The patronage results for November are out and they are an interesting mix. Here are the highlights according to Auckland Transport.
Auckland public transport patronage totalled 69,912,987 passengers for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +0.2% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. November monthly patronage was 5,905,112, an increase of +163,329 boardings or +2.8% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +5.2% accounting for one less business day in Nov-2013 compared to Nov-2012 and AT HOP
transition on rail in Nov-2012.
Rail patronage totalled 10,482,330 passengers for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +1.7% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. Patronage for Nov-2013 was 918,708, an increase of +173,228 boardings or +23.2% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +9.0%. This increase in part reflects the downturn in recorded patronage through Nov-2012 as legacy paper tickets transition to AT HOP.
The Northern Express bus service carried 2,292,434 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, a decrease of -0.1% on the 12 months to Oct-2013. Northern Express bus service patronage for Nov-2013 was 182,775, a decrease of -3,153 boardings or -1.7% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +3.0%.
Other bus services carried 51,482,310 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, a decrease of -0.1% on the 12-months to Oct-2013. Other bus services patronage for Nov-2013 was 4,316,087, a decrease of -45,520 boardings or -1.0% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +3.7%.
Ferry services carried 5,655,913 passenger trips for the 12-months to Nov-2013, an increase of +0.7% on the 12 months to Oct-2013. Ferry services patronage for Nov-2013 was 487,542, an increase of +38,774 boardings or +8.6% on Nov-2012, normalised to ~ +13.8%.
As noted in the highlights there was one less business day in 2013 v 2012 so that has had a decent impact on patronage results. In addition for rail patronage there is quite a difference in numbers which is largely due to the fact that HOP was introduced to the rail network at the end of October 2012 changing the way patronage was counted. This meant that a heap of people were still using up their old ten trip or monthly tickets in November and December but which weren’t being counted. This would have artificially reduced November 2012 results however AT have estimated that even without the change in ticketing systems that patronage would have been up.
The graph below shows the 12 month rolling average for each mode.
Even excluding the change in ticketing systems, less working day and without the special event (in the form of a Coldpay concert), AT estimate that rail patronage increased by 9% on November 2012 which is a pretty good result. The graph below shows that patronage definitely seems to be starting to turn upwards again which has been driven largely by better peak time usage.
While there are good results for the rail network, the results on the bus network are definitely concerning and it makes me wonder if part of the problem has been that people were put off using buses as a result of the HOP roll-out.
Perhaps the most concerning of the bus results is the Northern Express which has seen little growth for some time despite investment like extra park n ride at Albany. Patronage on the Shore in general has also been flat suggesting it isn’t just that people catching other services.
Lastly there continues to be good results for cycling with cycle counters continuing to show growth.