Public Transport Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:               Tuesday 14 November 2023, 9.30 am

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

Chairperson:                 Cr Andrew von Dadelszen – Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Deputy Chairperson:   Cr Lyall Thurston – BOPRC (via Zoom)

Members:                      BOPRC

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Paula Thompson (via Zoom)

Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Ken Shirley

 

Tauranga City Council (TCC)

Commissioner Stephen Selwood (via Zoom)

 

Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC)

Mayor Tania Tapsell (via Zoom)

Cr Conan O'Brien – Alternate (via Zoom)

 

Whakatāne District Council (WDC)

Cr Gavin Dennis - Alternate

 

Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC)

Mayor James Denyer

 

New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (Waka Kotahi)

Sarah Roberts – Regional System Design Advisor (Waikato Bay of Plenty)

In Attendance:             Cr Stuart Crosby - BOPRC; Cr Ron Scott – BOPRC; Cr Kat Macmillan – BOPRC (via Zoom); Mike Seabourne – Director, Public Transport; Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning; Stuart Nightingale – Manager, Transport Operations; Bron Healey – Principal Advisor, Transport; Claudia Cameron – Committee Advisor.

Apologies:                    Jess Andrew – Waka Kotahi and Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – WDC  

Minute Note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded and can be accessed on the BOPRC YouTube channel: Public Transport Committee Meeting - 14 November 2023 (youtube.com)

1.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Accepts the apology from Jess Andrew and Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles for absence tendered at the meeting.

Nees/Denyer

CARRIED

2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

3.1

Public Transport Committee Minutes - 12 September 2023

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

Confirms the Public Transport Committee Minutes - 12 September 2023 as a true and correct record.

Denyer/Campbell

CARRIED

4.     Presentations

4.1

Public Transport Arotake Tuatahi (Q1) Performance Monitoring Report 2023/2024

Presentation: Public Transport Arotake Tuatahi (Q1) Performance Monitoring Report 2023/24: Objective ID A4530630  

Presented by: Stuart Nightingale - Manager, Transport Operations and Mike Seabourne – Director, Public Transport

 

Key Points:

·      Patronage had increased year on year, including Total Mobility concession trips

·      Congestion was a key contributor to customer experience complaints

·      There had been an increase in Bee Card usage particularly from seniors. The low tertiary student use was likely due to a lack of Bee Card machines on those routes, new Bee Card machines would not be installed as the National Ticketing Solution would replace Bee Card machines.

Key Points - Members:

·      Data should be used to maximise efficiency of service and network

·      Suggested future Public Transport Arotake reports include:

o  A breakdown of cost per passenger per route to identify and improve capacity utilisation and value for money

o  Routes identified by name as well as number in Appendix 2: Patronage by Route.

09:36 am – Mayor Tania Tapsell withdrew from the meeting.

·      There had been a substantial increase in cost for the Total Mobility service beyond the anticipated increase, due to patronage increases. Investigation was required to analyse its use, benefits and cost. Suggested utilising the research of Carole Gordon, particularly in the area of aging population growth in Western Bay of Plenty

·      The Community Transport Forum could improve communication between not for profit community groups (such as Waka Eastern Bay) and service providers (Total Mobility) to share learnings

·      Concern was raised that routes continuing to operate on a weekend timetable during the week (routes 1, 72a, 72b and 62) may disadvantage members of the community.

09:59 am – Mayor Tania Tapsell entered the meeting.

·      The completion of Cameron Road Stage One and the Baypark to Bayfair Link would remove two congestion bottlenecks in the area and likely improve the system

·      Bluetooth sensors recently purchased by TCC would assist with information aggregation and presentation regarding network reliability.

In Response to Questions:

·      Total Mobility:

o  There was a rigorous application process for Total Mobility

o  Less than ten applicants to the Total Mobility Scheme had not met the eligibility criteria in 2023

o  There was a $47/day cap for use per member

·      Staff were ascertaining the level of service required for fixed routes with lower demand

·      The Tauranga Network Refresh had been paused due to budgeting/contract constraints. Network optimisation would be the goal going forward which would involve incremental changes to increase efficiencies. Budget would be set aside each year for network improvements

·      The consultation material gathered during the Tauranga Refresh Submission period would be supplemented by additional customer feedback to shape network changes

·      There was a challenge with data reliability gathered via Bee Card as some users did not tag on/off

·      Members of the Public Transport Committee (PTC) had access to the LeapThought Patronage Dashboard which showed data including network reliability, punctuality and patronage.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1.           Receives the report, Public Transport Arotake Tuatahi (Q1) Performance Monitoring Report 2023/2024;

2.           Directs Staff to conduct an analysis of the Total Mobility service, which highlights costs and benefits of the service.

von Dadelszen/Nees

CARRIED

5.     Verbal Updates

5.1

Director's Update - BOPRC Long Term Plan 2024-2034 Update

Presented by: Mike Seabourne - Director, Public Transport

 

Key Points:

·      The BOPRC Long Term Plan (LTP) was still under development

·      Once LTP priorities were established, the PTC would have an opportunity to discuss and prioritise the public transport work programme.

6.     Reports

6.1

Chairperson's Report

Presented by: Stuart Nightingale - Manager, Transport Operations and Mike Seabourne – Director, Public Transport

Key Points:

·      The Tauranga and Rotorua refreshes had both been paused

·      The Tauranga on-demand trial had completed procurement and was progressing well

·      A security incident had occurred, this provided an opportunity to reflect and reassess to ensure current procedures and levels of service were acceptable.

Key Points - Members:

·      Emphasised the need for a strong education phase prior to the commencement of the on-demand trial, in particular to assist the elderly population with use of the service. Suggested the use of information collateral, not just the reliance on digital information sharing

·      Learnings could be taken from the establishment of Waka Eastern Bay, which had successfully launched an on-demand style system in the Eastern Bay of Plenty for accessible transport.

In Response to Questions:

·      When the on-demand trial commenced, current route 51 would be removed and there would be changes to routes 1 and 59. The changes would be well promoted

·      Staff would keep the PTC appraised of the on-demand communications/education information and patronage data, particularly in comparison to the fixed routes it was replacing

·      The Bus Driver Terms and Conditions Memorandum of Understanding was in place to guarantee driver wages into the future. The back dated driver pay was budgeted for by BOPRC and partially funded by Waka Kotahi. Staff would confirm whether the backpay also applied to those who were no longer employed as bus drivers

·      There were aspects of the Activities Procurement Strategy Review which were reliant on precursor questions. This was due to the Sustainable Public Transport Framework providing the ability to change the way public transport was operated. Information would be brought to the PTC during the review.

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

von Dadelszen/Campbell

CARRIED

Decisions Required

6.2

Tauranga & Western Bay of Plenty Ferry Feasibility Study - Final Report

Presented by: Bron Healy -  Principal Advisor, Transport and Oliver Haycock – Manager, Transport Planning

Key Points:

·      The feasibility study had highlighted significant investment requirements and the cost was proportionally high for a single origin/destination mode

·      It was considered a better use of resources to improve the current bus network before investing into a new mode

·      Noted this was a feasibility study, before any work to implement a service could commence, a significant business case would be required to source funding from Waka Kotahi

·      There was a difference in level of service expectations for a public transport ferry service compared to a seasonal, small scale, temporary ferry service which had operated previously – this meant additional infrastructure was required.

Key Points - Members:

·      Interest was expressed from members for a potential operation in the future, but the feasibility study had shown the project to be uneconomic and unaffordable currently

·      Identified there may be demand for the service beyond commuters, such as retirees, questioned whether a market segmentation study had taken place to identify additional demand.

10:49 am - Mayor Tania Tapsell withdrew from the meeting.

·      There was a risk congestion on State Highway (SH) 2 may deteriorate in the future and bus reliability was impacted by congestion

·      Noted that nothing precluded the PTC revisiting this topic in the future if required, via a future report or notice of motion.

In response to Questions:

·      Corridor improvements were underway for SH2

·      The Ōmokoroa and Western Bay bus services were were due to be investigated for potential improvements in the 2024 work programme

·      The study did not prevent a commercial operator running a ferry service.

 

Moved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1.           Receives the report, Tauranga & Western Bay of Plenty Ferry Feasibility Study - Final Report;

2.           Endorses the final Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Ferries Feasibility Study;

3.           Agrees to defer any further investigations into Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty ferry services until the development of 2027 long terms plans and the 2027-30 National Land Transport Programme.

Selwood/Campbell

 

 

The following amendment was put.

That the Public Transport Committee:

1.           Agrees to maintain a watching brief on SH2 congestion and consider the potential to set up a do minimum ferry service should the  peak journey times deteriorate significantly, otherwise defer any further investigations into Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty ferry services until the development of 2027 long terms plans and the 2027-30 National Land Transport Programme.

Denyer/Nees

LOST

The amendment was lost by a show of hands. 

 

The original motion was then put.

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1.           Receives the report, Tauranga & Western Bay of Plenty Ferry Feasibility Study - Final Report;

2.           Endorses the final Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Ferries Feasibility Study;

3.           Agrees to defer any further investigations into Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty ferry services until the development of 2027 long terms plans and the 2027-30 National Land Transport Programme.

Selwood/Campbell

CARRIED

The original motion was carried by a show of hands.

 

 

11:11 am – the meeting adjourned.

11:27 am – the meeting reconvened.

Information Only

6.3

Tauranga Public Transport Joint Committee Minutes

Presented by: Mike Seabourne - Director, Public Transport

 

Resolved

That the Public Transport Committee:

1         Receives the report, Tauranga Public Transport Joint Committee Minutes.

von Dadelszen/Selwood

CARRIED

7.     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

7.1

Public Excluded Public Transport Committee Minutes - 12 September 2023

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

To remain in public excluded.

7.2

Tauranga Public Transport Joint Committee Public Excluded Minutes

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

To remain in public excluded.

Dennis/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

 

 

11:30 am – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                                                   

                                                                                            Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Chairperson, Public Transport Committee