The numbers of people using Metro services in Christchurch continues to increase. New figures show that more than a million trips (1,058,605) were taken on Metro services across Greater Christchurch during February 2012. The previous high since the February earthquake was November 2011, when 967,303 trips were made.
“The patronage increase in February is great and is on the back of the considerable amount of work being done by staff to ensure that services meet the changed needs of customers,” said Environment Canterbury’s Passenger Services Manager David Stenhouse. “The financial return from people paying fares compared to the total cost of running the public network was also up to 37 per cent in February.
“This is good to see, given that we are aiming for a 50 per cent return from fares as required by the New Zealand Transport Agency. It’s a considerable improvement when you consider that in April last year the revenue return against the cost of running the network was just 21 per cent.”
Mr Stenhouse said that more customers were continuing to use cross suburban routes like the Orbiter, which connects suburban malls and places like Pioneer Stadium and the university.
The new silver Comet, another cross suburban service in the north-west, was also gaining patronage after being launched at the end of last year.
“The success of the cross suburban services, confirms that this type of service is often proving the most direct way of getting customers to their new workplace or school. Other services such as the 5 Hornby to Southshore and the 3 Avonhead to Sumner are also showing continued strong patronage growth.” said Mr Stenhouse.
“As well as meeting the changed needs of customers, Environment Canterbury needs to run a Metro system which is economically sustainable and gets half its running cost from fare-paying passengers. More changes to ensure Metro continues to make progress in this area will occur as time goes on.”