Auckland Transport have published the ridership data for July and August and they both look positive. Here is a quick breakdown of the two months.
The numbers for July look impressive, particularly with non-busway buses which saw double digit growth, although some of this will be the result of there being one extra business day compared to July-17. The month also saw changes to buses on the 8th with the New Network rolled out on the Isthmus.
- Total trips – 7.9m, up 10.6%
- Rapid Transit – 2.3m, up 7.0%
- Rail – 1.8m, up 4.8%
- Busway – 496k, up 15.5%
- Other buses – 5.2m, up 13.2%
- Ferry – 437k, up 1.5%
August is usually one of the busiest months of the year for PT use and 2018 has proved no exception with over nine million trips in the month. That’s the third highest monthly result after March-17 and 18. The result also comes with August-18 having exactly the same number of business days as Aug-17 so allows for a relatively fair comparison.
- Total trips – 9.1m, up 6.3%
- Rapid Transit – 2.6m, up 6.5%
- Rail – 2.0m, up 6.1%
- Busway – 542k, up 7.9%
- Other buses – 6.1M, up 6.4%
- Ferry – 454k, up 3.3%
Both of the results are positive and you can clearly see the outcome of them in the graph below showing ridership in each month.
One thing that’s been pleasing has been the solid growth in the ‘Other Bus’ category. These are the trips on buses that aren’t using the Northern Busway and still represents the bulk of PT use in the city. They’re also the trips that are most likely impacted by the roll-out of the New Network. Over the last year, just under 62 million boardings took place on these buses which was an increase of 5.9% on August-17 but as you can see from the graph below, it wasn’t always growing like this and as recently as 2016 ridership numbers were going backwards a little bit.
While ridership on these buses has improved, the opposite is true for the share of PT trips which as dropped from around 88% back in 2003 to around 65% now thanks to the rise in use of the rail network and busway.
It also seems like we could be seeing some growth on the rail network again after numbers have largely flat-lined this year. When combined with the other results, I wonder if the Regional Fuel Tax is starting to have an impact on numbers.
All up a good few months and total ridership has pushed the total ridership over the last 12 months to 93.7 million.