AT ends challenging financial year in a solid financial position while making progress addressing public transport reliability issues AT ends challenging financial year in a solid financial position while making progress addressing public transport reliability issues

Date 20 September 2023

Auckland Transport (AT) ended the 2022/23 financial year in a strong financial position and delivered its capital programme, while managing Auckland’s transport network through unprecedented adverse weather, skills shortages and disruptive but necessary rail infrastructure upgrades.

AT’s surplus before tax of $682 million is $10.8 million below budget but $1.1 million above budget after excluding paper losses. At $2.4 billion, revenue for the financial year was 4% above budget largely due to additional Waka Kotahi funding to support flood response and to compensate for the government’s half price public transport programme, alongside paper gains from new developer-provided capital assets. Expenditure for the year ending June 2023, at $1.7 billion, was 7% higher than budget due to depreciation and emergency response costs.

AT Chief Executive Dean Kimpton says he is very proud of how AT’s people, public transport providers, roading subcontractors and other partners stepped up to keep Auckland’s road and public transport network functioning during the unprecedented weather events early this year.

“In incredibly trying times our people, partners and suppliers stepped up to protect and repair roads and public transport infrastructure, share information, reallocate funding and design workarounds to ensure Auckland’s transport network continued to operate both during and after the storms,” Mr Kimpton says.

“AT employees and suppliers deliver day-in day-out, much of it unseen, and do it because they want to deliver for Aucklanders. For this they have my utmost thanks.”

Public transport patronage recovers from COVID-19 lows but rail network rebuild and skills shortages impact reliability.

Public transport patronage has continued to recover, increasing from around 60% of pre-Covid-19 levels at the beginning of the financial year to over 80% for the month of June. However, over the year that has been, service disruptions caused by adverse weather, the bus driver, ferry skipper and crew shortages along with the Rail Network Rebuild impacts led to declining public confidence.

Reliability issues have been a key area of focus for AT during the financial year and along with public transport provider partners, we have made pleasing progress towards addressing these. Following significant recruitment initiatives, we now have a full complement of bus drivers and are supporting Fullers360 to undertake an intensive training programme to address ferry crew shortages.

Spike in road deaths and serious injuries in the final quarter of 2022 results in death and serious injuries above safety targets

Deaths and serious injuries (DSI) on Auckland’s roads have exceeded targets on all three measures; local road network (exceeded by 81), Auckland roads and state highways (exceeded by 112) and vulnerable road users (exceeded by 50). The last quarter of 2022 reported the worst DSI for the reporting period. Drivers and motorcyclists continue to represent the largest road user groups in these DSIs (35% and 20% respectively). As part of our long-term commitment to safety, over this same period,  AT introduced speed limit changes on more than 1,600 local roads and delivered 729 road safety initiatives.

Continued carbon reduction sees AT exceed environmental sustainability targets, however, encouraging more multi-modal transport key to meeting emissions targets

AT is ahead of schedule to reduce emissions from its own activities and transport network assets. 98% of the 125,167 streetlights on Auckland’s road network are now energy efficient LEDs and in August 2022 the last diesel trains ran between Papakura and Pukekohe. The entire train fleet has now shifted from diesel to electric.

Auckland now has 89 electric buses and 1 hydrogen powered bus in its fleet, exceeding the target of 75 low emission buses), as we endeavour to provide low-emission transport options to Aucklanders. Soon we will be adding electric and low emission ferries to our transport fleet.

Pleasingly, greenhouse gas emissions from AT’s corporate activities and assets have reduced by 54% from the 2018/19 baseline, exceeding the target of 17%.

With transport the greatest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Auckland (approximately 4.15 mega tonnes), our largest impact on reducing transport-related emissions is to provide excellent public transport services and a transport network that encourages people to use public transport and active modes, such as walking and cycling more. This remains a constant focus.

“We know Aucklanders want fast, safe, and reliable low emission public transport options; to know they or their children can walk or bike safely, including to school; and drive on fit-for-purpose, well-maintained roads,” Mr Kimpton says.

“This remains our deep commitment at a time of real growth compounded by funding challenges, changing climate and skills shortages.”

AT is the guardian of $27 billion worth of publicly owned assets including more than 7,500 kilometres of arterial and local roads, over 7,600 kilometres of footpaths, more than 370 kilometres of cycleways, a growing fleet of electric trains, rail and busway stations, bus shelters, ferry wharves and two airfields.