Onehunga -Watching the Numbers


We’re keeping an eye on the number of Onehunga commuters.

This afternoon:

4.16pm service to Onehunga- 23 got off at Onehunga.

Return trip  10 got on at Onehunga , 5 at Te Papapa, 4 at Penrose 3.

There were 20 commuters on the 7.45am Onehunga service this morning.

ARTA will say its estimated  start up  patronage on the line for the two hours at morning peak, from 7am to 9am,  is for about 100 people boarding at Onehunga.  This compares with 3,600 people alighting at Britomart during the morning peak period.

If the hordes who had a taste  Sunday come back more regularly, the numbers will far exceed projections.
Some locals just went to Te Papapa for a taste.
On a Western train I was on, the train manager announced on the intercom Onehunga was open and recommended people get off at Newmarket and go for a ride to the new station.
It will be interesting to watch the numbers during a workday week.
On weekdays there are 25 services from Onehunga to Britomart and 24 services going the other way.
On Saturdays 17 citybound services and 16 Onehunga-bound services, while today Sunday and public holidays 15 citybound and 14 Onehunga-bound trains.
ARTA says it will be closely monitoring the numbers of passengers.
Today - they kept on arriving at Onehunga’s new platform(hat tip photos Joust, JonR)

ARTA chair says rail is booming-Video
Videos of steam train
First official train into Onehunga
Photos of the festive day
Onehunga celebrates in style
Mike Lee speech
Te Papapa, Penrose 3 pictures
Steven Joyce speech
Steven Joyce on police chases
Onehunga being constructed- Photos
35 take first trip into Britomart on Sunday- photos
More hordes try out the new trains - Photos
Historic photos along the fenceline a nice touch
New $36m New Lynn transport hub opens

Time now for airport rail




  1. Kurt says:

    This was a very efficient trip which I guess will improve even more when they don’t need to come to a halt at Church Street and the smoothest ride I have experienced on Auckland’s network.

    Well done Kiwirail/Ontrack,the ARC and everyone else who put in the effort to make this line a reality.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Kurt I’m sure they’ll appreciate that. It’s been quite a mission to get there.

  3. Matt L says:

    I really think that this line will be well above expectations, especially considering that it only takes half the time of a peak hour bus.

  4. Jon C says:

    @Matt L Interesting point. Mind you new Lynn is like that too when you try to get there on a bus!

  5. Sam says:

    I agree about their low expectations… when you consider that Aucklands rail network carries almost 1000000 passengers per month (sometimes more!), its hard to believe that the Onehunga line will only carry 1/500 of that (2000 per month) - especially as it is so much quicker than the bus (as Matt L noted), and it has a potential catchment from Mangere too (this is one of the first examples of integrated timetables/ convenient transfers we have had come on line - people from Mangere might realise that bussing to Onehunga and transferring to a train is quicker than driving).

  6. Matt L says:

    Sam - just one small point, we have never had over 1 million trips on trans in a month, the highest so far is just over 900k and that was March this year. If you include the northern express which is kind of like a train then yes we are over 1 million.

    If things carry on like they have been then we will hit that 1 mil mark in March

  7. rtc says:

    I’m sure lots of people from Mangere will also drive across and park and ride, which should also help push up the numbers.

  8. GJA says:

    A lot of people from the area will now look at the possibility of working in town (or close to some of the stations) with this alternative mode of transport. So yes, there will be a number of people start using it immediately, but the patronage will grow over the months and years.

  9. Matt L says:

    A guy at work lives in Onehunga and caught the train that go in to town at 8:10. He said there were about 25 people that caught the train this morning and he was impressed with how quick it was.

  10. Joshua says:

    Since I will be based working in Mangere for the next 9 months I will definitely look at using the Onehunga line, and it’s good to see there is already interest in it, so hopefully my injury recovers soon so I can take the trek!

    Matt L - There has never been more than 1 million trips recorded, as you are well aware the ticket counts have never been 100% accurate though, with people skipping payment and all, I would expect every now and then we would of reached that mark.

  11. Jon C says:

    @Joshua Your poor guy. How long is that injury going to take to heal?

  12. Matt L says:

    Joshua - patronage numbers are a mix of ticket sales, platform counts and onboard head counts and while it won’t be 100% accurate I doubt that it is out by 100k per month. Have a look at ARTA’s monthly business reports, they show patronage since July 2004.
    The biggest 4 months recorded are March 2010 with just over 900k, May 2010 with just over 800k, March 2009 with 800k and July 2010 with 799k.

  13. sam says:

    Yes go t a bit confused in my last comment- not usre if I was thinking about total RTN, or that we are about to pass the million mark!

    I read in the herald this-morning which says ARTA are expecting 500 per week day.. .have they subtly edited their expectations, or perhaps there’s a typo on your article Jon?

  14. Jon C says:

    @Sam Yours sounds more like it. I was relying on my memory when I dashed that off instead of checking through my notes. Thanks

  15. Nick R says:

    ARTA have projected 500 boardings at Onehunga in the two hour morning peak, which the Herald has been reporting (slightly inaccurately) as 500 commuters a day.

    A quick look at MAXX shows 42 bus services from Onehunga to the CBD during that same two hour peak, so obviously there is quite a lot of demand there (i.e. 2000+ commuters). Once we consider the fact that the train is 10% cheaper and more than twice as fast it seems obvious that a big proportion of bus travellers will make the switch, and plenty more car drivers will start taking the train.

  16. Joust says:

    That assumes that bus pax are bound for britomart. There’ll definitely be some shift, but it won’t suit everyone.

  17. Jeremy says:

    I used to live in Mangere Bridge, and if still living there I would no doubt catch a bus and transfer.

    Used to cost me 5.40 (before the last fare increases) and take anywehre from 45 min to 1 hour 30 minutes depending on the time or if i got an express bus.

  18. Joshua says:

    @Jon C - It’s a 6month heal time 1year before 100%, so about 3months left, however a expect to be walking normal distances before then :) .

    @Matt L - Fair points, I also expect not 100k extra per month, but 1 million is not far away now!

  19. joust says:

    being a terminal station it was amazing seeing the crowds swapping places each time a service arrived on Sunday. Really hope it continues. Seems like could potentially be more popular in weekends than during the week. A few residents I’ve spoken to were a little bit disappointed the last services were before 10pm as they plan to use the train to get to and from the CBD in the evenings for leisure trips given that their workplaces are elsewhere.

  20. Nick R says:

    @ Joust, no true. It only assumes that the bus pax are headed northwards toward the central city (which I think is reasonable give that’s where the buses go!)
    Remember that the Onehunga line isn’t just to Britomart either. It also stops at Penrose, Ellerslie, Greenlane, Remuera and Newmarket, where it affords fairly easy connections to the western line too. Likewise from Newmarket or Britomart people can transfer to the Link bus or the Northern Busway with little hassle.

    These new links bring up some great opportunities, for example Onehunga to Albany can now be done in an hour by public transport with only one connection between rapid transit modes. Could you beat that in the car at peak hour?

    I wonder if ARTA could be persuaded to extend the boundary of the rail zone of the Northern Pass to include New Lynn, Ohehunga and Otahuhu to help realise the investment in the rail system and busway?


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