Auckland’s annual public transport usage is continuing to soar with the latest figures showing a total of 81.2 million passenger trips in the past year - an increase of 8.1 per cent.
Mayor Len Brown says it’s especially pleasing to see rail patronage increasing by 22.6 per cent as Auckland prepares for the historic start of work on the City Rail Link (CRL).
Rail services totalled 15.1 million trips for the 12 months to November 2015.
Len Brown says that at current growth rates, the patronage target set by the government for funding of the CRL will be achieved at the end of 2016, three years ahead of schedule. The government’s target is 20 million trips per year.
Electric trains a huge hit
The latest figures for November 2015 were released by Auckland Transport (AT) at its board meeting on 15 December. The mayor says the figures confirm Auckland's new electric trains are a huge hit with Aucklanders who enjoy their comfort and reliability.
“I predicted Western line services would be the next success story after electric trains started there in late July. There has been a 20 per cent leap in patronage on that line.
“It’s also pleasing to see that despite the fact Pukekohe has yet to see electric trains, patronage on that line jumped a staggering 53 per cent.
“At this rate of growth we will reach train service capacity next year, making the construction of the CRL a matter of urgent priority.
“Another milestone is rail reliability and in November we achieved the best results on record. Across the network, service delivery (reliability) was 98.9 per cent and punctuality was 95.1 per cent compared to a 12-month average of 96.3 per cent and 85.2 per cent.
“This proves that when you provide an efficient modern public transport system, Aucklanders get out of their cars and use it regularly.”
Bus and ferry use also on the rise
Other public transport modes also saw significant rises in the latest figures.
Bus services totalled 60.4 million passenger trips, an increase of 4.8 per cent while ferry services totalled 5.7 million trips, an increase of 10.5 per cent.
Downtown Mall to make way for CRL
Aucklanders will soon see the first tangible steps in the construction of the CRL with the re-situating of stormwater pipes and the demolition of the Downtown Mall.
The mayor says discussions with the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Transport were going well, with the Government committed to the CRL project.