Some more patronage information today. AT has released it’s February patronage report that shows we have now passed 70m trips per year on PT, the first time it has happened since the late 1950’s. Here are some of the highlights

  • Auckland public transport patronage totalled 70,201,635 passengers for the 12-months to Feb 2012 an increase of 6,135,469 boardings or +9.6%. This is the first time Auckland public transport patronage has exceeded 70 million passengers since the 1950‟s.
  • February monthly patronage was 5,967,878 an increase of 457,680 boardings or +8.3% on Feb 2011.
  • Rail monthly patronage for February is 861,081 an increase of 23,093 boardings or +2.8% on Feb 2011.
  • Northern Express bus service carried 2,270,667 passenger trips for the 12-months with a growth in Feb 2012 compared to Feb 2011 of +15.4%
Interestingly even though this year was a leap year giving us an extra day in February, due to Waitangi day falling on a Monday the number of working days was the same as last year.

The growth in local bus services (i.e. non NEX buses) which has been happening since the new link services were introduced in August last year has continued which is pleasing but as you can see from the second image the bus services out west are lagging behind. This is likely to largely be because there haven’t really been any network redesigns in the area, something that should be addressed as part of the bus service review currently taking place.

The other thing that has continued recently is the good increases being seen on the ferry network, patronage for the last 12 months is up 12.9%. Some of this has been due to a trail running extra services which AT claim has increased patronage by as much as 86% but it’s not clear if this just from selected stations. It does go to prove once again that increasing frequencies really does help patronage.

Rail patronage appears to have dropped off quite a bit recently only growing by 2.8% compared to last year however this year there were two weekends (including Waitangi weekend) where the rail network was shut down. This saw total patronage for weekends drop by 57% while weekdays still saw decent growth increasing by around 10% compared to last year. As is usual at this time of the year some services start coming under quite a bit of pressure, in Feb three services had average loads over the month in excess of AT’s target of 1.4 (four people standing for every 10 sitting). Two of these services were out west and tend to involve runs that carry a lot of school kids which is just one of the reasons it is a real shame that it looks like we AT has gone back on its promise once again to have 10 minute frequencies out west during the peak times.

Keeping with rail one disappointing thing is the continued poor punctuality of services, I do think that this is one of the things that is starting to hold patronage back and doesn’t seem to have improved much for this month either as my train is at least 10 minutes late to Britomart almost every single day.

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  1. Wow just look at the performance of those isthmus bus services since the new Link routes were introduced in August!

    1. Indeed they’re good.

      Still frustrates the crap out of me the stupid stopping for x minutes thing at various bus stops on the Inner Link though – especially as the driver just stops, doesn’t tell anyone how long it’ll be and just sits there.

      1. Trickster- agree with you 100%.

        Link is my most used bus and those stops to get back on (unpublished, unknown) schedule are tedious to the extreme.

        And then there’s the BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! every time the door opens or closes. It shits me to the extreme, and if you ask the drivers they just give you this stare like they’re in ‘Nam and the beeps forced them into some sort of heart of darkness.

        I wish Zane Fuljames (of NZ bus) would do something about it like he promised to months ago…

  2. The January 2012 Train Performance report never appeared on the Veolia site at all AFAIK but they managed to calculate a 12 month rolling average you it must be hiding in a siding somewhere.

  3. This is exactly what we want: Sustained patronage growth over several years. 100 million in 2016 would require adding 30 million in just under four years (57 months), or approximately 526,000 new trips each month. By way of comparison in February we added about 460,000. That’s not impossible: But we’d have to get a significant lift from Manukau Rail+HOP+electrification.

    Nonetheless I think the Mayor’s target of 120 million by 2020 is still achievable though because by that time major improvements to rail and bus network would have had time to work their way through the numbers.

    Very good news nonetheless; hope Gerry Brownless is reading this?

    1. Getting to 120 million trips by 2022 only requires a patronage growth rate of 5% per annum – which we’ve easily passed for three out of the last four years. At a compounding growth rate of 5% we get the following patronage:

      2011 70,000,000
      2012 73,500,000
      2013 77,175,000
      2014 81,033,750
      2015 85,085,438
      2016 89,339,709
      2017 93,806,695
      2018 98,497,030
      2019 103,421,881
      2020 108,592,975
      2021 114,022,624
      2022 119,723,755

      1. I don’t think it’s realistic/reasonable to assume compounding growth over long time periods, but I hope I’m wrong.

        1. Fair enough, it will get harder and harder to keep up 5% annual growth for sure. Although even in the numbers above the biggest annual increase is similar to the increase we had last year (around 5.5 million).

  4. Three reasons why these predictions are not unreasonable:
    1. the per capita figure for AK is very low compared with similar cities, so no exceptional behaviour is required
    2. there will be ongoing and significant improvements to all services over this timeframe; ‘pull’
    3. there are likely to be increasing disincentives to use the current dominant mode, the private car; ‘push’


        1. Looking at per capita tells us whether the increases are a sign of successful changes or just a higher population. Also it is a way of benchmarking performance with other places which of course all have different populations. Apples with apples. Anyway per capita goes hand in hand with gross trip volumes, look at everything.

        2. from roughly 47 trips per person in 2011 to around 70 trips per person in 2021 will get your 120million trips annually. That is totally within the envelope.
          I cant see why anyone would doubt this target.

          Most of these have been mentioned but there are so many factors in favour of moving to PT.
          1. Growth in inner city and CBD living
          2. Rising fuel costs
          3. Rail electrification
          4. More and better PT infrastructure
          5. HOP integration of tickets and fares

  5. “Operational (Veolia) – An operating irregularity at Otahuhu at the commencement of the evening peak resulted in extensive disruption to evening peak services on all lines on 29 February.”

    Can anyone enlighten us as to what the “irregularity” was?

  6. do these reports say something about eventual revenue increase for the operators? Do the increased frequencies cost more and do they pay back?

  7. Poor punctuality and service delivery have major impacts. In many cases, the user will depart rail for a number of years. It isn’t acceptable, yet nothing seems to be done about it – we keep getting excuses, promises that with the next XYZ improvements things will change, and they don’t. Signalling should have helped, but apparently the entire system is so weak and error-prone that it has had no effect. Perhaps the issue is money, but I’m not sure of that.

    About time someone was held accountable.

  8. Buses have been, and are, a problem. Sure, if you live in proximity to the CBD, Dominion Rd, or the Northern Busway, you’ve got good service. Otherwise, they’re between average and poor (but not terrible). People don’t use them by choice outside the rapid/dense parts of Auckland. If you don’t believe me, take a wander down to Onehunga or Waitakere and see who’s boarding. It’s not a cross section of society, but the poor and those unable to drive or be driven. This isn’t inevitable of course, it’s a result of the way services are designed and run in this city.

    There’s a lot of room for improvement, particularly in routes. Less roundabout routes through suburbs would also mean less of bus-drivers throwing 13t buses round residential corners like they’re sports cars – motion sickness inducing, and terrible for those standing. That would be progress!

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