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Gold Coast PT Patronage data from FY 12/13 to 20/21

Started by SurfRail, September 24, 2019, 00:37:13 AM

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I have updated my Gold Coast series for 2018/2019.  This adds better context and background to the numbers, some of which aren't immediately obvious to the uninitiated.

Key takeaways since last year:

- Total patronage across the general access bus/tram network and school buses is up from 23,284,343 to 24,580,556 (about 5.6% increase)
- Tram patronage killing it as usual - up from 9,486,853 to 10,743,025 (about 13.2% increase).  That will continue to be a non-negligble component of the entire region's growth.
- Train patronage is skyrocketing too - up from 2,905,513 to 3,230,349 boardings at stations south of Beenleigh (about 11.2% increase)
- Local bus patronage has dropped slightly - down from 11,979,887 to 11,898,156 (about 80,000 fewer trips, which is only about 200 fewer per day - about 0.68% drop)
- School bus patronage has increased - up from 1,774,876 to 1,937,722 (about 9.2% increase).
- Data integrity is much better than at any time previously - there are only 1,653 boardings for the whole year I cannot readily identify as being one of the 56 current standard routes, light rail replacement or school routes (ie the "Events7" and "Suns1" trips).  (By way of comparison, for 2012/2013 it was over 350,000 trips bundled together in a mish-mash which I suspect included numerous NSW route figures.)

In terms of the bus network:

- The biggest drops by far for individual routes are the 710, 740 and 745.  The 745 is now actually carrying fewer people than some HOURLY routes.  Clearly the light rail is drawing people in, notwithstanding for some journeys it may be faster by transferring to either the 740 or 745 from a train.  The 710 (in its original form as the old route 3) was the primary means of getting from Helensvale to Griffith Uni, which has been well and truly supplanted by the tram now.
- Big gains for the high frequency routes introduced when GCLR 2 opened - 765 (28.37% increase), 713 (30.68% increase) and 719 (36.29% increase).
- Biggest individual jump is for the 722 (90.10% more than last year).
- Most routes recorded at least some increase - 35 out of 56 up, 21 out of 56 down.  Of the ones that dropped, about half were still within 5% of previous year, and varied from high frequency routes like the 700 and 777 to less frequent routes like the 758.
- The busiest route to remain a non-high frequency route is the 760.
- Excluding the TX7, the busiest half-hourly (during the day) route is the 735.  The 747 has very similar patronage but only runs hourly on weekends and over a shorter span.
- The busiest hourly (during the day) route is the 741, which now carries more passengers than the 745.

I see a need to continue investing in the bus network.  Where the investment has been made in conjunction with GCLR2, it has gone staggeringly well (713, 719 and 765 in particular, seeing the Helensvale extension would have poached virtually none of the patronage off these corridors given they aren't nearby).  That needs to be kept up, and we can't just wait for trams to get to Burleigh.

Based on the data I would be prioritising the following to be in place on or before GCLR 3A opening
- Route 735, 741, 747 and 760 to go to high frequency
- Route 711, 722, 725, 738, 753, 754, 755 to go to half-hourly
- Remove all 2-hour gaps in timetable through incremental extra investment
- 7-day service on the 739, 746 and 749 (and look at a redesign of the 746 and 749 to come up with something that works better than at present)
- Network improvements in general around the northern Gold Coast as it fills in and to coordinate with new stations at Pimpama and Hope Island
Ride the G:


Thanks for the comprehensive spreadsheet and analysis SurfRail   :-t

It is building up into a significant resource.  Pity we are the ones who have to do it so there is some public patronage data available.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Update for FY19/20.  Obviously big dips due to COVID-19.

Same basic format as before.  No changes of great significance to the route service network.  A number of school bus routes have been renumbered or otherwise altered.  Also, the "junk" patronage numbers are now less than 600 trips, which is the lowest since I started collecting this series.
Ride the G:

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