Auckland Transport waxes lyrical about its city of the future

Auckland Transport waxes lyrical about its city of the future
Auckland Transport is inviting Aucklanders to step into the future, with a new campaign (conceptualised by Republik and shot by Zoomslide) exploring how the organisation plans to improve the transport system to accommodate Auckland's rapid growth and make the city more liveable.

Starting in Pukekohe, the video informs viewers about the Auckland's rapid growth and rising population and how major developments are being planned to help public transport keep up.

After a series of smaller videos about individual projects, like HOP (a hop on, hop off card) and the electric trains, AT campaign manager Rob Pitney says this is the first video it has released, via YouTube, its website, Google and social media, connecting all of the projects.

“We haven’t had a video that links them all together and shows the significance of each of the projects in terms of preparing us for population growth, so that’s what we wanted to achieve," he says.

“The video covers stuff that we have already done, stuff that we are working on now and stuff that is in the future planning stage.”

The four major projects discussed are part of the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) and include simplified fares, light rail, ferries and the new network including busses and the City Rail Link.

Pitney says simplified fares are the next stage in HOP implementation and will be rolled out in July, while ferry services have already seen an increase and building for the City Rail Link will start next month.

Light rail is one of the long term plans as Pitney says it's the only project that remains to be signed off and still needs to go through planning and consultation.

Also mentioned in the video are cycleways and electric trains, both of which have already been implemented.

To further inform Aucklanders about what’s to come, Pitney says Auckland Transport plans to release videos of a similar style, focusing on each project over the next 18 months.

Already a video has been launched to communicate the impact the City Rail Link build will have on the city centre.

The style of this latest video is different to previous Auckland Transport campaigns, with Pitney saying this time it wanted to use animation to make it conceptual.

"It's talking about things that haven’t happened yet and we wanted to leave a little bit of room for peoples' imaginations," he says.

“We wanted to give the idea that we are in a city that’s growing rapidly with a population that’s growing rapidly and we need to provide for future growth of the city by producing all this infrastructure.”

He says one of the reference points for the style came from the opening scene of the film Juno, in which animated streets appear as the main character Juno walks down them. 

Matt Lowrie from transportblog.co.nz thinks the video is one of the best by AT.

“It quite clearly explains a whole range of issues. One of the problems in the past is AT has been very technical and dry with the information and it’s not really been very easy to understand what is going on so I think this is a very good way of showing the whole picture of what they are working on.”

Public transport is a hot topic of debate in Auckland, but Lowrie says generally Aucklanders want to see the plans come to fruition.

“I think people are sick of sitting in traffic or overcrowded busses and trains and they want stuff improved, so I think people do want to see change.”

While many are concerned about the work that needs to be done to build the infrastructure, and the disruption it will cause, Lowrie says it will be seen in a positive light once people start to see results.

He says the more AT does on social media and the more information it puts out, the more Aucklanders will get behind it and get excited.

Aucklanders have already been seen to get behind the train network, which is celebrating 16 million trips in the last year. The number comes after sceptics questioned Aucklanders' ability to get out of their cars.