Due 14 October
Spokes appreciates the RPTP focus on zero emissions and an integrated transport system. It is especially heartening to see “Objective 1D: To support compact urban form and multi-modal journeys, the delivery of public transport is integrated with land use development, quality infrastructure, and innovative technology.” Supported by “The delivery of enhanced public transport services relies on the provision of priority measures, passenger facilities, operational measures and safe walking and cycling access to the system.” (page 46)
Spokes submitted on the need for buses to provide the option to carry more than two bikes when the concept was first mooted. That ECan has found this to be so is a step. We would like to see more than this comment “At present, the bike racks provided on all buses are only able to carry two bicycles at one time. Options for increasing capacity on routes with high cycle demand will be investigated.” Please prioritize plans to increase the number as soon as possible. Spokes frequently receives feedback from people who cycle that they have given up on relying on the bus to carry their bike, especially on route with high cycle demand.
Concerns with items which contribute to undermining the goals sought:
• Ridership increases must be a priority from the outset, not a goal for some time in the future. Plans must deliver results, not forestall achievement.
• Population increase projections are overly conservative. A system predicated on them is likely to under serve and disappoint.
• The goal of 36 PT trips per year per capita for Christchurch by 2048 is far too low. A goal of having 25% of commuters on PT is realistic and will see this figure easily exceeded.
• Lack of rail, light or heavy, seems to confirm that this plan is PT light, not a plan to actually significantly shift mode share from cars to PT. Buses won’t build ridership unless they can offer travel times coming close to matching cars. Trains can do that. With urban sprawl promoted by the LURP ECan should at least seek to provide good rail alternative to driving. Areas experiencing sprawl to both the north and south have underutilized rail lines to meet this need.
• To meet ridership goals and to provide a well-integrated multi modal transport system will require developing ride share, park & ride, secure bike parking at major PT stops, bike sharing and bike racks catering for more than 2 bikes.
• ECan reports that cycling is a hazardous activity in Timaru and favors PT. Given that cycling is a core support for PT in less densely built areas ECan would be expected to be promoting plans and cooperation with the territorial authority to make cycling safer. This needs to be spelled out in this plan.
Here are some fairly easy changes which can help:
• Do not charge for the initial Metro Card. Assessing a $10 fee discourages initial uptake.
• With cell phone usage endemic the Metrostickki should be widely promoted. People are less likely to lose their phone. A phone based app should also be offered.
• The Orbiter has been a highly successful route. Please learn from this and re-prioritize at least one of the new radial routes to an orbital one.