I was away in the weekend cycling the Kaiwhakauka Trail, (linking to the Bridge to Nowhere and the Whanganui River), so I missed riding the new electric train. (The Trail was highly enjoyable and memorable, as was Blue Duck Lodge at Whakahoro, where the Trail starts.  I fully recommend you plan to get to both!)

To make up, I popped over yesterday with my bike on the Devonport ferry to ride the new train to Onehunga. It was all that we have been promised – clean lines, spacious, big windows, comfy and quiet.  During the design phase for the trains Cycle Action’s team spent a lot of time working with AT on how bikes would be carried in the central carriage. They were good people to collaborate with, and the result is impressive !

Here’s a bouquet to AT for making bikes so welcome!        SchnittblumenstraussNow to the business –

  • The middle carriage has a clear symbol on the door to show that bikes are welcome and easy access with the floor the same level as the platform. (Take note of the green button as well, as you need to press that to open the door).

Electric train door

  •   Electric train level access doors
  • There is space dedicated for at least 3 bikes, with straps to secure each bike.
  • For non- peak use, there are 2 other locations for bikes, where the seats are upturned as a default position so the bike symbols are clearly visible.

My bike on electric train Electric train extra bike spaces

After doing so well with the train, we need AT to allow us to work with them to ask cyclists what they would regard as fit for purpose bike parking at different public transport stations and terminals. I thought the Onehunga Train Station was good because AT built a shelter over the bike parking. This photo shows one of our cycling colleagues feels more is needed, by creating a temporary tarpaulin shelter to protect their bike from yesterday’s south westerly showers.

Looks sadly 3rd world for a 1st world transport facility.

Onehunga bike shelter April 2014

It is also worth mentioning that the train had to crawl from Newmarket down towards Britomart, and was stalled for 4 minutes while it waited for a platform to come free. I assume we will have more of this until we have the CRL. You have to wonder why the Government feels it is necessary to put up barriers to delay this to 2020.

AT’s media release today reports train patronage increased 14% in the year to March, while cycling increased by 9%.  This is further evidence that Aucklanders want more and better transport choices to avoid sitting in queues of cars.

Here’s hoping the Government comes to its senses soon, and steps up with the CRL funding as a sign of its respect for and desire to partner with the transport successes we are notching up in Auckland.

Categories
Auckland Council Auckland Transport Cycle lanes Cycle parking Cycling safety Funding General News Government Infrastructure Local Boards Off-road paths
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  • Bryce P

    This is fantastic. If only now I can work out how to get my bike on the NEX? Or do I get another bike to lock up in the city somewhere? Maybe we need some long term bike storage at Britomart?

    • …or if there was a public bike hire service in the central city…. People like you could PT into town AND then have the freedom of bikes downtown to get to meetings, catchup w friends or go to a show. No waiting

      • Bryce P

        The reason I want my bike in town is so that I can hop on a train and then access other parts of the city. Not so long ago I dropped my car off for servicing in Newmarket, put my bike and myself on the train to Henderson, and then cycled to the other end of Lincoln Rd.

        • Bryce P

          Bike share doesn’t really give me this option so easily.

  • Max

    Actually, that tarpaulin is over a scooter, not a bike. And the Onehunga shelters are apparently well used.

    • Max

      Certainly more so than the un-sheltered racks before.

  • Barb Cuthbert

    Thanks Max – I did think it was an odd shape for a bike, but the train was running so late the staff didn’t want me to get out for a closer look – they wanted to get underway as soon as the Britomart passengers had piled in.
    I agree the Onehunga bike parking facility is much improved by the weather shelter and has a better record of use than the other bike ‘cages’ or shelters built at Papakura, Papatoetoe and Birkenhead. The issue for Cycle Action is to learn what is best for a range of locations, so AT can develop templates for cost effective, secure, weather- protected bike parking at bus, train and ferry terminals.

    Much as I like the appearance, convenient location and relative economy of the Onehunga facility, I suspect it is vulnerable to the south-westerly showers which tend to be fairly common when we have rain in Auckland.

    • BenL

      Those kinds of shelters seem to be enough for the Dutch at suburban stations. Of course, their inner city train station cycle parking is of incredible standards – and we should really be seeing that Britomart and other key stations like Panmure.

      Full ride in parking facilities with CTV monitoring. A lot of the busway stations are primed for that. Even a deluxe cycle parking facility would cost as much as 3-4 of the park n ride parks at Constellation or Albany and hold up to 100 bikes if you rack ’em and stack ’em. So cycling is asking for chicken feed and not even getting that.

      But apparently $500m for a motorway interchange is way more important (http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/04/30/what-happened-to-rail-frequency-increases/). That could build the entire Auckland cycling network – so apparently money isnt the issue.

      • Bryce P

        Yip. Personally, as long as it is covered and monitored, I’ll take care of the locking bit.

  • Tim

    Most of the Eastern line: Panmure, Meadowbank, Orakei has just basic outdoor racks, sometimes just two or three, uncovered, often remote from the platform (in Panmure’s case miles from anywhere). Newmarket not much better.

    It’s small change to go from hopeless to really quite good.

    Of course you still have to feel like you can get to the station safely.

    None of these stations has any cycling infrastructure in its “ride up” catchment.. except of course you can ride between Meadowbank and Orakei stations parallel to the tracks 😉

    Low hanging fruit?

    • Barb Cuthbert

      Our feeling exactly, Tim. Thanks for your common sense.

    • BenL

      It isnt low hanging. It has already fallen and is rotting on the ground. But anything associated with cars is of a higher priority, no matter how poor the economic case is.