Wellington Bus Review - Submissions close Friday
Reminder: Submissions close Friday 16 March 2012
A reminder that submissions on the Wellington bus review close on Friday 16 March (this Friday!)
Cr Paul Bruce have got an agreement from the Council that residents associations can have an additional week to make their written submissions – which will need to be in by 23 March 2012.
Cr Paul Bruce and I are have almost concluded our series of community presentations on the Wellington Bus Service Review.
We would like to thank all of those groups who have hosted us and we look forward to meeting with those still to come.
A broad range of issues have been raised at the meetings to date, including:
1. Questioning about the rationale for the bus review and a reaction to the notion of hubbing.
2. Particular concern about three core routes:
C route – pronounced concerns about this route, in
o removal of North Miramar running of current Route 11
o the assumption that Victoria University is within 5 minutes of the bottom of Salamanca Tce (i.e. a lot of the University is much further than this)
o concern over the routes that have been traded off for the “C”, in particular the 18 and the 23.
o the Terrace route proposal (traffic, narrow road, few safe bus stop choices)
o concern to put this route down the Golden Mile
o the fact that this would not be a trolley service;
ii. H route – the fact that this route is proposed to act as the collector for all off-peak bus services in the Northern suburbs – some good alternative proposals have been forthcoming – this is a huge concern for Northern residents who voted unanimously at the public meeting to reject the bus review proposals. The H route is estimated by local residents to mean that as many as 30% of Northern suburbs residents would need to hub at Johnsonville or Newlands (as opposed to the average 10% quote by the transport planners); and
iii. D1 route– concern that the timetable in the peak is significantly less than at present.
iv. A1 – the apparent decrease in the number of services, especially in the peak, when buses are already running full.
v. A2 – coming in for reasonable amount of criticism as a “high frequency spur to nowhere”. Commuters on the No 23 route are putting forward good suggestions to for the A2 to be extended along the current route of the No 23 (i.e. the A2 would be a diesel service).
vi. F route – concern that this route should go directly into the City and that residents and workers in the Rongotai area should receive a regular commuter bus service.
3. Particular concerns over a number of secondary routes (so far in our presentation sessions), especially:
The potential loss of the Gloucester St Loop on the No 14
service – big issue for Wilton residents.
ii. the significant reduction in peak hour services to/from Wilton/Mairangi, and the Northern suburbs (which I can only presume is a mistake….but which we need to address).
iii. the loss of the 22/23 (at the Mairangi/Wilton and Southgate/Houghton Bay ends in particular);
iv. the loss of the No 18 service, linking across the City and to Victoria University – particularly concerning for those making campus connections and those wanting to get to the Hospital
v. Strathmore Park: the loss of a peak hour service means that all commuters (100%) from upper Strathmore Park will now have to interchange at Miramar. The residents are more concern about the lost of three direct services into the City.
vi. the loss of the Te Aro No 9 service and the proposed No 19 service (Aro Valley, Highbury);
vii. Loss of the No.5 service is coming in for a lot of criticism from Haitaitai residents, especially those that rely on this service to take their children to schools in Mt Victoria.
viii. the diversion of the 210/211 up Westchester Drive (diverting it from the current direct route past Glenside); and
ix. all, all day services North of Johnsonville-Newlands hubbing to the H route.
4. The proposed two-way No 29 service in the Brooklyn – Happy Valley – Island Bay – Southgate – Newtown area has come in for good and bad comment, with many suggestions for improvement. Some people like the fact that it is now a bigger loop with a more regular all week service. Others, particularly regular commuters are concerned that the No 29 will force them to interchange (except where they have access to the Peak only 32 service). Houghton Bay Residents are significantly concerned about the route proposed for the 29 service as well as the hubbing idea, and residents in above the National Hockey Stadium have noted that there will now be no bus services to their area.
5. The peak services are coming in for less comment generally because they tend to replicate more closely existing peak services and because, by and large, they run through the CBD. The main focus of peak service users is frequency of service and the peak-non-peak route split proposed in the CBD. There appears to be almost universal opposition to the proposal to switch peak services onto the waterfront. Many commuters appear to involve an option that would use Featherston St for peak hour services. At many of the meetings there were also proposals for an inner city loop service that would replace all services currently running through the Golden Mile.
6. Angst across the City over the proposals for bus to bus transfer. People want to see, and have an opportunity to comment on, the details in relation to the hub transfer points. There are particular concerns about the location and design of the hub transfers at Johnsonville, , Miramar Shops, Kilbirnie, Newtown – Hospital, and Zealandia (Karori Tunnel. There are others who can see the logic in the hubbing proposal and are more concerned to be assured about connection times, all weather facilities, CCTV, Real Time Information etc.
7. Not in service buses have come in for a lot of comment. Lots of questions about why there are so many NIS buses and why commuters can’t access these (especially to travel to Kilbirnie).
8. Concern over whether the Council has sufficient funding for the interchange facilities and whether these facilities will be adequate to the task (i.e. all weather shelters, Real time information, close bus connections, integrated ticketing)
9. A clear concern by some that the trolley buses are being targeted for gradual removal by the review.
10. A concern about the safety and practicality of some routes.
11. Suggestions that the Spine Study be received before the bus review progresses further, and that full scale integrated ticketing be implemented before any bus changes are put in place.
12. Integrated ticketing has come in for a lot of attention with many people commenting favourably about the bus to bus transfer proposals, but nevertheless exasperated that integrated electronic ticketing is still so far away.
13. A significant concern by people to be to be engaged again in the process of route design and timetabling in particular. People are fearful that this will be their last opportunity. Many communities, especially in the outer suburbs have a strong desire to be engaged again on the bus service review – they want to engage with officers to assist in planning their routes. This is places like Johnsonville, Newlands, Paparangi, Churton Park, Glenside, Grenada, Houghton Bay, Southgate, Melrose, South Karori, Wilton/Mairangi, Strathmore Park, Miramar.
The above issues need to be tempered by the fact that a strong number of people can see the need for the review even if they are critical about some of its proposals. This points to the need for the Regional Council to go back to the drawing board in some areas and to re-engage with particularly affected communities.
If you have the time I recommend that you take a read of
the responses which Jarrett Walker, the principle architect
of many of the proposals in the Bus review, has posted on:
http://www.humantransit.org/wellington/ This is a well considered response to many of the types of issues that have been raised over the past four weeks.