Temporary Train Timetables Next Week

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ARTA Media Release

“A lot of activity will be happening over the Queen’s Birthday weekend with commissioning of the final 3km section of double track from the new Avondale Station to Tititrangi Road in New Lynn, which begins at 7pm on Friday June 4th. In order to complete the final section of double tracking, commissioning will continue throughout the following week. This means a temporary weekday timetable, with different times from Waitakere to New Lynn, will also be in place.

Temporary timetables will operate on the Western Line from the evening of Friday 4 to last service on Sunday 13 June.

Bus replacements will be in place for all Western line stations from:

  • Waitakere to Avondale on Friday 4 June from 7pm
  • Waitakere to Britomart on Saturdays 5 and 12 June, Monday 7 June
  • New Lynn to Britomart on Sundays 6 and 13 June
  • Waitakere to Swanson on Tuesday 8 June to Friday 11 June.

Amended rail service times will operate over the period Friday 4 to 13 June

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Cyclists on the Increase

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ARTA reports a dramatic increase in cycling in the Auckland region:

The number of people cycling in the Auckland region has dramatically increased by 27% compared to last year, according to a survey for the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).

Over 12,000 cyclist movements were recorded at 84 sites across the region for the Cycle Monitoring Programme, which is a one day snapshot of cycling in the region taken during the second week of March each year. The sites were monitored at peak times from 6:30am to 9:00am and then again from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.

ARTA’s General Manager of Strategy and Planning, Peter Clark says, “Recent improvements in cycling infrastructure across the region are beginning to have a great impact on increasing the number of people choosing to take their bike.

“One of the most significant rises in cycling numbers we’ve seen since the start of the programme in 2007 was on the North Western Cycleway with an increase of 70%. Over 600 cyclists were counted on the cycleway during the monitoring times this year. The recently opened $3m Kingsland section of the North Western Cycleway is sure to boost cycle numbers even further as this now provides an almost continuous 12km ride from Te Atatu to the Central Business District.

Fares Set to Increase 21st Feb

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ARTA have announced the anticipated fare increase for all public transport services, effective 21st February 2010.  From their media release :

ARTA’s Chief Executive, Fergus Gammie said, ”ARTA and its operators have held public transport fares in Auckland for three years in an environment in which other centres in New Zealand have increased their fares to recoup costs. Fares have been held to encourage transport patronage in Auckland and also in acknowledgement of difficult economic times.

“However, over the last three years the costs associated with running transport fleets have increased by around 11%. For example changing emission standards requiring improved vehicles and increased labour costs have been absorbed by our operators for a long period now, therefore bus, train and some ferry fares will increase from Sunday 21 February to help recoup these costs and hold service levels for our customers”.

It isn’t clear how much of the fare increase will go to the operators and how much will go to the ratepayer, or specifically what the fare increases are for the different modes and ticket types, but this is due to be revealed shortly.

Update: New bus fares are here.

Newmarket Station Open Day This Saturday

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The $35 million Newmarket Station will be open to the public this Saturday, reports The New Zealand Herald:

Although KiwiRail has yet to complete a reconfiguration of tracks at Newmarket Junction before passenger trains start calling at the station on January 18, the building itself has been largely finished in time for tomorrow’s open day from 11am until 3pm.

Its focal point is a 1000sq m covered concourse built 5m above three sets of railway tracks, where passengers will converge from four entrances before using escalators, lifts or stairs to reach platforms below.

Each of the four “island” platforms is 180m long, almost four times the reach of Newmarket’s Olympic-size swimming pool.

Ticketing system to start life with rival

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The New Zealand Herald reports that Infratil is due to launch its electronic public transport ticket system, Snapper, on its NZ Bus services. Meanwhile the Auckland Regional Transport Authority is poised to agree the system with the French electronic firm Thales, which will allow passengers to transfer between buses, trains or ferries using a single smartcard. Things are getting very interesting in the integrated ticketing space.

Ideal Fare Structure For Auckland

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Over at the forum, I asked the question what would make a good fare structure for Auckland.  Given the recent news that the Snapper system is coming to Auckland next year, I think it is important to focus on what would really make a difference to the average punter using buses, trains and ferries in the Auckland region.

Personally I’m drawn to the idea of fare caps, which is how I understand it works in London. In this scenario, punters are charged when they get on their first trip, but as they get on subsequent trips during the day they aren’t charged over a certain fare cap amount ($5 for example).

Anyhow, the post got a really great response from loose_shunter, “a fares policy person” over at the Victorian Department of Transport. It’s well thought out and informative, so I’ve posted it here as an article.  ARTA, employ that person!

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Helensville rail service canceled

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The New Zealand Herald reports ARTA’s trail run of services north of Waitakere station on the western line has been canceled.

Fergus Gammie: A more efficient public transport system is just the ticket

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Today’s New Zealand Herald has an interesting op-ed by Fergus Gammie on integrated ticketing:

This system, designed and developed by the French Thales Group, is the preferred choice of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) for Auckland.

The path to be followed is similar to that in Denmark, which implemented the system in Copenhagen during 1995, and five years later expanded the project to cover the country.

Buses will have contactless card validators at entry and exit.

Stations will be equipped with similar validators and automatic gates, and have agent-operated point-of-sale terminals, self-service ticket vending and reloading machines.

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