Public Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 26 August 2021, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Chairperson:               Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Lyall Thurston – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Members:                    Bay of Plenty Regional Council

                                    Cr Jane Nees

Cr Paula Thompson

Cr Stacey Rose

 

Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Mayor Garry Webber

 

Tauranga City Council

Commissioner Stephen Selwood

Commissioner Bill Wasley (Alternate)

 

Lakes Community Board/ Rotorua Lakes Council

Phill Thomass

 

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (non-voting member)

Jessica Andrew

In Attendance:            Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

                                    Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Cr Kevin Winters, Cr David Love, Cr Stuart Crosby (from 10.18 am), Cr Matemoana McDonald (from 10.40 am), Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, Amanda Namana  - Committee Advisor

 

                                                      External: Joe Metcalfe – Transport Planning Contractor, Whakatāne District Council

 

                                                      Presenters – as listed in the minutes

Apologies:                  Cole O’Keefe – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Mayor Judy Turner – Whakatāne District Council, Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council, Cr Stacey Rose (early departure)

 

Please note that this meeting was recorded via Zoom and is available on Council’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/3qUb5g7QaM0

 

1.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Accepts the apologies from Cole O’Keefe, Mayor Judy Turner, deputy Mayor Andrew Iles and Cr Stacey Rose for early departure tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Thomass

CARRIED

2.     Order of Business

Agenda Item 8.4 – ‘Improving our Network’ to be taken following agenda item 8.6 – ‘Regional Public Transport Plan Review Update’.

3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared

4.     Announcements

·         Commended the work of operational and planning transport staff at BOPRC and across the region

·         Acknowledged the work of bus drivers across the region who had performed an exceptional and critical service under difficult circumstances during Covid-19 restrictions.

5.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

5.1

Public Transport Committee Minutes - 27 May 2021

Matters Arising

·         In relation to Minute Item 5.1 – Chairperson’s Report, Members requested an update on the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) and were advised that the final decision had been delayed and would now be made on 31 August 2021,  with announcements made on 9 September 2021

·         In relation to Minute Item 5.2 - Bay of Plenty Travel Demand Management and Behaviour Change Programme, Tauranga City Council were progressing the parking strategy which would be a driver for disincentivising car travel.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Confirms the Public Transport Committee Minutes - 27 May 2021 as a true and correct record.

Rose/Thomass

CARRIED

6.     Public Forum

6.1

Mei Leong - Accessible Transport Project Coordinator and Ruth Gerzon – Executive Officer, Eastern Bay Villages Te Kokoru Manaakitanga

Tabled Document 1 - Accessible Transport Solutions Research Report 24.08.2021: Objective ID A3918272   

 

Key Points:

·         Eastern Bay Villages began approximately three years ago and consisted of elderly people supporting each other to stay independent and in their own homes

·         Lack of accessible and affordable transport to seniors in the Eastern Bay of Plenty was a significant barrier to wellbeing

·         A survey had been conducted to evidence transport needs and concerns within the Whakatāne District, along with current transport options.  47 organisations had participated, along with 74 individuals

·         Suitable transport options not only connected people with the practicalities of living, e.g. shopping and medical appointments, but also provided quality of life with the ability to participate in the community, combating isolation and loneliness

·         Strong support had been received from the community to take action, including younger people and students

·         Transport solutions needed to be safe, affordable, accessible, environmentally sustainable, meet the needs of people with disabilities and seniors, increase opportunities for social interaction, and have door to door service options

·         Enabling people to continue living rurally as they aged was important

·         Noted that a carpooling App would make a significant difference, particularly for residents of Ōpōtiki, Edgecumbe and Whakatāne.

Key Points - Members:

·         Requested to share the report with rural Rotorua communities that had similar issues which needed addressing.

Staff in Response to Questions:

·         Travel demand management and behaviour change initiatives may consider how new technology/Apps could be used to match people together for the purposes of ride sharing

·         Conventional public transport services could not be supplied everywhere, therefore alternative options for rural areas was a high priority.

10.18 am – Cr Stuart Crosby entered the meeting.

7.     Reports

7.1

Chairperson's Report

Transport Operations Team Lead Jen Proctor presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Some remodelling may be required around the split shift model to incorporate additional rest breaks

·         Accessibility concession and Kawerau service improvement changes had both received a positive community response

·         Acknowledged the support from Waka Kotahi for bus interchange security service funding.

Key Points - Members:

·         The accessibility concession was a major achievement that was making a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

In Response to Questions:

·          There had been a direct correlation between lower fuel prices and bus patronage, which had been tracked for a number of years.

10.40 am – Cr Matemoana McDonald entered the meeting.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Requested data showing the previous two years in future reports, particularly in relation to patronage and income details, in order to assist with direct comparison.

 

11:18 am - Cr Stacey Rose withdrew from the meeting.

Information Only

7.2

Public Transport Arotake Tuawha - Performance Monitoring Report July 2020 to June 2021

Presentation: Public Transport Arotake Tuawha - Performance Monitoring Report July 2020 to June 2021: Objective ID A3916872

Transport Systems Team Leader Simon Bell presented this item.

Key Points:

·     Highest annual patronage since 2016/17 was driven by an increase in school trips as a result of the free fare trial

·     Patronage trends following Covid-19 lockdowns were tracking closely to those of Waikato Regional Council

·     Positive feedback had been received through the mystery shopper programme,  particularly in Tauranga and Rotorua

·     Shorter local trips resulted in lower annual expenditure.

Key Points - Members:

·          Using data from the Bee Card technology could be vital for comprehensive analysis to understand what was driving costs, service levels and patronage across the network in detail to ensure there was a good match of supply and demand

·          Understanding drivers to behaviour was important in achieving a genuine shift from cars to public transport

·          Data available should be presented in a format that enabled decision making and highlight where and when smaller buses could be used

·          Looking at patronage only was not providing the complete data set for how to better manage the fleet

·          Suggested promoting bus patronage for children through parents and surveys at schools

·          Expressed concern over the logistics and impact to the efficiency of the network of changing bus sizes at different times.

Staff - In Response to Questions:

·         New dashboard technology would empower self-service for users

·         One of the challenges within the Tauranga network in particular was high demand at peak times (currently dominated by school travellers), which meant the large buses were at capacity.

·         There were potentially significant costs involved in changing the sizes of buses from the fleet already in place as current contractual arrangements allowed little flexibility

·         In terms of revenue protection, it was important to balance the money put into the network with farebox recovery to ensure a financially stable network in the future.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·          Utilise survey data available for both current users and from non-users to highlight reasons why people were not catching the bus, along with two reports from MR Cagney on how to get people using public transport.  Consider how best to present this data would be considered for future reports.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Public Transport Arotake Tuawha - Performance Monitoring Report July 2020 to June 2021.

von Dadelszen/Thurston

CARRIED

 

11.58 am – The meeting adjourned.

 

11.10 am – The meeting reconvened.

 

7.3

Bus Network Refresh - Connecting Tauranga City with the Mount, Pāpāmoa and Te Puke

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The key aspect of the refresh process was to make better use of existing budgets before any plans of increasing services, with the aim to optimise services within key corridors

·         Public feedback showed it was difficult to understand some of the current routes/configurations and the inconvenience of changing buses at Bayfair was a significant issue for many people

·          Better promotion and marketing of services was a key consideration and welcomed all ideas to achieve this

·          Outlined additional service improvements that could not be delivered within existing budgets, but may be considered as part of the public transport services and infrastructure business case or a future network refresh

·          Tauranga City Council had provided valuable input into the Bus Network Refresh process.

Key Points - Members:

·         Outlined concerns raised by Farm Street residents around the addition of a provisional bus shelter for increased capacity and sought BOPRC support in marketing and promoting the reason for this change of service as a temporary solution whilst awaiting a final decision on the preferred site for the new interchange.

In Response to Questions:

·         Combining Route 55 and Route 5 would make the new route too long and risk timetable issues

·         Potential disruption with upcoming work on Cameron Road projects was a concern and had been taken into consideration

·         Specific discussions had not been held with the District Health Board in relation to the HL bus route, but public consultation had been undertaken with people who used the service

·         The transfer time in the CBD for passengers travelling from Mount Maunganui to the hospital was 5 minutes, and 10 minutes transfer time in the opposite direction.  The frequency of the service remained the same

·         There was also an opportunity to update the bus numbering system

·         Emphasised that the current arrangements at Farm Street were not planned to continue for the medium to long term and would be working collaboratively with Tauranga City Council on the business case for the new Bayfair facility.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Bus Network Refresh - Connecting Tauranga City with the Mount, Pāpāmoa and Te Puke;

2         Approves the recommended changes to the Tauranga Public Transport Network as detailed in Section 3, with an indicative implementation date of 15 November 2021.

von Dadelszen/Nees

CARRIED

 

 

7.4

Strategic Direction

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn and Transport Advisor (network optimisation) Melissa Winter presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The Eastern Bay Villages presentation within the public forum of the meeting illustrated the need to take an in depth look at the needs and issues of rural communities

·         Refreshes for urban services across the wider region were also key priorities

·         Funding for on demand services would be determined by saving costs in other areas.

In Response to Questions:

·         The key challenge was public engagement on the refresh proposals as Covid-19 Alert levels may have an impact on the timeline

·         The integration of bus fares and the parking policy review was vital and the parking strategy review was underway

·         Clarified that the $75K funding for the Ōmōkoroa ferry business case was not allocated to Priority One to undertake the work, although they would be a key stakeholder.  Ideally, this funding would be used for an expert to consider the technical aspects, feasibility and potential demand for the service

·         Joining together growth areas with existing parts of the city was conceptualised through the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) and work on this aspect was ongoing.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Provide additional information on the Regional Tertiary Fare Free Trial including percentage and dollar figures of revenue provided from tertiary institutions.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Strategic Direction.

von Dadelszen/Webber

CARRIED

 

7.5

Regional Public Transport Plan Review Update

Presentation: Regional Public Transport Plan review update: Objective ID A3916261   

Principal Advisor, Regional Development Bron Healey presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Community Panel workshop was being rescheduled and likely to be held online if Covid-19 lockdown restrictions continued.

Key Points - Members:

·          The Transport Special Interest Group (TSIG) provided key insights into direction and  policy being released from central government.

 

Key Points - Staff:

·         Staff were working with the Annual Plan team to align the timings as best as possible

·         The role of the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) was to establish a policy framework for decision making, combined with using data and analytics to assist future decision making.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Regional Public Transport Plan Review Update.

Webber/Thurston

CARRIED

 

7.6

Improving Our Network

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

In Response to Questions:

·          Historically, Te Puke was considered part of the Tauranga urban network, which was where the concessionary fares for children were targeted.

 

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Improving Our Network.

Webber/Thurston

CARRIED

8.     PRESENTATION

8.1

Tauranga City Council – Cameron Road Multi-Modal Project

Presentation: Tauranga City Council Projects Update: Objective ID A3916265   

 

General Manager, Infrastructure Nic Johansson and Director of Transport Brendan Bisley presented this item.

Key Points:

·          During the first Covid-19 lockdown, Crown Infrastructure Partners tried to identify shovel ready projects which could be funded from a stimulus perspective, and the Cameron Road project was one of the successful submissions with $45M funding

·          Outlined proposed projects over next 3 years which were subject to National Land Transport Fund (NTLF) funding

·          Work was due to commence on the business case for Cameron Road Stage 2

·          Often bus and cycling routes were in the same corridors and shared public transport infrastructure

·          Temporary diversions would be required during some CBD projects which would affect public transport routes.  The Willow Street interchange would need to be relocated during the Civic redevelopment project

·          The bus lane was currently proposed to end at Elizabeth Street, before buses turned right to access the CBD.

Key Points - Members:

·         Tauranga City Council had made an application for infrastructure acceleration funding to potentially accelerate Stage 2 of the project

·         The project was essential to the public transport spine for Tauranga

·         Bus services were given priority and would have a dedicated clearway during peak times

·         Taking the community along on the project was of paramount importance

·          Cameron Road was equally an urban intensification project, as much as a transport project.

In Response to Questions:

·         There were competing needs across the corridor and balance needed to be achieved between the needs of various modes

·         It was important to recognise that the full benefits of the Cameron Road project would only materialise after Stage 2 was complete.  Stage 2 would also increase benefits and the attractiveness of public transport use.

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

·     Receives the presentation, Tauranga City Council – Cameron Road Multi-Modal Project.

Thurston/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

 

9.     Public Excluded Section

Resolved

Resolution to exclude the public

1       Excludes the public from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting as set out below:

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

Item No.

Subject of each matter to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Grounds under Section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution

When the item can be released into the public

9.1

Public Excluded Public Transport Committee Minutes - 27 May 2021

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

To remain in public excluded.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

 

12.59 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                          

                                                                    Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Chairperson, Public Transport Committee