AUCKLAND PUBLIC TRANSPORT has reached a new high with a record number of passengers leaving their cars at home in favour of public transport to get into the north New Zealand city's centre each morning, according to Auckland Transport (AT).
Auckland Transport’s group manager of Metro Services Stacey Van Der Putten says 48 per cent of people used buses, trains and ferries to get into the city between 7am and 9am in March.
“This is a new high, up two per cent on February and a six per cent increase on January.”
Last month, 767 fewer vehicles drove into the city in the morning, despite 4,000 more people making the trip, AT states.
“It’s great that Aucklanders are getting the message that there are options other than driving. In fact, total public transport patronage for March was just over 10 million trips, another record,” explained Van Der Putten.
NEW BUS NETWORKS
Last year new bus networks were rolled out in the central suburbs and on the North Shore, so now more than 500,000 Aucklanders live within 500 metres of a frequent service, which runs at least every 15 minutes, all day every day, according to AT.
Each weekday morning 620 buses bring Aucklanders into the city, many of them using dedicated bus or transit lanes.
Van Der Putten said, “More bus lanes, electric trains, double-decker buses and improved facilities mean more people prefer public transport as a quick and comfortable option.”
Auckland Transport actively monitors the transport network within the city centre with the goal of ensuring the movement of people can be as efficient as possible, it states.
To manage the growing demands on the city centre network priority is given to public transport, walking and biking.
People walking or biking into the city also took advantage of the fine weather with the percentage rising from seven to nine per cent.
There were 25,000 bike trips on the Nelson Street cycleway and 43,000 trips on Quay Street in March.
Photography: courtesy Auckland Transport / John Nottage