Transport Blog have released the latest annual rail (and now bus way) boarding statistics from data compiled by Auckland Transport.
You can see the full commentary here: 2016 Rail and Busway Station Boardings
But in summary form:
And in terms of raw growth:
You can see Manukau Station is surging ahead again for the third year running. This surge will only grow once the new Manukau Bus Station opens next year and demonstrates what a good public transport network with good infrastructure in place like interchange stations can do to move people around.
Puhinui Station is showing strong growth as people from south of Manukau come up by train and transfer over to catch the train back down to Manukau. This demonstrates very clearly for the need for the Manukau South Link to allow direct services from Papakura, Pukekohe and later Hamilton once inter-city rail resumes somewhere in the future. However, I also know of the trick with school kids riding free to Puhinui and then tag on at Puhinui as Manukau Station is gated meaning you need a HOP card or ticket to get through. While integrated-fares should go someway in mitigating against a permanent presence of ticket inspectors backed up by the police should be at Puhinui Station to catch what is fare evasion. The Manukau South Link would also go a long way in mitigating this fare evasion as those coming from the South will need to tag on from their origin point as they could not transfer at Puhinui as in the past.
Papakura is also showing strong growth but I suspect some of that is on the back of Pukekohe passengers (note the drop at Pukekohe) coming to Papakura to catch the electric trains and skip the diesel shuttles between Papakura and Pukekohe. This again clearly demonstrates why electrification to Pukekohe is needed now as the passengers driving from Pukekohe to Papakura to catch the train are filling up the Papakura Park and Ride which has begun to annoy Papakura and Drury residents significantly.
Otherwise the growth patterns are looking good and do demonstrate public transport can work when invested in properly.