NZ Walking Summit 2019 presenters - Walking connections to public transport

Walking connections to public transport 21 June - see presentations at the end of this page


Where is our voice?

Each disabled person has a unique life story to tell. These stories frequently include accounts of discrimination, institutional ableism, being ‘othered’ by both people and systems. Underpinning all of this we are left feeling that our lives aren’t valued in the same way as those of non- disabled people. Where is our voice and unique life experience in the walking and journey space? What can we bring to the conversation?

Gerri Pomeroy, Disabled Peoples Assembly

Gerri has a lived experience of disability and has used a wheelchair since 2006. She worked as a medical laboratory scientist for 30 years, part-time for the last 10 years of this time and latterly also worked part-time as an access co-ordinator at CCS Disability Action. She is currently National President of Disabled Person’s Assembly and has been a member of DPA since 2000.

Gerri is a member of the Waikato and National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Groups and contributes to a variety of groups as a consequence of these involvements. She is also currently a co-chair of the Waikato DHB Consumer Council. She is committed to ensuring disabled people’s experiences and perspectives are valued and included in strategic planning processes and system development.


Public Transport 2045: Exploring future scenarios for shared mobility 

In 2018, the Ministry of Transport published ‘Public Transport 2045: A working paper on urban transport in the shared mobility era’. This publication explored the potential impacts of new technologies and services, particularly autonomous vehicles, on urban transport and the liveability of our cities. It captured transport planners’ views of public transport in the future, and included four scenarios for public transport in the year 2045. The scenarios were developed to consider the long-term impacts of different choices, and to spark dialogue about the kinds of cities that we want to live in (and how transport should support these visions).  

This presentation will highlight insights from Public Transport 2045, and offer a perspective on the potential impacts of some new technologies for the walkability of our cities in the future.  

Nick Potter, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Transport


Accessible City

Christchurch City Council’s ‘Accessible City’ plan has started to roll out with several Barns Dances at old as well as new sites. They offer more generous active transport crossing times but  I was curious about mode equity overall. This presentation will be reflect back on the quantitative time measurements and discuss just how well served pedestrians are in the regeneration of Christchurch’s CBD walking environment.

Meg Christie, Canterbury District Health Board


Inclusive Streetscapes: Perspectives of older citizens and disabled people (speaking on day 1, 20 June)

The health, climate, and sociocultural benefits of active travel, especially including walking, are widely acknowledged. Yet, the opportunity to enjoy these benefits are highly variable across cities, communities, and neighbourhoods. Drawing on the preliminary findings of the Inclusive Streetscapes Project funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, this presentation discusses the perspectives of disabled people and older residents regarding their lived experiences, challenges, hopes and aspirations about navigating Auckland’s urban environments and transport systems. While people from diverse ethnic, socio-economic and geographic localities shared several experiences in common, there were remarkable differences in the opportunities they had to overcome or challenge prevalent barriers. The findings provide important insights into the types of information, community engagement, and lived realities that planners and policy makers would need to consider if enabling inclusive walking-friendly communities is to be more than rhetoric.

Shanthi Ameratunga is a Professor of Public Health at the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland.

Over the past 20+ years, she has developed a multi-disciplinary research program focusing on road traffic injuries, transport systems, disability and trauma care, receiving the Te Manaia Leadership Award presented by the Injury Prevention Network of Aotearoa in 2013. A paediatrician and public health physician by training, she has an enduring commitment to addressing disparities in health and wellbeing across the lifespan. She is the principal investigator of the Inclusive Streetscapes Project funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, involving collaborators from the University of Auckland, Massey University, University of Otago and MR Cagney Ltd, and a range of community stakeholders.


The Role of Walkability and Social and Demographic Composition in Valuing Public Transport

The development of a comprehensive mechanism for measuring the value of public transport is important to gain a greater understanding of existing networks and plan optimal future networks. Mechanisms for measuring the value of public transport in New Zealand are currently limited and generally only consider financial aspects associated with the provision of a service. When considering the value of a public transport service the scope needs to be expanded to measure broader social and accessibility values of public transport in addition to economic value, and compare the benefits and costs of changes taking into consideration the many trade-offs, as well as community and political sensitivities.

The unavailability of a transport service for the ‘first mile’ or ‘last-mile’ is acknowledged as one of the main deterrents to the uptake of public transport, in particular, for the group known as the ‘transport disadvantaged’, predominantly children, the elderly and the disabled. Ease of walkability and walk access to complete the first and last mile of a journey influences public transport demand and therefore the value of a service. This presentation demonstrates how walkability and the social and demographic make-up of a community can be evaluated, and a Level of Service type approach applied to value accessibility. The outcome of the research is the presentation of a framework which provides practitioners with the information they require to consider the social and accessibility implications of a change in service provision that would otherwise be perceived as demonstrating very little value.

Courtney Groundwater, Principle Transportation Engineer, Abley  

Courtney, as a specialist transport consultant, has developed her experience across a wide range of modes and disciplines within the transport sector. Her combination of an engineering background, transport planning proficiency, experience working alongside specialist transport economists, and a formal project management qualification is a strong base for the knowledge required for business case development, which has been the focus of her career in recent years.

Courtney’s experience also extends to tram-train and passenger rail service studies, strategic road safety appraisal and advice and walking and cycling investment. She has completed her degree at the University of Canterbury and in 2013 Courtney completed a master’s degree in Transport Planning and Engineering at the University of Leeds (UK). As a part of her master’s qualification Courtney completed a dissertation entitled: ‘Valuing Citywide Walking and Cycling in Christchurch’. 


NZ Public Transport Design Guidelines

The NZ Transport Agency is leading a project to develop public transport design guidelines for NZ. The guidelines are intended to support regional and local councils in delivering high quality, user-centric public transport by providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ of high-quality, best-practice guidance, specifically suited to New Zealand’s regulatory and operating environment. In this presentation, Senior Multi-modal Specialist, Dr Lorelei Schmitt, will describe the initial scope of the guidelines, including the priority topics being developed (spoiler alert: there will be a big focus on walking and cycling integration). She will also explain how the guidelines are being developed in terms of who is involved, engagement, what the end product will be and the programme for completion.

Lorelei Schmitt, Senior Multi-Modal Specialist, Operational Policy, Planning and Performance (OP3), System Design & DeliveryNZTA

Colin Roche, lead technical consultant, Flow NZ


Designing pedestrian-centric links when planning public transport to enhance walkability and PT ridership

Good links for pedestrians to transit stops and potential areas of interest can help enhance public transport (PT) ridership and walkability. It is important to shift behaviour towards more sustainable directions through interventions not just for creating safe, resilient and space efficient environment for people, but also for the public health benefits of walking. Public transport in Auckland is growing and for the 12 months ending in April 2019, total PT patronage was 99,138,054, very close to reaching 100 million boardings in one year - first time since the 1950's.

Walking in Auckland:  68% of Aucklanders are walking for 10 minutes or more, at least twice a week, to public transport, shops or to run errands  Many Aucklanders that take public transport will walk up to 20 minutes to get to a bus, train or ferry – 63% of these trips are less than 15 minutes  74% of those walking are motivated by keeping active When considering bus stops, it is important to consider the ‘whole journey’, that is the door-to-door journey of the passenger, from origin to destination. There is little point in installing accessible bus infrastructure if the approaches to stops are inaccessible. This is where designing consistent, safe and effective infrastructure becomes crucial. The presentation will talk about the thinking that goes into designing pedestrian links when planning PT in Auckland, highlighting some examples of good and bad designs and how they could be improved to encourage more people to walk to these stops.

Pete Moth is Network Development manager at Auckland Transport.

Pete is responsible for developing the short, medium and long-term strategy for public transport in Auckland, working closely with funders, strategy and policy teams. Pete is also responsible for presenting ideas and updates to Local Boards, Auckland Council and at public events. Pete has a background in strategic transport planning, following his time at TfL in London, where he spent 10 years working on a range of public transport schemes, including High Speed 2, Crossrail 2 and regional public transport strategies.

Srishti Lal is a Service Network Planner at Auckland Transport

Shristi is passionate about creating people friendly cities by focusing on integrated multi-modal and sustainable transport solutions. She has previously worked as an active mobility researcher in Singapore which focussed on enhancing walking and cycling, most notably by quantifying pedestrians’ perception of crowdedness, thermal comfort and perceived walking time when using walkways and bus stops. She also has three years’ hands-on experience in project planning and execution of a thermal power project from India. Srishti holds a Master of Science degree in Transportation Systems and Management from National University of Singapore and a Bachelor of Technology (Hons.) degree in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Technology Jamshedpur, India.

Steve Wrenn is a transport planner with over 20 years’ experience in the transport / land use interface.  For the last ten year’s Steve focus has been on public transport.  He was one of the key people involved with the “New Network” for public transport in Auckland.  Another key role of Steve’s is ensuring that the future needs of public transport and its users are considered in any new development (e.g. housing, retail) in Auckland from the outset.


Walkshop - All journeys begin and end with walking or wheeling

Come on a tour with us to explore the good, the bad and the ugly of that vital last mile of any public transport journey. See examples of current practice of footpath design, delineation, controlled crossings and how they support or don’t support the movement of all people. Hear how universal design and the Transport Design Manual aim to shape footpath design and practice into the future.

Tour leaders:

Elise Copeland, Principal Specialist Universal Access and Design, Auckland Design Office, Auckland Council

Ina Stenzel, Principal Specialist Active & shared Modes Design, Design & Standards, Auckland Transport


Investigating the barriers in a typical journey by public transport users with disabilities

Accessibility to public transport is increasingly recognized as a critical element in the livelihoods of people with disabilities. Although there have been advancements to better cater for the needs of people with disabilities, budgetary constraints mean that every issue cannot be addressed.

There are still many barriers restricting independent travel for this group of people. Social exclusion is often a result of their inability to use or access a public transport system. The present study investigates the barriers in a typical journey chain and provides the similarities and differences in the key barriers perceived by people with physical and visual impairments. Participants volunteered from cities in New Zealand. A semi-structured interview was conducted with a sample of people with disabilities. Bus driver's attitude and unawareness of disabled users’ needs was a common concern for both groups. The main barriers for physically impaired users were related to the urban environment, terminals and stops, services, and quality of footpaths. In comparison, the main barriers for visually impaired users were poor presentation of information, and obstructions on footpaths. Based on the findings, the study provides recommendations for policy makers. Future research studies are encouraged to adopt the accessible journey chain when investigating barriers to riding public transport.

Jun Park and Subeh Chowdhury, University of Auckland

Subeh began her career in 2008 after the completion of her bachelor’s degree. She worked with Opus International Consultants and Beca Consultants for a combined period of 3 years as a Transportation Engineer. Subeh joined the University of Auckland as a Lecturer after completing her doctoral study in 2014. She is now a Senior Lecturer, with her primary research area in travel behaviour of public transport users. She also specialises in transportation planning and has research interest in active modes.

Subeh has publications in well-known international journals such as Transport Policy, Journal of Transport Geography, Transportation Research Record and Journal of Public Transportation. She is a regular presenter at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting and a reviewer for many international journals.


Walking and public transport

Chris Orr, Blind Foundation


Pedestrian-friendly streets – planning for all users

As we embrace a reduction in personal vehicle use in favour of pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, we need to ensure that no sector of society is disadvantaged or excluded. Pedestrians who use mobility aids or have health conditions that impact on stamina and reduce distances they can walk, could be excluded if nearby parking is absent. A better integration of buildings and streets is needed to help reduce distances travelled as well as incorporating more integrated information in Metro Journey Planners.

Vivian Naylor, CCS Disability Action, Barrier Free Advisor & Educator, Northern Region



About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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