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Arataki Bus Facility

To improve public transport outcomes for the community, we’re investigating a location for a permanent public transport facility in Arataki.

Background

As part of the city wide strategy to improve public transport outcomes for the community, we are investigating options, a location and requirements for a permanent public transport facility to service the Arataki area.

The current temporary bus facility on Farm Street in the Arataki area is the second busiest public transport facility in Tauranga. Despite its importance – because it was intended to be an interim facility - it doesn’t provide the best outcomes for bus users or local residents and creates issues from a bus network operations perspective.

We are working to make significant further transport network improvements in the broader area, this will remain difficult until a permanent location for the facility has been determined.

The Arataki Bus Facility is a key regional development to connect and improve public transport to the Arataki area. The facility forms part of Western Bay of Plenty’s Transport System Plan (TSP), supporting Tauranga city and the regional network.

The idea is to create a people friendly space that is a vibrant connection to public transport for the Arataki area. The new facility is future focused and supports:

  • Connectivity: improving travel options for users, making public transport and access to public transport more attractive. Connecting to Arataki supports the wider region by strengthening the network and improving access to the amenities available in Arataki, whilst also providing Arataki residents improved access to the wider region
  • Safety: safety is a key outcome. The new bus facility aims to improve bus movements on local streets, reducing the impact on the nearby community. The facility will be well lit and provide shelter, helping people feel safer.
  • Growth: Ensuring good transport connections between Arataki and the wider region is important for facilitating future growth.
  • Amenity: the new facility will give the look and feel of the area a boost, providing a more attractive welcome and departure to Arataki. 

This project is exploring options for a new facility and we are actively sourcing community input and feedback, on a preferred location as well as on what people feel is important to be included as part of the facility.

Once there is approval for the location and concept, the next step would be undertaking more detailed design. Construction of the facility could start in 2024.

This project is funded by Tauranga City Council together with Waka Kotahi.

From long list to short list

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.

Arataki bus facility short list

Arataki bus facility final sites

Engagement on proposed locations

Between November and December 2021 our team has been busy engaging with local stakeholders to get their feedback on the proposed locations. 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:

Farm Street 

  • 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.

Other considerations

  • 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.

Moving forward

Having wrapped up the assessment as well as initial stakeholder and community engagement about the two potential locations, council is assessing the best way forward.

We are committed to keep the community posted on progress and next steps as well as any opportunities to provide input and feedback. If you are interested, please sign up by emailing aratakibusfacility@tauranga.govt.nz. for project updates or keep an eye on this page.

 

What does this mean for you?

A local bus facility will act as a hub to 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

How this will be brought to life will be open for feedback and input in phase two of consultation.

How you can have your say?

We are asking the community for their input and feedback on these plans in two phases. First, we want your thoughts on a preferred location. Once we have a preferred site, phase two will look at design outcomes for the project.

Your feedback will help determine opportunities and constraints and establish the basis for future design and implementation.

To sign up to receive project updates and invites to opportunities to have your say on this project, please send your details to aratakibusfacility@tauranga.govt.nz.

Answers to common questions

We are committed to improving city and sub-regional connections and public transport to the Arataki area.

The facility forms part of Western Bay of Plenty’s Transport System Plan (TSP) and will support the city shifting to a transport system with greater travel choices for people, improved safety with better environmental outcomes. 

The TSP is developed with Waka Kotahi, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tangata Whenua, Port of Tauranga, Priority One and KiwiRail. 

Even if you don’t (often) use a bus, you may benefit from this type of development.

The better public transport options are, the more likely people are encouraged to swap their car for other modes of transport. This is essential to support growth and not increase traffic even more. 

Better bus connections also mean improved access to businesses and tourism for those who don’t drive.

One of the objectives of the facility is to reduce the current impact of buses on the local area.

We will investigate where buses wait, loop and turn around and look to minimize the impact of these activities on nearby residents. 

The facility will be purposefully designed to fit into its surrounding. Shelter, better lighting and a designated place to wait will provide better safety for bus users.

Timeline

  • Bus stops installed on Farm Street 

    June 2018
  • Business Case – investigating locations for the new facility

    November 2021
  • Community feedback on locations 

    December 2021 – January 2022
  • Community feedback on design and function 

    February 2022
  • Business Case investigation and findings presented to Commissioners to confirm a preferred facility and associated improvements

    May 2022

We’re partnering with

Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Waka Kotahi and mana whenua

The project is led by Tauranga City Council in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Waka Kotahi and mana whenua.

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