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Auckland Region Rail Corridors Progress Report

27 April 2001

Modelling future patronage – Auckland Passenger Transport (APT) model

A piece of work that has been 18 months in the making is now playing a big role in the deliberations of the design of the future rapid transit network.
The Auckland Passenger Transport (APT) model is a computer representation of the whole urban Auckland area and public transport network. It divides the urban area into 850 zones, and contains information about every passenger movement on public transport in both peak and inter-peak hours between each of these zones.
It is a sophisticated computer model that has required enormous data input and has taken 12 months to build. The model’s base information comes from a series of surveys across more than 50% of bus, ferry and rail users around May 2000, capturing their point of origin and destination on public transport.
The model also contains information on land use and activities and includes assumptions about people’s travel behaviour. In all, it gives a detailed picture of patronage flows by public transport.
The APT model plays a key part in assisting the Auckland region to design a future network that will achieve a significant increase in public transport patronage levels. When the model is fed different scenarios for population, land use and public transport service levels, it can help assess the likely patronage levels that will result.
The model is first being used in the mode selection/network definition process for the rapid transit corridors. It will also later be used to forecast patronage and user benefits to support funding applications and estimate revenue forecasts, and to assess patronage effects of other proposed improvements to the public transport system, including changes to bus and ferry service frequencies.
The APT model conforms to world best practice and is peer reviewed by Transfund’s peer reviewer.

Learning from Australian experience

ARC officers recently visited Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to talk to various participants in the rail industry, both in public and private sectors. The visit was to look at the issues and the potential solutions around rail access agreements – the terms and conditions by which parties have access to another party’s rail network. Officers met with both those who have received access and those who own the various networks.
Officers also learned about recent changes in New South Wales where the state government has reintegrated maintenance responsibilities with network ownership/management. In NSW service specification has also recently been split from the subsidy of services – two functions which the ARC currently holds, and it will be interesting to watch the outcomes. The officers also learned of the reforms in NSW that are proposed as a result of the Gladstone crash report (a safety problem that is leading to further structural reforms).
Officers talked to the people running the Brisbane air train project. This is an extension of the urban rail network to the Brisbane airport along a new spur line, due to open for services in May.
Officers from the region also attended the Urban Rail 2001 Conference in Sydney. It was mostly attended by Australasian participants who collectively hold a wide experience in operating rail systems throughout the world. Case studies on live projects and the issues associated with them were of relevance to Auckland, along with discussions of the integration of modes – what works, what’s necessary to achieve successful interchanges, and issues associated with private sector involvement. Lots of food for thought, as part of our ongoing research into rapid transit corridor development.

Safety matters

The Auckland region is continuing to work on assuring the safety of rail in a future network. Officers are drawing up safety systems that will apply under whatever future arrangements are concluded between Government and Tranz Rail.
A requirement of LTSA is that the future owner and operators on the network, both for passenger services and freight, must have interoperability agreements with every other user and/or owner. We expect these agreements to be negotiated in parallel with the Government’s acquisition process.
For further information, please contact Jo Mackay, ARC community relations adviser,
ph 09 366 2000 x 8041 or jmackay@arc.govt.nz

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