Buried deep within the agenda of last week’s Transport Committee meeting is a report on the results of both the annual screenline and congestion surveys. The screenline survey in particular is a very long running (back to the 1980s) survey which counts the number of people crossing various points – most particularly those travelling into the city centre by various modes. In general terms the screenline survey showed a small increase in the number of PT users across most measured points (although a reduced modeshare due to a jump in the number of people driving to the city centre) while the congestion survey showed that congestion in Auckland has been decreasing since 2009 (someone please tell the transport model!).
Public transport modeshare dropped back to just under 50% of vehicular trips into the CBD – still much higher than the other two screenlines at the western and southern edges of the isthmus:
Total PT patronage entering the city centre increased slightly to 34,130 during the morning peak hour. It is worth noting that since 2001 this total has increased from around 21,000 – a 62% increase.
One of the most interesting elements of the screenline survey is the breakdown by street for buses entering the city centre and how this has changed over time:
Fanshawe Street has really asserted itself as clearly the busiest point of entry for bus passenger to the city centre. This is not surprising given investment in the Northern Busway and that for many other areas people have clearly shifted from bus to rail as investment in the rail system has delivered an increasingly attractive travel choice. It’s encouraging to see that Symonds Street has “built up again” in terms of its numbers – after taking quite a hit when a large number of services were diverted to travel over Grafton Bridge. The numbers for Quay Street appear quite strange – big fluctuations up and down in almost every year. Are bus users in the Eastern Beach suburbs just a particularly fickle bunch I wonder?
The rail numbers were down slightly on 2012 – although the report notes that two fewer trains were counted in the 2013 survey (presumably services were slightly late and therefore outside the measurement window), which means that only a small reduction is actually a pretty damn good result.
The ferry information breaks down passengers by the different service they took – which gives us a useful understanding of how dominant Devonport and Waiheke are when it comes to total ferry boardings:
The report also notes key entry point for people walking and cycling – although unfortunately the quality of the table is really poor:
The report doesn’t explain what’s behind the fairly big decline in both walking and cycling between the two surveys in 2012 and 2013 – perhaps the weather was different (this is a once a year survey).
The report also notes results from a survey into congestion and travel time reliability indicators. The overall result is a decline in congestion since 2009:
I’m not surprised that congestion has declined in recent years as traffic growth has stalled while there has been a lot of investment in transport during that time. This reinforces a feeling that we have articulated many times on this blog: that future congestion forecasts are likely overblown. Travel time reliability has also improved in recent times.
This is really interesting and useful information – quite surprising that it was buried so deep.