SUPERMETLINK FOR WELLINGTON.      

Update 09 July,2019 

The fiasco of Wellington public transport continues. More hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on 'consultation' and 'planning'. No urgent action to fix the problems. I did offer last year to design a new highly functioning system using the Supermaxx template within 7 days and for just $5,000. The Greater Wellington Regional Council refused then spent over $30,000 on international consultants who came to the conclusion that their network was flawed and badly implemented (all of which had already been pointed out by the Wellington public and myself at no cost). They offered no solutions. I believe well over $1 million has now been spent on consultants to no avail. Wellington citizens, should the GWC Councillors be re-elected? In my view no!

Biggest flaw however is the failure to implement the Unlimitted Travel Pass Supermaxx system which lowers costs and increases revenue. 

The problem of the lack of resilience in the Wellington transport network was  highlighted by the freight train derailment last week. The problem is even worse in Auckland where the network has been misdesigned to force people on to the trains (Southern and Eastern lines) with no back up when the inevitable accidentbreakdown, or power outage happens. It also leads to overcrowded trains and is a disincentive to using public tansport.

Auckland Transport Consultancy

Level One, 441 Queen St, Auckland, New Zealand. 1010

Telephones: 0800 309196 Mobile: 021 174 9588 Postal: P.O. Box 6145, Auckland, New Zealand 1141

Email: steve@aucklandtransportconsultancy.co.nz Web: www.aucklandtransportconsultancy.co.nz

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07 August, 2018.

 

The Chair and all Councillors,

Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Wellington.

 

Dear Chair and Councillors,

 

WELLINGTON PUBLIC TRANSPORT.

It is tragic to see the problems occuring with the roll out of the new public transport network in Wellington. It is so unnecessary and seems to be driving people away from public transport rather than attracting them to it. I have been involved in transport all my life, at sea for 6 years, in the air working with Air New Zealand and flying as a private pilot, on the rail with my 'own' leased de luxe carriage from New Zealand Railways offering a de luxe service in the South Island from 1987 to 1989, and as the owner, operator, and driver of tour vehicles for the past 48 years.

Recognising that Auckland had one of the worst run public transport systems in the developed world I spent around 2,000 hours in 2006 developing a totally new template for Auckland public transport under the name of SUPERMAXX. I proved that Auckland Transport could offer a vastly more user friendly public transport system, save around $2 million dollars per week in operating subsidies, and reduce the fare to unlimited travel passes of $70 for 30 days, $20 for 7 days, $10 for 1 day, and $2 for 2 hours from first to last boarding on all trains and buses in the Auckland metro area between Albany and Papakura. The template can be used in any city with a minimum of 150,000 population. A copy of the Supermaxx proposal is attached.

There are 5 elements that have to be brought together in any public transport system operating to maximum efficiency:-

1. Network – Optimum is a grid network rather than hub and spoke. For Auckland I developed a 'spider web' network

2. Schedules - Optimum is service every 10 minutes from 7am to 7pm monday – saturday and 20 minutes off peak on primary routes and every 20 minutes on secondary routes with hourly services between midnight and 6am.

3. Fare type - Optimum is unlimited travel passes instead of distance, zonal, or time based individual fares to make public transport the 'transport of choice' any time. The thought “I have paid for this pass and therefore may as well use it” is far more powerful than “this journey is going to cost me money so I may as well use the car”.

4. Fare level - Optimum is $70 for 30 days, $20 for 7 days, $5 for 1 day, and $ 2 for 2 hours for main metro area which in Wellingtons case I would classify as Porirua and Upper Hutt to Seatoun

The Regional Pass at $90 for 30 days would cover the full area you cover including Wairarapa.

 

5. Infrastructure - Bus priority measures including bus lanes, bus stop placing, bus hubs etc

 

It may be counter intuitive but in actual fact unlimited travel passes increase revenue rather than diminishing it. Wellington has a much higher rate of public transport usage than Auckland or other cities in New Zealand. I am absolutely certain that fares can be reduced, subsidies reduced, and a better service provided to the public. Anyone travelling more than 1 zone under the current system will make savings – anyone travelling say 3 zones on Metlink fares for an average of 21 days per month currently pay $157 – under Supermetlink would pay $70. Combined with a properly functioning network and schedules this would be a game changer in Wellington public transport. At a very preliminary study I believe revenue can be increased and subsidies reduced by at least 50%

There are obviously major problems in Wellington currently which need to be addressed urgently. The PTOM is a highly flawed operating model however it is not acceptable to blame PTOM for a less than optimal service to the public.

I did approach Greater Wellington Council some years offering to do a “Supermetlink” proposal and was rebuffed however the offer is still open. I am happy to do an urgent evaluation of the current problems between the 20th and 24th August and have a complete solution delivered to you on monday 27th August for the sum of $5,000 – 50% up front, and the balance only on receipt of a viable proposal for an immediate fix. I understand you are disussing the current situation at the Sustainable Transport Committee meeting tomorrow. I am happy to come down and present to you tomorrow afternoon if you wish.

Maybe I should mention that I was born in Wellington and my first job was delivering telegrams by cycle in the Kilbernie, Miramar, Lyall Bay areas. I know the area well!

I look forward to hearing from you and hope to be able to be involved in assisting rapid improvements to your public transport for the benefit of the residents of Wellington.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Greenfield

Auckland Transport Consultancy.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Introducing Supermetlink for the Capital City

SUPERMETLINK is an effective, low cost, affordable, integrated, public transport system which remodels public transport in Wellington using current buses and trains. It is based on the SUPERMAXX template developed for Auckland.

In Wellington SUPERMETLINK can be introduced in two stages as there is urgency to fix current problems

Remodelling of the network and schedules – within one month of contract

Introduction of unlimited travel pass – within 4 months

 

SUPERMETLINK

** Vastly improves service, convenience, and affordability

** Lowers costs to both ratepayers (Subsidies) and travellers (Fares)

** Minimises emission and noise pollution, and congestion

** Provides public transport throughout the greater Wellington area. 90% of Wellington people will be within a 15 minute walk of SUPERMETLINK

** Provides Primary, Secondary, Local, and Regional services (Otaki /Masterton to South Coast).

** Primary bus routes provide services every 10 minutes 7am – 7pm Monday-Saturday and 5 minutes at peak times. 20 minute services evenings and Sundays.

** Combined with MINIMETLINK licenced shared ride mini buses (extra fare $2) from transport hubs provides door to door service including dial a ride.

 

SUPERMETLINK AND MINIMETLINK - WELLINGTON’S TOTAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT SOLUTION

 

SUPERMETLINK FEATURES UNLIMITED TRAVEL PASSES

Metro Pass Paremata/Pomare to South Coast - zones 1-5 currently

$2 ...... 2 hour pass from first to last boarding

$5....... 1 day pass

$20..... 7 day pass

$70..... 30 day pass

Regional Passes Otaki/Masterton to Wellington South Coast – zones 6 – 13 currently

Pass applies on all train and bus services

$5 .....2 hours from first to last boarding

$10.... 1 day pass

$30.... 7 day pass

$90.... 30 day pass

 

Prepared by

Stephen Greenfield

Transport Solutions Designer

Auckland Transport Consultancy

September 2018

 

Developer of the “Connoisseur Express” luxury rail service in the South Island (1988) past operator and driver of tour coaches, Merchant Navy officer, private pilot, and enthusiast for fast, efficient, eco friendly, and economical transport of people and goods combining the best of public and private transport.

 

Wellington needs Supermetlink!

"Supermetlink" is an effective, low cost, affordable, integrated, public transport system for Wellington which can commence within 6 months. It is based on the Supermaxx template  first offered to Auckland (ARTA, ARC, and Auckland City Council) in 2007.

By maximising efficiency of public transport routes 30% more passengers can be carried with approximately 10% less buses on the road leading to far less pollution and congestion.

"Supermetlink" 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 from Paraparaumu and Upper Hutt to the South Coast. This is a massive cost reduction for most commuters. "Supermetlink" will reduce the subsidies required by $70-$80 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 early 2008. If it had been introduced then:
** Ratepayers and taxpayers in Auckland would have saved over $1 billion dollars in rates and taxes now paid for excessive operating subsidies.
** Commuters would have saved over $1 billion in excess fares
** Over 500,000 tons less of carbon and other pollutants 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! 

The fiasco of the new network and schedules introduced in Wellington in 2018 is ongoing as the GWRC 'examines' the problems but does not fix them. While the savings would not be so great in Wellington the solutions are simple. Dominion Post reported on the 15th April,2019  that GWRC had spent over $1.6 million on contractors trying to fix the problem.

Supermetlink features.

Features
** Integrated bus and train public transport from Otaki and Masterton to the South Coast at Cook Strait.  

** Express, primary, standard, local, and minimetlink servioces provided. 

** Introduces express services on arterial routes to provide maximum flexibility, efficiency, and shortest possible travel times. It also  increases resilience of the network if the rail network is closed for any reason..  

** Primary schedules feature services every 10 minutes 7am - 7pm monday - saturday, 20 minutes at off peak times and hourly on primary routes from midnight to 6am.  

** Standard schedules provide services every 20 minutes 6am - midnight monday-saturday and 7am - 11pm sundays. Services every 10 minutes at peak times weekdays.  

** Introduction of LOCAL and REGIONAL bus services 

** Unlimited Metro travel passes on all train and bus services between Waikanae and Upper Hutt and Cook Strait.  (Boundaries extended in 2019 from the original 2018 version) 
$2 for 2 hours, 
$5 for one day,
$20 for 7 days,
and $70 for 30 days.  

REGIONAL PASSES - all bus and train services bteween Otaki and Masterton and Cook Strait $5 for 2 hour pass, $10 for 1 day pass, $30 for 7 day pass, $90 for 30 day pass. 
 

CHALLENGE 

My challenge to Greater Wellington Regional Council

1. Find a better programme to provide the best possible public transport for Wellington in the shortest possible time at the lowest possible cost OR
2. Prove that Supermetlink will not work OR 
3. Implement Supermetlink immediately to overcome the problems of the porr design and implementation of the current networtk. 

Moving to unlimited travel passes will be a game changer in increasing revenue and reducing subsidies and fares. It will entice many more people from their cars to public transport and reduce congestion and pollution in the city. However it must also be matched with a totally functioning public transport network and schedules. 

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