Large numbers enjoy Fare Free Saturday

A combination of free public transport and a sunny day saw Aucklanders take to public transport on Saturday in numbers not seen since before COVID.

Public transport patronage was up 21 per cent on the previous Saturday with 119,518 people taking trips using their AT HOP card. That’s 94 per cent of the number who were travelling on a Saturday before COVID.

Bus trips were up 14 per cent on the previous Saturday, ferry patronage was up 32 per cent and trains a whopping 55 per cent.

Mayor Phil Goff says it was fantastic to see so many Aucklanders taking advantage of the fare-free offer.

“Aucklanders were out in force on Saturday, with tens of thousands of people leaving the car at home and getting on to a bus, train or ferry.

“It was great to see so many people venturing around the region in a carbon-friendly way, whether to see friends and family, do the shopping, or to experience some of the great new public spaces we have opened recently, such as Te Wānanga and Te Komititanga square, the restored Chief Post Office, Amey Daldy Park, and the recently upgraded Karangahape Road.

“Auckland is becoming a better-connected city, with more accessible, reliable and efficient public transport, greater densification leading to less sprawl, and improved public spaces that prioritise people and the environment. All of this adds up to a better, more interesting and more vibrant Auckland.”

Auckland Transport chief Executive Shane Ellison says he is thrilled with the response, “Saturday was a great success and we’re pleased Aucklanders got on board and took advantage.

“The biggest winner on the day was the Hobsonville/Beach Haven ferry services. We saw a jump of more than 600 per cent in passenger numbers compared to recent Saturdays, that’s fantastic.”

Mr Ellison says many Aucklanders took the opportunity to visit local businesses and check out the new projects delivered by the Downtown Programme which were officially opened by the Prime Minister and Mayor Phil Goff on Friday.