ARTA’s April 2010 monthly business report is out, and the patronage news is solid, if not spectacular. Here’s a summary of the April report: As we can see from the long-term patronage graph below, April 2010 is a big drop from March 2010 – but that is typical, because of school and university holidays. While the increase in patronage over the whole public transport (from April 2009 to April 2010) is only around 4%, when we look at the Rapid Transit Network (the railway lines and the Northern Busway) the increase has been almost 15%. The Rapid Transit network is the highest quality and fastest part of the public transport network, so these statistics say to me that if you give people a high quality public transport option, they will rush to it in droves.
Once again, the monthly business report breaks down the changes in bus patronage by sector, which gives us some interesting results: The October 2009 statistics, and to some extent the cumulative statistics, are very much affected by the bus lockout that happened back in October last year, but they still show us some interesting results. While bus patronage is making good increases in the north and south, on the isthmus in particular we are seeing some big drops. While there might be some shift to rail that contributes to this figure, I think that it’s a pretty good sign that ARTA needs to undertake a pretty dramatic revision of bus routes both in the west and on the isthmus – along the lines of the network effect map I put together a few weeks back.
As a final point, it’s exciting to see that the business case and concept designs of the CBD rail tunnel will be completed by September.