Ferry firm offers a week’s free trips

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Fullers ferry company and connecting bus operators are offering people a week’s free travel over the next month on the following ferry services: Half Moon Bay, Devonport, Stanley Bay, Birkenhead, Bayswater and Northcote Pt.  The offer is valid from Monday 31 August until Sunday 27 September.   Associated feeder bus services are also covered in the offer.

Passengers are asked to register with ARTA and nominate the calendar week in which they wish to travel for free.

The full article in the Herald is available here.

New station brings Onehunga trains closer

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There was a good turn out at the ARTA Onehunga Line Open Evening last week from both the public and CBT members.  Whilst ARTA did not make a presentation as such, information was displayed regarding railway station and level crossing locations, and ARTA spokespeople were available for questioning.  CBT was also able to pass on our feedback to ARTA regarding the points we felt were necessary to ensure success of the Onehunga line. 

Amongst the information given below in this article in the Herald, Sharon Hunter also had the following to say (although she did also say nothing is set in concrete):

  • Onehunga line services will almost certainly terminate at Britomart (as opposed to Newmarket, as has been feared).
  • ARTA will be working with Dress-Smart to display train times and information in the shopping mall, much like what has been done at Sylvia Park.
  • Feeder buses from Mangere are being considered
  • The main bus station in Onehunga will stay were it is.  ARTA will be looking at re-routing buses past the Onehunga railway station.
  • ARTA acknowledged that the suggestion of one month’s free travel trial period at the commencement of the service is a nice one, but that it is perhaps unlikely to happen.
  • There may be a Park and Ride service offered at the old ITM site.
  • Completion of the project is timed for the end of the first quarter of 2010.

As the Herald reports, unfortunately at the moment only hourly services are being considered for off-peak and weekend travel.

Diggers will start earthworks in the next two weeks for a second Penrose railway station, needed to re-open the Onehunga branch line to passenger trains.

That follows Auckland Regional Transport Authority and KiwiRail confirmation of sites for the three main stations for the line, which is to re-open in the first half of next year.

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Brian Rudman: Cheap won’t be a bargain for Auckland’s new rail system


Following on from the ARC’s media release of last week regarding funding for rail electrification in Auckland, Brian Rudman comments in the Herald:

When the new Government pulled the plug on the regional fuel tax six months ago, killing Auckland’s ability to buy itself a modern, electrified rapid-rail system, Transport Minister Steven Joyce told Aucklanders not to fret. He would come up with alternative funding arrangements.

Then in late May, after a trip to Australia, he returned full of the wonders of using a public-private partnership to buy the rolling stock.

He added that the PPP was not the only option being juggled by the Government and once more patted us on the head and said not to worry, electric rail was still on track for completion in 2013.

Reports now leaking out of Wellington paint a dispiriting picture of the alternatives being considered.

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Media Release: Support United for Commuter Trains to Auckland

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Media Release from the Campaign for Better Transport: 23 August 2009
Yesterday the Campaign For Better Transport (CBT) visited towns in the Waikato asking residents and businesses to show their support for commuter trains to Auckland and they received an overwhelmingly positive response, with over 1,000 postcards signed in just a few hours.
Members from the independent transport lobby group Campaign For Better Transport spent several hours yesterday in Huntly, Ngaruawahia, The Base shopping centre in Te Rapa and in Hamilton Central, collecting signatures on postcards which are aimed at making local Hamilton MPs Tim Macindoe and David Bennett, as well as the Minister of Transport Steven Joyce and Prime Minister John Key, aware of the train service the region urgently wants.

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Regions say ‘no’ to Govt plan for big trucks

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The debate continues over the matter of allowing heavier trucks on New Zealand’s roads, with several regional transport committees stating their opposition to the move.   The Herald reports:

Regional transport committees for most of the upper North Island – including Auckland – oppose allowing heavier trucks on main roads despite Government and industry predictions of productivity gains and fuel savings.

Proposed rule changes to allow bigger trucks, subject to a new permitting system, were hotly debated by Auckland’s regional transport committee before members voted on Wednesday 10-5 to reject them.

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ARC: Where’s the Money For Electric Trains?

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Responding to the announcement that the petrol excise tax will increase by 3c in October, ARC Chair asks the obvious question in this media release:

Auckland has renewed its calls for Government action on funding for electric trains before fuel taxes rise on 1 October.

“When the Government cancelled regional fuel tax funding for electric trains six months ago, the Transport Minister promised to fill the gap,” said ARC Chairman Mike Lee.

“He was going to have a plan by July, when he was to report back to cabinet. We heard nothing then. We in Auckland are running out of patience.

“As of this week, Auckland has lost half a year in its electrification programme. People in Auckland will soon be paying higher fuel taxes and road user charges, and still there is no sign of electric trains.

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New Harbour Bridge proposal gives room for cyclists

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Mathew Dearnaley reports in the Herald on the likelihood of cycle and walkways being added to Auckland’s existing harbour crossing.

Auckland’s harbour bridge clip-ons could be candidates for “orthopaedic surgery” which would enable walking and cycling paths to be added and could improve their longevity.

The Transport Agency has been given a proposal by engineering consultants working with the Getacross campaign to find ways of adding walking and cycling links without shortening the life of the 40-year-old clip-ons.

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Onehunga Line Feedback

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Onehunga Line – Campaign for Better Transport feedback

In 2006 the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) campaigned hard to reopen the dormant branch railway line between Onehunga and Penrose once again to passenger services. Our 8,000 strong petition and support from the Auckland Regional Council saw the Government finally give the green light for funding on the 13 March 2007.

The CBT considers that there are a number of important steps that need to be taken to ensure that the Onehunga Line is a success. These are outlined below, and detailed individually throughout this feedback:1. Services must terminate at Britomart, not Newmarket.
2. Half-hourly frequencies off-peak and at weekends are essential.
3. ARTA to work with Dress-Smart Onehunga and the Onehunga Business Association to encourage shoppers to use the train.
4. One month free travel trial period.
5. Re-routing buses to feed into the train station for people travelling from Mangere area into the city. Read the rest of this entry »

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