Tag: Auckland Transport

Family Pass Hard To Get

Yes We Know You Can Not Get Family Passes for the Train Easy Any-More

 

The guys over at Transport Blog picked up and ran with a post on the lack of accessibility to get a Family Pass for the trains, for a day out as currently being seen in the school holidays:

By cbtadmin, on October 11th, 2012
…This policy discriminates against any family that doesn’t live near the three stations mentioned. For instance a family of 5 wanting to travel from the new Manukau Station to Britomart return will have to pay  ($6.80 x 2) + ($4 x 3) = $25.60 x 2 = $51.20 return!  The same family of 5 going from Britomart to Manukau return could get the $24 family pass….

 

Sorry to say guys but where have you been for the last three to four weeks – seriously?!

BR:AKL picked up on the Family Pass issue last month and ran an extensive post on this: $57.80 FOR A RETURN TRIP ON AN AUCKLAND TRAIN

 

The BR:AKL post also included all relevant public information available on the ticketing regime change as well as the Fare Matrix on the new costs of a family day out on the train due to the Family Pass issue.

I emailed every single Councillor and the Mayors Office over this situation as this was of high concern as we approach Labour Weekend and the summer holidays. Needless to say I have received a few replies back and been in extensive email conversation with Councillor Mike Lee over the Family Pass (as well as the fare affordability situation in general) issue.

BR:AKL will maintain the pressure to assure a fair and balanced outcome for family and day tripping users as it is unfair and unbalanced to get slugged $57.80 for a day in town compared to $26 if that same family went by car!

 

I have also made it an election campaign pledge in my running for Papakura Local Board (Local Government 2013 Elections) next year to continue the lobbying and pressure Auckland Transport to restore fair and balanced fairs for families if the situation as not been reverted by then (one year from now).

 

 

But regardless to who posted first on the Family Pass issue, the point being is that Auckland Transport needs to fix the issue NOW as there are not a lot of happy people. Actually off-peak patronage as noticeable dropped these school holidays according to feedback to BR:AKL. I wonder if that is due to the difficulty getting Day Rovers, Family Passes and Discovery Passes from the rail network now. Hmm…

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, QUERIES OR COMPLAINTS ON FARE MOVEMENTS WITH AT-HOP THEN CONTACT ANYONE OF THESE AUCKLAND COUNCILLORS ON THE ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE WITH YOUR CONCERN. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAN HELP YOU (or Auckland Transport themselves) WITH YOUR CONCERN – NO ONE ELSE (including Veolia)!

SUBMISSION TO RPTP – CTD

Part One Down, Onto Parts Two and Three

 

As mentioned in my SUBMISSION TO RPTP post, my submission is currently being written in response to Auckland Transport‘s call for feedback on the Regional Public Transport Plan:

Have Begun Writing Submission to Regional Public Transport Plan

As mentioned in the ALL THINGS PUBLIC TRANSPORTAuckland Transport has released the Regional Public Transport Plan for public submissions. I have read the 138 pages of the RPTP document and have begun writing my submission to the plan. My submission will be covering five main points on the RPTP which will be further reinforced in the subsequent hearings panel afterwards – the points being:

  1. Lack of direct Manukau to Papakura South Rail Link from Manukau Station
  2. Constructive Criticism and Praise to Chapter Five – Key Directions which looks at the proposed network (and services) through to 2022
  3. Chapter 6.4 – Fares and Ticketing. Specially my counter proposal around zone fares and pricing
  4. Chapter 6.5  – Infrastructure of the physical Public Transport network and facilities (building on from my submissions to The Auckland, and Long Term Plans)
  5. Chapter 6.6 – Customer Service Interface – and how best it can be used and improved for a clean,easy, efficient and “happy” portal for customer service interactions

I will endeavour to keep a running commentary as I write my submission and get it in by the deadline of Monday 4th November 2012…

 

I have completed Point Three: Fares and Ticketing. That part of my submission is around introducing zonal fares rather that fares based on distance travelled, coupled with suggestive fares public transport passengers would be charged. You will be able to see the full submission as I send it to AT once I have completed it.

And so I move onto the next part which is Points One and Four: The Lack of direct Manukau to Papakura South Rail Link from Manukau Station; and Chapter 6.5  – Infrastructure of the physical Public Transport network and facilities (building on from my submissions to The Auckland, and Long Term Plans).

 

In regards to the lack of a direct link from Manukau to Papakura; I will continue to lobby and advocate to Auckland Transport on getting a firm timeline of completion for that link. As I have commented in the past here at BR:AKL (formerly VOAKL) Manukau Station is handicapped by access and pathetically low patronage due to a lack of a direct link from Papakura to the station. In my experience, the bulk of your peak and off-peak passengers (regardless of the tertiary institution campus being built on top) to and from Manukau come from your: Homai, Manurewa, Papakura and Pukekohe stations. Currently the passengers from the south have to catch a train and go as far as Puhinui Station before transferring to Manukau from Britomart service (it is vice versa if leaving Manukau and wanting to go back south)  which runs hourly in the off-peak and weekends, and around 20-30mins in the morning and afternoon peaks.

To me this is unacceptable to which I actually put the blame on Auckland Council and the former Manukau City Council rather than Auckland Transport. Auckland Transport got lugged with the Manukau mess so I am strongly recommending to AT to help clean up the situation and pressure Kiwi Rail to build that South Link by 2018!

 

In regards to the infrastructure point, I am basically looking at rail and bus stations in regards to: facilities on the stations, ease of access, whether Park and Rides should be build adjacent to the said stations, and whether the tough call needs to be made in closing down or relocating stations for better patronage and access to the travelling public. I will also investigate looking in establishing a light rail system that spans the Waterfront to St Heliers Bay along with running up and down Dominion Road as far as Lynfield. Now I said investigate as Light Rail was part of my Auckland Water-Frontier proposal especially around Wynyard Quarter, so I will “see” if this system can be expanded further in its reach and access. Now if anything, this part of the submission and the fares part will be the most prickly in the hearings with AT after I submit my submission (unless AT really take to task my points on the Customer Service Interface – and how best it can be used and improved for a clean,easy, efficient and “happy” portal for customer service interactions knowing how err sensitive our CCO can be).

But at the end of the day I am submitting fair and balanced, but constructive feedback to Auckland Transport on their RPTP. There will be no defaming, there will be no harsh negative comments. Any thing I do constructive criticise will have ideas, proposals and alternatives from what I believe can make our public transport submission better.

And this is the goal of this submission; “To a Better Auckland”

 

My RPTP, along with all other submissions I have done to Auckland Council or Auckland Transport (Auckland Plan, Long Term Plan, CBD Parking Regime Change, City Centre Master Plan, the Regional Land Transport Plan, soon the Unitary Plan, and currently the Regional Public Transport Plan) form my policy platform (extending on my What I Stand For fundamentals) as well as I stand as a candidate for Papakura Local Board in next year’s Local Government Elections – for a Better Auckland.

 

Updates will continue as I continue to write the submission to the RPTP

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

New Rail Timetables

 

New Rail Timetable Now Out

 

Auckland Transport ambassadors were sighted at Britomart this evening handing out the new rail timetables that become effective October 15.

That means October 15, all the Auckland metro rail lines will be operating under a new timetable Monday to Friday (weekend timetable remains unchanged).

 

Here is the fronts and back of the new timetables being handed out:

 

 

Make sure you get your copy as there are some changes that might catch you out.

 

Online versions can be found at: http://www.maxx.co.nz/timetables.aspx

 

Submission to RPTP

Have Begun Writing Submission to Regional Public Transport Plan

 

As mentioned in the ALL THINGS PUBLIC TRANSPORT, Auckland Transport has released the Regional Public Transport Plan for public submissions. I have read the 138 pages of the RPTP document and have begun writing my submission to the plan. My submission will be covering five main points on the RPTP which will be further reinforced in the subsequent hearings panel afterwards – the points being:

  1. Lack of direct Manukau to Papakura South Rail Link from Manukau Station
  2. Constructive Criticism and Praise to Chapter Five – Key Directions which looks at the proposed network (and services) through to 2022
  3. Chapter 6.4 – Fares and Ticketing. Especially my counter proposal around zone fares and pricing
  4. Chapter 6.5  – Infrastructure of the physical Public Transport network and facilities (building on from my submissions to The Auckland, and Long Term Plans)
  5. Chapter 6.6 – Customer Service Interface – and how best it can be used and improved for a clean,easy, efficient and “happy” portal for customer service interactions

 

I will endeavour to keep a running commentary as I write my submission and get it in by the deadline of Monday 4th November 2012. But in the mean time I will again show my (counter) proposal for zone based fares including this time MAPS and Graphics on my counter proposed zones. Also note that this RPTP submission will form the continuation of my comprehensive policy proposal package for my election campaign next year to the Papakura Local Board (in the Local Government 2013 elections).

 

BEN’S PROPOSALS FOR ZONE BASED FARES (Update Version 2.0)

 

Four Zones (maps of the first draft of the proposed zones are below)) with the Central Post Office (so Britomart Transport Centre) as the central focus point in which the zones are calculated:
  • City Zone: (Orakei, Newmarket and Ian McKinnon Drive, the city side of the Harbour Bridge and Ponsonby Road form that boundary (so the CRL falls inside the City Zone))
  • Isthmus Zone: (Basically marked by the traditional Otahuhu (Mangere Road and Savill Drives and New Lynn (including Rata and Ash Streets) fare boundaries, and Northcote Road on the North Shore)
  • South and East Zone: (Manurewa, Mill Road (north end), Point View Drive)
  • Mid West Zone: (Westgate (Brighams Creek) and Swanson, west side of the Waitemata Harbour)
  • Mid North Shore Zone: east side of Waitemata Harbour, Albany and Long Bay)
  • Outer South, North and West Zones: (all areas beyond the outer zone)
  • Optional South and East Zones: ((so South and East mega zone split into two) State Highway One and Otara Locality)

These zones are like a target with a cross in the middle extending through the zones. From the very south to the very north of the zoned areas would mean travelling through seven zones one way. Four zones to get half way the journey and another four zones as you move through the centre to the other end of the city.

The fares for moving within or between the four zones (single trip – cash fare one way – flat fee regardless or adult or child)
  • Within a single Zone: $2
  • Between two Zones: $3
  • Between three Zones:$5
  • Between four Zones: $7
  • Five or more Zones: four zone fare plus the price of the “extra zones” travelled to the daily fare cap of $15 (so travelling six zones would equal $7 + $3 = $10 one way)

I also propose a maximum fare cap of $15 per day for all travel on the integrated public transport system. However you would still be able to by a full day pass for unlimited travel on all modes across all zones from 9am Weekdays and all day weekends and public holidays for a discounted cap price of $13 if you know you are going to be travelling around all day.

The trusty Family Pass should also be made available at the same time as a full day pass for the flat fee of $25. Super Gold holders ride free per usual at their dedicated times.

Okay so we have the zones set (maps further down) and the fares organised for cash-single trips (no using an AT-HOP card), the day and family passes, Super Gold Holders and the maximum fare cap for any one day’s travel.

Now to using an AT-HOP card in place of cash.

Those who would use an AT-HOP card would be our current more frequent travellers who use the exiting ten-trip passes (being phased out) or monthly passes. Using an AT-HOP card should mean you get a discount when paying your fare compared to feeding money down a ticket machine or to the ticket office. Thus I propose the AT-HOP cards have a flat 20% discount regardless of child, adult or tertiary student on the cash fare otherwise charged for your journey. As for Monthly passes there would be four sets of “monthlies” available with prices reflecting discounts accordingly. The same conditions on your 31 days of use from the first day “used” with the existing monthly paper monthlies will transfer over to the AT-HOP Card loaded with Monthly profiles.

The Four Monthly Passes and fares (child in brackets)

  • 1-Z – For travelling within one zone: $60 ($50)
  • 2-Z – For travelling between two zones: $90 ($75)
  • 3-Z – For travelling between three zones: $ $150 ($110)
  • A-Z – Ultimate pass – travelling between four or more zones: $210 ($150)

The discount rate for adults with Monthly Passes is at minimum 25% compared to single-cash fare with child passes higher (there are no Tertiary discounts).

As for bikes – free travel but as per usual to on-board staff discretion depending on train loadings.

 

These are the maps of the proposed zones (first draft and subject to refinement)

Click for enlarged pictures

 

Balance, simplicity, fairness and minimisation of fare evasion was the methodology behind the zone fares, prices and boundaries stated above. Further refinement will be done as I continue the submission but constructive feedback in the comments department down below is welcome as always.

This submission is part of my “What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland” fundamentals;  the backbone in the formation of my comprehensive policy proposal package for my election campaign next year to the Papakura Local Board (in the Local Government 2013 elections). :

Part Three of the Better Auckland fundamentals: An Integrated Approach to Transport: None of this “all for one but not the other approach” we get from both roading and Green lobbyists. Road and Mass Transit both have their places here in Auckland – albeit more balanced like the Generation Zero 50:50 campaign. This integrated approach also applies to many other things out there – I call it The Best of Both Worlds.

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

All Things Public Transport

Auckland Transport Releases RPTP

 

Some good news after the Bums Rush Auckland Council gave yesterday with its continuing crap handling of our finances. Auckland Transport had released the much vaunted Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) for viewing AND submissions. You can check the RPTP at the AT website HERE (which includes links to the submission form) or read the embed at the bottom of this post.

I am busy reading through the 138 page document but from what I have seen so far I can personally say that if we follow through with this, then Auckland as another blogger said is on the cusp of a (Public) Transport Revolution. Yes I will be forming an extensive submission on this RPTP, especially around the “zones,” fares and most likely feeder bus set ups. And yes I will trundle along to a hearing in front of Auckland Transport if the CCO gives enough heads up for me to get a period of time off work.

 

As I said earlier, I am busy reading through the document, so no extensive commentary just yet. But from glances at the website and summary documents I can safely say (for now) that the RPTP will meet the number three fundamental in my “What I Stand For – For Auckland” page:

  • An Integrated Approach to Transport: None of this “all for one but not the other approach” we get from both roading and Green lobbyists. Road and Mass Transit both have their places here in Auckland – albeit more balanced like the Generation Zero 50:50 campaign This integrated approach also applies to many other things out there – I call it The Best of Both Worlds.

 

While I begin writing the submission to the RPTP, I’ll show an example of what will be in my submission – in this case Zonal Fare:

From my ZONAL FARES post written last month:

Ben’s Proposals for Zone Based Fares

Four Zones (I will draw a map later) with the Central Post Office (so Britomart Transport Centre) as the central focus point in which the zones are calculated:
  • City Zone (Orakei, Newmarket and Grafton Trains Stations, plus the city side of the Harbour Bridge andPonsonby Road form that boundary)
  • Inner Zone (Basically marked by the traditional Otahuhu and New Lynn fare boundaries, and Smales Farm on the North Shore)
  • Outer Zone (Manurewa to the south, Westgate and Swanson to the West and Albany to the north)
  • Regional Zone (all areas beyond the outer zone)

These zones are like a target with a cross in the middle extending through the zones. From the very south to the very north of the zoned areas would mean travelling through eight zones one way. Four zones to get half way the journey and another four zones as you move through the centre to the other end of the city.

The fares for moving within or between the four zones (single trip – cash fare one way – flat fee regardless or adult or child)
  • Within a single Zone: $2
  • Between two Zones: $3
  • Between three Zones:$5
  • Between four Zones: $7
  • Five or more Zones: four zone fare plus the price of the “extra zones” travelled to the daily fare cap of $15 (so travelling six zones would equal $7 + $3 = $10 one way)

I also propose a maximum fare cap of $15 per day for all travel on the integrated public transport system. However you would still be able to by a full day pass for unlimited travel on all modes across all zones from 9am Weekdays and all day weekends and public holidays for a discounted cap price of $13 if you know you are going to be travelling around all day.

The trusty Family Pass should also be made available at the same time as a full day pass for the flat fee of $25. Super Gold holders ride free per usual at their dedicated times.

Okay so we have the zones set (map coming later in an update) and the fares organised for cash-single trips (no using an AT-HOP card), the day and family passes, Super Gold Holders and the maximum fare cap for any one day’s travel.

Now to using an AT-HOP card in place of cash.

Those who would use an AT-HOP card would be our current more frequent travellers who use the exiting ten-trip passes (being phased out) or monthly passes. Using an AT-HOP card should mean you get a discount when paying your fare compared to feeding money down a ticket machine or to the ticket office. Thus I propose the AT-HOP cards have a flat 20% discount regardless of child, adult or tertiary student on the cash fare otherwise charged for your journey. As for Monthly passes there would be four sets of “monthlies” available with prices reflecting discounts accordingly. The same conditions on your 31 days of use from the first day “used” with the existing monthly paper monthlies will transfer over to the AT-HOP Card loaded with Monthly profiles.

 

The Four Monthly Passes and fares (child in brackets)

  • 1-Z – For travelling within one zone: $60 ($50)
  • 2-Z – For travelling between two zones: $90 ($75)
  • 3-Z – For travelling between three zones: $ $150 ($110)
  • A-Z – Ultimate pass – travelling between four or more zones: $210 ($150)

 

The discount rate for adults with Monthly Passes is at minimum 25% compared to single-cash fare with child passes higher (there are no Tertiary discounts).

As for bikes – free travel but as per usual to on-board staff discretion depending on train loadings.

I still have a lot of work to do on these but it is a start and would be a good time to get the initial dialogue going to refine this idea ready for a submission to Auckland Transport in due time.

 

Well that due time is here and it is time to write that submission.

The submission will also become another piece of my “policy platform” when I contend for Papakura Local Board in next year’s Local Government Elections.

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

Shining The Light –
To a Better Auckland

Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL

 

Response from AT

Letter From AT on RLTP

 

Got a letter from Auckland Transport acknowledging and thanking my submission to the Regional Land Transport Program. The letter I will show in the embed below, but upon reading it I can appreciate what could be just about literal hell for everyone concerned as the city goes about not building a world-class transport system – but rebuilding the existing system so THEN we can build that world-class system (the only other method is start afresh and I don’t think we will like that option much (Christchurch?))

 

The letter from AT on the RLTP and difficulties that are going to be faced:

 

And as I write this, the CRL debate is still going around and around the same circle again – more on that later

Auckland Parking Regime Change

 

Changes to Parking in Auckland CBD

 

A little while ago I had commented (and submitted to Auckland Transport) that there was consultation taking place for the impending parking regime change in Auckland CBD. Well Auckland Transport released yesterday the final version of the regime change after the consultation (some 700+ submissions including mine) which can be read below:

 

From Auckland Transport:

 

New initiatives for City Centre Parking Zone

Last reviewed: 20/09/2012 8:12 a.m.

Media release: 19 September 2012

A new City Centre Parking Zone, along with some other new parking initiatives, will be introduced by Auckland Transport in mid-October.

Auckland Transport’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Edmonds says: “As Auckland’s population continues to grow, we are committed to delivering convenient access to parking both on and off street as part of the transport mix which includes public transport, walking and cycling.

“The main objective for Auckland Transport in changing the management of on-street and off-street parking in the City Centre is to prioritise short-term parking over long-term parking in an area of the city which has a high degree of visitation for business and leisure activities.”

The proposal for the creation of a new zone and associated pricing went out to public consultation in June this year.

Auckland Transport received 718 submissions on the proposal and has made changes as a result of that feedback.

On-street parking prices will remain unchanged at $4 per hour for the first two hours in the core CBD. After two hours prices will increase relative to the zone, the purpose of this is to prioritise short term (less than two hours) parking on streets.

The scheme will commence with three parking zones rather than the two initially proposed with lower prices around Union Street and Wynyard Quarter. There will be no time limits on any of the zones.

Auckland Transport will also introduce a ten minute “grace period”, which effectively means free parking. It will also remove most P5, P10 and P15 restrictions for on-street parking. The grace period will allow the removal of short-term parking restrictions as people will be able to stop anywhere for ten minutes before payment is required.

“This is a customer friendly option allowing quick pick-ups and drop offs and extends parking options for the likes of couriers and delivery companies,” says Mr Edmonds.

Auckland Transport will also extend paid parking from 6pm to 10pm in the central CBD area. This will improve access for visitors to premium on-street parking in the city in the evenings for leisure activities and reduce congestion during the evening peak.

Additional changes as a result of public feedback include; reducing peak casual hourly rates to $3 an hour in Auckland Transport’s Civic, Downtown and Victoria Street car parks. The current rate is $5.50 per hour for the first two hours and $4 or $5 per hour thereafter.

Mr Edmonds says “Car parking buildings are also a good option, particularly at night, because they are well-lit and have security measures.”

In a further effort to encourage off-street parking in the CBD, a daily maximum charge of $17 per day will be introduced in Auckland Transport parking buildings for longer stays. The daily maximum currently sits at $29.

Both on-street and off street parking prices will be reviewed after six months.

The revenue impacts from these changes are not known at this stage but Auckland Transport expects it to be revenue neutral.

Chief Executive of Heart of the City, Alex Swney says: “For many years parking has been seen as a major reason not to come into the city. We see today’s announcement as a significant change in approach to parking in the city. It recognises the ‘moving feast’ of parking demands of our businesses and their customers. It’s a major step forward and we are sure we will be looking back in a year and see significant improvement as a result.”

Mr Edmonds said the changes will be implemented from mid October 2012. Details of the changes will be communicated to the public through the Auckland Transport website  and through a public information campaign closer to the date.
Map of the Proposed Zone (PDF 4.7 MB – please allow time for download)

 

The Map can be seen in the embed here:

 

Personally all things considered especially per my submission to Auckland Transport on the parking regime change, I am quite happy with how the final product turned out. Of course still work to be done – but happy with the outcome.

 

Well done to Auckland Transport 😀

(even I can praise AT when warranted)

 

References

 

PARKING CHARGE CHANGE FOR CBD

 

ALTERNATIVE TO CENTRAL CITY PARKING ZONE REGIME  (basic form of my submission to the regime change)