‘Mini-census’ to gain train stats
Porirua has given the cost and reliability of trains a thumbs down in a recent Metlink survey.
It found only 16 per cent of Porirua residents were satisfied with the reliability of trains, compared to 29 per cent regionwide.
Twenty per cent were satisfied with the cost of train travel, compared to 35 per cent of all Wellingtonians.
However, trains remain highly popular in Porirua – 62 per cent of locals have taken a train in the last three months, compared to less than half of all Wellingtonians.
Locals are less keen on bus travel, with only half of respondents taking the bus in the last three months, while two thirds did regionally.
Overall, the survey suggests less than a fifth of Porirua residents use public transport three times a week or more, a much lower uptake than the third of greater Wellington that frequently uses trains, buses and ferries.
Metlink carried out 750 phone surveys in April and May, 81 of those with Porirua residents.
Porirua is not rejecting bus travel, but its uptake pales in comparison to Wellington City, says Brett Sangster, spokesman for Greater Wellington Regional council, which runs Metlink.
‘‘The lower Porirua bus patronage rate, compared to the region as a whole, probably reflects the very high bus patronage rate in Wellington City – including Newlands and all the Wellington suburbs,’’ he says.
High train use can be attributed to the hordes that commute out of the city each day for work.
‘‘A large number of Porirua residents commute to work, school, tertiary education, appointments etcetera by train.’’
The Porirua statistics are only a rough picture, as so few locals were surveyed, Mr Sangster says.
But train passengers will get another opportunity to have their say on public transport this week, with Metlink running a ‘‘mini-census’’ in the carriages.
On Thursday all passengers on the Kapiti line during morning peak-hour and at midday will be surveyed.
Questions they will be asked include how they got to the station, how they will get from the station to work or school, and which type of ticket they use.
The cancelling of this year’s national census deprived Metlink of a wealth of passenger information, so it decided to hold its own census to gather the information.
‘‘Our planning staff rely quite heavily on the five-yearly census for information about trends in travel patterns, which areas are growing, which routes are in heavy demand,’’ Peter Glensor, chairman of Greater Wellington’s Economic Wellbeing Committee, says.
Bus passengers will be surveyed later in August.