Public Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 23 June 2022, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Chairperson:               Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Lyall Thurston

Members:                    Cr Norm Bruning – Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC), Cr Jane Nees - BOPRC, Cr Paula Thompson - BOPRC, Cr Stacey Rose - BOPRC (via Zoom), Mayor Judy Turner – Whakatāne District Council (via Zoom), Commissioner Stephen Selwood – Tauranga City Council (via Zoom), Phill Thomass – Lakes Community Board (via Zoom), Michelle Te Wharau – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (non-voting), Chairman Leeder – BOPRC (from 9.46 am)

In Attendance:            Cr David Love, Cr Kevin Winters (via Zoom), Cr Matemoana McDonald (Via Zoom), Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science, Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Mayor Garry Webber – Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Commissioner Bill Wasley - Alternate, Tauranga City Council, Jess Andrew – Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council

 

This meeting was livestreamed and the recording is available on Council’s YouTube channel: BOPRC Public Transport Committee Meeting - 23 June 2022 - YouTube

 

1.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Accepts the apologies from Mayor Garry Webber, Commissioner Bill Wasley, Jess Andrew and Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Bruning

CARRIED

2.     Public Forum

2.1

Deb Turner

 

Key Points:

·         Supported Tauranga having the best bus service possible and would like to make it easier for people to catch the bus

·         Bus trackers were very useful to patrons and noted that some were broken, and others were not working

·         When the Grenada Street bus stop was closed temporarily, patrons were able to use the service from Sandhurst drive, saving up to an hour travel time and a safer option for walking home for some residents

·         Queried why route 21 service from Bayfair left from two stops (2a and 2b) as this created confusion in knowing which stop to use 

·         Considered that running the bus anticlockwise from Papamoa would save time, cover a larger area and improve the service

·         Supported the concept of an orbiter bus service to reach more destinations quickly

·         Route 21 service times kept changing which often missed connecting services at Bayfair

·         Route 5 service had been leaving up to ten minutes early from Salisbury Wharf.

In Response to Questions:

·         Staff to respond to Deb directly to address concerns raised, including bus tracker fixing/replacement, route 5 service, route 21 service and bus stop issues.

 

2.2

Harry Perry and Lucas Daum – Tauranga Boys College

Presentation: The Matua Trial: Objective ID A4134039  

 

Key Points of Presentation:

·        Bus routes that had been elongated were more susceptible to congestion and traffic issues, causing delays and disgruntled patrons

·        Outlined the original large scale proposal and key points from this

·        Summarised current bus service problems for Matua residents

·        Detailed benefits of the proposal including saving time, reliability of services, safety, avoiding traffic bottlenecks in the CBD, reducing the impact of delays and increased likelihood of commuters using the public transport system

·        Demonstrated the proposed new Matua routes and scheduled changes to coincide with them

·        Using Cherrywood as a hub could connect existing routes 60, 72a and 72b with two proposed Matua orbiter services and a transfer time of five minutes

·        The proposed link route (L1) would provide connectivity for Matua residents to Tauranga Crossing, Brookfield and Cambridge Road with reduced travel time and increased reliability

·        The suggested changes provided opportunity to expand operations across the entire network by turning existing bus stops into hubs

·        Suggested using dedicated buses over a three to four month period to test and gather data.

 

Key Points – Members:

·         Commended the work and noted that a route review was underway, unfortunately previous consultation had shown some reluctance from the public for a hub system

·         Suggested submitting the concept/presentation to the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) which was due to open for public consultation on 4 July 2022.

 

In Response to Questions:

·         The plan was to use existing buses for the trial, with a future option of smaller buses for the orbiter services.

 

3.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

4.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

4.1

Public Transport Committee Minutes - 17 March 2022

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Confirms the Public Transport Committee Minutes - 17 March 2022 as a true and correct record.

Thurston/Bruning

CARRIED

5.     Presentations

5.1

Accessibility - Using Bee Cards and the Bus System

Presented by: Karleigh Jones

 

Key Points

·         Considered the Transit App helpful in deciding the best route for a journey and how long it would take

·         Found Bee Cards useful in that it was no longer necessary to carry a lot of change and the card was easier to use for certain special needs

·         Outlined the following issues for consideration:

o    Sometimes the Transit App was not running on real time, therefore the bus did not arrive when expected

o    When the bus did not stop close enough to the curb to use the back door to exit, it could be hazardous for passengers, particularly those with mobility issues

o    The printed timetables could be difficult to read and understand

o    Bus stops without seats provided an additional challenge for all passengers when waiting for a bus, including those with disabilities e.g. Chapel Street bus stop

·         Bus driver awareness needed to be increased for those with hidden or less physical disabilities that were not always apparent, as they may require additional support

·         Supported free buses for people with disabilities as it assisted them in achieving their goals in education and employment.

 

6.     Reports

 

Chairperson's Report

General Manager, Strategy and Science Namouta Poutasi and Transport and Urban Planning Manager Lorraine Cheyne presented this item.

Key Points:

·          Highlighted the half price fares being extended to the end of August 2022 and the success to date in terms of increasing patronage by approximately 15%

·          Noted that the bus driver shortage continued not only across the region, but nationwide

·         A reduced number of security concerns had been observed in the first week with the increased security and change of CBD interchange location, although inclement weather was also noted.

Key Points - Members:

·         Expressed concern over implications for passengers of the continued weekend service timetable

·         Measuring and being kept informed of progress on emission reduction targets was crucial

·         Considered there was an urgent need for investment from central government to subsidise public transport on a more long term basis

·         Agreed that public transport was the solution to many social, environmental and economic issues facing the region

·         There was an important piece of gap analysis work that needed to be undertaken as a region to identify and bridge the gaps between the RPTP targets and meeting the emission reduction targets of central government.

In Response to Questions:

·          The living wage changes for bus drivers were effective from 1 September 2022

·          Bus driver shortage was having a significant impact on timetabling issues – this situation was being monitored and the service was due for review in August 2022

·          Negotiations had taken place with NZ Bus to address the financial implications/level of service and a reduced rate had been agreed

·          Noted the challenges over recent years in providing comparative patronage data and would look into how best to provide the necessary information to the Committee

·          The Regional Transport Emissions Reduction Plan funded through the 2022-2023 Annual Plan would address many of the concerns raised.

 

Items for Follow Up:

·         Waka Kotahi to provide a presentation to a future meeting with facts and figures around funding and how it might be broken down, following the review of the Public Transport Operating Model

·         Clarify the entire transport emissions framework for members by summarising all bodies of work in transport emissions reduction across the region, the aim of each and broken down by sub-region.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report;

2           Commends Regional Council and Tauranga City Council staff that the work that went into the temporary bus interchange in Durham Street was implemented on time.

Thompson/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

10.34 am – The meeting adjourned.

10.57 am – The meeting reconvened.

Decisions Required

6.1

Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032 for Public Consultation

Presentation: Draft RPTP for Public Consultation: Objective ID A4134048

Principal Advisor, Regional Development Bron Healey presented this item, supported by Transport and Urban Planning Manager Lorraine Cheyne and Senior Transport Planner Matt Kilpatrick.

Key Points:

·         Highlighted that the RPTP was the key statutory document for public transport planning and investment in the region, with the intent of a ten year plus strategic view of public transport and a strong focus on the first three years

·         Outlined legislative requirements, consultation and review processes, the timeline and the approval process for the RPTP

·         In addition to the four Public Transport Committee workshops held seeking input to the RPTP, there had been regular meetings and workshops held with the multi-agency project team.  This was comprised of members from Regional Council, City and District Councils of the region and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency representatives.

Key Points - Members:

·         Encouraged as many members of the public to submit to the RPTP as possible as their views and perspectives were critical

·         Suggested amending the draft RPTP before going out for consultation:

o    Frame the intention that there would be a workstream to identify and bridge the gap between the RPTP and the new national emissions reduction plan targets.

In Response to Questions:

·         He Mauri Ohooho was the Māori Economic Development Strategy for the Bay of Plenty, developed under the Bay of Connections regional economic development framework which Toi Kai Rawa were implementing

·         The draft RPTP had been developed to be consistent with the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI), the Transport Systems Plan (TSP) and their existing targets.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·     Ensure that the final RPTP considered:

o    Providing context around He Mauri Ohooho as an economic development strategy

o    Driver shortages as a future challenge – action to work with service providers to ensure there were sufficient drivers to deliver on agreed service levels

o    The pie graph on Page 57 of the RPTP under-represented the challenge of reducing emissions across the region - an additional graph for the specific challenges of Tauranga City was proposed

o    Check current intensification details on Te Papa Peninsula were updated and correct

o    Ensure the RPTP was also consistent with new central government targets released, after understanding what the implications for public transport were for these e.g. Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) targets. 

o    Insert a paragraph around the affordability challenge - highlighting the required level of investment in new targets to achieve mode shift.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032 for Public Consultation;

2           Approves the draft Bay of Plenty Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032, including any amendments arising from discussion of the report, for public consultation in accordance with the requirements of the Land Transport Management Act 2003;

3           Authorises the General Manager, Strategy and Science, in consultation with the Chair where appropriate, to make any necessary minor amendments to the draft Bay of Plenty Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032 prior to its release to the public;

4           Appoints an RPTP subcommittee to undertake hearings and deliberations on the draft Bay of Plenty Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-2032, for recommendation to the Public Transport Committee

5           Appoints Cr von Dadelszen as the Chair of the RPTP Subcommittee, with Mayor Turner, Cr Nees, Cr Thurston, Commissioner Selwood and Cr Thompson as the RPTP subcommittee members.

[Bruning/Rose]

[CARRIED]

 

6.2

Contract Renewal of 85 Connector Bus Service

General Manager, Strategy and Science Namouta Poutasi and Transport and Planning Manager Lorraine Cheyne presented this item.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Contract Renewal of 85 Connector Bus Service;

Thurston/Bruning

CARRIED

 

 

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee recommends that the Regional Council:

 

1           Endorses the continuation of Waihi Beach passenger transport service

(i)     as a permanent two day a week service for a further 12 months;  

2           Notes that associated funding has been included in the 2022-2023 Annual Plan.

Thurston/Bruning

CARRIED

Information Only

6.3

Western Bay of Plenty Ferries Feasibility Study

General Manager, Strategy and Science Namouta Poutasi and Team Leader – Service Planning and Project Delivery Oliver Haycock presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Highlighted that the feasibility study was currently in draft and the full report would return to the Committee once the study was finalised

·         Draft findings were that there was no short term low-risk low-cost option that could currently be delivered that was likely to be attractive to potential customers.

Key Points - Members:

·         Supported continued investigation into options to develop a business case and potentially increase service delivery once required infrastructure was in place.  Walking, cycling and parking infrastructure were key considerations to include in this

§   Tauranga City Council (TCC) Commissioners were supportive of encouraging alternative modes of transport including ferry services.  Acknowledged the challenging issue of carparking from a commuter perspective to support the service

§   There may be an opportunity to test the market with any low-risk low-cost initiatives that eventuated e.g. the existing Ōmokoroa vessel that did not require significant upgrades, trialling viability of a service transporting upcoming cruise ship passengers to the CBD

§   If there was support from Regional Council to provide a ferry service, TCC Commissioners could potentially bring forward investment from the Long Term Plan (LTP) process for wharf infrastructure requirements for a more substantive service.

In Response to Questions:

·         Work undertaken to date had identified a number of challenges in providing a viable ferry service that would be attractive to customers, including the significant cost involved

·         There was an process to follow for commercial operators to gain approval to operate.  Subsidising this would require going through a joint funding process and the relevant steps required for this

·         Further engagement with Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Priority One and Waka Kotahi staff preferably through TSP would occur before the full feasibility study came to the Committee.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·          Ensure a timeline and project plan was included in the full feasibility study, including the feasibility of running a pilot or initial service.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Western Bay of Plenty Ferries Feasibility Study;

2           Notes the draft findings of the Western Bay of Plenty Ferries Feasibility Study.

Thompson/Nees

CARRIED

 

6.4

Rotorua Network Refresh: Public Consultation - Initial Findings

Team Leader - Service Planning and Project Delivery Oliver Haycock presented this item.

Key Points:

·         A strong public response had been received but feedback had not yet been analysed.  Staff would reflect on the feedback and bring a deliverable refresh proposal back to the Committee, in collaboration with Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Key Points - Members:

·          Encouraged to see community response numbers but expressed concern over the low results from people who did not currently use the bus service.

In Response to Questions:

·         The refresh proposal was expected later in 2022, potentially in time for the 22 September Public Transport Committee meeting

·         Bus stop locations and new bus stop requirements in Rotorua CBD would be considered in conjunction with Rotorua Lakes Council, for which there would be separate engagement with local businesses around the location of these stops

·         The target number of 80 people for consultation had been based upon doubling the previous response rates on Rotorua public transport consultations (approximately 40).  194 responses had been received at the time of writing the report

·         The refreshed network (as proposed) would have cross town routes that would loop around the CBD and provide similar benefits to an Orbiter service in a more efficient way, with improved connectivity for many Rotorua residents

·         Focus groups had not been used for this consultation, although a number of community groups had been engaged with, some of which provided extensive and helpful responses.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Rotorua Network Refresh: Public Consultation - Initial Findings.

Thurston/Thomass

CARRIED

 

6.5

Public Transport Arotake Tuatoru 2021/22 - Performance Monitoring Report 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022

Presentation: Public Transport Arotake Tuatoru Patronage Insights: Objective ID A4132996

Transport Systems Team Leader Simon Bell presented this item (via Zoom), supported by General Manager, Strategy and Science Namouta Poutasi.

Key Points of Presentation:

·         Financial Performance – including operating revenue and operating expenditure

·         Patronage summary for Quarter three and year to date

·         Regional Centres patronage trends

·         Views on patronage numbers across the region

·         Noted that the impact of the reduced timetable on patronage was not as strong as initially expected as this was offset by the half price fares implemented

·         Customer Experience – customer contact calls and complaints

·         Total mobility and The Accessibility Concession.

Key Points - Members:

·         Upcoming roadworks scheduled for Te Ngae Road were likely to affect reliability and punctuality of many Rotorua services.

In Response to Questions:

·         Clarified that the 5,400 customer contact calls received were mostly timetable related queries and customers seeking information.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Request for an update on the stock truck item to be reported back via email

·         The perceived overspend on The Wednesday Challenge initiative was to be checked with the Finance team and clarified to the Committee

·         Break down call received data for future reports to the type of calls received, information requested by customers and the types of complaints made.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1           Receives the report, Public Transport Arotake Tuatoru 2021/22 - Performance Monitoring Report 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

von Dadelszen/Thompson

CARRIED

 

12.02 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                          

                                                                    Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Chairperson, Public Transport Committee