Keep it Simple
The old business mantra about keeping it simple, stupid should be mandatory all over the Auckland public transport network.
Most readers here may be PhDs in working out bus and train routes to get around but most in the public throw up their hands and say “Too hard.”
I hear it often.
Maxx’s website is still flaky at times and working out how to get cross town somewhere in time for your deadline is not easy especially when there doesn’t actually seem any simple way to get across suburbs.
That’s why the b-line philsophy must be extended as soon as possible and a major revamp of routes and timetables should be a priority for Auckland Transport, using the knowledge gained by ARTA in recent times.
It’s that knowledge that’s making a difference.
ARTA’s monthly report has this significant paragraph:
Growth in the bus sector (patronage) has been seen primarily in the North and South of Auckland.These are areas where services have been redesigned over the last two to three years with simpler and higher frequency services. ARTA will be implementing service changes in the West sector later this year.An example of passenger growth where bus services have been redesigned: Local and Manukau Cross-town bus routes were redesigned on 1 February 2009. Routes were simplified with some extensions and new timetables. Patronage growth on these services is 50.7% (34,389 boardings) compared to May 2009, growth for the year to date (eleven months) is 33.3% (223,013) higher than the same period in the previous financial year. This has contributed to growth in the South Sector.
Northern Express, another example of simplified easy-to-grasp and highly visible services, is another one that continues to benefit from this approach.
Like the b-line perception, North Shore residents can see the benefits of using it as they battle rush hour traffic in their cars and see buses whizz past out of the corner of their eye.
Patronage grew by 23.6% or 35,708 boardings for this May compared to May last year. For the first eleven months of the financial year Northern Express patronage was up by 19.2% (263,646 boardings) compared to the first eleven months of the 2008/09 year. There have been over 1.76 million passengers recorded using the Northern Express over the last twelve months, an increase of 19.3% on the same period last year.
And, as with Dominion Rd, more proof, as if we needed it, not to mess with bus lanes. Noticeable delays for bus commuters and they’ll soon question why they bother.
Overall, Auckland’s bus patronage grew by 5.8% (250,628 boardings) compared to last May. For the financial year to date (eleven months) bus patronage is 1.2% (520,783 boardings) higher than the same period of the previous financial year. There have been 47.1 million passengers recorded using bus services over the last 12 months, an increase of 1.56% on the same period last year.
May’s rail passengers (811,000) was the second highest on record and represented an increase of 12.7% on the same month last year. There were an equal number of business days this year compared to last year and also a comparative number upgrade works and special event trains in both years.
For the year-to-date there have been 7.771 million passengers recorded on rail services, an increase of 11.0% on the same period last year.
In May, 539,000 passengers travelled on Southern and Eastern line services, an increase of 15.1% on last year.
There were 272,000 passenger journeys made on Western line services, an increase of 8.2% on the same month last year. For the year-to-date 2.694 million passengers have travelled on western line services, which is 8.7% more than for the same period last year.
More proof – improve the services and they come.
The platform works at Mt Albert and Mt Eden railway/train stations especially caused some delays.
As a result there was a slight decline in performance for the month with 79.4% of services operating on-time or within five minutes of schedule, compared to 80.7% in April and 86.7% in May last year.
The decline in western line punctuality compared to last month saw 67.2% of services operating on time or within five minutes of schedule in May compared to 72.7% in April and 87.4% for May last year.
In contrast, the punctuality of southern and eastern line services during May continued to improve on recent months with 85.5% of services operating on time or within five minutes of schedule. This compares to 84.8% last month but still below the 86.2% for May last year. The improvement is mainly due to improved track conditions and fewer major incidents.
One to watch is an upward swing for ferry patronage for May – 4.3% higher than last May, for the financial year to date (eleven months), patronage is 3.9% higher than the same period in the previous financial year.