Auckland Transports public transport and cycling stats show that while November had one less weekday than it did in 2018, we saw still managed some decent growth in usage.
We should see a more detailed breakdown of the November numbers at the next AT board meeting in February but the high-level numbers are positive.
In total November saw 8.97 million boardings, up from 8.56 million the year before, a 4.8% increase. This also pushed us over 103 million boardings for the previous 12-months, up from 95.7 million the year earlier, a 7.7% increase.
A breakdown by mode is shown below with the busway still showing great growth. Positively even the ferries saw growth during the month following a number of poor results, for example in October even though there was an extra working day, usage dropped compared to 2018.
The growth in usage over the last year, much of it driven by the changes in the central and North Shore bus networks in 2018 is interesting because it also came after fares increased on average by 1.9% in February. AT said at the time they didn’t want to increase fares but had to to cover increasing costs. The board paper for the last increase suggested it would reduce annual trips by about 830,000. Some fares were later reduced, such as allowing children to be free with HOP on weekends.
The reason I raise this is any day now we should hear the outcome of the fare review for this year after it was sent to the AT board for a decision in December. One aspect that will almost certainly play a part is that farebox recovery, the amount of operational costs covered by passenger fares, has continued to decline in recent years. In October it was at 42.9% overall, down from 45.1% the year before.
And here is the other way of looking at it, the amount of subsidy we pay per passenger km travelled.
This data is a little out of date now but shows an approximate comparison with some cities in Australia, Canada and the US.
Like with PT, the cycleway counters recorded some good growth in November which would have been helped by the month being generally warmer and drier than usual (it would have helped the PT numbers too).
Overall for the month AT say usage recorded on on their 26 city count sites was up 9.3% on November 2019 and some sites continue to see even stronger growth, such as Lightpath which was up 57% or the NW cycleway at Kingsland which was up 24%
We are likely heading for a record summer. For example the NW Cycleway at Kingsland in November almost matched the March peak number. Could the results in March get close to to that 45k upper limit?
Wellington Public Transport
Wellington’s ridership numbers were a bit rockier than those in Auckland. In total usage increased slightly however within that overall bus numbers were up slightly on what they had been. Rail on the other had was slightly down which would have reflected there being one less business day.
The graph below shows while total boardings are up, so to are unique (bus) journeys.