The full public transport patronage report for September is yet to be released, but hidden within the general business report for the October board meeting we can see some pretty spectacular numbers – to be expected of course due to the Rugby World Cup:
September 2011 patronage was 6,634,342 passenger trips across public transport, an increase of +18.7% compared to September 2010. For the 12-months to September 2011 patronage was 67,682,156 passenger trips, an increase of +9.8% compared to the 12-months to September 2010.
The large increase in patronage in September is partly a result of Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC2011) matches held in Auckland. Special event PT services were provided for RWC2011 and fanzones on 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25 and 30 September 2011 with integrated match and public transport ticketing across rail and bus special event services.
Rail patronage for the month of September achieved 1,178,586, a new monthly record and an increase of +32.0% on September 2010.
I wonder whether the big rail numbers in Auckland in September and October will finally push us ahead of Wellington’s rail patronage. I don’t have numbers for Wellington more recent than June this year, but it’s interesting to see how both the monthly and 12-month rolling totals (full data here) for Auckland and Wellington have converged over the past few years:
Of course Wellington’s much smaller population means it has far higher per capita usage of the rail system (Auckland would need to be having more than 30 million trips a year to compete, something that’s probably 20 years away and requires the City Rail Link). But it’s interesting to see how much we’ve caught up since 2003. I would imagine that by this time next year Auckland may well have pulled ahead.