Auckland’s public transport users have clocked up 90 million trips on buses, trains and ferries over the past year, the last time Auckland saw that many trips was way back in 1956.
Auckland Transport’s Chief Transport Services Officer Mark Lambert says, “Auckland in 1956 was a totally different city. It was the last year the trams were running, trolley buses were very popular and ferry numbers were high because the Harbour Bridge was still three years away.”
In 1956 Auckland was a much smaller city, with a population of around 400,000, but car ownership was still not the norm.
Mr Lambert says “This was the beginning of the era of the car in Auckland, the Northwestern and Southern Motorways had just partially opened, so people were buying cars and public transport usage was dropping by around 8 million trips a year.”
The numbers using public transport in Auckland bottomed out at 28 million and stayed low until 2002.
Since then public transport usage has grown steadily with train patronage rising from 3 million trips a year to 20 million.
The 90 million mark is an increase of 6 million on the previous year, a growth of 6.7 percent.
Auckland Council Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby says he is excited about the future of transport for Auckland, “We’re in the midst of a public transport revolution, with record levels of patronage across public transport. Aucklanders have a growing appetite for bus, ferry and rail travel, and making this reliable and easy to use is a key priority.”
Customer satisfaction also continues to rise, reaching 90.5 percent for bus customers, 93.7 percent for train and 91 percent for ferry.
“I use the ferry daily and I’m really happy to see the satisfaction levels on the rise.
“We’ve come a long way, but we can still do better. There’s even more services to be rolled out next year – hopefully this will see our patronage pass 100 million, and our customer satisfaction reach 100 percent.”