one you don’t make. Accordingly, this section details how trips can be avoided altogether, through a combination of road pricing, curtailing road-building, reducing air travel (although it looks like more work will be required to show how) and improving digital access and teleservices.

Notably, this item states we should “deprioritise projects and processes that induce light vehicle travel.” This should mark the end of intersection or corridor widening projects, and the common but unethical practice of compromising cycling or walking safety in order to prioritise traffic flow.

5/ Safe, low-traffic neighbourhoods for people

As well as calling for a network of low-traffic neighbourhoods across the region, this item makes the case that we should “put universal design and access by sustainable modes at the heart of council group strategies and plans”. This is quietly transformative. Imagine the hours (and angst) saved when accessibility advocates no longer need to fight for obvious needs like pram-ramps at kerbs and sufficient, well-placed, suitably-spaced mobility parking.

6/ Build up, not out

This one stands out, given Council’s recent response to the NPS-UD housing reforms. The TERP recognises that building a more compact city means people are closer to everyday needs, and thus don’t need to travel as far – a straightforward way to reduce emissions.

This item calls for planning that supports sustainable transport, reduces vehicle travel; restricts new sprawl; develops intensively around places with good access to opportunities.

7/ Electrify private vehicles

Electric cars (EVs) feature in the Pathway, and their benefits are noted: lower greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy security, improved public health through reduced air and noise pollution. The TERP uses the assumption that we will be able to electrify 32% of our light vehicle fleet by 2030.

This is a higher uptake assumption than used for central government’s Emissions Reduction Plan. The ceiling on expected uptake is due to cost, vehicle availability, and the infeasibility of upgrading the electricity infrastructure by 2030 to serve more vehicles than this.

The clear-eyed awareness of the cost of EVs leads to the next action…

8/ Enable new transport devices

This item recommends the uptake not only of e-bikes, e-scooters and e-cargo bikes; but also microcars, e-motorbikes and e-mopeds. The Pathway suggests making more devices street legal in New Zealand, and incentivising their uptake.

9/ Low-emissions public transport

Succinctly, the TERP calls for electrification of 100% of trains, 70% of buses and 75% of ferries by 2030. Notably, we’ll be needing to electrify most of the bus fleet at the same time we’re trebling its capacity.

10/ Efficient freight services

The TERP calls for a 50% reduction in freight emissions by 2030, and presents a multi-pronged approach to achieve this:

  • Shifting the last mile delivery to electric vans and e-cargo bikes, which can be enabled or incentivised with safe bike networks and low emissions zones
  • Multi-modal logistics hubs to enable the above shift and also to enable people to pick up their own parcels as part of their personal travel (eg by bike or on foot)
  • Dynamic routing and eco-driving training for truck drivers
  • Electric and low emissions trucks
  • Shifting longer distance freight from road or air to sea or rail.

Not mentioned is one very obvious low-hanging fruit: less freight in general, with a shift to a economy focused on activities, services and products that involve much lower transport emissions.

11/ Empower Aucklanders to make sustainable transport choices

While somewhat abstract relative to the other points, this is a very important section. It describes deep and ongoing engagement with the people of Auckland, to ensure we get a just and equitable transition, bringing people along for the journey.

3. Implementing the Pathway

This final section of the document is where things get granular. From page 60 onwards, it details specific outcomes and which organisation is responsible for them. This section also offers more detailed objectives for each of the 11 focus areas, so we can track progress towards the goals.

Page 66 reveals a vital part of the Pathway: Creating a supportive transport planning system, which explains the need for significant reform:

The TERP also explains why the strategic intent is often not reflected in the actual investments chosen:

Finally, the Pathway wraps up with a rationale for how to prioritise projects and plans from now on. The text accompanying the diagram below discusses how “broadly, walking and cycling infrastructure is cheaper to provide and use; generates less whole-of-life emissions and is more efficient at moving people compared to other modes”. It notes that while journey times by car are superior, this highlights “the need to make sustainable modes more competitive”:

In addition, the TERP recognises that modes with the largest “required relative change in trips” should be prioritised in planning. The biggest proportionate leap to be made is by small-wheeled sustainable modes – cycling, scooting and micromobility. These hold great potential to replace car trips but currently lack safe and connected access across most of the city’s network, hence the need for prioritised planning.

Using these principles, the TERP suggests a 3-step analysis of all transport projects, to ensure they align well with the desired outcomes:

  1. Wherever possible, have all options to produce mode shift or Vision Zero outcomes been incorporated into all proposed actions and expenditure? 
  2. Where these mode shifts and Vision Zero outcomes are to be delivered, have actions been prioritised by mode? 
  3. Has prioritisation considered how best to amplify the effect of other spend, activity and policies? For example, does spend leverage ‘network effects’?

Applying these filters should result in better value-for-money from transport projects, and an end to silo-bound improvements for ‘safety’ or ‘network’ that miss the opportunity to advance mode-shift and reduce emissions. Following these principles should lead to more holistic streets that work better for everyone.

Summary: An Excellent Piece of Work

The Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway is a robust, evidence-based and visionary document, with the potential to transform Auckland into a fantastic city – with safer, quieter and more joyous streets and neighbourhoods, giving communities a chance at living good lives even in an uncertain climate.

Alongside the government’s Emission Reduction Plan, there is now a chorus of consensus about what needs to be done to decarbonise transport in a way that reaches our required goals. There’s no reason not to get on with these actions.

The Auckland Transport Board’s endorsement of the TERP is heartening, and likewise the Councillors can be expected to approve it on Thursday – this will be consistent with their membership of C40 and their earlier decisions on the Auckland Climate Plan, including initiating the TERP.

The next step will include using the TERP to rethink all planned programmes and projects, to form an investment and action plan worthy of this beautiful city.

The incoming CEO of Auckland Transport has an exciting time ahead, with a well-defined job for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau, and a Council backing the mahi.

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  1. Is there any discussion on paid parking or the implementation of the 2015 Parking Policy (New one pending)?

    Politically it is an absolute vote killer, but it needs to happen! Now! Actually back in 2015 when it was implemented…

    For as long as parking is a ‘free for all’ it is going to be very hard to encourage modal shift or make people think twice about taking unnecessary trips.

    Feel like it is the elephant in the room on this topic (congestion charging the city centre is not the panacea (charging a fair price for private vehicle storage Auckland- wide is much more important

    1. Have a look at pages 34 to 36 of the main document, plus these actions:

      3.3 Coordinated Approach to Parking Management and Enforcement
      3.3.1 Implement the Parking Strategy
      3.3.2 Clarify powers and introduce regulatory changes if required, to improve enforcement in relation to illegal parking, prioritising locations where illegal parking inconveniences sustainable transport modes.

      1. I remember My first day in Chicago 30 years ago, being outraged that parking for about an hour was $20 USD all day parking was about $40. In some neighborhoods, you could not park in without a city sticker which costs hundreds per month and you did not dare park illegally either as you were likely to get towed and cost you >$150 to retrieve your car. Not particularly equitable but effective for both revenue generation and parking control.

  2. Wow this is a great piece of work, especially the way it digs into how the transport planning system itself is fundamentally broken and in need of reform. It is bizarre though that the same organisations that developed and endorsed this work also fought so hard against the All Aboard Auckland judicial review of the RLTP, which made these same critiques.

    1. I think that simply shows the number of progressive staff wanting to do the good work and in need of management resourcing and empowering them.

      In a way it was sad that this TERP was required and management made decisions on the basis of reckons and poorly-derived rationale rather than keeping abreast of the developments in their field, but at least the body of evidence has been brought together now, and so well and comprehensively.

      I think this work will be lauded internationally. People now resisting the changes will have to provide evidence to support their case and an alternative that achieves the same goals and outcomes.

      I think this gives AT the chance to turn over a new leaf and really shine now.

      1. “I think this gives AT the chance to turn over a new leaf and really shine now”

        You are right. And it is an excellent document/policy, though some sobering challenges ahead.

        My question though is, how likely is this to happen?
        Do you think AT will really change as an organization?
        Or Waka Kotahi?

        My sense if that there are some deeply conservative people embedded in these organization that will simply continue on with business as usual. Organizations can be very slow to pivot, and at least at national level there will be people hoping that Simeon Brown leads the great leap backwards to more roads, more cars

        I don’t want to veer into politics, but National party have to be aware that Simeon as shadow transport minister is an embarrassment when he is anti anything that might lower emissions. The National party really need to reconsider their policy and their people. The media also needs to call them out on their policies which seem to ignore any science, evidence or best practises.

        1. The new CEO could make it happen. The good evidence base means at least some of the conservative staff would come on board if AT approaches this as a full organisation-wide training opportunity, like they should have done with VZ.

          But to be effective, the CEO cannot bury the discrepancy between this document and the mistaken beliefs of some of the senior staff. There are real misconceptions being held that the CEO, and indeed the Board, need to face up to. Some staff will need to have their decision-making powers curtailed.

    2. Trev, I suspect that AC/AT realised that the fight against the Judicial Review was extremely damaging to their reputation, credibility and relationships. There must also have been a recognition that this wasn’t the end of the fight, but rather the end of the start.
      It must also have been demoralising for many staff that they have been the subject of so much public ridicule for policies that not only invite criticism, but beg for it.
      Lastly the landscape is changing so rapidly. How do you tell the butcher shop owner in Christchurch (who seemingly hasn’t worked out that selling meat is a large part of the problem) that the new norm is flooding three times a month in winter; or to tell the people of Westland currently facing yet another flood that some of the area may be uninhabitable because flood prevention costs are prohibitive, or simply not possible. Something (everything?) has to change.

  3. On these calm days I think it would be useful to get an image of the poisonous fumes or emissions hanging around the city.
    I am aware of the 1000s of people harmed. In the future I want live in the upper levels of an apartment building above it all

  4. Does this thing have any legal heft? Will it bind the Council or is it another collection of words and pictures for everyone to ignore? Will it dictate what goes into the next version of the Unitary Plan? Serious question.

    1. Good question, and I don’t imagine any lawyers have had a chance to scrutinise it yet. It might depend on what they put into the governance and monitoring framework. AAA have gone to the court of appeal over the RLTP decision, so the outcome of that case might influence this. Meanwhile, ignoring clear Council direction against the wishes of the public to take stronger climate action must surely be growing more and more politically untenable, regardless of the legal loopholes they might find.

      1. My guess is if this got universal support from the Councillors that means it is more of the pretty report level rather than binding policy level. ie What are you doing about climate change? “We wrote a report.”

  5. Colour me sceptical that even a fraction of these goals will be achieved.

    The council has shown they can’t do light rail, they can’t do bike lanes, they can’t reduce parking, they can’t do pedestrianisation, they can’t even fix the dire state of the footpaths in our area.

    Why should we believe they can achieve any of these objectives?

    1. A very valid question for a very important document. Since the fish dies from the head and in a few months time we get the opportunity to elect new heads to the fish please wave this in front of every Mayoral and Council candidate and test heir knowledge of it and their resolve to see it implemented. Any ignorance or suggestion that the can be kicked down the road becomes a no vote.

    2. There are many people complaining about potholes and arguing for more spending on roads.
      But in the meantime they won’t do the low cost, high benefit stuff for cyclists

    3. I suppose it comes down to a question about why would they choose not to? It’s not like there’s any evidence-base to support continuing with the status quo. Everyone wins if we shift. A lot of the resistance has been on the false assumption that it’s more practical to only make incremental changes, but this document directly challenges that, and shows that the only practical way forward is through transformative change pulling every lever.

      We’re talking about regime change. This stuff does happen, and when it starts, nobody wants to be on the losing side.

      1. You would think so, but many people are against/scared of change. Our neighbourhood Facebook page is full of people clamouring against bus lanes, against intensification, against more space being given to bikes on the bridge, against new pedestrian crossings, against reductions in speed limits, in favour of more, faster and wider roads. Sticking to the same old things and thinking they will deliver a different outcome….
        Convincing them that BAU is not an option is going to require a lot of comms work, and all levels of Gvt working together to deliver (and not dragging their feet).

        1. We’re talking about AT staff, though, who should be keeping themselves informed, not that peculiar subset of society that bubbles away on facebook.

          People are wanting climate action. 91% of submissions on the Auckland Climate Plan were in favour. People overwhelmingly submitted they want more climate action in the RLTP.

          It is not reasonable for AT to continue to choose to listen to the vocal resistant minority instead of following the direction they’ve been given by democratically elected central and local government. The new CEO needs to make this clear.

        2. Just remember 91% of submissions is probably <0.01% of the population so can not be taken as actual support. Like all consultation it is only the motivated few who respond.
          Just like you cant read much into poll/survey results when the poll/survey questions are losded to get the sponsors answers.

  6. Is there anything about helicopter transport in there?
    It seems like helipad consents are on the rise in town and the islands. Would be good to have those directed by this doc too.

    1. I didn’t spot anything about helicopters as I read through. (I hope they provide us with a searchable version at some stage though.) There seems to be a need for some more solid actions about reducing aviation emissions in general; restricting helicopter pads seems like an excellent idea.

        1. “Since the consent was granted, the property has changed ownership. The new owners have found some of the consent conditions restrictive, specifically the daily and weekly flights permitted, as they do not provide for their helicopter to land, collect
          them and leave (one flight), and then return them later in the day – this would constitute two flights, and thus would contravene condition 10. ”

          Poor, poor dears. However will they cope?

        2. Reply to Caitlin
          (and your sarcasm is completely appropriate – imagine pissing off hundreds of people with the noise of your helicopter popping backwards and forwards, and you are upset you might have to spend 15 minutes more driving from some other location)

          Not sure how much more quiet an eVTOL will be, but at least one company is not just showing 3D renders and actually flying eVTOLs in NZ:

          I am skeptical that flying cars are going to be practical anytime soon, but one thing about regulatory frameworks is that technical and societal shifts can be expectedly quick

          Only 10 years ago, I don’t think anybody (at least myself) imagined people zooming around hired e-scooters as a personal mobility choice. Or that a pandemic would so quickly change the way we use transport.

          In the time frame of the document, we might see a few eVTOL/Air taxis or ground effect EV personal ferries zooming around. Not a huge impact, but if you can work from home, then not live on an island?

          The move must remain to lower emissions, but not get too hung up on the specifics of whether a helipad is Ok or not

        3. Flying cars exist, they are called helicopters. The variant with 4 rotors is usually called a drone. Also anything with propellers will be fking loud, I don’t think it is physically possible to avoid that.

          So yeah, looks like those people will be moving around on the ground instead of soaring up in the sky high above the plebs.

      1. The pathway “4.3 Reduce air travel, especially business air travel” in the TERP doesn’t seem to address helicopters at all (nor are they addressed elsewhere). The medium-term action to achieve that pathway is “4.3.1 Develop a funded national long-distance PT strategy of train and coach services that connects regions and main centres” and it is suggested that Central Government should do that. Clearly, that is not designed to reduce the number of flights for lunch at a vineyard on Waiheke. But pathway 4 suggests “avoiding the most emissions-intensive modes of travel if alternatives exist” and targets a 50% reduction in aviation emissions, so reductions of that sort probably would be necessary to achieve that and would probably be well-supported. Somewhat oddly, aviation of all kinds has been left out of the pathway assumptions in the table on the last page. One wonders if the extent of emissions from helicopter travel in Auckland are even known?

  7. Sorry I’m so cynical and jaded.

    As an idealistic teenager I looked at the state of our city and thought the powers that be would gradually improve public transport, gradually improve walking and cycling, gradually increase the livability of our city, gradually provide for more density, etc.

    I then spent a few years living overseas in a city and country where public transport was awesome, per capita emissions were low, housing affordable, and neighbourhoods walkable. So I’ve seen that it’s possible.

    Twenty years after being that idealistic teenager, I see very little progress, and a lot of backsliding. So forgive me for assuming that the next twenty years will see a repeat of the same.

    1. Does the TAB take bets on this? I’d put my life savings on Auckland Council barely achieving anything by 2030. Like you I had high hopes after I came back from London 15 years ago, and while the new bus network is an improvement and the double deckers are a bit nicer, for those who don’t live near a train line the buses still haven’t had the obvious improvements I saw 15 years ago in London like all door boarding. It still takes much much longer to take the bus than to drive thanks to the close stops, slow boarding, no traffic light priority, indirect routes, etc. if fixing that was in the too hard basket I’d hate to see where some of these other initiatives lie!

      1. Yeah I am not convinced either. The last decade and half that I’ve been across PT or cycling stuff, its pretty glacial. Certain things have improved sure, but many things have been untouched or even in some cases gotten worse.

        Look at train frequencies, that was promised to be 15 min frequency all day like several years ago. Still hasn’t happened.

        Early running of buses. Lack of later evening or early morning buses on some routes, whilst others have several. I complained hard about these things, no action.

        Henderson, we got safer streets, then Panuku caved to a niche group of whingers, who contradicted all the public feedback and pulled the majority of it out… I enjoyed my town centre for the first time, only to have it turn back into the mess it was before.

        Cycling targets for AT, constantly no met, and they just lower the target, and still don’t meet it ! Laughable.

        So yeah, all these fancy documents, but very little action. They’ve got 7.5 years to do this, but based on the last 7.5 – I just don’t see it. As nobody seems to police the action/inaction of AC/AT/other agencies.

        1. And I grew up in London in the eighties and nineties and the transport they have there now is so much better than it was then, with more lines and routes, much increased frequencies, longer running hours, more comfortable vehicles, more efficient systems of all kinds, much better health and safety profile, and far fewer breakdowns/stoppages. Some of what we have now is comparable with what London had then…and they did dramatically improve things, so we know it’s possible.

  8. Surely this all depends on whether the current (very, very narrow) centre-left majority on Council is maintained? As it stands, any progress is at the mercy of actual NIMBYs like Chris Darby or Pippa Coom, who talk a great game *in theory* until actual changes are suggested for their “patch”. If the Council is going to swing right this time – eg if Mike Lee comes back or Wayne Brown becomes Mayor – then game over for decades.

    1. If the Board really supports it, they’ll take seriously all reports that it’s not being followed. They’ll set up a confidential forum for staff and welcome the public to come and explain what’s happening in actual projects.

  9. This, like some previous plans, looks great.
    But I’m unconvinced AT in particular have any intention of doing anything to support it.
    AT are unable enforce cycleways that exist now, there just aren’t enough enforcement staff so folks just block cycleways whenever they like.
    AT won’t remove parking, AT always fold to business pressure, even when that pressure is wrong.
    AT won’t use bollards etc to protect pedestrians and cyclists because they might damage cars.
    AT overprice cycleways to avoid having to build them and steal money from cycling budgets to rebuild roads.
    And this document expects all that to change next year????
    Frankly I expect AT to ignore this completely and carry on building for cars and trucks and when challenged they’ll just see us in court and laugh at us when their lawyers win.

    1. “AT are unable enforce cycleways that exist now, there just aren’t enough enforcement staff so folks just block cycleways whenever they like.”

      Ah, but some of those blockages have legally been permitted by AT!

      [Looks daggers at the Carlton Gore Rd office block construction works now in their third year of having “temporarily” removed a bike lane]

      1. Ooh yes and the Nelson Victoria intersection where the land has been closed for 2 plus years, due to the apartments above falling to bits. I always move the cone barrier now. I’ve never seen anyone working on the scaffold above.

        1. It’s the bar across the lane that is the problem, unless you have a light bike to lift over the timtams into the oncoming lane to get around to the lights. I’ve seen people do this. A common practice is to go into the oncoming lane at the beginning of the timtams, if you know the phasing of the lights. Occasionally I see someone pull off the cyclelane before the timtams, cross the road and go the last few metres on the downhill lane.

          I do what I’m told to do but it’s too narrow for the mix of people on foot, scooter and bike on that slope, given the need to keep your momentum up and the chance of a car coming out of the driveway at any time.

          It’s completely shit operational planning. Not Vision Zero. Definitely not designed for modeshift.

  10. On this: “It notes that while journey times by car are superior, this highlights “the need to make sustainable modes more competitive” “… In much of Auckland, journey times by bike are better than by car. However, this is a mere detail.

    I read the summary document, and it looks very good. I recommend readers read that at least before commenting.

  11. Hope in the narrative that goes to the public there is some emphasis/ even a mention of how this can all make for nicer, more enjoyable places to live and spend time. I think currently the majority see things like improvements for walking and riding in isolation with no connection to making town centres/suburbs good places to hang out. In fact not sure when any of our town centres got anything like an upgrade but would help to reduce the drive through nature of so many of them ( people driving to some out on the edges “garden centre” for coffee because the environment feels so much more pleasant)

  12. The second key area of action is to “Massively increase public transport patronage. . . . This means the number of trips needs to increase by a factor of 5 or 6 [from 2019 to 2030].”

    However, it’s now 2022, not 2019. In the year to June 2019, there were almost 101 million trips on public transport; in the year to June 2022, there were just over 41 million.

    It would have been nice if Covid hadn’t happened but it did and it will be here indefinitely. Covid has made working in an office Monday to Friday a thing of the past for many people.

    These people no longer need to make 10 trips a week on public transport. Others still commute to work daily but now do so in a private vehicle, without a mask.

    To reach even 100 million trips a year, patronage would have to increase by a factor of 2.5. Anything more would require prising people from their cars.

    1. Hugh, I believe that this report in setting a figure of 500m -600million acknowledges that our public transport cannot be just about the daily commute. When you look at the European cities with great public transport is all about all day/ every day. Hence they have huge uptake of annual passes because people use public transport to: go to work, go to the city, go to the movies, go to the shops, to the gym etc The consequence of many only using PT is that there is lower car ownership.

      1. I hope that happens but am not confident it will.

        I’ve lived in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and other smaller (but not small) places where public transport, especially rail, is part of the fabric of the city – like the motorways are in Auckland.

        Since the 1950s Auckland has been stitched together by motorways and stroads, in fact it’s 70 years since the first section of the Northwestern Motorway opened.

        For seven decades Auckland’s development has been premised on the assumption that people will own a car and drive it (almost) everywhere. Most people do just that.

        Things will not change quickly – certainly not in less than one decade.

    2. Most trips aren’t for work. Designing public transport to only function for commuters was contributed to the deterioration of the network. A mature public transport network serves trips throughout the day, with “peakiness” due to commuting much lower. That allows it to be more efficient, as well as more reliable and attractive.

      The increase in work from home will in fact support the large ridership required, because it reduces the peak load but creates more trips at other hours.

      1. As someone who does work from home, I have thought about getting rid of a car, but off peak PT is not good enough or fast enough. While there is plenty that can be done, I think a lot of the problem is our non compact city and the desire to spend all the money on pointless mega projects like AMETI that could have been achieved by just reallocating some of the existing lanes.

      2. Another issue though Heidi is that many passengers believe that the commute is the most important trip. Hence the amount of complaining from Onehunga commuters who now have to change at Newmarket. I guess if AT had increased the frequency there may have been far less complaints.

  13. Those who oppose this plan (TERP) have been given a useful tool – put a W in the
    right place and you come up with TWERP !

    I admit my brain works different to others !

  14. Nothing any good comes out of an eighty page report who would want to be a Councillor and have to read this monostrocity. From what I can make out they want to minimise short distance car trips. Okay that will help but the real fuel savings and emission reduction lies with longer distance travel. Its easy really the longer you drive the more fuel you use and the more co2 is produced. I know you think density is the answer however you can’t make it compulsory so we need long distant low emission public transport and there is no reason why someone in Tuakau or Beachlands couldn’t live a low carbon life if electric ferries trains and buses were provided. Taking the car to supermarket or garden store is not a sin.

    1. “Nothing any good comes out of an eighty page report who would want to be a Councillor and have to read this monostrocity.”

      Oh sweet summer child, who thinks that an 80 page report is a thick document in terms of what Councillors usually get on their desks.

    2. From the stats

      “One-sixth of household car trips (trip chains) in New Zealand are under
      2km long and almost half are less than 6km long

      • Short distance car trips are particularly polluting, as cold engines
      consume around 40% more fuel, produce more emissions and increase
      engine wear and tear”

      Replacing these short trips should be much simpler and cheaper, and complementary to, a useful regional transit network.

      I and many other lowcar fans have done just this. I bike for as many local journeys as practical, and wonder how the drivers surrounding me can be convinced that driving to the dairy or school for 5 minutes is uncool.

      1. How many of the 2km and 6km trip chains are part of a longer trip? The journey of 10km starts can start with an initial 2km. Why not use data for total trip length, not trip chains?

        1. The chain is the entire trip consisting of multiple stops. The part of the trip between stops is a ‘link’.

  15. I suppose you should always look at the glass as half full, but given history, I am surprised at the positivity here. Or perhaps its a lack of scepticism.

    We’ve been here before. As soon as they look to implement something (or the law that allows it) they’ll fold when the usual nimbys get out their pitchforks on a Thurdsay night at the local community hall. See low traffic neighbourhoods. And AT “suggests” the uptake of micro-mobility vehicles and proposes the legislation in NZ be amended to allow these. Does AT have any levers here? No. It also raises the cost issues with EVs but offers no solutions (because it wouldn’t have any).

    Its 80 pages of talk. We’ll be having the same discussion (non-implementation) in 2025. I am not a denier and Auckland should be embracing many of these things anyway as a 21st century city, but its not. NZers are just not serious about meeting 2030 targets. I’m not wasting anymore oxygen on it.

    1. I don’t want to be cynical about this but having lived in Auckland since 2017 and seeing so many promises and grand plans fall over, I’m not holding my breath.

      I’m amazed there is still so much to figure out to leverage the CRL.

      Bulldoze Kingsland for apartments when?

  16. Currently there appears to be a fundemental disconnect between some senior staff of AT, and implementation of any policies that degrade any motor vehicle privilege.

    They prepare really great plans, but fail abysmally in timely implementation.

    The organisation seems beset by professional procrastination resisting any urgency to impliment any policy that they personally disagree with.

    Perhaps too many of their senior staff have made their career out of just improving the facilities available to private motor vehicles?

    They see any policy deviation from this, as a degradation of the utility of their particular skill sets, and is therefore a threat to the value of their livelihood and status.

    In AT, this seems to prevail over those with more progressive views who leave frustrated after a time, to persue their careers elsewhere to a more progressive environment.

    Takling this entrenched disconnect is becoming ever more urgent, as without timely implementation, strategies however laudable, are degraded to near useless, as the 2015 Parking Policy and the multitude of Safer Streets projects have become.

    Tackling this disconnect requires in AT a leadership that is prepared to focus as much, if not more, on timely implimentation of already adopted plans and policies, as they do on formulating more plans and policies.

    It simply is not acceptable that plans and policies once adopted after due consultation, are not actioned in a timely manner due to ongoing structural internal AT procrastination.

    Big change is required.

    1. I completely endorse the comments about the 2015 Parking Strategy. Failure to follow that resulted in at least $30 million being wasted on the Takapuna car park building. But of course the effect was way greater, because surplus car parking space has kept parking prices down. The resultant lack of revenue has meant that money has not been available for bike lanes and public transport. Sadly, just inept financial management from Board level down.

      1. The financial management was the subsidising of car parking, ahead of other projects, and in contravention of stated policies. This wasn’t financial management ineptness, this was clear “political” intent (i.e. the politics of providing parking to “salve” angry locals – but they not even do what made them demand more car parks in the first place in exchange). So win-win for the car status quo, job done.

  17. On a practical level, I see huge difficulty in getting the light vehicle fleet 30% electrified in 8 years, there is no stock. Even bigger issue in electrifying the PT fleet,most operators have invested massively in the last 5/6 years,300 to 500 thousand per vehicle,any new investment for electric 500 + per vehicle. Current fleet effectively worthless,just doesn’t stack up, going to need helping hand somewhere.

    1. I don’t believe the recently purchased buses are a problem; they are so few – compared to the number we will need by 2030 – that they don’t need to be replaced. Indeed on the raw numbers, it seems this is true of all of the fossil fueled buses. Because the fleet will need to be trebled, and all the new ones will be low emissions, achieving 70% of the fleet isn’t a problem from the p.o.v. of the existing fleet getting in the way.

      I suppose the helping hand from government that’s needed might be underwriting a contract for a steady procurement programme. If every second car dependent city in the world is slowly getting its act together in the same way, we might find ourselves left out in the cold.

  18. More excited about this good work by Council than when Labour did that good work about 6yrs ago fast tracking Light Rail throughout Auckland, getting walking/cycling over the bridge and building 100,000 affordable houses. I fully support this direction. But a plan, however strongly endorsed, is meaningless. The problem I see is how easy it is for politicians to say something is a good idea and a priority but do very little when it comes to real world implementation because when it’s real it may upset some people and becomes difficult. Better to say something but do nothing.

  19. Under the heading “Reduce travel where appropriate” you skip over tone of the key points of the compact city – eliminating or reducing cross-town journeys by making work, education and entertainment closer to where people live. Over the years we keep hearing about the huge travel times for people transiting between homes on (say) the North Shore or far West and work in (say) South Auckland but surely that is their choice and they have to live with the consequences rather than expect huge expenditure on more road capacity to facilitate their lifestyle.

    1. Graeme, as a politician you should know that people don’t work like that. Once a problem is in place, it’s not “we should have known” – it is “What are you doing for me to fix this?”

      And in a slightly less “people suck” manner: If the only house a young person CAN afford is out in the sticks (because we have made intensification in the inner suburbs so hard), and politicians don’t pony up for good PT – well, yes, then these people DO have an expectation that somehow politicians do facilitate their “lifestyle”. What else are they gonna do? Move to Australia if they ever want a house?

      As long as Councils prevent intensification, and prioritise cars, things just get worse.

  20. InFigure 2/, TERP is aiming for a growth rate for public transport use equivalent to that last seen in the late 30s to late 40s. That usage was driven by war time rationing…

    1. Kelvin S, there is another war on now. The “war” against climate change. Rationing may again become a necessity.

      1. Yes, rationing may be a possibility. If the cost of climate change is as it is now, what will it be at 1.2 -1.3 degrees of warming. Who will be able to afford that cost? Drastic change appears necessary simply because we have no choice.

  21. Thursday is the day
    Waka Kotahi board meeting – Does Auckland get to walk and cycle across the bridge
    Did the WK board get the memo ?
    Auckland Council TERP meeting – Do our conservative councillors handbrake change?

    While I love the TERP document – stats, thinking, outcomes : Can AC/ AT/ WK deliver?
    Step 1 must be to clean house. Remove all impediments to success.
    You know who you are.

  22. Helicopter restrictions should have being included in the TERP document.
    For those who were curious as helicopter fuel use, most of the turbine powered 5 or 6 seater machines in and around Auckland and in tourist areas have a fuel consumption near to 240 litres per hour or about 1 litre per kilometre. Fuel consumption aside, there should have being restrictions applied as the noise generated is not in keeping with Healthy Cities guidelines.

  23. As an extra post, relating to my comment above… Please consider the planet and peoples peace and quiet, avoid choosing helicopter sightseeing or joy rides. what seems like a 20 minute fun ride actually uses about 80 litres of turbine fuel and untold annoyance to people if flying over urban areas.

    1. Agree, and this needs to be considered against Tourism Minister’s calls for rich tourists who “flies business class or premium economy, hires a helicopter, does a tour round Franz Josef and then eats at a high-end restaurant”.

      1. I’d rather we did not try to attract the kind of tourists who buzz around in helicopters annoying the locals (and other tourists on the ground and the wildlife) whilst spewing greenhouse gasses that will hasten the retreat of the very glaciers they are visiting.

  24. I still can’t get over how ridiculous the document is.
    They want to achieve in 8 years what other countries have taken decades to reach.
    Meanwhile AC,AT,NZTA are still full of useless people who refuse to change anything.

    1. There are 33 million displaced people in Pakistan. Entire river systems are dry in many countries. The Amazon had 33,116 wildfires in August.

      Other countries didn’t take the fastest path because they didn’t have climate change looming over them so menacingly, they were sometimes pioneering ideas, and the car dependent transport planning system they were shifting away from hadn’t been so soundly debunked. We have the benefit of all this hindsight.

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