03 Aug

New Campaign Celebrates NZ’s Good, Bad and Ugly Bus Stops

Best and worst bus

A new ‘Best and Worst Bus Stop’ campaign launched by the Public Transport Users Association seeks out the best and worst in New Zealand’s bus stops, in what they’re calling a ‘crowd sourced infrastructure audit’.

The campaign launch will be held today, Thursday, 4th August at 4pm at the bus stop on Victoria Street in Auckland outside SkyCity (opposite the” Casino Gold House”).

Association Chair Christine Rose says “Bus stops are the final frontier in a bus user’s journey. They can define the rest of the experience and be a deciding factor in whether people will use public transport or not”.

Mrs Rose says the campaign aims to “celebrate bus stops that actually provide shelter, amenity, good passenger information and safe access to buses”. “Such bus stops set a standard for the many users of bus services in Auckland. Everyone waiting for a bus in winter, wants respite from the wind and rain, and enough information so you know when your bus will come or if you’ve missed it”. “We all want safe, joined up pedestrian access to our buses, and even rubbish bins and artwork”.

“We’d like to hear from New Zealanders about their favourite bus stops and shelters, and why”. “We’re inviting bus users to share their quality services to be celebrated, on the ‘Best and Worst Bus Stop’ facebook page”.

At the same time, says PTUA Co-ordinator, Jon Reeves, “there are some dismal bus stops out there. There are those that are vandalised, unsafe and undeveloped”. “Catching a bus from some stops is like waiting in a waste land. A bleak and barren experience”.

“Bus stops should provide shelter to a standard fitting the most vulnerable user – as it’s often women and children, school kids, the elderly and early morning commuters who use them. Bus users deserve civilised conditions with a modicum of safety and service”, says Mr Reeves. “This campaign aims to seek out cases where minimum conditions aren’t being met”.

Mrs Rose says that this campaign shines a light on bus users’ experiences – seeking out the good, the bad and the ugly in New Zealand’s bus stops. “The public can easily have their say, in a fun way, by loading images onto the ‘Best and Worst Bus Stop’ facebook page, using social media for the celebration and / or exposure of NZ’s best and worst bus stops.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/fixourstop/

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11686943

Scoop story link

Courier Newspaper Link

Twitter handle: #fixourstop

There are prizes for the Best and Worst Bus Stop photos. $100 supermarket voucher for the Best bus top, and $100 supermarket voucher for the Worst bus stop.

The campaign launch takes place 4pm this Thursday 4th August outside SkyCity on Victoria Street

ENDS

About PTUA:

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is a politically independent, voluntary incorporated society and is run by a committee.
The PTUA represents current and future passenger transport users who travel by bus, train or ferry.
The PTUA is here to help promote public transport use and to ensure councils, transport agencies and central Government listen to bus, train and ferry users.

Best and worst bus stops

04 Dec

Train Plan Set to Fail

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) is concerned about rumours from our members about plans to relocate the Northern Explorer Auckland to Wellington train service from its current base at the Britomart Transport Centre, to the extremely inconvenient Strand platform behind the former Auckland Railway Station, located over a kilometre away between Downtown and Parnell.

“We have contacted Kiwirail on a number of occasions this week for a confirmation of this plan but have not yet received a response,” said Jon Reeves, Coordinator of the PTUA. “It appears Kiwirail have started building an office at the Strand platform in the past week. The PTUA does not support the move of the Northern Explorer service to the Strand site, where public transport connections to the rest of the city are limited.” Reeves added.

The PTUA are concerned the relocation of the Northern Explorer to the Strand will impact on demand and provide cause for the service,  the last long distance passenger rail option in the North Island, to be terminated. The PTUA are considering the possibility that Kiwirail and Auckland Transport are planning to run the service down, in order to free-up the rail network channel currently occupied by the Northern Explorer service.

Ultimately, Auckland needs the construction of the City Rail Link brought forward with confirmed investment by the Government and construction of the third railway line from Westfield to Papakura. Delaying full construction of the CRL 2020 is simply not an option, or in the best interests of Auckland. Without these critical rail infrastructure components, much needed fast inter-regional commuter rail services to cities such as Hamilton and Tauranga will never eventuate.

As an alternative, the PTUA suggest that if Auckland Transport need the morning slot in the Britomart Transport Centre for commuter trains, then adjusting the Northern Explorer timetable for a 9:15am departure would be a better alternative. A later departure time would enable the service to remain in its current location at Britomart.  Passengers, particularly tourists, will not be affected by this change in schedule, if anything it would be potentially more attractive than the current 7:45am departure time. On the flip side, passengers arriving into Auckland from Wellington in the evening will be faced with limited transfer options outside of taking taxi’s to Britomart to connect to the public  transport network.

“This is not a good look for tourists and their first impression of Auckland”, Reeves says. “We know that in Auckland city, if you place trains out near the old station – which closed in 2003 – train patronage will be hampered. The rumoured plan to move the Northern Explorer trains to the Strand platform is certainly a very unwise move and needs to be stopped in its tracks immediately.“

The Public Transport Users Association encourages tourism operators to contact Kiwirail with feedback about this plan. We would also welcome Kiwirail’s response to PTUA concerns.

ENDS