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Record Levels Of Patronage On Public Transport

Record Levels Of Patronage On Public Transport

Figures just released by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) show Aucklanders are increasingly taking to public transport with record levels of patronage on ferries, trains and buses for the year ended 31 December 2005.

ARTA’s Chief Executive, Alan Thompson said, “ Ferry patronage has continued its steady growth with total patronage for the twelve month period to December 2005 growing by 3.9%; rail patronage is up by around 30% compared with the equivalent 6 month period in 2004 and bus patronage has largely recovered from the low point in early 2005, which was related to the Stagecoach strike. While we are not quite back up to the 2004 figure in the bus sector, the trend is very encouraging.

Mr Thompson attributes the growth in public transport patronage among Aucklanders to several contributing factors.

“The implementation of a new rail timetable on 25 October last year had a twofold impact. The level of service each week was expanded by around 25% and the timetable travel times were adjusted to be more in accordance with the actual performance of our existing fleet of trains much of which was not designed for urban services.

“The introduction of the new timetable has also had an immediate and beneficial effect on timekeeping with a movement from 62% of train services running on time in October 2005 to 87% running on time in December.

“In the bus sector, Stage 1 of the new Northern Busway opened in November with two new bus stations at Constellation Drive and Albany and ARTA’s new Northern Express Bus service commencing operation between the new bus stations and Britomart.

“Patronage on the Northern Express has grown rapidly with peak hour trips strongly patronised and the car parks at the Park and Ride facilities almost full on occasions. ARTA is reviewing options for increased peak hour services on the Northern Express in line with budget considerations”.

Mr Thompson said that in the bus sector overall, service monitoring was focused on ensuring that reliability and punctuality levels were also improved across the region.

ARTA was also increasing its focus on major public events and working closely with event organisers to ensure good quality passenger transport to and from a range of events from sporting fixtures through to festivals and family entertainment, said Mr Thompson.

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