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ARC launches new transport organisation

ARC launches new transport organisation

The Auckland Regional Council today launches a new organisation tasked with improving the region’s transport experience.

The ARC Chief Executive, Jo Brosnahan, says the creation of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) as a subsidiary of the ARC will bring about long-awaited improvements to the region’s transport network.

“Today marks a significant milestone for the ARC as it represents the culmination of months of hard work, and a commitment to improving Auckland’s transport issues,” she says.

“Under the new Local Government (Auckland) Amendment Act 2004, ARTA was established on 1 July 2004 and expected to be operational on 1 January 2005.

“The setting up of ARTA has been a major focus for the ARC over the past 12 months. We have worked extremely hard to have ARTA up and running a month early, which is a credit to ARC councillors and staff, the ARTA Chief Executive and the Board.

“The launch of ARTA today marks the beginning of a new era in transport for the Auckland region, and the ARC is looking forward to working in partnership with ARTA as we all go forward.”

As a subsidiary, ARTA will work closely with the ARC’s Transport Policy Committee for information and guidance in transport decisions. ARTA will co-ordinate Auckland’s transport system and purchase public transport services from private contractors. It will work with Transit and Auckland’s local councils to achieve key deliverables for Auckland’s roads, while Transit New Zealand will retain responsibility for motorways and State Highways.

The ARTA Chief Executive, Alan Thompson, says he recognises the past issues and challenges of improving Auckland’s transport network but believes the new structure will allow ARTA to focus exclusively on transport integration, with a key emphasis on improving customer service.

“Our initial focus will be on making public transport more accessible and working in partnership with transport service providers to improve the customer experience.

“Our main priorities are the upgrade of the rail system, getting the best community value out of the bus and ferry networks, promoting alternative transport modes, and, very importantly, improving customer service across all modes of transport.

“We also recognise the role that quality roading has in making public transport work and certainly won’t be losing focus on ensuring Auckland’s network continues to develop and improve,” he says.

Mrs Brosnahan says the ARC staff have done a tremendous job over the years working to keep up with a huge growth in passenger transport demand and in promoting alternative ways to get around Auckland.

“Now with the launch of ARTA this hard work will gain fresh momentum and focus. We look forward to working with ARTA in achieving the region’s transport goals for the future”.

The ARC’s transport functions will largely be transferred to ARTA, and the majority of its transport employees have moved to the new organisation. The ARC will retain responsibility for regional transport policies and strategies and will be the major funder of ARTA.

Alan Thompson – Brief Biography

Alan Thompson has extensive public sector experience in Australia, and is an accomplished chief executive. He is a confident leader and an excellent administrator, with a proven ability to tackle complex issues and find effective solutions.

Mr Thompson is a keen advocate for sustainable transport, and travels to work regularly on his bike or by train. His main focus for ARTA in the shorter term is to further improve customer service across all modes of public transport, and in integrating transport across the region.

Mr Thompson held the position of Chief Executive of the Australian Capital Territory Department of Urban Services from 1999. During this time he led many successful projects for the Department, which is responsible for public services including roads, public transport, waste services, the environment, and the supervision of Government capital works. Last year Mr Thompson also led a taskforce to assist in the recovery of local communities in Canberra, in the wake of devastating bush fires that swept through the area.

Other significant roles include Chief Executive to the ACT Chief Minister’s Department (1998-1999), Secretary to the Victorian Department of Justice (1996-1998), Secretary to the Victorian Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (1992-1996), Director General to the Department of Conservation and Environment (1992) and Director General to the Ministry of Housing and Construction (1989 –1992). He has also led a variety of projects as an engineer, from waste management to pulp and paper.

For 14 years from the mid 1970’s Mr Thompson worked for the Melbourne Board of Works, which had a metropolitan-wide role, in the same way that Auckland Regional Council has responsibilities for greater Auckland.

Mr Thompson attended Melbourne University on an Australian Government Scholarship, where he completed an Engineering degree and won numerous academic prizes.

He gained his post graduate qualifications from London University, completing a Master of Science degree. Mr Thompson also holds a diploma from Imperial College in London in studies of Earth Sciences, and has undertaken an advanced management programme at the Mount Eliza Management College.

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