Many of the people who read this blog, including some of the authors have sometimes an unhealthy obsession with numbers. We are often referring to various stats and it can can sometimes be hard to find things again. With that in mind (and thanks to a suggestion from John P I think) we have now created a series of pages that are linked to directly from the homepage with a number of key transport related graphs. These are the ones that I/we check on pretty much every month. There are probably a couple more that I will add over time but if you have anything that you would like to see on a regular basis or anything that you think needs to be changed, let me know.

Here are a couple of my favourites.

Our rolling 12m patronage totals by mode

12 - Nov AK Annual Patronage

Our rolling 12m patronage total compared to the target set in the Auckland plan of 140 million PT trips by 2022. It shows that if we were to maintain the growth we have seen over the last few years then it should be fairly doable however we have started to fall behind a little, but thankfully not enough that we can’t get back on the wagon.

12 - Nov AK Annual Patronage vs AK Plan Target

Auckland Rail Patronage vs Wellington Patronage – We got so close to catching them only to fall away due to disappointing results this year.

12 - Nov AKL vs WGN

Harbour Bridge Traffic Volumes – They are starting to rise again but are still no where near the highs of the mid 2000’s

AHB Dec -12

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  1. Good reference pages, will be very useful to have all these in one place.

    Can you add the projected/actual population growth charts here as well? – to help serve as a reminder to all of us that the whole point of increasing PT journeys and better journeys is not just for the sake of it
    – its to allow us to manage the coming bulge of 1m extra people in the next 40 or years. I have a feeling that post-2013 Census, the number in this chart may prove even higher than SNZ is estimating – just like the 2006 actual Census figures showed up the SNZ estimates of population growth between 2001 and 2006..

    When you look at the second and third graphs and see that the bulk of the current journeys are on buses, and that means in short form – we have to basically double all our trips using the existing 3 modes of Bus, Rail and Ferry to meet the target in 10 years time of 140m trips by PT, And then you think ok, what if we did put say 50% more buses on the roads (let alone nearly double the number as is suggested as required by those graphs) just how bad would the traffic from just the buses become?

    And you can see in those two graphs that the truth of the CCFAS reports conclusions are basically sticking out like dog bollocks, regardless of Brownlee’s head in the sand approach and naysaying.

    And that is that buses won’t be able to do it on their own.even if every bus was a double decker and the entire PT service become very well used all the time especially out of peak times.
    Who in their right mind would want the current “rush hour” madness of “peak time” buses everywhere, all day every day which is what it would take to get there without a gamechanger?
    And we know via CCFAS what that would that do to traffic.

    So really the only hope is to **massively** increase the train journeys from the current “paltry by comparison” 10m per year.

    The Key (and more importantly, Brownlee) point is that with 57 EMUs in place, we might come close to, or possibly at a stretch even reach that target by 2022 of 140M a year
    – but would it be sustainable beyond then without the CRL in place by 2021?

    And even that figure for trains would be optimistic – a quick back of the envelope calculation of 20 “crush-full” 6 Car EMUs with 1,000 people per EMU) at 20
    per hour into Britomart, would move about 17.6m a year, during AM and PM peaks combined, which is about 25% of the required increase (20K per hour x2 hour “Peak” x 2 peaks per day x 220 working days a year = 17.6m). And then even if you say, ok each train that enters Britomart is also leaving crush full, so that doubles it to 35.2M per year
    – who in their right mind would ride a PT system which was full like that every peak? I wouldn’t.

    And If by some miracle you did reach 140m a year by 2022 wouldn’t you merely achieve a Pyrrhic Victory?, You’d have max-ed out the PT system doing so and you’d be
    leaving the PT “gas tank” empty for the next few decades as the population grows even more and more and so then you’d need a better solution than what worked in the last 10 years.

    Thats why the CRL is such a game changer – its the only thing that will work longer term to allow us to manage the coming growth.

  2. I think one thing that AT need to look at is what happened in March 2012 (the back to School/uni peak) For the previous 5 years this high point increased year on year, last year it fell and the continuing trend over the rest of year was also pretty dismal.

    it looks like this year’s could also fall (hoping it doesn’t) but 2012 was definitely a turning point for PT ( particularly on rail) and AT need to find out why, ( is it simply they are now fully constrained by rolling stock?)

    Some will say that they need to make off peak rail easier and cheaper, I think that is a bandaid solution, sure it will make the stats look better, but if you continue to bleed peak numbers, you may not get these customers back….

    1. If the number of vehicles crossing the Bridge is rising then it is likely that it is rising across the rest of the motorway network. That might (and I emphasise “might”) mean that the lack of vehicle use growth over the past five years has finished. If that is the case then we’re seeing rising vehicle use and reducing public transport patronage. Is this an indicator that the recession has ended, and that public transport may have been viewed as a distress purchase?

      I think it is too early to say. It seemed pretty obvious to me that a few years flat growth in vehicle use was recession related… It is unlikely that a historic change in society and the economy just happened to coincide with a recession. I think a few anomalous years don’t detract from the long term trend, which is for significant increases in both personal vehicle and public transport use. I’d want a good ten years of data to prove the opposite.

      1. They do have a few other data points in their monthly data but it has a few gaps in it or there isn’t as much data for. They are showing a slight increase in traffic but not as pounced as the harbour bridge.

      2. Yes it will be interesting to see which change is anomalous; the years of flat vehicle growth or the one year of poor Transit growth.

        Remember the drop in driving growth preceded the 2007 crash which was in turn proceeded by the price of oil doubling [which it then did again], which was clearly in part at least a root cause of both events. My view is that the end, and it has ended, of year on year driving growth has two primary causes; increased costs of driving and an increased reluctance to drive. So economic and cultural causes. The high NZ dollar has helped return pump prices to a bearable level; but leaves us doubly vulnerable to sudden increases.

        It is also important to remember that this change is not specific to NZ but can be observed in every single OCED country over this period, see the graph here for the US;

        Ten years? Is that how long you need? Sure driving peaked in the US in 2005 but it went flat in 2001, and is now back to 1995 levels. This is the longest ‘anomaly’ in recorded history.

        I’m happy to call it: Transit use will rise dramatically in Auckland once the Great Upgrade has been completed and the standard of service risen considerably over the sorry state we have become inured to. But that alas that will not be this year or even next so AT better be working on interim fixes too….

        As for ‘push’ factors, they are in the lap of the gods in terms of fuel costs but the government is betting billions and billions on a future of no problems there, despite all advice to the contrary…. So it goes. The RoNS amount to a subsidy to encourage driving so driving really ought to be accelerating at record speed after the years of feverish encouragement it has had under this gov…. where is it?

    1. That graph of the Chinese oil usage makes for sobering reading. Can someone show it to GB? If that, over the next 5 years does not have a significant impact on fuel prices I shall be very surprised.

      1. It has already impacted oil price. So much complacency around this issue. Of course the industry say that the market is well supplied but the sustained new normal price tells us that we are teetering on the edge of crisis where demand can only be met by ever higher prices that our economies can not bear. China and India and other new economies are basically out bidding the west for oil and all net importing nations (like us!) are finding they struggle to compete without diving into recession.

        Clearly there is an urgent strategic need to invest away from oil dependency and in NZ that primarily means cutting the huge waste and poor use of the stuff in the transport sector…. We want to keep using it down on the farm, in the forests, and the rest of the productive countryside. Not so much for getting to work or play in urban areas.

        Billions on driving infrastructure is a ruinous almost comically bad policy choice for this time. Will be shown to be a huge fuckup before this decade is out. It is the opposite of fiscal prudence or smart targeted investment.

        1. The US is already looking at a mileage based road user charges system for all motor vehicles due to the rising numbers of electric and energy efficient cars. With falling miles travelled as well, I believe people are in for a big shock over the next few years. With more emphasis on road transport in New Zealand, an ever increasing proportion of our GDP will be spent overseas on a non renewable resource when we could be using the cash we have now to invest in technology (solar) and transport options (electrify rail on lines that make sense and keep freight lines open) that will make us more self sufficient, not to mention supply a source of skilled jobs. Our land is going to be needed for food production (dairy and meat) and for materials (timber) so it makes sense now to build compact cities (and even towns) and to build sustainable modes to carry these goods.

          1. Unlike the rest of the world we already have a huge (80%) supply in renewable electrons with more capacity, especially wind balanced by existing hydro. Why we aren’t aggressively electrifying everything possible now is only because of the backwards and inaccurate worldview of those in charge.

          2. Exactly. Look at the efforts and costs in Germany just to get to 25% renewable. We are sitting on a huge resource and absolutely squandering it.

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