Hidden in the business case for electrification to Pukekohe is some patronage data for the group of Southern, Eastern and Onehunga line stations. The data is for both the number of people boarding and alighting services at stations and my understanding is based on manual passenger counts done in May each year. I am unsure about is if both the Britomart and Newmarket figures include Western line passengers.

There are a couple of stations that really perform poorly, Mangere was only ever used by a handful of services and passengers could only alight but that has already ceased. Te Mahia has hardly changed in almost a decade and isn’t listed in the RPTP suggesting it could be set to close.  Others that seem to remain consistently low are Westfield and Remuera although at least with the later we probably need more data to see the impact of the station upgrade which happened after these counts were done. One thing that is noticeable is the impact that station upgrades have e.g. Glen Innes was upgraded in 2006 and saw a 32% increase, Panmure was moved with a new station in early 2007 with a 75% increase and Papatoetoe was upgraded in 2006 and saw a 72% increase.

AT can we please have this for the Western Line. Also surely some 2012 data must be floating around as the counts were done almost seven months ago so that would be nice to see too.

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  1. Be careful with the GI and Panmure upgrade traffic counts post station upgrade as both these stations got Park and Ride facilities at the same time of their facilities “upgrade”, so the “upgrade” on its own may not have triggered the increase as much as making the station easier to access and better integrated to the community.

    Having said that Park and Rides drive growth of station patronage, they are a waste of resources in the suburban context, better to have buses take people from home to the nearest rapid transit station and also to the other places they need to go than forcing them to drive their cars to the Suburban Station in lieu of decent bus services.

    In fact what the old Auckland City Council found when post-upgrade, the Park and Ride at GI was consistently full or cars from early in the morning and locals couldn’t use it, that by checking car registrations addresses that most of the users of the Park and Ride were from further out (in the old Manukau City regions like Pakuranga, Howick and Flat Bush), who were driving on roads at peak times but parking at GI to avoid paying parking fees in town.

    I would expect that Panmure suffered the same fate when it too was upgraded. as no doubt Orakei would have recently when its park and ride opened.

    Not exactly the desired traffic planning outcome I expect, and probably made traffic congestion no better overall as it forced those Park and Ride users on to the streets at peak times to drive to the Park and Ride in the AM peak.

    1. Perhaps the thing to do is either once the new bus system begins AT should start charging at PNRs, at least at those in closer zones, fees should at the very least be more than two bus fares. PNRs are appropriate at stations serving dispersed rural communities without frequent bus services and where land around stations is cheap, but are a crazy distortion in the city + ‘burbs. Best example: Orakei; free parking for stockbrokers one stop from the CBD….

    2. One could also argue that locals who could walk/cycle to the station are crowding up Park and Rides at the expense of those in the suburbs who have poor bus transport. I do believe that meters should be installed once Park and Rides are subject to regular overcrowding, especially if negatively affects surroduning streets. Should only be $2 a day or so, and payable by HOP card, so not much time is wasted. This should push people onto buses when available, and towards walking/cycling.

    3. From what I can tell almost all Northern Busway park n riders come from the nearby East Coast Bays, nothing more than a symptom of poor bus network design.

  2. With HOP Cards being in use for over 1 month now, AT must have some seriously good data for train usage for all of November available to it so how about getting that published AT, so we can finally see the true Patronage figures for the trains and not the once a year during Autumn counts we get in the above survey.

    If nothing else we should be able to compare the likes of Newmarket and Britomart HOP card usage figures accurately as they have access gates to/from the platforms so there should be little fare avoidance at thee locaions, even it is happening elsewhere.

  3. And Auckland Transport wonders why people are suspicious of them when they just leave Te Mahia off the map rather than have the guts to explain why they are (justifiably) wanting to close the station.

  4. It’s interesting that Greenlane has higher patronage than Remuera, despite being so much more unpleasant (having said that, it’s receiving an upgrade now). I think those stations have a bit of a hard time competing with the buses, which in that part of town are a good way of getting to the city, and have the bonus of allowing you to alight at locations other than Newmarket and Britomart. The fact that they’re jammed up against the motorway probably limits their catchment somewhat, as well – Ellerslie seems to cope pretty well with the motorway, which is probably because it has a town centre close to the station.

    Takanini’s patronage surprises me, because it’s such an awful, grotty station that barely anybody uses at night (and with good reason). It seems to be as busy as Remuera and Greenlane put together, which I wouldn’t have predicted.

    I hope that Te Mahia and Westfield are closed as soon as possible. I never understood the argument that staff need to use Westfield station. Reposition the staff carpark and use the old station building at Otahuhu as a staff building; Westfield is only a short walk away for anything that can’t be done at Otahuhu. Simple.

    1. Westfield will most likely go once all the EMU’s are running and the staff are moved to the Wiri Depot.

      As for Te Mahia – that station give me the creeps most days.

      However I am just as curious about Newmarket there with wanting know whether the Western Line was included as well in those figures. Be errr interesting if Papakura became the number two station on the Network.

      1. “Be errr interesting if Papakura became the number two station on the Network.”

        It be interesting – as it already is, and has been for most of the last 10 years – except 2010 when it was pipped at the post by Manurewa, (to become 3rd most popular that year).

    2. Yup, S, Transit stations separated from catchments by wide motorways are suboptimal in the extreme. But we’re stuck with them, better integration with buses and of course fares too should help enormously to improve appeal.

    3. Greenlane will be helped by inbound traffic to workplaces and medical offices at Ascot. On the other hand Remuera will be outbound only. Also will have boosts due to special events at Ellerslie race-course which won’t be included in the above figures.
      Also Greenlane has high potential for increase with some good future redevelopment sites along Great South Road while Remuera is mostly houses.
      Te Mahia has little going for it, with the motorway slashing the catchment to the West and quality buses to the West.
      It has very poor visibility and access, with 2 narrow dodgy looking alleyways. Would be very expensive to fix.
      However if closed should look at Bus Stop locations and pedestrian crossings, especially looking at putting stops adjacent to where alleyway exits on Great South Road as residents who previously had train within 2 mins would otherwise face 10min walk to bus and crossing busy Great South road with no crossings.

  5. I find it hard to believe that manurewa n papakura r busier than Newmarket, so I must assume that those Newmarket numbers aren’t inclusive of western line passengers

  6. These figures suggest that

    – about 21,000 daily trips are Britomart/Newmarket to/from somewhere else**
    – about 6,000 daily trips are between places on the line other than Britomart/Newmarket.

    This is an interestingly high proportion of non-CBD related travel. It gives the lie to the anti-rail folk who argue that rail is ‘only’ for travel to the CBD, which is ‘only’ some small per cent of total metropolitan travel.

    ** assuming that travel between Britomart and Newmarket is negligible.

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