We’ve been getting used to seeing some fairly strong patronage results over recent years, especially on the trains which have been seeing 20% year on year growth for a couple of years now – in large part thanks to electrification. But in July, at first glance the numbers appear to have hit a snag, with much lower growth on trains and negative results on buses.

Thankfully there is a valid reason for the results: the calendar. In fact, the calendar has played a significant role in July as there were two fewer weekdays compared to July last year and weekdays are where the PT system does its heavy lifting. Adjusting for that, we continue to see good growth on trains and ferries while buses scrape into the positive – more on that shortly.

2016-07 - Total Patronage

As we’ve come to expect, the Rapid Transit Network remains the star of the show with some significant growth, especially on the Northern Busway and the Western Line, both of which manged over 21% growth and that’s before adjusting for the fewer weekdays. The western line in particular was expected to do well given it the vast improvement in the number of services near the end of May. Overall trains fell only about 60k short of passing the next milestone of 17 million, something I’d be almost certain has happened in August already. Ferries also continue to tick along nicely and are likely to tip above 6 million trips before the end of 2016.

The big concern remains the buses other than those on the Northern Busway. Take the busway results out and even normalising for the fewer weekdays won’t help. AT say in their business report that there was also good growth on the Onewa Rd and Mt Eden Rd corridors – which is unsurprising as we continue to see almost daily reports of full buses leaving people behind, even in the middle of the day or late in the evening. But this suggests the results from other bus routes are even more dismal. AT say that the biggest issue is in South Auckland which will be the first area to get the new bus network rolled out and is due at the end of October.

2016-07 - Patronage Table

Another area I’ve been following closely in recent months has been farebox recovery. With the rapid passenger growth we’ve seen, the level of subsidy required has reduced. One aspect of this report that is different compared to previous months is that in the past farebox figures have been two months behind, but this July paper has the results up to the end of July. A few things caught my eye:

  • Train farebox stayed about the same as the previous few months which is good given the Western Line service increase at the end of May.
  • There has been a significant change in the ferry numbers

While not mentioned, I suspect the August results will be challenged due to the launch of simplified fares which were expected to reduce revenue.

2016-07 - Farebox

Other measurements like HOP are also working well but I’ll cover that off in a separate post.

Note: While July suffered from the fewer weekdays, it is August that will benefit from them with there being two more weekdays compared to August last year.

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  1. Great news for trains. No very good for buses… So why aren’t enough buses provided to meet the routine peak demand ?

    It is August enough with March madness already, where are the buses?

    1. This was quite a wet month, so maybe it’s commuters moving from buses onto trains (which have better rain protection generally)?

      The farebox recovery tables show the continued unfair treatment of ferry users – integrated fares are desperately needed and should also provide a measurable boost to the overall network. AT are taking so very very long to deliver on this long-promised requirement and a statement explaining the delay and confirming the now expected date would be helpful

      1. Less for a lead time than trains though, and for some reason we thought could leave ordering more of them until later too.

  2. “While July suffered from the fewer weekdays, it is August that will benefit from them with there being two more weekdays compared to August last year.”

    Hmm, but how does that greatly affect your 12-month rolling average plots? Because in any 12 months there are 52 weeks + 1 extra day and the same number of public holidays. So the only difference could be one less weekday depending on what that extra day in the year is. And of course at the moment, we’re currently in a leap year cycle, meaning that we gain an extra day from the previous 12 months.

    1. To the end of July there are two fewer working days than there will be to the end of August, courtesy of that calendar difference. That’s how it affects the rolling total: August 2015, with its fewer working days, drops off the left side and is replaced by August 2016 with more working days coming in from the right.

    2. I think it is because there were 53 weekends in the calendar year 1st Aug 2015 to 31st July 2016, as opposed to the usual 52, courtesy of there being a weekend right at the beginning of August last year, and right at the end of July this year, something that only really happens in a leap year.

  3. Interesting info re farebox recover on ferries: Subsidy per passenger UP by around 30% while at the same time patronage UP 6% for the month. That is, total subsidy up by around 35% in the month. What’s the factor that led to this increase in ferry operating costs?

    Also brings to mind a question that has been bugging me for a while. There’s pressure to have rail meet the 50% farebox recovery target (very good progress being made, up from mid-20s% to nearly 40% in just a couple of years) and buses are already at this farebox recovery level. However, ferry farebox recovery has been consistently in the 78%-82% range for the last couple of years. What’s the justification in requiring ferry pax to pay a much higher fare relative to other PT users?

    A couple of possible answers spring to mind:
    * Ferry fare levels are essentially set by Fullers’ commercial operations and not by AT – and from AT’s point of view that’s quite convenient. If this is the case, though, surely there’s the possibility of levelling the playing field by AT reducing non-commercial services’ fares, exposing Fullers and possibly leading to a slight rebalancing of demand in favour of publicly-funded Bayswater services over profit-driven Devonport services. Or (heaven forfend) Fullers might have to bite the bullet and lower their ferry fares as well
    * The additional subsidy required to bring ferry fares into a better equilibrium might be politically unpalatable
    * Lowering ferry fares may lead to demand increases that the current ferry fleet is unable to satisfy, which would be an overall negative for ferries. Unless of course substantial further investment was made, which might change the balance of farebox recovery negatively and require even higher subsidies.

    From time to time there’s talk of including ferries within the zonal fare system (though with a “ferry surcharge” on top of the zonal fare). However, I wonder whether a surcharge would be necessary if the same farebox recovery rates were applied to ferries. Especially if, as seems likely, motorist commuters respond to lower fares and patronage increases significantly. Who knows, any additional public subsidy required could be a cheap investment that could seriously reduce the “need” for an expensive under-harbour road tunnel. And if it made PT fares throughout the region mode-neutral at the same time, then that’s surely a win-win?

    1. Is there a fixed “every month” component to the subsidies? I.e. one that stays the same every month, even if it is shorter / has less workdays? I note that all three subsidies ticked up…

  4. Peak time ferries are already at or very close to capacity. The 7:00 and 7:30 from half moon bay every day are totally rammed. At 35 mins, it’s about half the time to CBD compared to the current bus or even bus / train combo.

    Price is used to regulate supply and demand, any drop would create demand without the ability to meet it

    The problem is ferries are expensive capital assets and the do next to nothing during the off peak hours. Perhaps, more, smaller, faster boats is the answer

    1. Yes, but you could make the same arguments about expensive capital lying idle for trains and buses – there are many, many trains and buses just parked up during the offpeak hours. Why do we accept that, but rankle at the prospect of ferries being underutilised offpeak?

      And as for the current HMB services being at capacity at peak hours – surely that’s a clarion call for just such further investment anyway, irrespective of fare strategy. And with just the same consequences for plant lying idle offpeak.

      1. Not the same, it’s much worse for ferries.

        The buses and in particular trains don’t appear to be as quiet off peak as the ferries. Due to the low service frequencies, lack of connections and the point to point nature of them they are pretty useless for anything other than fixed commuting into the city.

        The mid day slump on trains is much lower, in my experience the eastern line is moderately busy all day as it has much more utility with many stops and 20 minute trains.

        Agree the HMB service needs investment, it’s getting it but unfortunately of entirely the wrong type. It’s getting a new terminal which will not add an extra seat or make it faster. It needs more boats and the tamaki channel dredged, it’s farical that the beachlands service takes the same time despite being much further from town

        1. the difference with buses and trains off-peak is that they make many intermediate stops and therefore are suited to a greater number of shorter trip profiles, where most ferries do an end-to-end journey and consequently limit their attractiveness to more commuter style journeys

          although the Devonport ferry is a possible exception with off-peak attractions at each end

          1. If peak is totally chocka I’m sure shoulder peak then is quite likely to work to ease the load, their must be people getting put off if it’s overly full.

    2. Smaller boats increase operational expense (staff). That can be quite significant.

      Also, some ferries get used for tourist trips in off-peak times, but appreciate that only covers a relatively small part of the issue…

      Still, take a step back, and check the typical car. Very capital intensive, and not moving at all 95% of the day! Ferries remain a better deal in that sense 😉

  5. Not surprised with the Western line increase. Its rather obvious with the trains getting sardine packed in rush hours morning and afternoon and seating hard to find either side of these times. With this growth will there be more frequent trains? Are nine car emus feasible? Are there enough emus and can Britomart cope?
    Another 5+ years until the CRL, yet Western Line needs it next year or year after?
    Time to order more emus, bemus, plan another CRL?

    1. In theory you can just keep coupling them together (6 units were relocated to Henderson from Wiri in as a single set a few months ago) but none of the platforms are long enough to handle a 9 car.

      1. Newmarket, New Lynn and Manukau are long enough, and a lot of suburban stations would be relatively easy to lengthen. Problem is Britomart isn’t, nor will the CRL stations be.

        1. Agreed New Lynn would fit a nine car but Newmarket would come in well short, it is 215 metres between the up and down signals that are well off each end of the platform (a nine car EMU is 216 metres), I can’t comment on Manukau as I’ve never been there and have no specs on that station.

          1. In addition to the above factors – Signal placement is optimised for 6-car trains, so running 9-car trains would mean that in a number of critical locations the tail of the train would still be occupying the previous section, preventing the following train from advancing. This would result in network wide congestion at current peak frequencies; far worse than what is already apparent.

          1. I think we’ll see other tricks introduced in the near future, like metro seating which could boost peak capacity by 20%, and creative use of coupling/uncouplng, whereby 6-car sets running counter-peak are split at places like Otahuhu and Henderson, with the front half continuing on counter-peak and the back half turning around and running back as a short peak express or similar.

    2. Platforms aren’t long enough for 9 car EMU’s. Until we have all 6-car EMUs running it isn’t an issue as we should be making more 3 Car EMUs into 6.
      Going forward though there probably wouldn’t be an issue with making 7-car EMUs (with an additional trailer car – which shouldn’t have an issue with gradient since the EMUs were designed to handle the original steeper CRL before they scratched Newton Station and lowered the gradients).
      If there is a particular platform that is too short then simply have an automated announcement: “The next stop station blah blah is a short platform so the doors in the rear carriage will not open at this stop, please move forward to the next carriage if you need to exit here”.

      1. Pretty sure all this 4-car/7-car stuff has been covered and dismissed before, but for old time’s sake – Stabling facilities can’t take 4/7 car sets, maintenance facility can’t take 4/7 car sets, some signal locations are too close together to run 4/7 car sets at peak frequencies. Adding extra cars would require the units to be redesigned, reprogrammed, retested, recertified. The three cars of a unit are coupled permanently and hardwired. They don’t come apart unless something quite serious is going on and they don’t mix and match. It’s not lego. Ordering more T-cars in the hope that they’ll be a cheaper interim band-aid is to waste time and money that could be spent on just doing the job properly by building complete units (which, by comparison, actually would just plug together like lego).

        1. Rather than adding trailers or buying more 3-car sets, why not buy 3-car inserts to permanently lengthen sets to 6 cars long? These would be the same general configuration of two power cars and one trailer giving four power and two trailer overall. However because you’re getting rid of the third and fourth driving cabs which are just lost space on a 6 car, you get more seating and standing capacity out of the same length.

          The inserts would probably be a touch cheaper without the cabs too.

          1. While we are at it, lets make those inserts have the battery packs required for Pukekohe. Get it on about half the fleet so you can rotate them around for longevity and deal with operational niggles.

          2. Nick while I sort of agree with you about that option for Pukekohe, having the units as six cars as standard seems to be a waste off peak and even interpeak when they are not required. There are too many six cars running around with twenty odd passengers late at night already causing extra security concerns.

          3. Extra energy use between 3 and 6 cars would be minimal I expect. Bit of extra servicing. Driver wages the same. Less staffing required to unlink/reconnect units. I’m sure someone will have some data workings somewhere.

          4. You have to ask themselves why they do run six car sets off peak. Presumably the hassle of taking them out of service and splitting them is more expensive in wasted time, out of service running and labour than just leaving them coupled and running them. I expect we’ll end up like Melbourne that always runs six car trains and never splits them. Why would you really, if you need sixes at peak then just run them off peak. At that point you have to wonder why we don’t just have six car units.

            One security advantage of six car units is all cars are linked with the open interior, so you can see all the way down the train and you can move up and down the train to your hearts content. I’d appreciate that on days like today where the rain shelter at my station is at one end, but where I get off at britomart is at the other end of the train.

          5. My stab in the dark is BEMU’s for Pukekohe gives us the extra for quite a while so Western always 6 car sets at peak. Seat changes when run out of capacity after that. Start on upgrading signalling already to the next level, or is the CRL not going to cope with anymore than with current level signalling system anyway?

          6. Bryce and Nick coupling and uncoupling EMUs is at the push of a button (done daily on platforms at Manukau, Papakura and Swanson) so there is no extra staffing or time required to do this.

          7. Off peak they should probably just lock off the rear 3-car unit, turn the lights off etc – that would help prevent damage and use less energy etc. If for some reason there is a whole lot of people expectantly wanting to catch the train then simply flick the switch and unlock them for instant capacity.

          8. It may uncouple at the push of a button, but they you need another driver to drive the second half back to the depot or somewhere else to stable it. Either that or you have to take the train out of service, drive it to the stabling yard, split then drive half of it back into service.

            Clearly either requires not insignificant time and staff resources.

          9. Nick it is really as simple as uncoupling one train to make two and putting the next one in a yard, as this would end up happening at out stations Swanson, Manukau or Papakura and there being depots at Henderson, Wiri and Papakura it’s not a big deal to do this.

          10. Talk of extra inserts or making 6 car straight through sets sound good but with a lead time of over 2 years to get anything here from CAF the peak time emu crowding seems destined to get a lot worse over the next several years.
            Puke bemus look to be far away as well, even more distant the wires to Puke, KR insisting on 3rd main (isn’t that mostly there already?) even more delay.
            I like the insert idea, maybe replace the AMT with a AMTB.
            A project to use that mockup that was on show at motat, it seemed to be a stainless steel short body, could be fitted out as a AMTB with a few tons of LiFePO4 which our good Chinese trading partners would no doubt trade for red kiwifruit.
            Just dreamin…

          11. Dedicated 6-car sets is a better idea, but I expect it would not be without its pitfalls. First to mind would be the matter of traction and regenerative braking being handled by half the number of axles compared to a coupled 3+3 set. Running a 6-car set with a traction converter disabled is only half-way to that scenario and it is a bad enough degradation of performance that I wouldn’t want to inflict another measure of the same magnitude on the crew – especially when the crew has to also use the original units with the full capability. Yes, you could have motor bogies in the new inner cars, but that at least partly defeats the merit of just adding trailer cars and the merit of having interchangeable, identical 3-car units. If there was a prospect of a decent sized expansion of the network, this idea may yet come to pass, but probably with some bigger changes in running gear.

            Current off-peak running of 6-car sets is most usually a function of not having staff in the right place to take the extra units out of service. This will more than likely reduce in future as the driver pool fills out. Running patterns we see right now are a bit convoluted to try and make the best use of the current resources, but this will not always be the case. Sometimes it’s because it’s that set’s turn to cycle through to Wiri for maintenance. Sometimes it’s because something got cancelled and sets are out of the planned order.

            Bruce – Off peak, lights off and locked doors is already done as a matter of crew preference. Not very often, it seems, but the option is there.

          12. If it takes not time, staff or resources, why don’t they do it Ted? You were just lamenting all the six car sets going round at night, why aren’t they splitting them?

            James, you’d absolutely have to add motor cars to make six car sets. No way just bunging in three more trailers could work. It’s no free lunch, but might be slightly cheaper and better capacity the doing more 3 car units.

          13. AT are the ones that set what runs when and if AT want to run a 6EMU from Britomart into Papakura at 1am on a Saturday morning that is what Transdev do, this could be changing in the near future anyway with negotiations to increase staffing on on 6EMUs.

        2. James it has been covered – yes. It has not been dismissed (except by a few people who can’t think outside of the box).
          1) If stabling can handle a 6-car EMU then how can it not handle a 4-car EMU?
          2) Doubtful that 1 extra car would make a 7-car EMU unable to fit anywhere in the network (again with platforms the rear car doors can be locked at platforms that aren’t long enough (happens overseas all the time).
          3) Not a major to reprogram the units etc – again overseas there are plenty of these units operating as 4-car EMUs. While it might not be Lego simple, it certainly isn’t a huge task either as these units are designed to be able to be removed quickly and replaced for a fault.
          4) Agree that we should just order more EMUs however this is NZ and we do things half-baked here. It is much more likely that we could order a dozen or so T-cars cheaply and quickly than it would be to get funding to order more EMUs. Since the question related to extending 6-cars to 9-cars which isn’t really possible in Auckland the reply was to see what would be possible. 7-cars should not be an issue on the Auckland network (and again at the few platforms that aren’t long enough the rear carriage can be locked off at those stops).

          1. Bruce just on the stabling comment, yards work well around the 3EMUs and 6EMUs they could work with 4EMUS but in a yard that currently fits four 3EMUs (or two 6EMUS) will then only fit three 4EMUs, while that may not be a big deal it will need to an all or none type thing just to make things easier and uniform instead of having 3EMUs, 4EMUs and coupling to form 6EMUs, 7EMUs or 8EMUs.
            If we were to have 3EMUs and 4EMUs it would create a nightmare for both AT and Transdev (or any other future operator) to have the right size units in the right place where as now it is either a 3EMU or two 3EMUs making a 6EMU plain and simple. They have will have to go into most of the yards opposite to how they are required out in the morning and having 4EMUs and 3EMUs mixed in everywhere doesn’t make the job of required allocations a simple task.

          2. Organising where 3,4,6,7,8emus need to be ready for scheduled services would be a rather menial task for a computer resourse management program. Could easily handle emu failures, arrange optimum positioning and emu servicing breaks etc.
            Probably linking into human resourse management too for staffing etc..

          3. Dgd that is easier said than done, but with all 3EMUs getting a 6EMU is as simple as coupling two 3EMUs (or uncoupling a 6EMU to form two 3EMUs) but throw some 4EMUs into the mix and it is a whole different story. You need to remember that it is not as simple as taking something different out of the line like a bus yard and it just takes a disruption to put everything out of order that could potentially muck the whole next day up.

            Sure your computer program could do all sorts of wonders but in the real world it is best to just keep it as simple as possible.

          4. Dismissed by people who are actually involved in the operation of the network as well as closed box thinkers, Bruce.
            1 – yes, you could park a 4-car set in a 6-car space, but where are you going to put the 3-car set that was supposed to go there? No room between the road bridges to stretch Wiri to accommodate this band-aid.
            2 – How about all the signals and points leading into and out of Britomart? Add 23m to the buffer spacing signals and you won’t even have room for a 6-car, never mind a 7-car.
            3 – It was a major to program them in the first place and it’s 3 years and running without all the problems having been resolved. No one involved will be volunteering to start that process all over again for a band-aid solution, let alone to pay for it.
            4 – The point is that the extra T-car solution will probably not be either cheap or quick and will come with the aforementioned negative side effects resulting in BCR = No Thanks. It’s pretty easy to state that these things should not be a problem, but it’s almost as easy to see all the ways that it will.

  6. I’m a regular train user, use train to get from Manurewa to Newmarket every weekday. Yesterday I caught a bus from Newmarket to Downtown after work; and immediately regretted it.

    Me and several others waited at the bus stop, in the rain for over 30mins for a single bus to arrive.

    1: The timeboard was useless. Whats the point of having a timeboard if you cant have the right information. It said the Bus was 2 minutes away, but the bus took more than 30mins to arrive.

    2. Bus shelter. I’m pretty sure Newmarket Broadway is a very busy bus route. But why are there Bus Stops that does not have any bus shelter. With majority of bus shelter not big enough to cope with 10s of bus users waiting for buses. Not everyone will fit in those tiny bus stop when its pouring down and with no bus had arrived for the pass 30mins.

    3. Bus lanes. Broadway Newmarket needs a dedicated bus route, even only during rush hour. Like remove all those bloody parking for cars for just the 2 hours during rush hour and let buses use them instead of being stuck along with 1 occupant car drivers. A 2 hour bus lane is better than no bus lane at all.

    If this is how buses are in Auckland, then would not be surprised when people turn back into driving rather than public transport. For me, sadly would not be taking buses for a while, and will stick with the trains.

    1. I regularly catch a bus from Newmarket to Parnell. Yesterday was much worse than usual, due to the heavy rain. Normally don’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for a Link or other bus, and the signs are usually fairly accurate. But when it rains, and the traffic gridlocks, then it screws the buses royally. Needs dedicated bus lanes from the Blind Foundation right through to Remuera Rd, and a bus stop outside the Newmarket Station entrance on Broadway.

    2. I may have cycled past your bus. Park Road (past the Domain) was an absolute mess yesterday, with more cars than buses in the bus lane outside Grafton station, and something really werid going on past the hospital (vehicles in all sorts of places in what looked to be gridlock tailing back from Grafton Rd towards Khyber Pass).

  7. With double decker buses adding capacity to the existing bus network I’m perplexed by the lack of growth in bus patronage.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this?

    1. Lack of Dedicated Bus Lanes. Buses remains stuck along with crawling traffic.Hence taking bus takes longer and private vehicle is more attractive option. Trains and Northern Bus Way is an example of why people flock to public transport. Dedicated Lanes without any congestion, making travel time faster during rush hour.

    2. You can have capacity out the wazoo, but the service itself needs to be of good quality

      When the Mount Eden Road route introduced DDs, AT quietly padded the timetable, as they are even slower than the SDs. 40 mins for 8km simply isn’t good enough. It’s only going to get worse under the new network when all Mount Eden Road buses will start in deepest Mount Roskill (the 274 currently starts at Three Kings).

      As per other commenters, current defects are:

      Too many bus stops
      Too often stuck in traffic due to fragmented bus priority measures
      Total lack of predictability (e.g. despite leaving every 2 mins at peak, you can wait 20 min mid route for a bus).

      1. The AT mobile app not giving wrong information would be nice too.

        It’s just directed me to get on the 380 on the wrong side of the road, sending me in the entirely wrong way costing me 45 minutes

      2. How are DD’s slower than SD though Steve? They take up the same road space… Potentially slower boarding/disembarking times due to more passengers being onboard, however since most stops have relatively few people hopping on or off it shouldn’t make a difference. The only time it should make a difference is at big stops where half the bus or more try to get off at the same time.

        1. Yes, much slower on loading and unloading, with up to twice as many people using the same doors, especially as the driver cannot move while people are going up and down the stairs. Only takes one person doing that to add fifteen or twenty seconds so not just an issue for busy stops (but especially for busy stops).

          Regardless of the cause it is demostrably true. You could see it on the busway while they were being introduced, single decker NEXs would catch up to and overtake double deckers that started several minutes ahead in the schedule.

          1. This, and ability to board with bikes, is why I was an advocate of modern articulated buses on the NEX route.

          2. ..and campaign of “if taking a shorter journey use the lower deck but use the upper deck for longer journeys”. I guess once the novelty of using upstairs wears off, less a likely to use the top level when not necessary also (but doesn’t help much with a full bus).

          3. Overseas drivers often don’t wait for people to climb the stairs (and people start down the stairs before their stop).
            Yes to a campaign of using the rear doors to exit and to get more HOP usage and less cash fares
            Yes also to a campaign of using UD for longer journeys and LD for shorter trips (agree that once the DD novelty wears off this will probably not be so bad).

          4. re cash fares, yes, I can imagine the guilt a poor cash paying person must feel, while a packed DD bus sits at the stop. Need to be able to buy pre loaded cards at dispensing machines at major stops/stations etc.

        2. I moved from Three Kings just before they were introduced so I’ve only been on the DD once, but the delay is primarily more people boarding at stops where the SD would be full and driven onwards.
          Sadly the front doors are still narrow, so it only takes one person paying cash or talking to the driver (“is the bus to Mount Eden/how much to Mount Eden/what does NZ currency look like” etc etc) and boarding is stuffed.

          There is probably more on/off movements along the Mount Eden route than NEX e.g. half the bus will alight at the upper University stop on Symonds Street. That takes a long time on the SD, so descending from the top deck is going to take even longer.

      3. Steve N, you have succinctly summed up why PT based on buses is so limiting and flawed. Furthermore all the suggestions of more bus lanes will not work everywhere as there is simply insufficient room in places for all modes. I do agree though with one of the comments that articulated buses with wide doors would be more efficient than double deckers.

        Higher overall passenger capacity on single deckers and doors capable of two exiting or one entering, one exiting was a base line in design in ARA buses (Mercedes 0305’s in the 70’s and the subsequent MAN SL200 & SL202’s in the 80’s). Small things like that make a difference to patronage and dwell times over an entire trip but that faded away as a design standard for some reason especially with the super low floor models.

        A progressive government and council would develop more rail routes with bus feeder services with light rail used on main roads as per the old network. That’s if we as a city are really serious about PT.

        1. couple of comments:
          1. Bus-based public transport systems work fine in many places. Edinburgh has an almost-entirely bus-based system that generates approximately 200 PT trips per capita per annum, i.e. 4-5 times Auckland
          2. Articulated buses are not necessarily more efficient than double-deckers. Articulated buses take up more space at stops intersections, thereby reducing capacity – even if DDs have longer dwell times. Edinburgh runs mostly double-deckers. They make it work by not giving change for paper tickets, which results in fast board times.

  8. With my analytical hat on, I can’t help but think that a simple solution would be three metrics…

    1. patronage per day
    2. patronage per week day
    3. patronage per weekend day


  9. Buses will surge ahead I’m sure with simplified fares taking a hold & even more once the new networks are rolled out. I think many people have discovered the high quality rapid modes (esp. train?), after last years bus strike/stop work meetings, that are in perhaps reasonable walking distance etc rather than catching the very close by bus.

  10. What happened to all the dedicated bus lanes that AT were supposed to be implement?

    I don’t know how much of an effect simplified fares will make in terrible weather when a train or a private car are much easier means of transport.

  11. So how much patronage do we need until rail has trains after 10pm Sunday to Thursday. Its honestly pathetic that I still have to endure a bus trip that takes 3x as long to get to my home near a train station (plus additional 25 min of walking) after work. Meanwhile many buses across Auckland run until around 11pm or even midnight, hell even the Devonport ferry runs until 11:30pm Mon-Thu. Even looking at Wellington trains they run until at least 11pm. What is going on AT?

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