Bus shel­ter de­signs up to you

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

The pro­posal to roll out a new de­sign for Auck­land bus shel­ters has re­ceived the thumbs up from pub­lic trans­port ad­vo­cates.

Auck­land Trans­port has in­stalled three pro­to­types in Sy­monds St and is ask­ing the pub­lic for feed­back.

It’s hoped that stan­dar­d­is­ing the 20 dif­fer­ent kinds of bus shel­ters used across the city will cre­ate a more recog­nis­able pub­lic trans­port net­work, at­tract more users and re­duce main­te­nance costs. The in­stal­la­tion of the new shel­ters will be grad­ual with pri­or­ity given to those on main routes or in poor con­di­tion.

Trans­port Blog edi­tor Matt Lowrie sup­ports the ini­tia­tive.

‘‘We’ve seen good de­sign com­ing through in some of the new train sta­tions like in New­mar­ket and Pan­mure. It’s great that’s been ex­tended to the bus net­work as well.’’

Auck­land also need to work on in­creas­ing the fre­quency of buses, he says.

‘‘It’s all about im­prov­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence that peo­ple have when they do use pub­lic trans­port. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily some­thing that’s go­ing to be a make or break for peo­ple but it is an im­por­tant fac­tor.’’

Trans­port Blog is run­ning a sur­vey on the shel­ters and so far op­tion A is the clear favourite with its read­ers.

Cam­paign for Bet­ter Trans­port spokesman Cameron Pitches ap­proves of the move.

‘‘It sounds like AT is be­ing rea­son­ably care­ful. They’re not re­plac­ing any of the new shel­ters from the last cou­ple of years. They’re pri­ori­tis­ing re­plac­ing the old­est ones first.’’

Pro­vid­ing cover from the rain is im­por­tant but so is a punc­tual and fre­quent ser­vice, he says.

‘‘A lot of the time you don’t ac­tu­ally sit in the bus stops so they need to make sure the roof over­hangs the bus shel­ter enough to pro­tect peo­ple from the el­e­ments.

‘‘In the ideal world com­muters wouldn’t need to be wait­ing at bus stops for longer than five min­utes,’’ Pitches says.

‘‘They’d just be able to turn up and go. If the bus was run­ning late there would be another one along in a few min­utes.’’

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board mem­ber Christo­pher Dempsey is look­ing for­ward to the im­prove­ment.

‘‘The cur­rent shel­ters only do one thing and that’s keep the ads dry,’’ he says.

‘‘In win­ter time the ceil­ing’s wet, the seats are wet, the walls are wet, the floors are wet, ev­ery­thing’s wet. They leak like a sieve.’’

This is be­cause in the old Auck­land City Coun­cil area the ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany Ad­shel sup­plied the bus shel­ters and main­tained them in ex­change for be­ing able to dis­play their ad­ver­tis­ing on them, Dempsey says.

‘‘ I’m con­fi­dent the new de­signs will ad­dress the well-known is­sue of wet­ness,’’ he says.

Along with pub­lic feed­back Auck­land Trans­port will also as­sess the pro­to­types on such things as value for money, dura­bil­ity and ease of con­struc­tion.

Auck­land Trans­port spokesman Mark Hannan says the bud­get for new shel­ters is $6 mil­lion per year which cov­ers re­newals, up­grades and new bus in­fra­struc­ture.

Hannan de­clined to com­ment on the cost of build­ing the pro­to­types, say­ing it is ‘‘com­mer­cially sen­si­tive’’.

The bud­get for clean­ing and main­te­nance is $1.5m per year, which in­cludes deal­ing with van­dal­ism, he says.

New look: Auck­land Trans­port is seek­ing feed­back on three pro­to­type bus shel­ters which have been put up on the Sy­monds St over­bridge.

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