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Auckland public transport usage exceeds 80 million

Auckland public transport usage exceeds 80 million

Auckland’s annual public transport usage has exceeded 80 million trips for the first time and Mayor Len Brown says the patronage target, set by the government for funding of the City Rail Link (CRL), will be achieved three years ahead of schedule.

The August 2015 figures released by Auckland Transport (AT) show Aucklanders are flocking to use the new electric trains with annual rail patronage up 22.7 percent to 14.4 million.

The figures are significant as this was the first period when the Western, Southern, Eastern and Onehunga lines were all using the electric trains.

In August total rail patronage grew by more than 20 percent compared to August the previous year and the Western line, the last to get the electric trains, saw a 12.9 percent leap.

“There is no doubt that my vision to help solve Auckland’s traffic congestion by improving public transport services is working well but the growth will soon create problems which emphasise the urgent need to get cracking on building the CRL,” says Mayor Len Brown.

“At this rate of growth, we will reach train service capacity next year and then Britomart’s platforms will not cope resulting in service delays for passengers. That is especially unfortunate as the network has worked hard on improving reliability. The August figures showed more than 90 percent of all services arrived at their destination within five minutes of the scheduled time. In June it was less than 75 percent.”

Len Brown says he is especially pleased with the increase of ferry services patronage, up 10.2 percent, while bus patronage is up 6.6 percent annually.

The AT HOP card was also a winner being used on almost 74 percent of journeys. Cycle trips in August 2015 were 7.3 percent higher than in August 2014 across the nine key sites monitored by AT.

“Aucklanders made it clear they want to cycle but want to feel safer when doing so,” says Len Brown.

“Last week I opened stage two of the Beach Road cycleway which is separated from traffic and meets this wish. Aucklanders told me to fix congestion and these figures show people are getting out their cars and using public transport. But to continue this progress we simply can’t wait any longer to build the CRL.”

The government’s target was for 20 million passenger rail trips per year.

ENDS

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