The July numbers from AT are out here: July Stats
Let’s start with the best news: Cycling
Up 12-14% on last year. Crazy growth in some months, this wants investing in. How much more funding would this get if it was a State Highway? But hey what happened in March? Did it rain all month?
Ok now to less personal forms of movement, here’s the big picture:
Six years and 20 odd million extra annual PT trips in Auckland; from some 51m to 71m. Hard to get figures on population growth for this period but it isn’t anywhere near 40%. This is a consistent trend, it is what a change in the zeitgeist looks like. Driving is still dominant but it isn’t the future, it isn’t the growth mode despite getting a vastly disproportionate amount of investment.
And year to date:
Healthy midwinter growth. School Buses the outlier. Otherwise; Ferries, Onehunga, and the Southern + Eastern hybrid numbers just into double digits. Western- meh, and the NEX on the positive side of flat. But overall very good as we know services are not improving in number or frequency and works are ongoing on the rail network for electrification which means weekend closures.
After a couple of skinny months on the RTN network it’s good to see another rise. This will not be the case over the next 3 months however as we get into the Rugby World Cup figures from last year. But the underlying trend continues; there is still increasing demand despite the quality or frequency of the services not increasing. 450k new human trips on the network in one wintery month. Heroic.
Easy to see the RWC spike, but also that the relentless upwards march continues if you smooth the trend. I’m still picking a bit of a hiatus in this growth until the EMUs are fully in operation with their better, more frequent, and more appealing service. As well as the continued disruption that the works will cause until electrification is complete.
The only other new drivers of patronage before then will be the roll out of integrated ticketing with associated bus transfers, possibly….. hard though it is to feel optimistic about any timeline for that.
Then there’s the opening of the new Parnell Station  which could become an interesting off peak destination if enough is done to integrate it with the Domain and Museum, and some ‘turning around’ of the Parnell Village occurs to this sunny and interesting little valley; a great place for a bar and restaurant and can Mainline Steam become some sort of attraction? Of course the real issue is the construction of some pedestrian infrastructure to ‘move’ this station closer to the other side of the motorway severance in an effective and exciting way. I have some students working on this, so in that light:
PT and the active modes in Auckland: a winner worth backing. Discuss.