Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency are jointly implementing a route optimisation programme to improve traffic flows in Auckland.
The Route Optimisation programme has been underway on some routes for about two years and is being implemented by the Joint Traffic Operations Centre (JTOC), which has been established by both organisations to co-ordinate traffic management in the Auckland Council area. It will eventually be used throughout Auckland region and will be reviewed and changed as necessary as traffic patterns change and the number of vehicles or people increase or decrease.
Route optimisation involves synchronisation of traffic signals, best-use of road layout, and traffic restrictions to get the best use of the road with minimum delays to road users including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private drivers. While some of the biggest impacts are in traffic movement and parking, planners also work to consider the needs of those not using motorised transport. Sometimes changes will be made to the shape of roads, lanes or vehicle parking facilities. Safety is always high on the planning priorities.
Route optimisation is part of long-term planning for a transport network throughout Auckland, which will co-ordinate private traffic, public transport and everybody who wants to use and enjoy public roads while getting to destinations efficiently, economically and in the shortest possible time.
Studies into route optimisation have shown that benefits can be calculated in travel times, CO2 emissions, the number of stop/starts on the journey, fuel savings and increased levels of service for users of public transport. Figures have been produced that show huge savings in time, pollution and efficient traffic movement can be achieved.
A review and upgrade of transport optimisation on some major routes is now underway and changes to traffic flows are being implemented in several big traffic corridors in Auckland, including Gillies Avenue, New North Road and Albany Highway.