AUCKLAND NEEDS SUPERMAXX!!
"Supermaxx" is an effective, low cost, affordable, integrated,
public transport system for Auckland which can commence within 6 months. It was first offered to Auckland (ARTA, ARC, and ACC) in 2007.
By maximising efficiency of public transport routes 30% more passengers can be carried with approximately 200 less buses on the road leading to far less pollution and congestion.
"Supermaxx" is a time based fare system offering 2 hour, 1 day, 7 day, and 30 day electronic passes. Main unit is a 30 day pass for $70 providing unlimited travel on all train and bus services and the Devonport ferry in the area bounded by Albany, Papakura, Swanson, Howick. This is a massive cost reduction for most commuters. "Supermaxx" will reduce the subsidies required by $60-$70 million per annum.
It is long past time we took action to bring our transport system into the 21st Century. The original "Supermaxx" proposal was presented to ARC, ARTA, Plus Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore and Papakura City Councils in early 2007. It could have been introduced by November 2007. If it had been introduced then :
** Ratepayers and taxpayers would have saved over $300 million in rates and taxes for operating subsidies.
** Everyone travelling more than 1 stage would have saved huge amounts of money in fares
** Over 300,000 tons of carbon and other pollutants less would have been pumped into our skies.
** Aucklanders would have enjoyed a far more functional public transport system - and the transport fiasco of World Cup opening night would not have happened!
"SUPERMAXX" FOR A SUPER CITY
Latest proposal herewith updated August, 2014 Features
** Integrated bus and train public transport from Wellsford to Waiuku, Helensville and Piha to Beachlands
** Introduction of express services using motorways where possible between 43 transport hubs integrated with primary, secondary, and local bus routes. Services every 10 minutes 7am - 7pm monday - saturday, 20 minutes at off peak times and hourly on primary routes through the night.
** Introduction of LOCAL and REGIONAL bus services
** Devonport ferry now incorporated to relieve pressure on Lake Rd.
** Over 80% of Aucklanders will now be within a 15 minute walk of a "Supermaxx" bus or train stop.
** Unlimited travel passes on all train, bus, and Devonport ferry services between Albany and Papakura, Swanson and Howick, $2 for 2 hours, $5 for one day, $20 for 7 days, and $70 for 30 days.
REGIONAL PASSES - all bus and train services plus Devonport ferry Wellsford to Waiuku. $5 for 2 hour pass, $10 for 1 day pass, $30 for 7 day pass, $90 for 30 day pass.
My Challenge to Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Minister of Transport and Prime Minister is to
1. Find a better programme to provide the best possible public transport for Auckland in the shortest possible time at the lowest possible cost OR
2. Prove that Supermaxx will not work OR
3. Implement SUPERMAXX immediately to cater for the rapidly increasing numbers using public transport through financial stringency. The current minor hugely expensive incremental improvements will not do this.
It is appalling to sit through Auckland Council monthly Transport Committee meetings and hear the procession of local people pleading for usable bus services in their communities such as Mangere, airport services for workers, Campbells Bay Community Association etc and see nothing being done to rectify the problems. THE SOLUTIONS ARE EASY AND AVAILABLE AND HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE TO AUCKLAND'S TRANSPORT AUTHORITIES FOR THE PAST 6 YEARS IN SUPERMAXX.
It is outrageous and totally unnecessary that Auckland Transport cannot introduce their simplified network and new schedules fully before 2016.
One of the main "SUPERMAXX" primary routes is for services every 10 minutes from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, every 20 minutes 7.20pm to midnight, and hourly 1am to 6am and every 20 minutes 6am to 7am and sundays from the Civic to Newmarket, Royal Oak and Onehunga transport hubs, Transfer point at Kirkbride Rd, airport domestic terminal, Papatoetoe station, and Manukau City with linking secondary and local routes enabling commuters to commute easily and swiftly between east and west and within Mangere Bridge/Mangere area. In addition to these, express buses would operate every 20 minutes from the Civic to the airport stopping only at Newmarket, Greenlane Rd (transfer point), Royal Oak, and Onehunga transport hubs. Basic to the success of "SUPERMAXX" is an unlimited travel pass which speeds transfer from one service to another without any extra fare being incurred.
TWO ROUTE CHANGES - TWO BOTCH UPS!
#1. Onehunga - Mangere buses (312, 304, 305) used to depart from the Wellesley St East/Queen St corner and would often be trapped for 2 or 3 light phases before they could get around the corner onto Queen St. I suggested to Auckland Transport that they move this bus stop around the corner onto Queen St behind the Dominion Rd bus stop so that the buses could move freely up Queen St. They have moved the bus stop - to the opposite side of Queen St outside the Civic! Now the Onehunga buses have to travel almost 3 times as far and negotiate 4 sets of traffic lights and one give way sign BEFORE they get onto Queen St!! It can take up to 5 minutes! It causes totally unnecessary pollution and extra congestion in the inner city and makes public transport less attractive. Congestion and pollution are hugely important issues for inner city residents. Extending the length of journey makes the service less attractive to commuters.
#2. Manukau City - Papatoetoe Rail - Airport - Onehunga service (380 route). Auckland Transport have finally got around to linking Onehunga with the airport. The original 380 service was one of the few that operated a simplified timetable with services on the hour and half hour throughout the day. Now the service has been extended to Onehunga (a very good thing) the regularity of service has been destroyed (a very bad thing) and a totally unnecessary loopy loop (a very very bad thing) into Mangere Town Centre introduced. A 'service' scheduled to take 32 minutes from the airport to Onehunga is NOT a service. Mangere Town Centre is far better served by a service from Otahuhu to the airport via Middlemore Hospital and Mangere Town Centre.
Auckland Transport have a whole team of people trying to work out how to make Zonal fares work. Elongated zones, concentric zones, and other sorts of zones all have the same basic flaw as the current stage system. When you cross from one zone/stage to another the fare charged increases dramatically even though the distance may be short. I went through all this in 2006 when developing "Supermaxx". The only system that really works is an unlimited travel fare within the wider metro area. Unlimited travel fares also change the thinking of the traveller. Instead of a 'I have to pay a fare for this journey so I may as well take the car' to ' I have paid my unlimited travel pass so I may as well leave the car at home and get maximum use from it' is a huge leap. Auckland Transport have just increased their monthly pass to $220. Supermaxx offers $70 - and the sums have been done to prove that it is possible! Unlimited travel passes require a vastly less complex computer system to operate. A system for Supermaxx would cost less than $10 million. Auckland Transport have signed with Thales for over $100 million.
I offered ARTA in January, 2010 to provide an integrated timetable showing bus and train connections from the city, eastern and southern suburbs to the airport via Papatoetoe (train and bus) and the 380 bus service from Manukau City and Papatoetoe to the airport for the miserly fee of $5,000. This fee (plus printing costs) included providing the timetables and placing posters and brochures in all central city accommodation and advising Senior Citizen Gold Card holders that apart from the morning weekday rush hours they can actually travel to and from the airport at no charge to them! ARTA refused the offer and neither they nor their successors in Auckland Transport even achieved this small victory.
My offer to Auckland Council and Auckland Transport now is that for $200,000 I will provide a completely integrated, totally user friendly network and detailed timetables for the whole Supercity from Wellsford to Waiuku within 30 days! This will provide the services the public are crying out for with local services feeding into transport hubs offering services on main routes every 10 minutes with express services every 20 minutes. The Council say they want these but refuse to provide them. Whether the Council would have the courage to implement them against the vested interests of the bus companies and bureaucrats is another issue.
INTEGRATED TICKETING - There needs to be an urgent independent thorough investigation by the Auditor General or someone with similar power and integrity of the whole integrated ticketing/Thales/Infratil fiasco. How did Infratil (NZ Bus) weasel their HOP card onto their buses when they failed to get the integrated contract? Why is Auckland Transport now paying tens of thousands of dollars to replace Infratil HOP cards? Who thought that two incompatible card systems could be integrated? Why has Auckland Transport (in fact ratepayers and taxpayers) paid Thales over $100 million for an integrated ticketing system which is not even operating fully yet. I received 3 indicative quotes for the ticketing system needed for Supermaxx and all came in under $10 million - primarily because of the much less complex computer system required. This was bench marked against Christchurch where $2.2 million was paid for their system on 225 buses.
AUCKLAND CONGESTION - The city gets more congested by the day which affects all transport - public and private. Auckland Transport are incapable of providing the solutions and are wasting vast sums of money proving it. Auckland Transport is grossly over staffed by at least 200. Replace them with 20 people who can make quality decisions quickly and save $20 million per year in administration costs. Add that to $60 million savings if SUPERMAXX is introduced and with $80 million invested wisely Auckland could be one of the most free flowing cities in the world within 3 years!!
AUCKLAND PLAN PRESENTATION
I was scheduled by Auckland Council to make a 30 minute presentation on Supermaxx to the Council at 2pm monday 21st November, 2011. Friday afternoon 18th November I was told my presentation had been cancelled on the order of two Councillors!!!! Why would they be worried?
Update Monday 5th December. Finally got 15 minutes to present to Council. A stony silence greeted my presentation on how they could get a much more functional public transport system in Auckland at much reduced costs to commuters and save $50 million a year in operating subsidies. It was sad to see Len Brown get up and ostentatiously walk out when I was called to make my presentation.
EVERY AUCKLANDER SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED!
Paul Mees of the Melbourne Institute of Technology is regarded around the world as one of the guru's of public transport development. The New Zealand Herald on 22nd August, 2011 stated
"Paul Mees, who for 10 years has portrayed Auckland to his students at Melbourne Universities as having worst-practice transport systems would rank top of a world league for motorways. But if you compare its public transport with the best in the world it's right down at the bottom, even with the improvements that have already happened"........
"Asked why he was so fascinated by Auckland, Dr Mees said it was because the city was "such an extreme case" in its low public transport use, which accounted for about 6% of trips at the 2006 census compared with more than 20% in Sydney."
TAKE A BREAK - GREAT VALUE SMALL GROUP ESCORTED TOURS.
Click CONNOISSEURHOLIDAYS below for details