More peo­ple us­ing public trans­port

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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