Bringing back this thread...
"]Auckland can, and will, have better transport
Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 3:39 pm
Press Release: Auckland Regional Council
Auckland can, and will, have better public transport
2 October, 2007
The Auckland Regional Council welcomes the Land Transport Management (Transport Services Licensing Act) Bill tabled in Parliament today.
"The Regional Council wants to deliver a more coordinated, holistic system where buses, ferries and trains work together to carry significantly more passengers," ARC chairman Michael Lee says.
"This must be done to keep up with population growth, ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and simply make this city easier to get around."
"The public transport system has also got to be much more cost-effective, if ratepayers and taxpayers are to continue to support it."
"Aucklanders are already investing heavily in public transport though their regional rates - over half of every dollar collected in rates. The Auckland Regional Council is committed to giving the public value for their investment. Under the current legislative model, we are just not able to do that."
"More than a third of the region's passengers are currently carried on services over which the Auckland Regional Transport Authority has no influence in respect of service levels, punctuality and value for money. ARTA has had one hand tied behind its back.
"The region can, and will, have to do better."
In 2006-07 public transport patronage rose by 1.2 million trips to more than 52.4 million. The region's goal is to double that to 100 million within a decade, putting the region on a more sustainable path.
"Aucklanders want a decent public transport system, and the law changes proposed today are part of the Government's response to the region's call for fundamental improvements. Electrification of the region's commuter rail network is the next step."
The ARC must now assess the proposed legislation, and will work closely with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority and transport operators as it does so.
"We need to make the most of this opportunity to make a real difference and are confident that Parliament and the public will back necessary law changes," Mr Lee said.[/quote]
"]Locke, local candidates action on public transport
Monday, 24 September 2007, 11:30 am
Press Release: Green Party
Locke and local candidates took action on public transport
Auckland Green MP Keith Locke and Green members joined several local body candidates for an action to demonstrate the need for better connection between rail and bus services in Otahuhu, one day ahead of World Car-Free day Sat 22 Sept.
The candidates include Labour Councillor Richard Northey, Regional People candidate for the Auckland Regional Council, Maire Leadbeater, and City Vision candidates in Auckland City, Donna Wynd and Graeme Easte.
"The action sought to highlight a key public transport ‘black spot’ and what needs to be done by the incoming councils, and how central Government can help," Mr Locke, the Greens’ Spokesperson on Auckland Transport issues, said.
“We gathered at the Otahuhu Railway Station at 10.15am to walk the 1.2 kilometre to the bus station, to show the difficulty faced by people transferring between buses and trains at this key junction in the Auckland transport network. Previously the Green Party focussed on getting a decision to electrify the Auckland rail network, which was successful. Now we are turning our attention to transport hubs.
Keith Locke said:
“Previous Green campaigns have focused on electrifying the Auckland rail network and integrated ticketing for buses and trains. Now that these are on their way we are turning our attention to transport hubs.
The Green Party intends to follow this action with a ‘Get Connected’ campaign focussing attention on major transport junctions and investments, with a total cost of approaching $2 billion, currently being planned for Newmarket, Onehunga, Panmure and Manukau City. These major projects are an opportunity to develop integrated bus/train transfer stations, park-and-ride facilities and cycle-and-ride facilities at key junctions on the transport network. Failing to make these connections would be a lost opportunity and a misinvestment of public money.”
“We are also drawing attention to other junctions, such as Otahuhu, Penrose and Avondale, where the rail and bus networks ought to be connected, but no investment has yet been proposed.”
“There are good examples where the connections have been made, such as the park-and-ride bus station at Albany, and where they are being planned, such as New Lynn. Integrated transport hubs must also be developed at other strategic points.”
A dozen people took part, ranging in age from those in their late 60s to a 3 year old child in a push chair. It included two dogs and a man carrying luggage! They walked from the station to the Otahuhu Bus Centre - over 15 minutes walk - and some of us went back to Auckland City on the bus. Clearly there needs to be a whole new plan to improve rail/bus links at Otahuhu. The present station and its container backdrop are distinctly unappealing. The Auckland Growth Strategy projects high density residential developments around rail stations, but these are a long way off for Otahuhu. An interim step could be starting some of the bus services from the train station, connecting with incoming trains, which are now much more frequent.[/quote]
"]Orders for 40 electric trains on track despite lack of secure funding
5:00AM Thursday September 13, 2007
By Mathew Dearnaley
Auckland transport planners hope to place an order for about 40 electric trains as early as next year, even though funding is far from being secured for the project.
Government rail agency Ontrack also announced yesterday the appointment of a project director for its large share of Auckland's $1 billion-plus drive to electrification.
It has named its northern regional manager, Phil McQueen, to lead the task of electrifying Auckland's railway lines between Papakura and Swanson by 2013.
Mr McQueen, a former national manager of infrastructure for previous rail-track owners Tranz Rail and Toll NZ, worked as a signals engineer on the 1980s electrification of the main trunk line between Palmerston North and Hamilton.
The Auckland network will have a similar 25,000-volt overhead power supply to the main trunk line, which Mr McQueen said last night would give Ontrack a head-start in drawing on a high level of technical and maintenance expertise.
Meanwhile, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority is preparing to seek worldwide expressions of interest from suppliers of electric trains.
Chief executive Fergus Gammie told the Auckland Regional Council this week that the objective was to place an order for the trains next year for Auckland rail passengers to board by 2013.
Auckland's fleet of 31 diesel trains is struggling to keep up with demand which rose another 14 per cent in the year to June 30, to 5.74 million passenger trips. The transport authority has decided to order another eight to tide it over until electrification.
Mr Gammie said six of these would be six-car trains, compared with the four-car sets now being pulled by refurbished Toll locomotives, and they would remain useful after 2013 for services beyond Papakura and Swanson.
But despite the moves towards electrification, the regional council has yet to receive a clear indication of when the Government intends introducing legislation for a special road-fuel tax to pay for the project.
Council transport policy chairman Joel Cayford told his committee on Tuesday that the timing of legislation both for a regional fuel tax and for long-awaited reforms of the contracting system for subsidised bus and ferry services remained "a bit questionable at the moment. We need these in place to move forward".
A spokesman for Finance Minister Michael Cullen was unable to comment last night on whether the Government was having difficulty securing minor-party support for legislation allowing a regional fuel tax of up to 10c a litre on petrol and diesel.[/quote]