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Auckland rail hits six million passenger mark

Auckland rail hits six million passenger mark

ARC chairman announces goal of overtaking Wellington patronage by 2011

Auckland’s passenger trains are going from strength to strength, with patronage reaching a record six million journeys this year. The goal is now to out-perform Wellington’s long-established rail system.

Auckland Regional Council chairman Michael Lee today congratulated the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) on its achievements of 2007, and thanked chairman Mark Ford for his impressive contribution since his appointment earlier this year.

By June 2010, ARTA predicts the region will have reached 10.25m passenger journeys.
“Auckland rail has grown from two million to six million rail passenger trips per year within five years. We are now determined to overtake Wellington’s 11 million plus patronage by 2011.

"It’s a friendly pre-Rugby World Cup challenge in which many Aucklanders can play a part,” Mr Lee said.
“We’d also like to have electric trains running over the core part of the network by then - that’s another goal.”
The continued upgrade and expansion of Auckland's train fleet has contributed to the patronage increase, bringing the number of train seats available to 5,975, up from 4,967 in June 2006. Train seat capacity will be increased to 7,550 seats as a result of additional trains, additional services and more carriages per trains in service.

In December 2005, the Government allocated $600m to the upgrade and expansion of the Auckland rail network.
Over the coming few years, ARTA will work with ONTRACK, local councils and the Government to complete the rail double-tracking project and upgrade of all rail stations. Next June trial services to Helensville will begin and the year after that trains will be running to Onehunga.

In addition to these improvements, ARTA will be working with ONTRACK to electrify the rail network and with the ARC to purchase new electric trains, which will contribute to further patronage growth due to the faster journeys that will be possible through better train performance.

ENDS


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