Rail patronage in Auckland is continuing to close in on Wellington. Metlink were kind enough to update their patronage numbers up to January for me and it revealed some interesting about just how close the two cities now are. Up until the middle of last year there hadn’t been a single month where the Auckland network had carried more passengers than Wellington, the closest we had was in March last year where we were only about 17k trips behind. I had expected that we might have had high patronage in September and October due to the world cup but what I didn’t expect was that we also had higher patronage in August which turned out to be the first time it had ever happened.
Things have slipped back to normal for now but based on the growth each city is seeing I guess it is only a matter of time before the green line below passes the purple one. When that happens I wonder if people will finally realise that rail in Auckland is actually used.
Of course on a per capita basis the Wellington network is still far ahead, for Auckland to be on par with it we would need to be having about 35 million trips per year based on our current population.