We’re investigating options to provide a permanent bus facility in Arataki.
What does this mean for you?
A local bus facility will connect Arataki with the wider City and Western Bay of Plenty sub-region. The facility is intended to provide a better welcome to and departure from Arataki, by providing:
- Ease and safety getting around by bus
- Shelter from the elements while waiting
- Night-time safety
- Improved access to local amenities
- Design that fits in well with the location
In August we ran a survey seeking feedback on the proposed design for the bus facility at Farm Street and to learn what facilities you would like to see located next to the bus stops.
The key features the community would like to see are shelters, lighting and a covered walkway to Bayfair. Lighting is a high priority to help users feel safe and a covered walkway was important for shelter from the weather. Feedback showed that the established trees in this area are also important to the community.
Several investigations on a bus facility in the Arataki area were commissioned by council over the years.
Initially, the focus was on a Farm Street location, however since then additional options were identified. A reassessment resulted in a shortlist of locations that were assessed with several quantitative and qualitative criteria and narrowed down to two preferred locations; Farm Street and the Arataki reserve site currently occupied by St John on Girven Road. These were presented to the community for feedback in late 2021.
Between November and December 2021 our team conducted engagement with local stakeholders to get their feedback on the proposed locations of Farm Street and Arataki Reserve.
This included conversations with schools and disability sectors, mana whenua, in partnership with Waka Kotahi and BoPRC.
During this time the local and wider community were also asked for their thoughts on the two locations, in face-to-face “Bus Chats” and via an online survey. In general, while specific concerns were raised, the majority of the discussion echoed the problems associated with the existing facility identified in previous assessments and the wider community engagement, including difficulty seeing bus numbers as they pull in behind buses and not enough waiting space with shelters. Overall feedback indicated a preference for the St John location. Of the 137 responses, 89 preferred St John compared to 48 favouring Farm Street. It is noted that this may be indicative of where respondents live.
Overall survey respondents felt that the St John site would bring potential benefits to the community, including:
- Improved access to facilities such as Baypark, Baywave
- Improved access to local business
- Improve the appeal of the area, upgrading a high profile location
Key points of feedback on both locations:
- Proximity to Bayfair, convenient for all and important to elderly and disabled.
- Girven Road and Grenada Street remain unaffected.
- St John can stay at their existing site.
Arataki Reserve St John location
- Moves the bus facility away from residential streets, safer, less impact on residents, noise etc.
- Larger space to create a better facility, toilets, bike parking and disability access.
- Serves the wider community, including Baywave and community centre, as well as the mall.
- Safer - less traffic and other pedestrians to conflict with.
- Potential for growth on this site.
- Mana whenua reiterated the importance of a bus facility in Arataki for local mana whenua.
- Clear message that whatever we do, pedestrian access into Bayfair needs improving.
- St John are aware and open to the possibility of relocation in the future but highlighted several matters/risks that would need to be addressed.
Parallel to community engagement, a multi criteria assessment - using measures such as safety to persons, road safety, property impacts and feasibility, based on a Waka Kotahi method - was being undertaken.