The railway station boarding data finally released by Auckland Transport the other day allows some interesting analysis of which stations have experienced the most growth over time. I’ve put all the data together into one place, building on an earlier spreadsheet:

2003-2012 station boardings-800pxIn terms of sheer numerical growth, Britomart is by far the winner – with Newmarket, Papatoetoe, New Lynn and Glen Innes other stations which have at least 1,000 more daily boardings now than they did back in 2003. In terms of percentage growth Pukekohe and many of the Eastern Line stations stand out – largely because they came off extremely low bases.

In terms of looking at each line, or part of line as I’ve broken both the southern and western lines (at Otahuhu and New Lynn) into inner and outer sections, it’s interesting to see that the inner parts of the network have grown at a higher percentage rate than further out – I guess previously people from far out caught the train even though the service was pretty bad because catching the bus was even worse. As the train system has improved there has been a shift from bus (and car too I imagine) to rail for shorter trips as well:

line-section-growthBecause it’s difficult to compare the 1000% patronage growth of Pukekohe with the 1,000 trips per day growth of Glen Innes to get an idea about which stations have really been a huge success in recent years, I’ve analysed each station’s ranking and how those rankings have changed over time. station-rankingsBecause not all stations have been around for all the years analysed, there are a few gaps. However this does show that Pukekohe and Panmure have really been stars, while Swanson, Te Mahia Ranui, Waitakere and Remuera have been the stations to go backwards the furtherest. Manurewa has bounced around in a particularly interesting way as well.

I wonder what this table will look like in a few years’ time.

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  1. Imagine what Pukekohe’s figures would be like if it had the same level of service as other stations on the Southern Line, i.e. late night and weekend services, and more frequent services during the day…

    1. from what I can remember that years count had a mistake, ie double counting. If you halve the figure it fits in with the trend.

  2. Numbers 4-10 in the 2012 ranking should all be gated in FY2014/2015. As we know, New Lynn and Manukau are scheduled to be gated this year. Ongoing patronage and revenue increases now depend on stations 4-10 along with Sylvia Park and Panmure, being gated before end 2014.

  3. percentage figures for britomart and newmarket 2003 – 2012 are incorrect. It should be 676% and 286% not 576 and 186 respectively. 1088 in newmarket nearly tripled it self to over 3000 hence 286% not 186% etc.

    1. No M Juma, the percentage figures are correct. For example Newmarket – the increase in boarding numbers between 2003 and 2012 is 2026. 2026 as a percentage of the boardings in 2003 (i.e. as a percentage of 1088), is 186%.

  4. 1) Terrific Post
    2) All round a real success, I knew rail had improved out of site, but considering we’re looking at a 10 year period, those are some amazing numbers!

  5. Would be interesting to see what the correlation is between the opening of park and rides and patronage. Glen innes is an excellent example, patronage has plateaued since the park and ride reached capacity. It is impossible to use a bus to get to the station as they only run every 30 minutes and are unreliable. Talking to people in the area they have resorted to driving again abecause they can’t get parks near the station.

    I really think Auckland Transport need to urgently address the issues of accessing the train from the Eastern Suburbs or else the patronage will plateau at best or start to decline. Things like feeder buses, if only at peak hour would be easy to fix with all the empty buses that rumble through the residential streets in the morning going from the city to the suburbs to start their runs and visa versa in the afternoon.

  6. The more I think about it, the more I think that we might need to do some more fine grained analysis on this as looking at things like percentage and ranking changes will favour sites that start with a low base. The eastern line for example had terrible frequencies in the early years and that is part of the reason why all of those stations were so poor initially, Puke has come off a low base with good growth but is still well below average. Sylvia park is interesting as it has come from nothing to have almost 1000 boardings per day in just a couple of years.

  7. I think you are correct, there have been some significant changes out east that have driven the growth, things I can think of are the park and rides at GI, orakei and panmure, and the subsequent expansion. There has also been the relocation of panmure and it’s development, as well as the opening of Sylvia park and the increased weekend services which made rail an viable option for many.

    I don’t have the detail of the history to do any analysis but would be happy to help if you wish. Another way of looking at it would be the percentage of people who use the train in each catchment area, which would enable comparison. Finally you could look at groups of stations, such as panmure and GI as they are probably dominated by people from pakuranga and howick who drive and then catch the train.

  8. could do something cool using GIS to map 1km and 5km population and employment catchments for each station. Could then see which stations were under performing in regards to their local population, and maybe see if walkup catchment or car/bus catchments are more important.

  9. I was wondering why the low-ish patronage at Greenlane. Are the North-bound morning trains already full? (or because of the roads?)

  10. Yes, Is only marginally higher than Remuera, while Greenlane does have some destinations with the medical/office complex across the motorway.
    However I guess much of the walk catchment is taken up by Greenlane local shops. Then of course the race-course knocks out a bunch of the catchment to the south-east. Another important note is the station is not very visible, so I’m sure many people don’t even know its there.
    Note this is a snapshot of one day, and Greenlane does get a boost from special events, especially when in future when the rail network is actually open for major race days over New Years!

    1. If the vacant land by Greenlane was developed into park and ride it would be interesting to watch if the figures would change. Great place to assess the impact of p & r.

      1. Terrible place for park in ride; develop the site for a real use! Integrate buses and build bike kinase to the station.

        Or put it another way, how much would you pay to park your car there all day?

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