A few years ago there was a lot of noise an complaining about Onehunga. At first it was because almost a year after it had originally promised to be operating, the station hadn’t even been started. Then once it was built the issue was that the platforms were built at only 55m long, too short for our future electric trains which we already knew would be around 70m long. Of course there was a lot of jumping up and down by many saying how it was another example of poor planning in Auckland however there actually turned out to be a fairly logical explanation for it. The simple version of it was that get all of the consents and agreements to build it right the first time would have taken months, if not years longer so the decision was made to build what they could and start the services sooner.
Well now the consents and other issue have been sorted out so AT have lengthened the platforms so that they can handle our new trains. I took a trip out there yesterday to have a look and it appears the job is all finished so here are some photos.
But that wasn’t the only addition to the station, there are also some public toilets being installed which is something needed at more stations
While on the topic of Onehunga, it is probably worth pointing out another thing mentioned a few years ago about it, its patronage forecasts. The forecasts most likely come from the same models that are used to predict how well things like the CRL will be use. Here is what ARTA said in July 3020 about patronage at Onehunga:
ARTA’s spokesperson, Sharon Hunter said, “Passenger travel shows patronage on the line from September 2010 for the two hours at morning peak, from 7am to 9am, is estimated to be approximately 100 people boarding at Onehunga. This compares with 3,600 people alighting at Britomart during the morning peak period.
Now I don’t know exactly how many board during the morning peak but I have heard stories of up around 50-60 on some trains alone. It would be really interesting to see how those previous estimates have worked out in reality as I would suspect they way underestimate what is happening in reality. That is something that seems to be a common feature with Public Transport yet the opposite is true for vehicle traffic which is constantly overestimated.
Edit: Sharon got in touch with me and provided this information:
The most recent survey counted 170 passengers boarding at Onehunga in the morning two-hour peak with 60+ boarding the most popular service (7:45am departure). For a full weekday about 400 passenger were counted using Onehunga to board trains. In overall rankings that is about the same as Orakei and Meadowbank (i.e. ranked about 30th out of 42 stations).
Interestingly in terms of projections, Te Papapa is exceeding expectations with more than 100 boardings counted in the morning 2-hour peak period. The combined effect of Onehunga + Te Papapa is generating around 280 passengers per day in the morning two-hour peak versus the 2016 modelled 360 so it is heading in the right direction.