Auckland Transport

July 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Kudos to Blog which has published an alternate transport vision for Auckland from 2015 to 2030. Their main post is here and their costings here.

It’s a great example of being pro-active and putting up a well researched proposal for debate. Doesn’t mean I agree with their proposal, but their contribution is valuable and welcome.

It would be good for an appropriate agency to independently cost their proposals, and estimate what impact on congestion their proposals would have.

16 Responses to “Auckland Transport”

  1. Simon (1,605 comments) says:

    If there was a business case for any of this expenditure the private sector would do it.

    A business case means obtaining a commercial return on the supply of goods or services into a market at a price which people decide to voluntarily purchase.

    Anything else is authoritarianism and conformity.

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  2. Matt L (6 comments) says:

    Thanks David – Our main concern stems from the fact that our current plans predict spending $60 billion on transport over 30 years only for things to get worse. What is the point of spending that kind of money – with a decent chunk of it needing to come from sources such as road pricing – if you aren’t going to make things better.

    The current plans all stem from the inability of the council to make some hard decisions. When debating the transport sections of the Auckland Plan they wanted to keep everyone happy so signed off on almost every single project ever thought – 70% of which by value is new or upgraded roads – even though most of them have never even been investigated properly before.

    We have seen in Auckland and overseas, that it simply isn’t possible to build your way out of congestion with more roads. Not a city in the world has done it. What is possible is to create a network that allows people to choose not to have sit in traffic and that is what is being proposed.

    You suggest that it would be good to have it independently costed and analysed by an agency and we would like that too. Something like this should certainly be one of the scenarios investigated by our transport agencies rather than the process that has happened in the past.

    Simon – No transport system, road or otherwise makes a commercial return. Roads are propped up by council rates, developers etc.

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  3. Matthew Percival (23 comments) says:

    That 2030 drawing is the most ridiculous systems I’ve ever seen. Unless you’re on a direct line to the city it looks like a nightmare to co-ordinate. Getting yourself from one destination to another is so complex I’d rather sit through a 2 hour traffic jam! Kinda reminds me of looking at the London system, now that’s a city without congestion isn’t it?????

    I believe congestion is economically efficient to an extent. How would a population of only 2.5 million be able to sustain such an extensive and costly system? It’s not just the infrastructure it’s the maintenance and ongoing costs.

    It makes no sense to build a system which will have max utilisation for 2 hours a day. No factory would do it and no transport system should be designed in such a way. If we move in this direction Aucklanders will be paying through the nose for this system and Auckland will not be the most liveable city because people won’t have any money left after they pay their rates!

    P.S Would like to see the Auckland Transport website redesigned into a more readible manner. It’s about as user friendly as the 2030 transport plan.

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  4. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Wow, by 2025 we could have a bus from Howick that goes to Ellerslie where we’d change and get another bus into the city ?

    Sorry, doesn’t really do it for me.

    How about we build an 8 lane motorway through the inner east instead? Up through St Johns and Remmers, that’d do it for me.

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  5. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Why does my comment require moderation ? It never has prior to now.

    I must be one of the least controversial posters on here

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  6. leftyliberal (655 comments) says:

    Matthew: Which routes look “a nightmare to co-ordinate”? I see very few trips that would require more than 2 changes.

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  7. James Butler (76 comments) says:

    @lefty To be fair (and I love the proposal) 2 changes would be a massive hassle on any existing New Zealand public transport systems. The challenge there is to make changing route/mode seamless – this means coordinating station, timetable and ticketing design. If all you have to do is disembark then reembark a minute later, and you only need to dig your card out of your bag at the beginning and the end of the trip, then it would be a non-issue.

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  8. leftyliberal (655 comments) says:

    @James: Absolutely. The integrated ticketing being rolled out should reduce some of that hassle (and get rid of the multi-ticket problems). Coordination is helped (or worked around) with increased frequency (current capacity allows for 6tphpd on the outer lines, and up to 24tphpd on the inner lines once the CRL is done?) Coordination (particularly of feeder services) will be required for things to operate really smoothly though, and no doubt there’ll be a period where things are a bit of a shambles in some spots.

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  9. Matthew Percival (23 comments) says:

    leftyliberal to expand on James’ piece a public transport system needs to be easy to use, cost effective and faster than other alternatives. What might be easy for me and you isn’t so easy for a mother with 3 young children or an elderly person.

    The transfers also create delays in getting from A to B. At an average delay of 5 minutes that’s 10 minutes of delays once you get on the system. That doesn’t take into account the initial delay in waiting for the first train. It also creates additional stresses in the system because you need sufficient space for the people to move on/off platforms at transition stations.

    Under this system people are looking at a walk/drive/bus to the train station, waiting for the train. Transitioning to another train with an addiitonal wait (possibly 2 transitions) and then walk/bus to their final destination. It doesn’t look very time or cost efficient to me.

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  10. leftyliberal (655 comments) says:

    Matthew: I agree that eliminating delays is essential, which is why frequency is critical, and thus why the city rail link is critical sooner rather than later – the more frequently things run, the less downtime during a trip as a whole.

    Efficiency, though, is a tricky measure, as it’s not obvious to me at all that car travel is either time or cost efficient, though it depends on the trip, ofcourse. It’s not as if you can do anything else while driving (assuming single-occupancy – this may not be the case with more people in the vehicle) and further the costs are non-trivial (just in petrol my car is 18c per km around town, and it’s reasonably fuel efficient). On a bus or train then you can at least use that time productively for something else, whether that be leisure or work. In the same way cycling and walking is generally considered more time-efficient than driving, as you get exercise (and may enjoy it) at the same time.

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  11. OneTrack (4,602 comments) says:

    ” It’s not as if you can do anything else while driving”

    I can listen to the radio which plays my music, not the hip-hop that the two twenty somethings were playing on their boom-box and singing along to in the seat behind me. I can open the window to let some fresh air in without somebody complaining that “its too cold” and shutting it again. I can drive straight across town from my home to my work (which isn’t in the cbd) which on public transport oud be multiple changes and a nightmare (I do want to keep my job).

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  12. leftyliberal (655 comments) says:

    You can enjoy your own music on the bus or train, in addition to the other hundreds of things you can do that you can’t do while driving.

    Yes, others will be around you, and if that lack of privacy or lack of control is important to you, then your car may well be preferred, even on trips where public transit would otherwise be hassle-free. Fortunately, plenty of others are quite happy with the existing buses and trains (the new trains will be a marked improvement), and thus your driving experience will likely not be degraded in the future due to capacity issues.

    It’s not about forcing people out of cars, it’s about providing choice. At the moment for many trips there is no real choice, and thus congestion results. The key step is to solve it by introducing choice, rather than just increasing capacity and perpetuating the status quo.

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  13. RRM (12,583 comments) says:

    In my experience many Aucklanders are unwilling to try public transport, even when a good route is available and it is attractively priced.

    When I lived in Auckland I lived around Epsom & Mount Eden, and worked in East Tamaki. A “good” run to work in the car was 40 minutes. An average run was 50 minutes, and 60 or 70 minutes was always a possibility.

    Then I discovered the 484 bus that took me pretty much door-to-door in about an hour. A bit longer, but it was time I could use to read the paper or sleep in or what have you. It was cheaper than driving a car too…

    Time and again, any time colleagues would complain about the traffic I would ask if they’d tried catching the bus. Invariably they hadn’t, and what’s more they wouldn’t. Wouldn’t even try it once to see how it works out. Public transport is apparently beneath the better people of Auckland…

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  14. James Butler (76 comments) says:

    @RRM I used to cycle from Mt Eden to East Tamaki in 50 mins each day… my life was in my hands the whole time though /:

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  15. RRM (12,583 comments) says:

    James you must be a bit fitter than me, I tried cycling for a while, Mt Eden –> E.T. 65 minutes, E.T. –> Mt Eden 90-95 min! 😛

    (I avoided main roads wherever possible though…)

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  16. freemark (938 comments) says:

    Well, after my trip this morning I don’t see a congestion problem at all. I normally commute Waiheke to CBD, but had to bring a car in this morning. Left Half Moon Bay terminal at 07:55, arrived Wyndham St CBD at 08:22. Smooth drive all the way.

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