70 Million Journeys

On March 21, 2012 by Eye on Auckland

Patronage records broken

For the first time in decades public transport usage exceeded 70 million passenger journeys for the last 12 months.  This is the first time Auckland public transport patronage has exceeded 70 million since the 1950’s. The new figures are included in Auckland Transport’s patronage report, released today. It reports a total overall increase in public transport passenger numbers, 70,201,635 million in the 12 months, an increase of 9.6 per cent on last year.

Highlights include:

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February monthly patronage was 5,967,878 an increase of 457,680 boardings or 8.3 per cent on February 2011.

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Rail 12-month patronage to February is 10,925,099 an increase of 1,702,059 boardings or 18.5 per cent.

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Northern Express bus service carried 2,270,667 passenger trips for the 12 months to February 2012 a growth of 15.4 per cent.

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All other buses carried 51,761,880 passenger trips for the 12 months to February 2012 a growth of 7.3 per cent.

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Ferry carried 5,243,989 passenger trips for the 12 months to February 2012 a growth of 12.9 per cent.

Auckland Transport Chief Executive Dr. David Warburton says the patronage figures show strong growth resulting from a full programme of projects and initiatives by Auckland Transport to deliver more quality public transport services to Aucklanders.  “Work is already underway on the $180 million AMETI Panmure project which includes a new bridge for a future busway and major upgrades to Panmure Station.  It will when completed halve the travel time for bus commuters between Botany and downtown. “Exciting news is the announcement of the opening of the first stage of the new Manukau Rail Station in April, the first rail line since the 1930’s,” says Dr. Warburton.

Other initiatives include:

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A ferry timetable trial by Auckland Transport and Fullers has seen patronage increase overall by an average of 86 per cent

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Major improvements to signage, maps and bus stop numbers to help customers easily read and understand bus stop information when travelling around the city.  It includes braille signs for visually impaired passenger.

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The piloting phase for integrated ticketing (HOP). The pilot will begin in April and the full roll-out on all buses, trains and ferries is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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Improvements to public transport information, including new smartphone applications and real time travel information.

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New timetable for buses along Ellerslie-Panmure Highway to the city, with buses every 15 minutes seven days a week.

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Construction of a depot at Wiri for the 57 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains arriving in Auckland between 2013 and 2016, while work on the design and fit-out of the new trains continues. Work also continues to prepare for electrification of the rail network.

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Track work for a planned Parnell Station and major upgrades at Mt Albert, Ellerslie and Papakura stations.

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A major extension of the Albany Park and Ride facility

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Ferry infrastructure developments at Birkenhead, Downtown, Stanley Bay, Bayswater, Half Moon Bay and Hobsonville and new ferry service between Hobsonville and Downtown.

Mayor Len Brown says “70 million trips on public transport are 70 million fewer trips taken by car. That means our roads are less congested. We need to get on with fixing our public transport system to keep up with Auckland’s growth. The Mayor said the Council’s Alternative Transport Funding Sources project was critical to provide modern, first-class public transport facilities and operations to cater for future population and economic growth and the continued increase in passenger transport as demonstrated in the latest figures. “We need to rapidly make up for the chronic under-investment in transport infrastructure and facilities that has dogged the region for decades, if we are to provide a world-class passenger transport network to cater for passenger transport growth,” he said. Existing funding sources fall well short of what is required to provide the facilities and systems to move people and goods efficiently and in a co-ordinated manner by road, rail and sea in greater Auckland.  At least $10-$15 billion of alternative funding is required to meet the transport needs of a rapidly growing population, estimated to be 2.5 million in 2030.

5 Responses to “70 Million Journeys”

  • AbelTasman

    Awesome !!

  • Carlos

    Good to see that rail and ferry growth is substantial. I believe that that they will just keep on growing as improvements are made across the board and more car parking is removed from the CBD. Way to go Auckland.

  • TrainFan

    Excellent news, build it and they will come.

  • Suffrage

    Definitely an improvement and there is no stopping us now :)

  • Wayno

    I think the 12 months year to date figures have been released and they rolling total now reaches 71.5 million or thereabouts. Very good upward rise in the PT numbers.

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