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Public Transport Victoria announces latest patronage results

14 Sep 2012

Patronage on Melbourne’s public transport increased by 3.4 per cent in the past year with an extra 19 million trips made by passengers, according to figures released today by Public Transport Victoria.

These latest figures show some 537 million public transport trips made in Melbourne in the past year, including 222 million trips on trains, nearly 192 million on trams and 123 million on buses.

Public Transport Victoria CEO and Chair Ian Dobbs said that it was great to see more Melburnians than ever choosing public transport.

“Tram had its second biggest year since the 1950s and is now carrying almost 192 million passenger trips a year, with patronage growing 4.5 per cent in the past year and by 23.7 per cent over the past five years,” he said.

Mr Dobbs said that the most significant growth continued to be on the bus network, with use of buses growing by 56 per cent over the past six years, including a massive 16 per cent jump in patronage in the past year.

“The significant growth of almost 16 per cent in the past year is due to more frequent services, extended operating hours, new routes, the increasingly popular university bus routes and high frequency SmartBuses - all of which are proving a success and attracting new passengers,” Mr Dobbs said.

“Buses have the capacity to carry a lot more people, particularly in off-peak periods, and this result shows that public transport users will use buses when routes are direct, run regularly and connect with other transport modes.”

After a long period of sustained growth, train patronage fell slightly for the year ending June 2012, although most recent figures indicate that patronage is growing again.

“While the overall yearly figure for train is slightly down, trips in peak times continued to grow by around 3 per cent in the morning and afternoon peaks. In the most recent quarter (April-June), train had its second strongest quarter on record with 58.9 million trips made by passengers,” Mr Dobbs said.

Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, patronage on Melbourne’s trains grew by 53 per cent. The medium and long-term forecasts show strong patronage growth across all modes.

Mr Dobbs said Public Transport Victoria would continue to work with the government and operators to improve the public transport network for the growing number of passengers.

“New trains and trams and major infrastructure projects currently underway will help Public Transport Victoria and operators plan to add extra services and increase capacity to the network.”

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Patronage estimates for the three metropolitan modes from 2004-05 are based on an improved measurement methodology. This change in methodology means a break in the series of patronage estimates from 2003-04 to 2004-05 for train and tram and 2004-05 to 2005-06 for bus. This needs to be considered when comparing estimates across years.                                               


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