Fears over low numbers using trains
The number of people using trains has plummeted since last year's Rugby World Cup.
Figures for September show a 30 per cent drop compared to the same month last year.
This September 822,871 passengers used rail services - a 355,715 drop on the same month in 2011.
Auckland Transport said the World Cup accounted for a 17 per cent jump in rail use.
Other factors contributing to low commuter use this September included two fewer business days; a full network closure during the first weekend of September and closures on the Western Line and south of Otahuhu line on the weekend of September 22.
Auckland councillor George Wood said over-predictions and capacity issues show the city is not ready to move forward with public transport plans yet.
"When Britomart was first touted and wanted funding they predicted 25 million passengers by 2015," he said.
"Well we're only getting just over 10 million and its now 2012.
"There are predictions and it's easy to say what we're going to achieve but it's getting bums on seats.''
Wood said there is a fundamental problem with rail which has been brought up by councillors.
"I'm hearing the trains are packed coming in from the southern lines and near Glen Innes.
"But myself and other councillors went out to the Manukau station to see what was happening and we were very concerned at the low numbers."
Wood said commuter numbers concerned him in light of the city's proposed $2.8 billion dollar rail link project which was signed off by Auckland Council in May.
A Central Area Passenger Transport Survey last month showed public transport use in the city was at its highest level since the survey began in 1986.
According to the survey overall patronage had increased steadily by 146 per cent since 1994. Bus patronage had jumped 97 per cent, bus services by 56 per cent and ferry use by 171 per cent.
Following the opening of the Britomart terminal in 2002 rail patronage had increased by 500 per cent.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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