- Auckland public transport patronage totalled 70,558,521 passengers for the 12 months to April 2012 an increase of 5,795,446 boardings or +8.9%.
- April monthly patronage was 5,579,153, an increase of 270,590 boardings or +5.1% on Apr 2011. There was one less business day in April 2012 compared to April 2011, which would account for approximately 5% less patronage between months.
- Rail monthly patronage for April was 947,571, an increase of 126,208 boardings or 15.4% on Apr 2011.
- Northern Express bus service carried 2,276,554 passenger trips for the 12-months with a growth in Apr 2012 compared to Apr 2011 of +13.5%
Its great to see that we are back to strong growth on the rail network after a few quieter months. One thing I do notice is that for the busway they are using the 12 month growth not a comparison to April 2011 which saw an increase of only 0.6%.
The few things that I think are most interesting is that the western line has continued its impressive recent growth and is up over 20% on the same 12 months the year before (although it does include the RWC). Ferry patronage is also up 19% in April compared to April 2011 and this continues on its recent good form which seems to be largely the result of an increased number of sailings.
One thing I do wonder though is how much impact the rail fare increase had, my understanding is that patronage numbers are a mix of ticket sales and head counts and it is quite likely there was a rush of ticket sales in late April as people brought new multi passes and monthlies to delay the fare increase.
The report also contains a small bit of news around the new bus network currently being designed, it has this to say:
The review of the service network structure for the Auckland public transport system is progressing with consultation with key stakeholders to be undertaken in the next three months. Broader public consultation will be undertaken later in 2012. The new network is intended to form a connected grid of frequent services, so that customers are able to transfer between services at interchange points opening a greater range of destination opportunities for public transport travel in the region. More customers will be required to transfer between services than currently, but the inconvenience of this will generally be offset by shorter wait times due to improved frequencies. Figure 19 illustrates an extract from the draft ‘Metro’ map of frequent services. The new service network implementation is being planned but is expected to be rolled out over up to three years across the region from early 2013.
And they have even included a network diagram showing what things would look like on the isthmus, remember these routes are a mix of rail and bus and would run at frequencies of at least every 15 minutes, for about 15 hours each day 7 days a week. There would also be a lot of secondary routes that run at frequencies of at least 30 minutes each day.