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Public Transport Use Continues to Climb

Public Transport Use Continues to Climb

“Aucklanders are getting out of their cars and choosing to sue other modes of transport,” says ARC Passenger Transport Chairwoman Catherine Harland following the release of the ARC’s annual passenger transport survey.

The ARC today announced the results of its Central Area survey of the numbers of people entering the CBD during the morning peak period for 2002, recording significant boosts across bus, train and ferry usage.

“Overall patronage has shot up by a record 21.3% from last year’s survey, which means that more and more Aucklanders are choosing not to take their car into the CBD at peak,” says Cr. Harland. “This is on top of two consecutive years of significant growth in public transport patronage across the entire region which recorded a 7.6% rise in 2000-01 and 7% in 1999-2000.”

“The ARC is continuing to work with operators to improve and increase services across the region, using schemes like Transfund’s Kick-Start Funding. These service improvement, coupled with local council's on-the-ground changes, reveal a united effort and a real commitment to keep Auckland moving. This is now paying dividends with growing numbers of public transport customers,” says Cr. Harland.

A key finding from the survey was a 22.8% increase in bus patronage.

Stagecoach Marketing Manager Russell Turnbull says the rise in patronage has called for some creative measures to ensure that that the surge in demand is met. “Over the past three months we’ve had to second vehicles from other cities and speed up our new bus programme to meet demand for services both on and off peak,” says Mr Turnbull.

“We’ve also been adding new services on existing routes, such as the ‘Limited Stop’ service on New North Road which only stops at major points en route. By making fewer stops these buses are getting people into the CBD much faster than before.”

Cr. Harland noted that the increase in patronage across all transport modes adds impetus to the ARC’s vision of a fast, frequent and reliable public transport network. “Aucklanders can expect bus services running every 5 - 15 minutes down all major arterial roads at peak times – many of which we have already achieved, and a 10 minute frequency on rail by the end of 2006.”

ENDS

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