#akhaveyoursay Submission to Regional Fuel Tax and Regional Land Transport Program

Program pretty good, did some tweaks and found even savings

 

I have sent in my submission for the Regional Fuel Tax and the Regional Land Transport Program. You can have your say on both items here.

 

In general I supported both the RFT and the RLTP however, I did alter some of the projects around reflecting on Auckland’s current Urban Geography (spatial developments and variations within the City).

You can read the submission below, and remember do not forget to have your say!

Section 1: Regional Fuel Tax

 

For general ease in cross-referencing my submission with the official document I will be going in order of projects mentioned and whether I agree, disagree or have further comment.

In general I support the Regional Fuel Tax being implemented as a temporary measure while Congestion Charging and Value Capture Taxes are worked through from Central Government.

Project wise I am in general support but will comment on each one specifically.

Project 1: Bus Priority Improvements

I disagree with this project due to the priorities listed on page six of the Regional Fuel Tax document. The entire Great South Road and Manukau Station Road should also be priority one for bus lanes due to:

  1. Southern Auckland was first to receive the New Network in 2016 yet has not had the infrastructure built to match what was earlier stated by Auckland Transport in supported the Frequent Service Network
  2. Per the ATAP document and fact sheets[1]:
    1. Southern Auckland is now the largest sub region of Auckland and will remain that way
    2. 2018: 550,000 to Central Auckland’s 460,000
    3. 2028: 650,000 to Central Auckland’s 550,000
    4. 2038: 710,000 to Central Auckland 610,000
    5. Southern Auckland is set to grow at 30% to the Isthmus’s 29%
    6. Isthmus does have the largest employment centre – the City Centre that employs 15% of Auckland’s population
    7. Southern Auckland has the four of the five heavy industrial complexes (Airport, East Tamaki/Highbrook, Wiri and Drury South) with the Airport complex expanding rapidly
    8. Southern Auckland houses one of Auckland’s three Nodes under the Auckland Plan 2050 and historically our second (minor) city centre – Manukau City Centre
  3. The Great South Road is the primary north-south road spine (apart from the Southern Motorway) and Manukau Station Road is the main access road to the Manukau Bus Station
  4. 50% of Southern Auckland residents commute within Southern Auckland for work according to Ministry of Transport 2013 study into commuting patterns
  5. Great South Road should be used for local or even sub regional trips (just as is intended by the Mill Road project in ATAP) freeing up the Southern Motorway for inter-regional traffic

So I ask that the RFT and RLTP be juggled to have bus lanes on the Great South Road starting from the Puhinui Road intersection all the way down to the Queen Street intersection in Papakura as well as bus lanes down the entire length of Manukau Station Road to allow Frequent Service Network busses to travel along the Great South Road and all busses using Manukau Station Road to access the Manukau Bus Station.

Doing this would promote the following Government Policy Statement strategic directions:

  • Access: that is allowing greater access to the bus network through more reliable service running provided by the bus lanes
  • Safety: More people that choose to travel by bus means less cars on the road and less risk from congestion to other road users
  • Environment: like Access and Safety having the busses travelling more reliable in key transport areas like the Great South and Manukau Station Roads allows for environmental benefits as more users switch from car to bus thus contributing less to Climate Change emissions

Picture 2: Source – Auckland Transport

Manukau City Centre
Source: Auckland Plan Implementation Update 2015

Picture 3: Manukau City Centre. Source: Panuku

 

Project Three: Improving Airport Access

This project seems to have mashed together Airport to Botany Rapid Transit via Manukau and Puhinui Station, and other smaller projects such as improved bus services at New Lynn, Mt Roskill and Onehunga. These bus improvements need to be fully separated into their own RFT project category away from the Botany to Airport RTN project (or the Southern Airport Line as I call it).

The reason for this is clarity and legibility especially with the Southern Airport Line and its inter-regional role compared to more localised roles of bus improvements at New Lynn and Onehunga.

The current ATAP and thus the RFT seems to be undercooking the Southern Airport Line compared to the 2017 ATAP predecessor. The 2017 ATAP had Manukau, Puhinui (with a new interchange at Puhinui Station) and the Airport as an accelerated package with a BCR of 3.0. The 2018 ATAP and RFT have dropped off the Manukau to Puhinui leg even when the BCR for the entire section was 3.0? Why is this if the RFT is enabling Line to be accelerated to 2021 completion?

The RFT should be funding the Southern Airport Line from the Airport to Manukau including the interchange at Puhinui as stage one of the full Southern Airport Line RTN project to Botany. Stage Two from Manukau to Botany needs to be completed by the time the Eastern Busway reaches Botany Metropolitan Centre.

Airport Access Study 2038
Source: Auckland Airport Access by Auckland Airport, NZTA and Auckland Transport

Picture 4: Preferably by 2028 please

 

Project Nine: Active Transport

I agree with this in general but am wondering where is the funding towards the Greenways Program that would significantly boost active modes to/from schools, parks, transport centres and Centres? It seems the Greenways program has dropped off the list entirely which would mean we were wasting our time doing the submission work for it two years ago. Please fund the top 3 Greenways program from each Local Board please.

 

Project Eleven: Mill Road

Support fully what the ATAP, RFT and RLTP have for Mill Road.

Mill Road as of 7:34 am 28.03.18

 

Regional Land Transport Program

 

The following projects should be upgraded from Auckland Transport’s Capital Program – additional items currently unfunded (Appendix 1 Table 1B) to Auckland Transport Proposed Funded Capital Program:

  1. Level Crossing Safety Improvements at Grade Separation ($424m). For the City Rail Link, the Third and Fourth Mains on the Southern Line, and the resulting in increased rail services to operate at maximum efficiency the rail crossings on the Southern and Eastern Line need to be all removed by 2025. Grade separation also improves safety of those passing through such as cars, trucks and pedestrians – something that will become more acute as the South and West continue to experience rapid population growth
  2. Airport to Botany RTN via Manukau and Airport Access Improvements (Investigation, Route Protection and CAPEX) ($259m). This project needs to be accelerated and completed within Decade 1 (by 2028) owing to:
    1. Rapid population growth is Southern Auckland (30% of all growth through to 2038 (Isthmus is 29%)
    2. Southern Auckland the largest sub region in Auckland[2]
    3. As the ATAP and RFT acknowledges Southern Auckland including Howick is poorly served by transit

The CAPEX cost for the Manukau to Botany leg of Airport to Botany RTN can be easily covered by Value Capture Taxes especially if we allow Transit Orientated Developments around the Line’s stations and corridor itself. This would make the project cost neutral while allowing community building[3].

  1. Howick to Pakuranga bus priority improvements ($76m). With the Eastern Busway now fully funded and to go ahead not having bus priority improvements down Pakuranga Road from Howick to Pakuranga is near half baking the solution to get transit into South Eastern Auckland. Can we have this project bumped into the funding list please so that it is completed by the time the Panmure to Pakuranga section of the Eastern Busway is open please.
  2. Grand Drive (Orewa) bus station ($30m). This part of Auckland is also expanding quickly and due to its poor urban layout lacks decent transit options now and into the future as far as local busses go. Adding the bus station to Grand Drive (with a paid park and ride also built) would allow residents (current and future) an option of catching the extended Northern Express and relieve pressure on the Northern Motorway (also slowing down the need for an expensive widening program of said motorway)
  3. Papakura new bus station ($6m). The Papakura Bus/Rail interchange is already too small for current services let along any future services as Papakura’s population continues to grow. $6m is small change for a more efficient bus station and better user access.

Total new cost: $795 million

 

Note:

  1. The Level Crossing Safety Improvements at Grade Separation I expect to be half paid for by Auckland Transport and half by Kiwi Rail. This means Auckland Transport would need to fund $212m
  2. Botany to Airport RTN while it shows up as initial debt two cost factors come into play:
    1. Project would be undertaken by NZTA rather than Auckland Transport similar to City Centre-Airport via Dominion Road
    2. Value Capture Tax and Transit Orientated Developments along the corridor and stations can be ring fenced to “pay” for the full RTN Line allowing the project to become cost neutral while also community building as well

New costs to Auckland Transport: $324m

New Costs to Kiwi Rail: $212m

New Costs to NZTA: Initially $259m although recouped by VCT and TOD ring fencing

Source: @TransitSleuth
Could the Southern Airport Line be like this? Yes it can

 

The following projects should be downgraded from Auckland Transport’s FUNDED Capital Program (Appendix 1 Table 1A): – to additional items currently unfunded or deleted from RLTP

  1. Eastern Busway: Pakuranga Bus Station and Reeves Road Flyover ($316m). Keep the Bus Station as funded but delete the Reeves Road Flyover probably saving us $300m. With the Eastern Busway confirmed and having Howick-Pakuranga Bus Priority improvements bumped into RLTP funded projects (see page 11) the Reeves Road flyover can be removed entirely from the project. The flyover will caused induced car demand defeating the purpose of any transit improvements in the area. The ultimate consequence is lowering urban amenity in an area slated as a Town Centre under the Auckland Unitary Plan and can take intensification of up to 11 storeys. If we are trying to remove obnoxious monoliths like the Lower Hobson Street flyover why are we building a new flyover in the middle of a town centre?
  2. Park and Ride Program ($51m). Note: not all $51m is being called to be removed. Park and rides in urban catchment areas can both defeat the purpose of a transit system (that is the provision of feeder busses or active modes to fill the first and last mile gap) while also causing localised congestion that we are trying to minimise in an urban environment. As for park and rides that serve rural catchments like Papakura – yes they do need to be supported and properly funded.
  3. FTN/RTN Manukau to Drury, including Bremner and Opaheke Road Upgrade ($65m). With the 33 Great South Road bus (that should be extended to a future Drury rail station), the three new rail stations (Drury, Drury West and Paerata) and the Southern Line why do we need a separate FTN/RTN route from the South to Manukau City Centre? This to me is duplicating existing services that could be upgraded (like the 33 and the 365) with either better frequencies or bus priority measures like bus lanes. Feeder busses should be feeding from the new Greenfield areas in the west of Papakura to Papakura Station until Drury and Drury Stations are built in which those feeder busses feed into those new stations. Please delete the FTN/RTN Manukau to Drury from the RLTP and add Southern Rail Stations into funded RLTP section please (cost $78m and that should come from development contributions and Housing Infrastructure Fund).

 

Total Cost Savings: $385m (some road and transit projects where intermixed rather than being separated out so savings will not reflect nominal costs above)

 

 

Cost Movements to RLTP

Total costs or savings to Auckland Transport reflecting RLTP submission: (+$64m in savings compared to draft RLTP sent for out to consultation).

Extra costs to Kiwi Rail: $212m to be paid for via the NLTF as it the project in question would meet the Government Policy Statement strategic directions of ‘Safety’ and ‘Access.’

Extra cost to NZTA: $259m although ring fencing Value Capture Tax and Transit Orientated Development contributions would mean the project is cost neutral. The Botany to Airport RTN would also meet the GPS strategic themes of Access, Safety, Environment and Value for money whiles the themes of integrated land-use/transport planning and Inviting Public Spaces.

Using Transport to create public spaces. Source: GPS via NZ Government

Picture 5: Government Policy Statement page: 13

 

ATAP RTN Future
Source: NZ Government and Auckland Council

 

Other

  1. Improving Airport Access. The Puhinui Bus/Rail interchange that forms part of the Southern Airport Line (Botany-Airport RTN) needs to be separated from the other bus improvement measures elsewhere in the City. See page 7 for more.

 

Submission ends

[1] Breaking Down the #ATAP and What it Means for Southern Auckland. A Prelude to the Upcoming RLTP

[2] Breaking Down the #ATAP and What it Means for Southern Auckland. A Prelude to the Upcoming RLTP

[3] The Southern Airport Line – More than a Light Rail Line – A Community and City Builder Too!

 

Regional Land Transport Program and Regional Fuel Tax Submission

 

 

Manukau Bus Station concourse with LED cats eyes

 

 

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