The patronage stats for May are out, here are what AT say are the highlights:
- Auckland public transport patronage totalled 71,042,107 passengers for the 12-months to May 2012 an increase of 5,693,317 boardings or +8.7%. This is the first time since the 1950s that 12-month patronage exceeded 71 million trips.
- May monthly patronage was 6,812,265 an increase of 483,586 boardings or +7.6% on May 2011.
- Rail monthly patronage for May is 957,296 a decrease of -28,200 boardings or -2.9% on May 2011.
- Northern Express bus service carried 2,283,874 passenger trips for the 12-months with a growth in May 2012 compared to May 2011 of +12.3%.
Obviously the most interesting result here is the rail network with patronage dropping 2.9% compared to May last year and smaller increases/decreases are something that we have seen happening in recent months however the report has this to say:
The timing of the fare increase at the end of April is likely to have resulted in ticket pre-purchasing and therefore there was a lower than normal collection from the ticket sales network during May. Patronage calculations are based on ticket sales made during the month incurred.
My wife and I would definitely fall into the category above, we both buy monthly passes that go from about the middle of the month and due to the price increase, in mid April we brought additional ones which meant we have only just brought new passes now. This seems to be another thing that will only really be solved once we get HOP in place to more accurately get information on how many trips are taken across the network. I suspect that when it happens we will see some quite unusual results come out for a while as everything beds down but until then we are stuck with this fairly archaic system of ticket sales and manual counts.