All Electric on the back on continued growth in patronage
Today not only marks the day Auckland is running her Electric Trains full time between Papakura and Swanson but also yet another jump in rail patronage.
First from the Office of the Mayor Len Brown
New “revolutionary” era for transport starts today
Mayor Len Brown is hailing this morning’s roll out of electric trains across the Auckland rail network as the start of a revolutionary era for public transport.
“It’s time for Aucklanders to get on board –and I know they will,” he says.
“So far, as electric trains have been introduced on parts of the network, there has been an average increase in patronage of 20 per cent to 30 per cent. I predict the Western lines will see an even bigger uptake.”
Auckland’s rail patronage has grown by 22% in the last financial year.
This morning sees the new comfortable quieter and reliable trains operating for the first time at weekdays on the Western line. This doubles train capacity on the line and means that the new Spanish-built electric trains are now operating all services from Papakura in the south to Swanson in the west.
The project was originally funded via a loan from Government, which is being repaid by Auckland Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Len Brown says that “this is an example of us working closely with Government on major transport issues. And Auckland Council is now partnering with Government to develop a transport accord with the objective of taking the final steps toward a common view of Auckland’s transport future.
“With work also starting on the City Rail Link (CRL) early next year, Auckland’s public transport is being dramatically reshaped to help take congestion off the road, which is Aucklanders’ number one priority.”
He says the expected increase in patronage means the City Rail Link needs to be built as soon as possible.
Mr Brown is warning there will soon be serious congestion issues at Britomart both in terms of the number of trains and passengers waiting to board them.
Len Brown says such a big change today will inevitably mean there will be some teething issues and asks the travelling public to be patient as the new trains and minor changes made to timetables are bedded in.
The trains are also much quieter than the old diesel trains and accelerate faster so Aucklanders are also asked to be extra cautious when using railway crossings.
As for patronage:
[Will get that once the Auckland Transport server is back up and I can get the Board reports]