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Rail blip fails to dampen commuting’s steady rise

May 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Rail commuting figures are expected to show a slight dip this year but Wellingtonians’ still love their public transport.

transport trainUpgrading, mechanical and network problems in the past 12 months have caused the glitch, which is expected to see rail numbers drop from 11,875,820 to “about 11.8 million.”

Greater Wellington Regional Council deputy chairman Peter Glensor predicts  the 0.6 per cent decline in the year to June will be short-lived.

“We expect to see public transport increase over the next five years,” said Mr Glensor, who is also a regional transport committee member.

trainsport busCommuters will be rewarded for their patience in the next 12 months when new trains arrive, part of the $6 billion being spent on Wellington public transport through to 2019.

Mr Glensor  points out Wellington has the highest transport usage per capita in Australasia and he expects that to continue.

Since 2004 usage has shown steady growth of 6.26% on the buses, and 15.53% in rail.

Wellington Harbour’s ferries have enjoyed a jump of 28.59% and now carry 250 passengers a day.

transport ferryEast by West Ferries manager Jeremy Ward expects this year’s patronage figures to be up around the 200,000 mark compared with 179,987 in 2008/2009.

Mr Ward says East by West is growing about ten percent each year because it’s such a great service.

“People want good public transport that is quick, fast and comfortable and we are giving to them,” he said.

The company is also looking at more growth with possible expansion into newer areas such as Miramar, where they could start an airport feeder service.

“We’re confident that as we increase service we will continue to grow. We have development plans in place for a third ferry, and we are looking to expand into other potential markets.”

ALL ABOARD: School students are among the 200,000 passengers who are using the ferries each year.

ALL ABOARD: School students are among the 200,000 passengers who are using the ferries each year.

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