Onehunga Gets Busy


Promising signs Onehunga is going like a rocket.

Yesterday someone using it reported 30-40 people waiting at Onehunga.

This afternoon I took a random afternoon service from Britomart and by the time we left, there were only a couple of seats left in the three-carriage train.

The best buzz I’m getting is the number of enthusiastic people who are loudly talking about how they have not taken trains before and find the Onehunga service great especially because it’s fast and easier.

It’s especially fun in an afternoon cruising past all the slow cars waiting at onramp signals to get on the motorway and the bumper-to-bumper slow motorway traffic as the train speeds by.

It’s true a number of people use it as a southern service, getting off at Newmarket and stops to Penrose.

But it’s definitely making a hit.

Two mothers pushing pushchairs struck up a conversation with me today and said how the train has transformed their life as they could now get out of the house with the kids for a while and easily get somewhere.

The CBD might well be benefiting as well as I overhear conversations about how people have not just never used a train before but “I rarely go into the CBD.”
I wonder how much a CBD rail loop would likewise boost retail trade - one of the key economic arguments for the loop.




  1. Matt L says:

    Every report we hear, whether it be on here or else where has been positive about this line. The person I know that uses it has already brought a monthly pass and loves the service, especially how fast it is to the CBD compared to any other method. It is also really great to hear that it is getting some decent off peak usage.

    Jon have you heard anything from ARTA on this, are they doing anything to track patronage?

  2. Jon C says:

    @Matt L yes they are - and this site has also been regularly checked for updates!

  3. Graham says:

    Just come in from Onehunga by 9.45 train this morning (1 October)- counted 25 got on at Onehunga. Bad luck we only got as far as Newmarket!

  4. Richard says:

    I had to go to Onehunga yesterday from Glenfield so went by bus/train. We have a half hourly service to Smales Farm and then there was a five minute wait for an express bus at about 11.00a.m. The bus had no spare seats by the time we left Akaranga so there must have been about forty passengers, at the quiet time of day!

    Caught the 11.30 to Onehunga which followed five minutes after a Papakura train so most passengers were for the branch line. Not sure how many got off at Te Papapa but 27 alighted at Onehunga. The total trip took 1 hour 15 minutes using two buses and a train. A direct train on a northern line could do it in forty minutes maximum I believe. On the return I didnt get a count but quite a crowd disembarked at Britomart. I think about 25 left Onehunga.

    The return trip wasn’t so good just missing an express, ten minute wait then just missed the Glenfield bus and had to wait 25 minutes at Smales. That’s why I dont use it as much as I could, it’s the servicing buses and connections. All the bus stations should have decent size car parks, Smales and Akaranga have none.

    There is still much to do with our public transport system but we are part way to the airport now and people are screaming for more!!

  5. Geoff says:

    Three car train? Did it fit at the platform? :)

  6. Bryan says:

    was it a push -pull ? That would be a first for little olde Onehunga.

  7. Ngaire says:

    Jon. Next time you’re chatting to whomever counts passenger numbers, please let them know that ticket numbers sold are not accurate!. I’ve made two afternoon trips to Newmarket and on the return journey each time the ticket collectors didn’t come into the carriage I was in - at least six people on each occasion!

  8. Jon C says:

    @Ngaire It happened to me on the Onehunga run the other day. I will mention it, thanks. Hope you’re enjoying the line.

  9. Matt L says:

    Ngaire - That is fairly common unfortunately and there can be a number of reasons for it. As a monthly user it is quite annoying to see as you have paid for your journey but then others don’t have to. This is one of the main reasons many of us a looking forward to integrated ticketing, as part of that the the main destination stations (Britomart and Newmarket) will be getting barriers so that people most people will have to tag on or off at some point in their journey.

  10. GJA says:

    Any news on Onehunga, now that the novelty has worn off and it can be used as a “normal” line, now that the schools have started again?

  11. Jon C says:

    @GJA Still going very well. I struggled to get a seat the other day. Park and ride nearly finished.


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