There’s a really interesting report in the agenda (from page 43 onwards) for Tuesday’s transport committee meeting that shows the results from a number of transport monitoring projects which have taken place around Auckland over the past few months. All together, they provide an interesting insight into changing transport trends.

Here’s summary of the results:

It will be really helpful to see these results tracked over time – especially over the next few years to see the results of Auckland Council’s strong efforts to improve the city’s transport network.

The first of the projects looks at public transport, walking and cycling figures for people crossing various “screen-lines” around Auckland during peak times on one particular day. The project has been going since the 1980s and while its “single day” approach leads to year to year fluctuations, it is useful in providing some insight into long-term trends. The screenlines are shown in the map below:The results for users crossing each of the screenlines during the AM peak is shown below:

As I noted before, there’s some fluctuation on a year-by-year basis, with the West Isthmus screenline having a somewhat surprising decline (particularly as western line rail trips have increased so hugely).

PT modeshare across the screenlines is relatively similar in 2011 compared to 2010:

It’s interesting to note that while total PT modeshare in Auckland is not much more than 7%, for key journeys like those into the CBD at peak times, the modeshare is not far short of 50%. But even that is fairly low compared to many overseas cities, when modeshare to the city centre can be up over 75%.

In terms of passenger numbers into the city centre, the graph below has some interesting historical data:

Looking at the graphs above, one thing that stands out to me is that even with all the patronage increase of the past few years, the number of people catching the bus into town at peak times hasn’t really increased from 2003 levels, which themselves are about the same as the 1988 numbers. While much of that is probably because many of those who used to catch the bus now take the train, I also think that it’s a sign that we have somewhat regretfully neglected improving our bus system over the past decade, particularly in the city centre (with some notable exceptions like the Symonds St & Albert St bus lanes).

What is quite fascinating is an analysis of the changes in bus passengers at various points in the city centre, over the past few years:

If we ignore the shift from Symonds Street to Grafton Bridge, which is a result of service shifts which reflect the opening of the central connector project, there are some other interesting results. It’s clear that the Northern Busway has contributed to a huge increase in the number of bus passengers from the North Shore – up from 5700 to almost 8400. More concerning is the slow but steady reduction in passengers along Quay Street over the past five years – I wonder why that has happened?

In other good news, the number of ferry passengers increased fairly substantially over the past year, after being steady for a number of years:

The number of people walking and cycling past the various screenline points has bounced around a bit over the past few years, but for pedestrians in particular has increased quite substantially.I will look at the congestion results and the public transport benchmark results in future blog posts.

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  1. So it wasn’t my imagination after all when (living in Parnell) I noticed greater numbers of people walking down Parnell Rd, Parnell Rise, and along Beach Rd or Constitution Hill. This happened after the first petrol shock which prompted more people to walk into work (from home, or much more likely, to drive into Parnell, park, then walk into work), but I noticed that even with the recent decreases in petrol prices, the numbers seems not to have been affected.

    1. Grafton Bridge was closed for a time, plus when it reopened had many more services than before because routes were shifted off Khyber Pass & Upper Symonds Street to travel via Grafton Bridge & Park Road instead. So I think the figures are correct.

      1. On the bus passenger table it says 14 on the 2010 Grafton Bridge figure. Grafton Bridge reopened in October 2009 and Great South Rd, Remuera Rd buses began to use in April 2011 if I recall correctly.

        1. I think you have confused Grafton road and Grafton bridge. Grafton road runs from uni between engineering and the new business school. It then turns right and goes up the hill to Grafton following the edge of the hospital. It goes further but if Grafton bridge is a count point there must be a count point somewhere on the length or road I described.

          The link was re-routed to use this length of road while Grafton bridge was closed to vehicles for strengthening. Other than that the only bus I can think of that uses that stretch or road is the infrequent “hospitals” one, hence the low numbers some years. No idea what created such a large volume in 2011.

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