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Public transport patronage the highest in more than 60 years

Published: 17 October 2017

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Public transport in Auckland meets record set in 1956.

Auckland's public transport users have made 90 million trips on buses, trains and ferries over the past year, making this the biggest year for public transport in the city since 1956.

Auckland Transport's Chief Transport Services Officer, Mark Lambert, says, "Auckland in 1956 was a totally different city. It was the last year the trams were running, trolley buses were very popular and ferry numbers were high because the harbour bridge had not been built."

The beginning of the era of the car

Auckland was a much smaller city, with a population of around 400,000, and car ownership was not the norm.

"This was the beginning of the era of the car in Auckland,” says Mark Lambert.

“The Northwestern and Southern Motorways had just partially opened, so people were buying cars and public transport usage was dropping by around 8 million trips a year."

The numbers using public transport in Auckland bottomed out at 28 million and stayed low until 2002.

Steady growth in transport patronage

Since then, public transport usage has grown steadily. Train patronage has risen from 3 million trips a year to 20 million.

The 90 million mark is an increase of 6 million on the previous year, a growth of 6.7 per cent.

Auckland Council Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby says he is excited about the future of transport for Auckland.

"We're in the midst of a public transport revolution, with record levels of patronage across public transport."

"Aucklanders have a growing appetite for bus, ferry and rail travel, and making this reliable and easy to use is a priority."

Customer satisfaction also continues to rise, reaching 90.5 per cent for bus customers, 93.7 per cent for train and 91 per cent for ferry.

"I use the ferry daily and I'm really happy to see the satisfaction levels on the rise,” says Cr Darby.

"We've come a long way, but we can still do better. There's even more services to be rolled out next year. Hopefully this will see our patronage pass 100 million, and our customer satisfaction reach 100 per cent."

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