24 Sep 2013

Auckland public transport passenger numbers down

8:34 pm on 24 September 2013

The number of passengers using public transport in Auckland fell by more than 3% in the last year.

There were 2.4 million fewer trips on the bus or train in the year to August than the year before.

The Government has given Auckland Transport a goal to double its public patronage by 2020. But a report presented to the board of the agency says most patronage numbers are dropping.

Trains had the biggest decrease, down 7.5% during the year to August.

Auckland Transport attributes the drop to significant work going into electrifying the rail lines causing weekend closures. Work on the lines is due to be completed by May.

Bus trips were also down, by 2.9%. Ferry patronage was the only form of public transport that increased, going up by 0.8%.

A transport advocacy group says more people would use public transport if better weekend travel deals were offered.

Campaign for Better Transport spokesperson Cameron Pitches says it's working with Auckland Transport to get numbers up.

He says more services don't mean more patronage and one way to achieve a change would be to offer cheaper family passes at weekends.