June is always one of the most important months in the year for ridership as it’s the final month in the financial year. The latest results are out and here’s a breakdown.
AT have published the June numbers, although they don’t have quite the same level of detail as the report that goes to the board.
Focusing on the month first, this year June had one less weekday than June last year. This is important as a weekday accounts for about a 3% difference in ridership. With that in mind, here is a summary of June’s results:
- Total trips – 7.7m, down 0.8%
- Rapid Transit – 2.2m, down 1.2%
- Rail – 1.7m, down 2.3%
- Busway 456k, up 3.5%
- Other buses – 5.1m, no change
- Ferry – 404k, down 6.9%
Overall, June was a fairly lacklustre month, only really squeaking into the positive if you take the working days into account.
It’s the overall result for the year to the end of June that is most closely watched and also what AT are judged on for their targets.
- Total trips – 92.4m, up 4.6%
- Rapid Transit – 25.6m, up 4.3%
- Rail – 20.2m, up 2.6%
- Busway 5.5m, up 10.9%
- Other buses – 60.7m, up 5.3%
- Ferry – 6.1m, down 0.6%
The overall growth rate is lower than it was in 2017 (6.7%) but is in line with what we’ve seen over the last 15 years. It’s also higher than population growth and so our per captia measure has grown too. It remains unclear exactly why ferries continue to struggle.
These results should also be compared against the targets set out for AT in their Statement of Intent for 2017. The relevant portion is below, with the other PT targets focusing on Punctuality and Customer Satisfaction.
So, AT didn’t meet the target for total boardings short by 600k, they didn’t meet the target for rail boardings, short by 91k and rapid transport increased slower than total boardings. The only one they may have met is the third one and that’s only because we can’t tell from the data what the growth in the frequent network is.
It should also be noted that at 92 million trips, boardings on public transport in Auckland are the highest they’ve been since 1952, although on a per capita basis we’re below where we were in the 80’s.
As well as the ridership, AT have provided me with the number of boardings for all bus routes. I plan to delve into the data in more detail in a future post but here are the top 10 busiest routes other than the Northern Express. It’s also worth noting that many of these constitute multiple routes that I have grouped together into corridors. The routes and the number of boardings are:
- Dominion Rd – 2.94 million
- Mt Eden Rd – 2.55 million
- Outer Link – 2.22 million
- Manukau Rd – 2.20 million
- Sandringham Rd – 2.18 million
- Inner Link – 2.17 million
- New North Rd – 1.95 million
- Takapuna (& East Coast Bays) – 1.93 million
- City Link – 1.71 million
- 70 (Botany to City) – 1.63 million
Update: I forgot to aggregate all the Onewa Rd bus services. Of those that head to the city, they total 3.01 million and the few other services that use Onewa but then head to Takapuna or Northcote Point add another 381k
Of these, perhaps the most interesting is the 70 as it’s only been running since December. The data AT provided me is monthly and so if we compare the totals since from December onwards, the 70 would actually be the busiest route, beating out Dominion Rd buses which have done 1.62 million since then. Of course, the 70 generally has a lot longer route and I suspect many of it’s users are transferring to trains at Panmure, which other data AT has provided me suggests is challenging New Lynn for the 3rd busiest station spot.
It is also going to be interesting to see what impact the New Network has on these numbers. So far the East, West and South have seen decent growth from their respective network changes and we hope to see something similar on the isthmus and in future the North Shore.
Wellington’s numbers for the year are also available. Wellington hasn’t been experiencing the levels of growth that Auckland has but it did see growth in the 2017/18 financial year. Here are the annual results
- Total trips – 38.5m, up 1.9%
- Rail – 13.6m, up 3.3%
- Bus – 24.7m, up 1.1%
- Ferry – 204k, up 4.3%
In July Wellington launched a new bus network and it will be fascinating to see the impact this has on their ridership numbers.