The Network Operating Plan (NOP) applies strategic intent to how roads and streets operate in Auckland, today. The NOP provides a reference for the optimal operation of the existing network in terms of prioritising the movement of people, goods and services based on the strategic modal significance of the network by location.
- About the Network Operating Plan
- Operating the network to plan
- Uses of the NOP
About the Network Operating Plan
The Network Operating Plan (NOP) is an agreed plan of how the transport network is to be managed and operated by the time of day and weekday for the different modes. The NOP is primarily based on the strategic aspirations identified by the Roads and Streets Framework (RASF) and strategic networks in Future Connect. The NOP translates the strategic intent and prioritises different modes in different locations to inform decision-makers where to focus improvement and which modal trade-offs are appropriate.
Through the NOP, operational deficiencies in the network can be readily identified by comparing the existing network operational performance against the aspirational state sought strategically. It directs the way the network should operate to ensure Auckland’s transport vision, strategic goals and aspirations are met.
In essence, it enables the network to operate to a plan that reflects strategic intent.
It thereby enables Auckland Transport to step towards achieving a safe and efficient network in terms of the movement of people, goods and services today, within the context of existing funding provisions and the broader Regional Land Transport Plan for Auckland.
The NOP is a live document continually being updated as both the network and travel patterns change.
Operating the network to plan
The Network Operating plan (NOP):
- encompasses the movement of people, goods and services
- is multi-modal
- incorporates the principles outlined by the RASF and Future Connect Strategic
- The network uses network performance metrics or user experience definitions to describe operational performance.
Necessary for the NOP is a common ‘measuring stick’ to describe user experience. To do this, ratings have been defined for each mode which broadly describes what good and poor user experience or level of service (LOS) looks like. The NOP uses six user experience or LOS ratings for each mode to do this, ranging from A, which is a very good user experience, to F, depicting a very poor user experience.
Typically, a user experience or LOS rating of A, B or C is considered a positive outcome for that particular model, whereas D, E or F increasingly highlights a deficiency for that mode at that time and location. In simple terms, user experience or LOS outcomes are expected to be good for those modes on the respective strategic networks.
Measures used to define user experience or LOS for each mode are currently those that in broad terms encapsulate that which is important for the mode, and which can be readily measurable. With increased technology and ability, these measures are expected to expand with time.
For example, the time it takes to travel by bus, car or truck, and how reliable is it are common descriptors of how well these modes are doing. For walking and cycling, this is slightly different and better explained by the presence of safe and appropriate facilities both along and across a street, as well as the extent to which your walk or cycle is delayed.
There are of course numerous other measures that influence overall experience which can be considered as and when further details are necessary.
Uses of the NOP
The NOP is used across AT to inform and guide. Some of its key uses are:
- Network Performance Monitoring: AT Network Management monitor the performance for each of the different modes monthly. The monitoring provides insights as to how well the network is performing for each mode and highlights where deficiencies currently exist.
- Network Operation: The NOP provides the base reference for how the Auckland Transport Operations Centre (ATOC) operates the traffic signals on the network and directs decisions in routine traffic signal optimisation and real-time operations.
- Network Optimisation: the NOP forms a programme of works seeking to make the best use of the existing network through appropriate network management, people movement capacity creation and travel behaviour change initiatives. It includes a programme of physical interventions to enable these outcomes.
- Temporary Transport Management Plans: Assessing the impacts of proposed temporary traffic management plans relative to the NOP highlights potential modal impacts. This, therefore, indicates necessary remedial measures for each mode to ensure that the network operates at appropriate levels during roadworks.
- Customer Understanding and Expectations: Publication of the NOP, together with the RASF and Future Connect, provides full transparency regarding AT’s strategic intent. When customers ask questions, provide feedback or ask for changes, the NOP can provide a reference for communicating AT’s decision making and intended operation.
- Project Effectiveness Assessment: is a process that uses the NOP to determine how effectively a proposed project or development contributes to reducing identified operational deficiencies introduced by the project.