Train Mayor Wants PT Use Doubled


Mayor Len Brown took the train from Papatoetoe this morning to Britomart - and says he wants public transport patronage doubled within the next ten years.
Today he :

  • Has launched a study on how best to achieve that.
  • A study into how to encourage alternatives means of transport such as walking and cycling, as well as ferries.
  • Asked Auckland Transport for a review of bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes to identify potential improvements
  • Announced plans to significantly increase the number of schools with school transport plans.

The Mayor caught the 8.09am train accompanied by various media and says he won’t be able to catch it every day - but will do it once or twice a week.

Auckland Transport figures show Aucklanders currently take 63 million trips a year. The Mayor wants to see that increase to 150 million trips a year by 2021. Factors that will encourage that include integrated ticketing and electric trains as well as the completion of the CBD rail link.

“Much of the focus in Auckland at the moment is on modes of public transport such as trains and buses,” says Len Brown. “I want to encourage as many Aucklanders as possible that walking and cycling are safe and effective alternatives to private cars.

“I also think we can be doing more than we are at the moment to extend the ferry network and put it within the reach of more Aucklanders,” he says.

Arriving at Britomart means a walk all the way up Queen St to his Town Hall office but he says it’s a chance to meet the people.

The Mayor says there have been big improvement to the Auckland rail system in recent years and he is committed to his plan for more improvements including the CBD loop, followed by airport rail and North Shore rail.




  1. greenwelly says:

    But he doesn’t make any mention that the huge bulk of that growth will come from more buses.

    I mean the CBDRL is not expected to open until 2021, and the business case forecasts that it will take 20 years for that to bring total rail trips to 50 million a year.

    Can Auckland (and esp the CBD) cope with more buses to double the bus trips from 50 to 100million a year?

  2. rtc says:

    A lot of this increase will come from better utililisation of the buses e.g. using them as feeders for the train system as well as better off peak frequencies which should help to bump up non-commuter numbers.

  3. damian says:

    If he wants to double the amount of users involved, then I would suggest that he lowers the fares and make the system more frequent. People are only going to use the service if it is a) cheap and b) more frequent.

    If the trains run at a loss for a while then so be it.

  4. joust says:

    The Mayor has pencilled in the CBD link built in 7yrs. So Public Transport use doubling in 10 could be assuming that happens? What a great goal, incredible really that the new council has such a focus on Public Transport.

  5. Matt says:

    Damian, unfortunately the Minister of Trucks won’t let the trains run at a loss. Brown’s stymied by a man who views anything that’s not road-bound private transport to be unworthy of any consideration.

  6. ingolfson says:

    The minister of Trucks is perfectly happy to run the trains at a loss, but he’s going to make us carry all the price increase without allowing us to raise extra money from anthing but standard rates.

  7. patrick says:

    How about making the present train infrastructure as modern as it can be first

  8. James B says:

    @Patrick: You mean like when we have replaced all the signalling, completed electrification, get new electric trains and integrated ticketing. Once those projects are completed the network will pretty much be as modern as it can go.

  9. Kurt says:

    In regard to other forms of transport mentioned, that is walking, the former Auckland City Council area needs massive investment in improving footpaths.

    Currently it has “footpaths” in name but they are buckled, cracked, undulating and in many places overgrown messes that appear to have not seen renewal or maintenance for years, possibly a tribute to the John Banks, C & R era of keeping rates down.

    Try using them for jogging and it becomes quickly apparent how bad they are.

  10. damian says:

    @ Matt

    Agreed, but if Mr Brown wants it to double then he will need to do something which will make people use PT

  11. ingolfson says:


    You mean like campaigning for funding for a better PT system / more PT investment in Auckland? Damn right, and I think he is.

  12. patrick says:

    @JamesB then expand with the cbd, airport links etc

  13. Matt L says:

    Patrick - By the time electrification is finished we will have a modern network but we can’t expand it further without government financial support which they so far have been unwilling to do.

    I wonder if Len is catching the train back home? There was points failure this afternoon just outside the tunnel which caused delays for services.

  14. Mike F says:

    I believe making fares cheaper is not the way to go.All this does is makes a cheap and nasty system under constant cost constraints.
    Another way is to add services to make it more attractive to use. eg free Wi Fi on trains,buses and stations
    Maybe let private operators have a coffee stands at suitable stations which would also provide security for say bike stands of even better still fenced off bike enclosures.
    Maybe make the rail stations fully secure,access by rail ticket.
    More park and rides etc

    People do pay for good service.

  15. patrick says:

    I know I have gone on about this before, but I am a user of the Otahuhu train station and I’m sick of seeing all these new stations going up and Otahuhu is a hole.
    I know it will get done I’d wish they’d hurry up and fix it up

  16. Andrew says:

    I wonder if Len caught the train home in the evening, and if so, did he get caught up in the delays from the signal fault at Britomart?

    @Mike F, um, you mean like Melbourne?

  17. DanC says:

    Many ways to increase passenger numbers. More buses in more bus lanes. And give them priority at traffic lights where they leave bus lanes and use regular traffic lanes (I don’t know how this could be set up). Increase service frequencies like the 007 cross town. That bus route crosses so many transport routes. If it were more frequent it would be very beneficial. (Also it should run later than it currently does on a Friday and Saturday night)

  18. DanC says:

    And another note with the 007 it needs to stop as closer to the Greenlane train station.

  19. Jon Reeves says:

    Cheaper fares work as the bestg medium to get more of the public out of signle occupancy cars. You can offer voffer bars if you want, but that’s not how the public gauge costs on PT vs cars. It is a nice idea, but all the world’s transport systems are based around cost to the end user and efficiency/time duration to get to and from the office.

  20. James B says:

    @DanC: Symonds Street, Khyber Pass, Newton Road intersection has a system like that heading south.

  21. Anon says:


    Have connector feeder bus service stops as close to the station, if possible have covered walkways all the way from the platform to the bus stop. Make the buses wait for the connecting train to arrive, leaving 7minutes after.

    Provide free but limited ( as per MacDonalds free Wifi service ) internet access on all train platforms and trains. Provide Monthly pass buyers with a
    login/password with higher monthly data.

    Make use of networked GPS tracking on ALL public transport: train, tram, bus and ferry. Have that real time tracking data available via public internet API. Let google, website and smartphone app developers provide competing public interfaces.

  22. DanC says:

    @JamesB: What service number is that? Thanks.

  23. James B says:

    @Dan C:
    Any of the Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Rd and New North Rd buses go through it. There is a short bus lane allowing two lanes of traffic and a bus which then reduces to one lane (two during the clearway period in the afternoon). In order to get the buses through first there is a clear light with a B which comes on 3-4 seconds before the green light to give the buses time to merge into the lanes on the other side of the intersection.


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