The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) today reported the highest level of public transport growth for over twenty years.
ARTA’s Chairman, Mark Ford said, “Public transport trips in the nine months to March 2009 grew by 9.9% (3.9 million more passengers) compared to the nine months to March 2008. There were 43.6 million public transport trips, the highest public transport patronage for any nine month period since 1985. This is exceptional growth”.
Mr Ford said, “I firmly believe that improved service levels – more frequent trains, extended hours of operation, more punctual services, 21 rail station upgrades and investment in the bus sector in respect of simplified services – have made the experience more pleasant for more passengers.
“I’m pleased that customer satisfaction levels have improved to 83%. That’s a good result but we acknowledge that further improvement is still required and this is an area of continued focus”.
Mr Ford said growth in the bus sector, which carries the majority of public transport trips in Auckland, was particularly pleasing.
“Bus trips in the nine months to March 2009 grew by 10.2% (3.2 million more passengers) compared to the nine months to March 2008. There were 34.7 million trips on bus, the highest bus patronage for any nine month period since 2003.
“The Northern Express service is Auckland’s fastest growing bus service, carrying 77% more passengers during these nine months to 1.1 million passengers”.
“Rail patronage was the highest on record since records for rail began in 1955. In the nine months to March 2009 rail patronage grew by 14.7% (724,000 more passengers) compared to the nine months to March 2008. There were 5.6 million trips on rail for the nine months to March 2009.
“To put it simply, where there has been investment, there has been growth, both on rail and bus”, said Mr Ford.