Date: 1 November 2023
The Auckland Transport (AT) Board made several notable decisions at its October meeting yesterday, as well as hearing statements from the Equal Justice Project about AT’s advertising policy, the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board about Gulf Harbour ferry services and potential Vaughans Road improvements, the Ōrākei Local Board and Meadowbank and St Johns Residents Association about the Gowing Drive project, and the City Centre Residents’ Group about the Wellesley Street Bus Improvements project.
Board Committee Membership Review: A review of the Board’s committees proposed a number of membership changes to better allocate workload between directors. In addition, Acting Chair Wayne Donnelly acknowledged retiring director Kylie Clegg’s service to the Board and thanked her for her contribution to AT over the past six years.
Decision: The Board approved the proposed membership changes to the committees.
The Board also noted the retirement of Kylie Clegg as a director of the Board and thanked her for her contribution.
Wellesley Street Bus Improvements: The Board heard about the importance of East to West bus corridors in the City Centre and the role Wellesley Street will play in enabling reliable bus access with buses no longer using Victoria Street. The Board heard about AT’s ongoing work to investigate options for freight servicing in the midtown area.
Decision: The Board approved the summary of the Wellsley Street Bus Improvements Detailed Business Case, including the recommended option and delivery staging to deliver safety upgrades, emission reductions, and mode shift to progress implementation of the Transport Emissions Reduction Plan, bus priority measures and connected cycling facilities along Wellesley Street in the central city.
Public Transport Growth Plan: The Board heard that AT is seeking to achieve three outcomes through this programme – to win back customers who have not returned to public transport, acquire new customers, and make it easier for people to use public transport more often in their daily lives.
The Board discussed how the National Ticketing System will support patronage growth, the benefits of local board engagement, and how innovation could help overcome the challenges of patronage reductions when buses replace trains. The Board also heard about the effect flexible working patterns are having on public transport patronage. The Board discussed the importance of rolling out further bus priority measures and consideration of future freight network needs.
Decision: The Board approved the Public Transport Growth Programme and the initiatives being included in the programme for delivery during FY 24/25, subject to the following conditions: i. initiatives with funding allocated within the FY24 budget are prioritised for delivery; and ii. additional funding is secured through reallocation of existing budgets or Auckland Council for initiatives that are prioritised and are currently unfunded.
Ferry Services Update: The Board heard about the current challenges AT and ferry operators are experiencing and how these are affecting service delivery. The Board discussed the importance of understanding what passenger volume opportunities there are for ferry services.
The Board heard about the importance of the ferry accelerated training programme. The Board asked for a review of contract escalation provisions, consideration of climate change impacts on ferry services, and consideration of the impact of cruise ships on ferry operations.
Decision: The Board noted the report and that an update on this matter will be presented to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee at its 16 November 2023 meeting.
Safety Business Report: The Board heard an overview of the business report from Executive General Manager of Public Transport Services, Stacey van der Putten. The Board provided feedback on a range of safety issues, including violence, threats and aggression against staff, motorcycle safety, rail safety, and AT staff attitudes to safety.
Decision: The Board received the report.
2023 Weather Response Recommendations: The Board received an update from Auckland Transport Operation Centre (ATOC) management on the review into the transport network response to the severe weather events of early 2023. The Board heard that ATOC is working with Healthy Waters to look at whether its rain measurement tools can be used more widely.
Decision: The Board endorsed the plan to address the recommendations and findings from the weather event debrief reports for 2023.
You can find the agenda with all the details on each item here: Meetings & minutes
The next meeting of the AT Board will take place on Tuesday 28 November 2023.