We’re at the end of another week. Here’s some of the things that caught our attention this week.

This Week in Greater Auckland

LTP Passes

Yesterday the council’s Long Term Plan was passed yesterday, including Wayne Brown’s recent changes for public transport.

AT’s new CRL Video

Auckland Transport have released a new video about the CRL

Being a bit nitpicky, the point of the CRL isn’t about creating one seat rides across all of the network and AT’s own indicative plans suggest that a one seat ride from Pukekohe to Avondale without a transfer won’t be possible. I also wonder what they mean when they say that “by 2026 we’ll have trains at the speed of our great city”. Do they mean that the trains will actually get faster (other than the shorter journey time), if so, great but I want details of just how much. Or perhaps they are just implying that Auckland is already slow?

Late Ferries

Sadly it seems we’ll have to wait longer than anticipated for the arrival of electric ferries. The Herald reports:

Aucklanders will have to wait a little longer to see some of the city’s ageing, noisy, polluting and increasingly breakdown-prone diesel ferries replaced by quiet, electric-powered models with mod-cons like indoor storage for e-bikes and scooters.

A major issue with the batteries for Auckland’s first two electric ferries — which weigh some 10 tonnes — means their delivery date has slipped about six months to the second half of next year.

Once in service, the two EVM200 fully electric ferries will service the Half Moon Bay and Hobsonville routes from the CBD.

The programme to install superchargers on piers is also running well behind the schedule outlined in the original tender — particularly at Hobsonville Point, where a supercharger might not be in place until late 2025.

Two 300-passenger hybrid diesel-electric ferries, which will service the city-to-Devonport run, are on track for the middle of next year (the original “end of 2023″ delivery date was pushed out last year).

The hybrids will be owned by Auckland Transport (like the 200-person fully electric ferries) and operated by Fullers. Because of their fallback diesel generators, the boats could enter service even if Queens Wharf, where ferries dock in the CBD beside The Cloud, is not electrified in time.

Trying an e-bike in Tairāwhiti

This looks like a great scheme.

Giving people the opportunity to use an electric bike to discover the benefits of other modes of transport is the aim of the E Peke pilot project.

“A growing number of these sorts of bike library projects here and around the world are proving successful in introducing people to cycling as a great way to get around,” project lead Haimona Ngata says.

“Waka Kotahi NZTA has been supporting a few trials elsewhere so we thought why not here in Tairāwhiti.”

The pilot started in February this year and ends in July.

Each participant gets to use the e-bike for two weeks.


He used the e-bike on the same route as his car, and it worked well.

“When you’re in the car you miss a lot of things, but on a bike, you feel more connected to the space around you.

“I got a sense of environment and got exercise.”

Over the space of two weeks of using the e-bike, he lost 2kg.

“It made me feel really good. I am contemplating getting my own one now,” he said.


“One of the e-bike library participants was so blown away by the ease of using an e-bike that she went out and purchased her own e-bike after her rental period had ended,” he said.

Paying people to cycle

We’ve seen a few schemes like this around and now Florence is joining in.

The City of Florence announced that it has set aside 1.2 million euros – funds, which it will use to encourage drivers to ditch their motor vehicles for bicycles on their daily commute to work or university. The scheme will kick in from 3 June and will last for one year with the aim of enhancing a shift in mobility habits towards more sustainable and healthier modes of transport.

The incentive programme is called Pedala, Firenze ti premia (Pedal, Florence rewards you) and it offers participants the chance to earn up to 30 euros a month. They will receive 20 cents per kilometre, plus five cents for each kilometre on “generic” cycles as long as they remain within the municipality of Florence.

The plan is to also reward commuters who already use bicycles on their daily trips, however, those who choose to leave their cars in favour of pedals will get slightly more. Cyclists who have already been using their bikes will get up to 15 cents per kilometre.

The downside is you need to have a device on your bike to monitor your use

Learning from others

Streetsblog LA has an interesting interview with Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit. It focuses on public transport in Los Angeles but some of the discussion is certainly relevant here, such as this section on all door boarding.

How about all door boarding? It’s something Metro has piloted, and it’s actually in this year’s budget to expand.

It’s normal. San Francisco has done it. There’s nothing different about San Francisco that should lead you to believe you’d get different outcomes here. The debate is over in San Francisco; it was done years ago – several years ago.

How proven is it for speeding up boarding?

They saved a lot of time. A lot of time. You can contact them and get the actual information, but they save a lot of dwell time. With a TAP card you should be able to board all doors everywhere. It’s an enormous waste of time to bring people all in through one door.

Parking scofflaws complain about getting caught

AT are often seen as an easy target by media and with them being in the news a bit recently around parking charges in the city centre, media are going after them on other parking issues too, such as this by Radio NZ about parking cheaters upset at getting fines.

Some Aucklanders have been getting a nasty surprise in the mailbox – a parking ticket from an offence a few weeks ago.

Auckland Transport is using 20 cars to patrol the city with licence plate recognition.

They can do the job of parking wardens, but it means the offending driver does not know they were sprung until the ticket arrives in the post.

Since January, there was a 30 percent increase in the number of tickets handed out by the drive by ticket officers.

Some Auckland commuters said this new way of dishing out parking fines was unfair and said they had racked up hundreds of dollars of fines before they knew what hit them.

Josh Baxter is one of them – he was the first to admit that he and his co-workers in Parnell had not always followed the parking rules.

They would pay a few dollars at the metre at a time and move their cars to avoid getting stung by parking wardens.

But when the licence plate recognition cars started enforcing parking in the area, they quickly racked up hundreds of dollars in fines all at once.

I get that it’s frustrating to get these tickets later but I would also guess these people getting tickets have been doing this for a long time and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the fines still represent a lower amount than had he just paid like he should have.

It seems this has come about because AT have finally started stepping up enforcement, something long overdue.

The cars had been in action for the last six-and-a-half years in small numbers, but Auckland Transport scaled up the operation to 20 cars at the end of last year.

Getting parking charging, and the enforcement to support that right is important for residents, businesses and safety. AT’s lack of proper enforcement over the last decade or so has created a massive issue around bad parking and it’s probably going to a while, with a lot more articles like this one, to fix some of that behaviour.

A bridge that doesn’t break the bank

In an era when we’re used to seeing even what appear to be the most simple infrastructure projects costing tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s nice to see a new bridge that breaks that trend.

The echoes of karakia, waiata and rūruku (chants) heralded the official opening of a 100-metre-long suspension bridge on Taranaki Maunga on Wednesday.

Built to last 100 years and withstand a one-in-250-year avalanche, the Manganui Gorge Bridge is a striking piece of infrastructure likely to become a destination in and of itself


The $1.2 million bridge was a key component of the $13.4 million Taranaki Crossing project being developed in partnership between Ngā Iwi o Taranaki, the Department of Conservation and Kānoa – the Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit.

DOC’s Hauraki-Waikato-Taranaki regional director Tinaka Mearns said the bridge was about safety.

“So, it takes people out of the way of a track which we know is subject to washouts, landslides and avalanches and this brings people up into a safe zone.

Have a great weekend.

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  1. Woah!

    “A major issue with the batteries for Auckland’s first two electric ferries — which weigh some 10 tonnes” That is quite heavy and I do hope they made the batteries seawater proof? I know some battery react badly with the seawater which is a bit of worry to me.

    unless I am wrong

    1. You are right. But consider 2 things:
      1) These are not the first electric ferries that operate in seawater. Somebody probably came up with a solution.
      2) I don’t think diesel engines react particularly well to getting seawater into them.

    2. They’ve had electric ferries operating in seawater across Wellington Harbour for some time now with no issues 🙂

    3. Submarines have had large batteries for more than a century. I think the issue is well understood by now.

    4. My boat has a battery to start the outboard and despite being a lot less sealed than these ferries doesn’t give me any trouble.

      I think someone has already thought of this.

    5. 10 tonnes of batteries is different to batteries that weigh 10 tonnes.
      Regardless, sounds like someone ordered the wrong part…

  2. “$1.2 million bridge”

    I get this is entire different design requirements to Wynyard bridge, but they can seriously build a 100m bridge in the wop wops for $1.2m, but a multi-billion dollar organisation can’t even repair a bridge or build a replacement in a more critical area over years of planning

    I know they are planning a really nice bridge, but still frustrates me that it is one thing that really needs to be funded ASAP

    1. Wynyard bridge was a Temporary fix for the Rugby World Cup, designed to last until a more expensive permanent bridge could be built. Unfortunately, the more expensive permanent bridge has become more and more unaffordable, leaving the original plan hanging in the air – literally.
      Maybe we should leave a bucket near the end of the bridge for contributions?

      1. I think the more fundamental fixes are to grow some legal muscle and change the purpose or function of the viaduct for Aucklanders. Think what sort of a playground for small boats it could become without the superyachts there. Or provide a floating platform ‘bridge’ that can be pulled aside for timed boat access twice a day.

        The valid users of the viaduct, like the charter boats, could be found another spot in the area.

        We have to stop thinking that everything the rich have established for themselves is sacrosanct.

      2. Heidi you misunderstand boating if you think people are going to go into the viaduct basin and use it as a ‘playground’ in small boats. And if you restrict access to twice a day you might as well end the viability of the viaduct as a super yacht marina. Then watch as local marine and other businesses bemoan the loss of those big spenders.

        Drawbridges are not that hard to build and keep running. Amsterdam, a city much praised by cycling enjoyers has 65 of them so there is good evidence for marine users, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles being able to coexist on a network that includes drawbridges.

        The problem is expecting AT to do anything quickly, reliably or on any reasonable budget. If the bridge were repaired already nobody would be complaining or making alternative proposals.

  3. In order to have this bridge in Wynyard, you would clearly have to move Taranaki to Victoria Park. Imagine the cost!

  4. When I saw War Declared on Cars (or similar) on the front page of the NZHerald, I was excited.

    I have been awaiting this battle for a long time.

    Next news was that the council forced AT to back down on Parking adjustments. So the cars won again.

    Next time….dream on…

    bah humbug

    1. Matiu,if indeed there is a “war on cars”, even a “win ” for cars ,is ultimately a loss for cars.

    2. They’ve delayed the introduction of overnight city centre car parking charges from 1 July to 1 October.

      This three-month delay seems to be par for the course every time Auckland Transport makes a comms booboo about car parking (as it did at Karanghape Road a few months ago).

      AT needs to do a much better job with its comms and messaging. But it is great to hear that they are acutally using their camera enforcement cars properly. No idea how they determined that there is now social licence to do this, but it’s long overdue.

  5. Hopefully faster trains means express or limited stop services. Papakura passengers may finally not have to endure stopping at Greenlane and Remuera.

    1. Do these AT camera cars enforce footpath parking? It wouldn’t be that hard surely? And this has become endemic in Auckland

      1. According to that running pattern graphic in the post, it would start in Pukekohe, stop at all the southern stations to Papakura then only stop at Puhinui then take the “Eastern” line to the city before stopping again at all the city centre CRL stations I presume as the pink line merges into the red all stopping service with return via Grafton to the “Southern” line. The third main gives it the capacity for now where there will be two other main lines running (+T2 return to Otahuhu) and freight!….about that 4th main?
        All looks nice and simple.

        1. Oh plus they need to fit in the Northern Explorer, currently 6/7 days & the Te Huia 6/7 days or any other regional service they bring in.

        2. Do we think it is peak only?

          And that it wouldn’t catch up another regular Eastern service? I would think a call at Panmure for pathing purposes might be useful – although Sylvia Park might be better for Southern users.

          Otahuhu best for network connectivity of course, but doesn’t help the two-track issue especially. Maybe for regulation (i.e. flight the express it right before a departing Eastern)

          Still, good to see – and could no doubt be marketed as an airport express. Keen to see how it works with Te Huia also (i see no topic yet, but hurrah!)

        3. Yes good news and I suspect the express would or could run all day but then i guess the question is: is it in both directions?

        4. I would think it would run south in the evening peak. Anyway, some interesting running patterns which are different yet again I had recorded from the blog comments way back in 2017 are:
          Patrick Reynolds:
          10-12 tph on each of the two ‘lines’:
          1. Papakura [Puke when electrified] to Manukau via Grafton
          2. Swanson to Otahuhu/Onehunga via Parnell
          Done. Super legible, super frequent, super efficient. 20/24 tph each way in CRL and Newmarket
          Perhaps there’s some short running from Henderson and Papakura if that’s too much service at the extremes, but those are details dependent on development etc
          Invest cleverly in Onehunga line to increase its capacity but the spilt with Otahuhu is perhaps only problematic because each word starts with an O!

          If you do run 2 lines then you would definitely need to short run but with the capacity to up freq.
          I would change that pattern slightly:
          10/12tph Swanson – Manukau via Parnell
          10/12tph Pukekohe – Onehunga / Otahuhu (split) via Panmure, Grafton
          I think that would be a more separate / legible timetable with more transfer spread South and West.

  6. Headline should be “War declared on freeloaders”. Once AT works with the people really at risk (hospitality workers, cleaners etc.) this should just be an obvious way to go.
    Simeon B and David Seymour – how about step aside, cut red tape and let Auckland Council set Infringements through Bylaw?

    1. Why are cleaners more ‘At Risk’ than anyone else? If they run their own cleaning business they can just pass on their new extra cost to customers assuming those customers don’t have space that is unused in the evening that they can use. If they work for someone they should expect the business to cover the costs of getting a job done and then pass that on to the customer.

  7. Regarding slow post these days for tickets to arrive. Surely in this day and age, they could let us assign an email to our car registrations. Tickets could be emailed and posted. If your email is out of date etc well tough, you still get the paper ticket in theory.

  8. “he was the first to admit that he and his co-workers in Parnell had not always followed the parking rules.”

    Done the crime? Pay the fine. Rules are there for a reason.

    1. I suspect his only whinge is about the sudden change in enforcement and the lag in sending tickets.

      But also mail from Auckland to Auckland typically takes no more than a few days to get anywhere. Having an email address and having AT take 21 days to process the camera ticket and seconds to deliver it is not going to be too different to AT taking 21 days to process the camera ticket and NZ Post 2 days to deliver it…

  9. Te Huia public funding portion is currently split between NZTA (75.5 percent), Waikato Regional Council (21.2 percent) and Waikato District Council (3.3 percent).
    The NZTA board decided to progressively reduce the subsidy to 60 percent over the next two years, starting with a reduction to 70 percent in July and dropping to 60 percent in 2025 and 51 percent in 2026.
    Ticket prices will increase from $18 to $22 for a one-way trip from 1 July.

    1. Given the current political environment, a good outcome. The train will be able to benefit from the completion of the Pukekohe electrification and the third main. Not forgetting the CRL.

        1. “If completed in one day, a return trip from Melbourne to Ballarat during peak times will go from a total full-fare cost of $45.60 to the daily fare cap of $9.20.”
          Quite a drop, about the same distance of Hamilton to Auckland. Yes, I’ve noticed UK & Aussie train fares generally aren’t that cheap but they have better systems for sure.
          We have the Gold card for free public transport here but I wonder for some more premium journey’s they perhaps should pay something. eg Te Huia, Waiheke Ferry etc. we could have a system of if the normal ticket price is over a certain amount they can still have unlimited travel but for no more than say $5.00 a day like in NSW but is $2.50 (each state/territory has a different independent programme of discounts).

    2. Great to hear that this might last till at least 2026. It will need more passengers which probably means more northern Waikato stops.

      And therefore, money for stations..

      1. It also need more frequency.

        What we really need is for Auckland to realize the value of this, not just a Waikato thing. And chip in.

  10. The CRL video is pretty great and cute too.
    Yes, all door boarding should be done on our busways at least with tagging on ability at the station itself, just amp up the transit police once we get more passengers. Also when are we going to charge via HOP for Park & Ride parking?
    Love the Taranaki bridge.

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