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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Some Suggested Solutions

Some Suggested Solutions

Measures that can be taken to improve and popularize Wellington Public Transport, can be grouped under three main headings.

1.Improvements to roading and road utilization.
2.Improvements gained through changes in the Undertaking itself.
3.Operational improvements through the introduction of new services.

Each of these areas can be broken down into a number of specifics, and this I will now do, and attempt to illustrate my point with a Wellington example.

Improvements to roading utilization can be by means of the following:
a)Actual creating of new access routes e.g. Victoria Street extension.
b)The creation of specific channels for public transport e.g. Bus only lanes on Kent and Cambridge Terraces, Wakefield Street, Jervois and Waterloo Quays.
c)The actual exclusion of non essential motor vehicles from specific areas and streets. This is done in Singapore by charging $3.00 a day, or $60.00 a month for the privilege of bringing your car into the city area. Nottingham excludes cars by a system of traffic lights designed to give priority to buses, and to give minimum passage to other road vehicles. In Wellington we could completely exclude non essential vehicles from Courtenay Place, Manners Street, Willis Street, from Aro Street to Customhouse Quay, and the entire length of Lambton Quay.
d)The provision for priority, or special phases for public transport at traffic lights, eg. Courtenay Place/Kent and Cambridge Terrace intersection, Adelaide Road/Riddiford Street intersection.
e)The adoption of articles 15 of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which moves to give public transport vehicles right of way in all situations eg. leaving stops and entering the traffic strea, at intersections and changing lanes.
Improvements gained through internal changes in the Undertaking itself are as follows:
a)Simplification or abolition of the fare structure. A large amount of operator time is wasted issuing tickets and giving change. A single coin flat fare, or a two stage fare structure... the present city section free, outside that 20 cents, would step up journey times, and would enable savings to be made on the administrative staff side.
b)If suggestion (a) is unacceptable a reduction of fares could be effective. A reduction of fares on a tramway in Cleveland (USA) increased patronage by 27%, which situation can only be approved.
c)A greater degree of co-ordination between services, combined with a transfer facility for passengers who wish to proceed to a destination not served by their orginal vehicle. I feel that planning should be well advanced for a bus transfer point located perhaps near the hospital, where passengers from Kingston, Island Bay and other locations can transfer to buses for Kilbirnie, Miramar and Seatoun. If a worker in Island Bay wishes to get to the Miramar Industrial area he has to change buses at least twice, or walk quite a long way.'
d)The pairing of two Termini (through routing) should be introduced to a much greater degree than at present. There are two major advantages to this:
1)Fewer journeys through the inner city area.
2)Greater attraction for passengers to use the service, as there is perhaps less need to change buses en route.
e)One major area where hold ups occur at present is at stops. This become most obvious at peak periods where many passenger journeys are disrupted because the bus in front stops to uplift two or three people. A large part of this disruption could be avoided by the provision of seperate stops for each route, each stop to be provided with a loop in the overhead to enable following Trolley buses to overtake.

The introduction of new services should be a high priority in any campaign to get people back on the buses. These services should, I feel, provide cross-town links on the one hand, and, on the other, faster journeys to the inner city area.

These needs tend to be mutually exclusive but are needed at different times of the day. The peak periods, both morning and evening, require fast if not highly frequent services to suburbs on the edges of the city. To achieve this there should be buses with limited stops in the city area, running non stop to specific suburbs. There could be perhaps a bus to Scorching Bay departing the station, stopping at the Town Hall and Courtenay Place, and then no stopping before the Seatoun Shops. There should also be provision for people residing in the Brooklyn-Kingston area to get to Kilbirnie and points east without having to go down into the town. To this end my suggestion of a transport interchange at Newtown would serve as node for persons wishing to move south and east without going through the centre of the city.

A further new service that could be investigated is the running of buses to Happy Valley and Ohiro Bay via the Brooklyn Hill and Ohiro Road, which has recently been considerably upgraded. This would also reduce the number of buses travelling through Newtown at peak periods, while providing a service for an area at present not served by public transport.

There are many areas where new or speedier services could perhaps attract new passengers, but they must be at least investigated before we start to cut the services we already have.

It surprises me that so many people are willing to spend 40 or so minutes coming in from Seatoun in the morning peak periods, when a car can do the trip in 15 to 20. There must be an improvement to journey times if one can hope to attract more passengers back on the buses.

This can be achieved by limiting the number of stops at each end of the journey, and running the buses non stop between them. The faster running has another important feature in that it enables each vehicle to complete more journeys in the given period of time, which in turn increases the carrying capacity.