More people using public transport
Public transport usage is continuing to rise steadily.
Annual patronage in Auckland now exceeds 78 million boardings, an increase of 10 per cent.
In March there were 8.4 million trips made, which equates to a jump of more than a million trips on the previous year.
Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy says it has been a big year with increased services across rail and bus and the gradual replacement of the diesel trains with electric models.
Rail showed the biggest jump in patronage, reaching 13.4 million passenger trips for the year, an annual increase of 21 per cent. March saw a monthly record high of 1.56 million train trips, a rise of 29 per cent.
Dr Levy says Auckland Transport is aiming to complete the rollout of the electric train network by the end of July.
Auckland mayor Len Brown says the figures are good news for the City Rail Link.
‘‘At this rate, Auckland will meet the Government’s threshold for financial support for the City Rail Link early in 2017, three years earlier than projected.’’
Meanwhile, Auckland Transport AT Metro general manager Mark Lambert apologises for recent disruptions on the rail network, including track and signal failures as well as mechanical breakdowns with the old diesel trains and staffing issues.
‘‘The new timetable from December 2014 introduced a 20 per cent plus increase in services across the constrained Auckland rail network,’’ he says.
‘‘That has made it more difficult to recover when there is an issue.
‘‘We are working with the rail operator Transdev to speed up the recovery time when unfortunately inevitable failures occur.’’
Auckland Transport is pleased to see public transport use is on the rise. The AT HOP card is a vital piece of plastic for regular users.