We are pleased to announce the launch of the TTAP – Tauranga Transport Alignment Project. This has been a intensive and collaborative effort by a number of people (including us), and many organisations have endorsed the proposal so far (see end). We have developed this to try and convince our Councils that NOW IS THE TIME to invest in better transport choices. This has been presented to both TCC and BOPRC over the last week as they deliberate on the final version of the Regional Land Transport Plan.
The proposed Tauranga Transport Alignment Project covers the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region. It speeds up the investment timeframe for projects proposed over the next 30 years, to implement many of them over the next decade. Based on the same per capita spend as Auckland’s ATAP, it would allow up to $3 billion to be invested into transport in the Western BOP from 2018-2028.
- Better Alignment with GPS – The BOP Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) does not align with the new Government Policy Statement on Transport (GPS), so we did not get optimal central government funding. Councils need to add aligned projects into the RLTP to leverage off the potential government funding, which includes an Enhanced Funding Assistance Rate of 75.5%.
- Public Transport Funding – BOP Regional Council has upgraded Western Bay bus services, but is looking for the City Council to invest in bus priority measures before making further improvements. Tauranga City Council has proposed a relatively small amount of spending on public transport infrastructure, as many Councillors are concerned that only small numbers of people will use the new bus services. Councils need a bold new joined-up public transport plan.
- Cycleways Funding – The government has confirmed additional cycleways funding and the higher funding rate, so we are waiting for Tauranga City to submit its business case for its Cycle Action Plan. If successful, it will unlock up to $40 million for priority safe cycleways over the next 3 years.
Western Bay of Plenty is a strategically important location. The port, state highways and arterial routes in and around Tauranga comprise a nationally important transport hub. With forecasts of significant population growth and increased economic activity, especially in the kiwifruit and forestry sectors, there is an urgent need for a safer, more efficient, and more resilient transport network.
Up to 40,000 new dwellings are proposed for Tauranga over the next 30 years, and there will also be large increases in the number of residents in Western BOP District. What’s more, the population is ageing, which brings its own challenges and opportunities.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?
Councils need to support a bolder plan for public transport, incorporating much better bus services, improved bus infrastructure, bus prioritisation at all key congestion points, more use of ferries, and
rapid transit on key corridors.
This is a golden opportunity. There is a supportive government offering multiple funding streams. Specific funding is available for new public transport projects at a 75.5% government subsidy and Tauranga can also tap into Rapid Transit funding in the early 2020s. The Tauranga public have strongly backed a multi-modal approach with an emphasis on better bus services (ref: 2017 Tauranga Transport Plan engagement).
Tauranga currently has the lowest per capita spend on public transport of any NZ metro city. It is time to change that and to invest in sustainable, long-term transport solutions.
TTAP 5 POINT ACTION PLAN
- Develop a “Congestion Free” Public Transport Network based along these corridors:
a) Central Corridor – Cameron Road from CBD to Barkes Corner
b) Eastern Corridor – CBD to Papamoa / Te Tumu
c) Southern Corridor – 15th Ave/Turret Rd from Cameron Road to Hairini and along SH 29A
d) North-western Corridor – along SH 2 from CBD to Omokoroa
Western Corridor – CBD to Tauriko
- Goal is for travel by public transport between CBD, Greerton, Hairini, Poike, Tauriko, Mount, Arataki, Papamoa and Omokoroa to be faster and cheaper than by car at peak times.
- Implement Bus Rapid Transit, bus priority measures, and commuter ferries within 6 years.
- Protect corridors for future rail or light rail and investigate passenger rail opportunities.
- Buses every 20 minutes across the city and every 10 minutes on key routes at peak times.
- Free Buses for Children – no charge for school-age children on all Bay Hopper and School Hopper buses across the Western Bay of Plenty.
- Complete the Tauranga City Cycleways network within a decade – focus on schools.
- Address key congestion points in the roading network based on a multi-modal approach.
- Comprehensive Demand Management programme, incorporating rideshare apps and MaaS.
- Integrated planning, ensuring optimal short-term solutions and best value long-term outcomes.
- Transport system drives better land use outcomes, including urban intensification.
- Multi-modal approach (buses, ferries, cars, rideshare, car share, cycling, scooters, walking).
- Emphasis on safety.
- Low emissions transport system – aim to cut transport emissions in half by 2030.
- Transport system is designed to service an aging population.
Innovation – incorporating new technologies, including EVs, AVs, GPS-based nudging systems.
- Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – a single, connected network-wide transport system focused on providing people-centred services.
- Alignment between TTAP and Tauranga City Council’s Urban Strategy and Parking Policy, including increased charges for commuters parking in CBD and other key locations.
- Transport Hierarchy: walking, then other active transport, then public transport, then rideshare/high-occupancy vehicles/freight, then single occupancy vehicles.
- Provide safe active transport pathways for Tangata Whenua to engage in customary practices.
- Give opportunities for Western Bay communities to genuinely engage around transport issues.
The TTAP requires a funding model that taps into:
- The 75.5% Enhanced Funding Assistance Rate (FAR)
- Increased Public Transport funding
- Rapid Transit funding
- Increased Cycleways funding
- Regional Infrastructure Fund
- Provincial Growth Fund
- Increased Parking Charges for commuters
- Road Pricing
- Other funding mechanisms.
ORGANISATIONS ENDORSING THE TTAP
BOP Community Trails Trust
Bike Now BOP
BOP District Health Board
Ngai Tamarawaho and Ngati te Wai
Ngai Te Rangi iwi
Ngati Pukenga iwi
Sustainable Business Network
Tauranga Carbon Reduction Group
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce
Te Puke EDG
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Tourism Bay of Plenty
Welcome Bay Community Centre
Welcome Bay Transport Forum