Public Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 30 November 2021, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Chairperson:               Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Lyall Thurston

Members:                    Cr Norm Bruning – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Cr Jane Nees – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Cr Paula Thompson – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Cr Stacey Rose – Bay of Regional Council, Mayor Garry Webber – Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council, Jess Andrew (non-voting) – Waka Kotahi, Phill Thomass – Lakes Community Board, Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Tauranga City Council

In Attendance:            Cr David Love, Cr Matemoana McDonald, Fiona McTavish, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate, James Llewellyn – Transport and Urban Planning Manager, Simon Bell – Transport Systems Team Leader, Andrew Dyer – External Advisor, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Chairman Doug Leeder (Ex-Officio) – Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Mayor Judy Turner – Whakatāne District Council, Cr Stacey Rose – Bay of Plenty Regional Council (early departure)

This meeting was livestreamed and the recording is available on Council’s YouTube channel: Public Transport Committee - 30 November 2021 - YouTube.

 

1.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Accepts the apologies from Chairman Doug Leeder, Mayor Judy Turner and Cr Stacey Rose (early departure) tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Nees

CARRIED

2.     Public Forum

2.1

He Iwi Kotahi Tauranga Moana Charitable Trust

Presentation: He Iwi Kotahi Tauranga Moana Charitable Trust: Objective ID A3988429

 

Chair Gordy Lockhart and Deputy Chair Buddy Mikaere presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The Trust had been established to organise and run annual Waitangi Day celebrations

·         Sought free buses to run on Waitangi Day to The Historic Village, where the festival had been taking place for the past three years, and ultimately to other Waitangi Day events across the region

·         The objective was raising awareness of the importance of The Treaty of Waitangi and its meaning

·         Strong focus on getting families and the community involved, included music and an educational programme at the event

·         Potential advantages included:

o      Raising awareness of the public transport system

o      Supporting a healthy environment

o      Removing barriers for people to attend Waitangi Day celebrations.

Key Points - Members:

·          Acknowledged that timeframes around implementation may be a challenge, but supported the initiative.

In Response to Questions:

·         Plans were underway to gather data from the next event to identify the areas people attending were coming from

·         Free public transport on Waitangi Day would also encourage people to get outdoors and using public transport, in addition to enjoying family time together.

Staff - In Response to Questions:

·          Cost implications, size and scale would need to be quantified before identifying if a decision could be made by staff within their delegation.

 

3.     Order of Business

To accommodate the arrival of presenters, agenda item 9.1 would be taken before agenda item 8.3.

4.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

5.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

5.1

Public Transport Committee Minutes - 26 August 2021

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Confirms the Public Transport Committee Minutes - 26 August 2021 as a true and correct record.

Thomass/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

 

 

Public Excluded Public Transport Committee Minutes - 26 August 2021

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Confirms the Public Excluded Public Transport Committee Minutes - 26 August 2021 as a true and correct record, noting that the only business conducted was the confirmation of minutes.

[Thompson/Thomass]

[CARRIED/LOST]

 

10.   Reports

10.1

Chairperson's Report

Legal and Commercial Manager Jessica Easton and Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·     Waka Kotahi had confirmed that they would fund the living wage for bus drivers and support councils by paying the increase from the base rate

·     The Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) was progressing well and was on target for the final document to be produced by mid-2022

·     The key challenge for the Travel Demand Management (TDM) and Behaviour Change project was to turn the strategies into actions, for which consultants would be commissioned across the sub-regions to provide action plans

·     A website had been created for the Wednesday Challenge Project: www.wednesdaychallenge.co.nz, and a launch event was scheduled for 15 December 2021 at The Historic Village

·     Positive feedback had been received from patrons for the Bus Network Refresh, particularly residents in Pāpāmoa East who now had more frequent services which in some cases were faster than using a car

·     Staff were working with Tauranga City Council (TCC) for options to improve infrastructure where accessibility issues existed, particularly for disembarking safely.

Key Points - Members:

·         Acknowledged the work undertaken by staff and the significant challenges of the past year

·         TCC considered security funding an operational matter.

In Response to Questions:

·         Road pricing would be actively considered as a travel demand management tool, however the immediate focus was on carparking and understanding how TCC’s parking strategy would assist in promoting mode shift

·          Staff had been working with Rotorua Lakes Council around security funding issues, with additional funding confirmed by Waka Kotahi

·          Research had been undertaken into reasons why single occupancy cars were preferred and the focus for the TDM approach was on the disadvantages of using a car and gaining understanding of people’s lifestyles

·         The possibility of extending Route 5 to Tauranga hospital was being considered as part of Phase Two, to create a more direct service and remove the necessity to transfer at Willow Street.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

von Dadelszen/Rose

CARRIED

 

 

10.2

Public Transport Arotake Tuatahi 2021/22 - Performance Monitoring Report 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021

Presentation: Arotake Tuatahi 2021/22: Objective ID A3988651

Legal and Commercial Manager Jessica Easton and Transport Systems Team Leader Simon Bell presented this item.

Key Points:

·     Provided corrections to the totals column of the Quarterly Patronage table on Page 32 of the agenda:

o    17/19 – 2,832,444

o    18/19 – 2,608,277

o    19/20 – 2,375,750

o    20/21 – 2,664,380

o    21/22 – 534, 728

·     Rolling trend data and route specific information had been added to the report this quarter

·     Staff were working with Waikato Regional Council to develop an automation programme which would increase data processing efficiency.

Key Points - Members:

·          Origin/destination of the routes also needed to be considered e.g. hospital work shifts and visiting times.

In Response to Questions:

·          Data was used for planning purposes and to inform decision-making, the Bus Network Refresh uptake in Tauranga would also be monitored and reported back to the Committee.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Public Transport Arotake Tuatahi 2021/22 - Performance Monitoring Report 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021.

von Dadelszen/Thomass

CARRIED

 

10.41 am - The meeting adjourned and Cr Rose withdrew from the meeting.

 

10.55 am – The meeting reconvened.

11.   Presentation

11.1

Tauranga City Council Public Transport Infrastructure & Projects Update

Presentation: Public Transport Infrastructure and Projects Update: Objective ID A3988660

Tauranga City Council Director of Transport Brendan Bisley presented this item.

 

Key Points of Presentation:

·          Outlined TCC projects for the next three years with direct public transport impacts

·          Disability access and across road access for bus stops would be included in the bus stop upgrade project

·          Public Transport Infrastructure was being considered for Welcome Bay from the underpass to the shopping centre

·          Provided information on TCC Long Term Plan (LTP) projects that might impact public transport services.

Key Points – Members

·         Considered that one of the greatest issues around community engagement was the transparency of the trade-off framework

·         Needed to work together in an integrated way to identify what was driving behaviour, gain a deeper understanding of what might drive behaviour change, and to establish an evidence base to inform decisions

·         The interface between the provision of services and the provision of infrastructure was fundamental to the design of the service outcome.

In Response to Questions:

·          Park and ride options were still allowed for and budgeted through the LTP; although they sat outside an 18 month to two year period – key decisions were around the public transport business case which would finalise sites for these to be located

·          There was a requirement under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) for consultation with private landowners on installing bus shelters and an additional requirement to hold a hearing if there were any objections

·          Under the Area B study there was funding for the Brookfield area and this would be looked at as a package of work integrated with projects in other areas

·          The parking strategy sought to promote turnover by discouraging commuter parking and encouraging shopper parking in the CBD.

 

10. Reports (Continued)

10.3

Improving our Network

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points - Members:

·          Suggested combining patronage data into one graph showing both free patronage and general public patronage.

In Response to Questions:

·         Staff were consistently looking at opportunities to review fares and fare policies.  The Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) would develop a new set of policies around fares in the future, including consideration of different geographic or socio-demographic options.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Improving our Network.

Nees/Iles

CARRIED

 

10.4

Tauranga Bus Network Refresh - Part Two

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·          Route 51 and the former route 71 would also be considered under Part Two of the Bus Network Refresh

·          Emphasised that a strong focus in Part Two of the Refresh was the legibility and quality of publicity material including timetables and maps and considering a more comprehensive marketing and publicity approach.

Key Points - Members:

·          Commended the efforts of the Public Transport Delivery team and highlighted the importance of resourcing to action changes

·          Understanding the drivers, potential target markets and how best to reach them was fundamental.

In Response to Questions:

·         Whilst patronage data was important, it was just one component in understanding the value the communities placed on the services.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Tauranga Bus Network Refresh - Part Two;

2           Approves the proposed high-level scope of work contained in this report including timescales.

Thurston/Selwood

CARRIED

 

10.5

On-Demand Public Transport

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Outlined recent data from an On-Demand public transport trial in Timaru, which saw patronage increase from 147,000 to 171,000

·         Increasing patronage with On-Demand services came at a significant cost increase

·         There was an option to replace some fixed route services with On-Demand services to ensure costs were contained within reasonable boundaries

·         The trial was also an opportunity to test different types and sizes of vehicles

·         Developing an intuitive and easy to use app would be critical to the success of the service.

Key Points - Members:

·         Different areas had different responses to On-Demand services and it was important that results from a Tauranga trial would not impact upon potential trials in other areas of the region

·         Noted that Tauranga was a different typography to Timaru and had different challenges to address

·         Needed to take into consideration potential increase in costs to patrons

·         Rotorua had individual challenges and innovative approaches would be welcomed

·         Sought to understand through this piece of work how an On-Demand service could be rolled out in different areas

·         Consideration needed to be given to frequency of service and vehicle fit for purpose.

In Response to Questions:

·         Improvements to the Kawerau network were addressing previous issues to the service

·         Although the current contract for the fixed route network limited flexibility for changing vehicle size and was locked in until 2028, there was further opportunity to make better use of existing vehicles and an option to consider alternatives for areas where larger vehicles were not appropriate

·         There was a focus on understanding typography, geography and highway layouts of various areas to establish the best service pattern for this

·         The hub and spoke model would continue to be the overall operating concept, with the key challenge being identifying which routes required a direct service   

·         There would be a range of channels for people to access the service, including options not based on technology

·         Clarified that at this stage, staff were seeking support to continue the investigation phase and work undertaken would not necessarily lead to a trial

·         The role of Waka Kotahi as a co-funder and their willingness to assist in funding the trial would be critical to progress. 

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, On-Demand Public Transport;

2           Notes the proposed scope of work and timescales;

3           Endorses the proposed high-level scope of work contained in this report.

Thurston/Thomass

CARRIED

 

 

10.6

Rotorua Public Transport Refresh

Transport and Urban Planning Manager James Llewellyn and External Advisor Andrew Dyer presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The concept behind the refresh was to make better use of the existing funding before considering where additional funding might go

·         There was ambition for growth, but issues around patronage figures needed to be addressed first

·         A smaller number of routes made the system easier to understand

·         There would be an overall increase to the number of bus stops in the CBD

·         The infrastructure improvements of the project were critical to success and needed to be implemented in conjunction with the service changes outlined

·         Improving punctuality and reliability were key factors – ensuring timetables reflected realities of potential delays e.g. impacts of roadworks

·         Extensive public consultation would be undertaken, noting that with Covid-19 restrictions there were currently uncertainty around how and when this could occur.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended staff for the collaboration and consultation with Rotorua Lakes Council

·         More thought and research was required on the location of bus stops i.e. a site visit, as some of the proposed locations were not practical/ feasible

In Response to Questions:

·          The forthcoming review and renewal of the Rotorua public transport contract provided an opportunity to consider different service model options.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Rotorua Public Transport Refresh;

2           Notes that public consultation on the Rotorua Bus Network Refresh will now take place as soon as possible in 2022.

Thurston/Thomass

CARRIED

 

6.     Public Excluded Section

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

6.1

Public Excluded Public Transport Committee Minutes - 26 August 2021

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

To remain in public excluded.

Minute Note: No business was conducted in Public Excluded as the Public Excluded Minutes were confirmed in the Open section of the meeting.

 

12.40 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                          

                                                                    Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Chairperson, Public Transport Committee