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Survey Shows Train Passengers up 33%

Survey Shows Train Passengers up 33%

7 July 2004

The number of people using Auckland’s passenger train service increased by a third over the past year.

According to a survey commissioned by the ARC, more than 16,000 people use the train network on an average weekday, compared to around 12,000 in 2003.

The survey (conducted in March 2004 and compared with results from a similar survey in May 2003) shows patronage has increased by nearly 45 per cent on the Southern and Eastern Lines, while the Western Line increased by close to 20 per cent.

Councillor Catherine Harland, Chair of the ARC's Passenger Transport Committee, says the results show ongoing service improvements, increased service hours and the opening of Britomart have had an impact on patronage.

“The ARC is leading many initiatives to improve passenger rail in Auckland. Before the opening of Britomart there was a major redesign of services adding more early morning trips and later evening services, and just recently we have seen the introduction of Saturday services along the Eastern Line, plus a trial extension of the day-rover pass further south”. Catherine Harland says a significant proportion of the growth appears to be related to the extension of services to Britomart. “

According to this survey, nearly 4000 more people use Auckland’s trains each weekday, and by far the greatest change in usage is happening in Auckland’s downtown with 1,818 or 103% more passenger boardings at Britomart than at the old Strand station.”

Meanwhile a second survey, also commissioned by the ARC, shows the numbers of people travelling into Auckland's CBD on week day mornings, using all forms of public transport, has slightly increased (up by 0.5%), compared to a similar survey in 2003.

The results show the number of rail commuters travelling into the city during the morning peak is up by nearly 84%, in line with the rail survey results, while ferry usage increased by more than 5%. The number of people using buses to travel to the CBD decreased by 5.5%.

Cr Harland says wet weather on the day of surveying may have influenced bus passenger numbers.

“The change in patronage figures for all forms of public transport into the city could also be due to the re-routing of many bus services after the opening of Britomart Station. This has changed the travel patterns of commuters across the CBD”.

She says both surveys show how important passenger transport is for Auckland.

“The sustained level of public transport patronage highlights the significance of these services for central Auckland. In particular the sharp increase in rail users across the network shows trains are an important transport option, reinforcing the need to further improve the rail system to meet growing demand”.

Gabites Porter carried out the rail network survey over one day in March 2004, by counting the numbers of people who board and alight trains at each station. These numbers were then compared to results gathered in a similar survey carried out in May 2003.

Opus carried out the survey measuring passenger transport use into the CBD, over one day in April 2004. This annual survey has been carried out almost every year since 1986.

ENDS

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