by Dr Grant Hewison, Specialist in Local Government Consultancy
Auckland Transport (AT), together with its partner agencies, is in the process of transforming Auckland’s Public Transport (PT) system to deliver its vision of seamless end-to-end customer journeys that are safe, accessible and reliable.
In developing the Public Transport Plan 2018/28, AT sought feedback about how it should:
- expand and enhance rapid and frequent networks
- improve customer access to public transport
- improve Māori responsiveness, and
- harness emerging technologies
AT also sought feedback about what other factors should be considered for each of these and whether there are any other comments.
In response, the RBA submission agreed that the PT system was a critical part of providing transport choices for a growing, vibrant and sustainable Auckland. The RBA supported AT fundamentally redesigning the public transport network by creating a connected network built around new rapid and frequent services enabled by a zone-based fare structure and the HOP smartcard ticketing system.
The RBA agreed that these initiatives have resulted in improved services, greater reliability, improved perceptions of the public transport network and, ultimately, a record increase in boardings.
The 138 – Henderson to New Lynn Station via Edmonton Rd and Rosebank Rd bus route is an example of this enhanced service that directed benefits RBA members and employees.
The RBA also supported the continued transformation of the public transport network over the next ten years. The RBA looks forward to AT:
- embedding the recently completed New Network and increasing bus frequencies
- expanding the Rapid Transit Network with the completion of the City Rail Link and delivery of Light Rail services.
- growing the ferry network with off-peak and weekend services
- enhancing customer experience for all parts of the door-to-door journey.
The RBA submission said it looked forward, over the ten year period, to patronage on the connected network continuing to grow as the network becomes more useful to more people.
With specific emphasis on Rosebank, the RBA asked for consideration to be given to the following –
With regard to bus services, the RBA supported the Plan to initially increase the frequency of the 138 – Henderson to New Lynn Station via Edmonton Rd and Rosebank Rd from 30 minutes to 20 minutes in 2021 and then to 15 minutes by 2028 (during peak periods).
The RBA also supported the 22R – Avondale Peninsula (starting at Copsey Place) to City Centre via Rosebank Rd, New North Rd, St Lukes and University bus service with Double Decker buses from 2021 and late night services on Friday and Saturday. The RBA supported this service running every 10 minutes at peak.
Northwestern Rapid Transit Network
With regard to the Rapid Transit (Light Rail) Plan, while the Plan presumes stations on the Northwestern Rapid Transit Network (RTN) (City to Brigham Creek SH16) at Point Chevalier, Te Atatu and Lincoln Road, Royal Road, Westgate and Brigham Creek, there is currently no station planned at Rosebank Road. The RBA asks for this to be reconsidered and a station be planned for Rosebank Road.
In the alternative, the RBA submission supported the 138 – Henderson to New Lynn Station via Edmonton Rd and Rosebank Rd bus route being replaced with a new service from Lincoln Rd Station to New Lynn via Rosebank Rd.
With regard to access from Avondale Train station, the RBA said it remained concerned that one of the limiting factors is the current local street configuration on Layard Street and limitations on bus circulation. The RBA asked that AT prioritise longer term solutions regarding the St Jude street level crossing.
Auckland Transport will be considering all submissions over summer, with the Regional Public Transport Plan 2018/28 ready early in 2019.