AT has decided to stop the Grafton Bridge taxi trial early and the special vehicle lane will be returned to a bus lane in late April 2016.
Project status: Trial finished.
Project zone: Central
- Taxis were given 24-hour access to Grafton Bridge for a one-year trial.
- Opening the bridge to taxis would make Auckland City Hospital and Starship Children’s Hospital more accessible to taxi passengers.
Following a review of the operation of the bridge AT identified a widespread failure of taxi drivers to adhere to the 30km/h speed limit on the bridge and the requirement for taxis not to overtake cyclists on the bridge.
Therefore the trial will be stopped and the lanes will be converted back to standard bus lanes at the end of April.
31 August 2015 - trial starts.
August 2016 - trial ends; final review and decision to follow.
April 2016 - Trial stopped early due to breaches of trial conditions.
Grafton Bridge provides a major link between Auckland's CBD and the Auckland and Starship hospitals - both high demand destinations for taxi passengers. Allowing taxis 24-hour access to the bridge will improve access to the hospitals.
The existing bus lanes operate between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and during their hours of operation the bridge is closed to traffic other than buses, cyclists, motorcyclists and emergency services. At other times the bridge is open to general traffic.
In order to let taxis use the bridge between 7am and 7pm, the existing bus lanes will be converted to ‘bus and taxi’ lanes and the corresponding signage and road marking will be updated.
If results from the trial show no major negative impacts on general traffic operation, bus travel times, safety or traffic infringements, the new special vehicle lanes will be adopted on a permanent basis.
The trial will assess the impact that taxis have on pedestrians, buses, cycles and motorcycles along with any potential influence on general traffic.
- Interim analysis of driver behaviour, bus travel times and intersection queuing will be carried out every 3 months.
- Specific public or bus driver feedback will be reviewed as it is received.
- Auckland Transport Operation Centre (ATOC) will undertake CCTV monitoring throughout the trial period.
- A final review will be done once the trial has been completed.
If significant adverse effects on safety, compliance or lane productivity occur, the trial may be stopped early.
What we expect of taxi drivers
- No stopping on the bridge to pick up or drop off passengers.
- No u-turn manoeuvres on the bridge.
- Give cyclists space when following them across the bridge.
- No overtaking cyclists on the bridge.
Enforcement of the Grafton Bridge special vehicle lanes will be done in the same manner as existing bus and transit lanes. Unbranded vehicles, or branded taxis not in service, that use the bridge will be recorded with video cameras manned by AT officers as part of scheduled enforcement.
First quarter: September to November 2015
First-quarter monitoring has shown that the introduction of taxis to the bridge has had a more than minor effect (as outlined in the pre-trial monitoring methodology).
The 2 main areas of concern are:
- failure to adhere to the 30km/h speed limit.
- the number of recorded instances of taxis overtaking cyclists on the bridge.
Based on this assessment, AT has decided to stop the trial early and the special vehicle lane to be returned to a bus lane in late April 2016.
Read the first-quarter monitoring report (PDF 804KB)