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Author Topic: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation  (Read 2960 times)

Offline ozbob

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TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« on: May 11, 2020, 04:05:56 PM »
Data is from monthly snapshots at https://www.publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/translink-public-transport-performance-snapshots

It is published around 6 weeks behind so only data up to the end of March 2020 is available at present, but early drop in patronage as initial lockdown implemented can be seen.  Will be updated monthly.

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 12:54:07 AM »
Brisbanetimes --> Queensland train patronage falls below 80 per cent

Quote
While Brisbane residents are returning to work in person, and bus and ferry patronage inches upward, rail patronage is still 80 per cent below its usual turnover.

Figures provided by TransLink show how residents stopped using trains across south-east Queensland over the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began and stay-at-home orders were issued by the federal and state governments.

While total numbers of trips on south-east Queensland trains weren't provided by TransLink, year-on-year patronage percentages show in the second week of February this year, use was down 1.09 per cent compared with 2019.

Throughout February and into early March, patronage stayed about the same as the year before, until the week starting March 22, when a 35 per cent drop in patronage was recorded.

The next week patronage tanked 68.6 per cent compared with 2019 figures, and in the week starting April 5, patronage dropped by 83.4 per cent.

The worst week was the week starting April 12, when patronage was 85 per cent down compared with the same week last year, before it began inching back up to 80 per cent in the first week of May.

A TransLink spokesman said trains were running on a regular timetable throughout Queensland to support essential workers and students.

"Present health advice is to limit all non-essential travel and we thank our customers for following this advice," the spokesman said.

"As a result, we saw passenger trips on the south-east Queensland rail network drop by 80 per cent during the week ending Sunday, May 10, when compared with the corresponding week in 2019.

"We expect to see patronage increase on public transport services in coming weeks with school classes resuming and some restrictions relaxed."

Data provided by Brisbane City Council showed similar declines in patronage figures across buses and ferries, with slow returns to both forms of public transport in recent weeks.

In late March, long-haul coach and train services were reduced, with the Spirit of the Outback, Westlander and Inlander trains all suspended, while Brisbane-to-Cairns lines were reduced by 50 per cent.

Public transport use across buses, trains, trams and ferries hit a record in 2018-2019, rising to nearly 190 million trips.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 11:18:10 AM »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 10:53:25 AM »
Updated for May 2020

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Offline Golliwog

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 11:55:26 AM »
Looks like it's coming back.

I'd be curious to know what trends are visible when you break down the data further:

How does the trend vary for different fare types (senior, concession, adult)?

Are there differences in trips vs users - i.e. my work place has started to transition back to the CBD office but each employee is only expected to be in a few days a week and WFH the rest - so assuming that everyone travels the same way as before, you would expect a reduced total number of trips over the week, but the number of unique individuals over the week would be the same.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2020, 01:02:06 PM »
Updated for June 2020

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 11:54:38 AM »
Updated for July 2020

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 06:17:42 AM »
ABC News --> Queensland commuters stay away from trains despite low coronavirus case numbers

Quote
New statistics show people in South-East Queensland are still avoiding public transport, despite the state recording low coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Key points:
Train lines are up to 90 per cent empty, even during peak times
The pandemic has cut the number of people who are commuting, while those still travelling to work are driving or cycling more
There are warnings that services could be cut if demand falls too far
Numbers released by Transport Minister Mark Bailey show train lines were up to 90 per cent empty in August, even at peak daily travel times.

The busiest service, the Springfield line, still had 38 per cent of its seats empty during peak travel hours.

The estimated spare seated capacity during peak and off-peak times was:

Line   Empty seats: peak   Empty seats: off-peak
Airport   90 per cent   94 per cent
Beenleigh   64 per cent   89 per cent
Cleveland   55 per cent   85 per cent
Doomben   83 per cent   95 per cent
Ferny Grove   44 per cent   87 per cent
Gold Coast   60 per cent   83 per cent
Ipswich/Rosewood   56 per cent   85 per cent
Redcliffe Peninsula   53 per cent   81 per cent
Shorncliffe/Northgate   65 per cent   89 per cent
Springfield   38 per cent   77 per cent
Sunshine Coast/Caboolture   70 per cent   80 per cent

'People think it's responsible for them not to use public transport'

Mr Bailey said 105 extra train services were added to support essential workers and promote social distancing on trains, contributing to the spare capacity.

However, University of Queensland psychology professor Alex Haslam, who studies human behaviour in a social context, said many people were avoiding public transport out of a sense of social responsibility.

"People think it's responsible for them not to use public transport," Professor Haslam said.

"They don't want to be responsible for transmitting [coronavirus] and they don't want to be creating risk for other members of their family if they were to contract the virus on the way to work.

"People recognise it's generally safe, but they have a sense that, 'If I don't need to do it, I won't.'"

Professor Haslam said people had got out of the habit of the daily commute as many of them started working from home.

"In the pandemic a lot of those habits were broken, and people have formed alternative habits."

He said people had turned to other modes of transport, such as cycling or driving, and could retain those even in a post-pandemic world.

"There's a constellation of factors that have made it a perfect storm for people's reluctance to use public transport," he said.

'Community leadership' needed to get people back on public transport

Professor Haslam warned the declining demand for public transport could mean the service takes a cut.

"The situation at the moment must be a bit of a nightmare, because it's costing a fortune to run trains and with nobody on them, you're not raising any revenue," he said.

"Public transport is a critical part of Brisbane's infrastructure and it would be tragic if we lost it through lack of use."

He said it would take leadership from within the community to encourage people back onto trains.

"[Humans] are group-based animals, so our behaviour is very much structured by what is perceived to be appropriate for the groups that we're members of.

"We look to members of our group to tell us what is the right thing to do in this situation."

Professor Haslam said more information about the safety of public transport during the pandemic could reassure people into riding trains again.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 06:30:04 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 06:24:15 AM »
^

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/862-2020.pdf

Question on Notice

No. 862

Asked on 12 August 2020

DR M ROBINSON ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

With reference to the Queensland Rail Citytrain network—

Will the Minister advise the latest estimation of spare capacity by line during (a) peak times and
(b) off-peak times?

ANSWER:

I thank the Member for Oodgeroo for the question.

The Palaszczuk Government continues to listen to the health advice and take all necessary
precautions and actions during this unprecedented time. As public transport is an essential
service, we have maintained scheduled timetables to support essential workers and social
distancing as much as possible.

To support commuters and promote social distancing, on Monday 10 August 2020, an extra
960 bus services and 105 train services commenced on the South East Queensland public
transport network each week between Monday and Friday. These extra services allow
passengers to spread out across the mornings and afternoons, and add almost 58,000 extra
seats on buses and trains.

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering 810 more services than the former LNP Government,
is fixing the non-compliant trains ordered from overseas by the former LNP Government with
Queensland workers, and is now delivering a record $23 billion for transport and roads across
Queensland, supporting 21,500 jobs.

Furthermore, utilisation of public transport services in South East Queensland, including trains,
has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Estimates are therefore given
for the month of August 2020, excluding the 14 August 2020 public holiday (1 to 21 August 2020).
Peak running times are taken as inbound services arriving at Central Station between 7.30 am
and 8.30 am, and outbound services departing Central Station between 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm. In
August 2020, there was estimated spare seated capacity during these peak times as follows:

• Airport line: 90 per cent
• Beenleigh line: 64 per cent
• Cleveland line: 55 per cent
• Doomben line: 83 per cent
• Ferny Grove line: 44 per cent
• Gold Coast line: 60 per cent
• Ipswich/Rosewood line: 56 per cent
• Redcliffe Peninsula line: 53 per cent
• Shorncliffe/Northgate line: 65 per cent
• Springfield line: 38 per cent
• Sunshine Coast/Caboolture line: 70 per cent.

In August 2020, there was estimated spare seated capacity during off-peak times as follows:

• Airport line: 94 per cent
• Beenleigh line: 89 per cent
• Cleveland line: 85 per cent
• Doomben line: 95 per cent
• Ferny Grove line: 87 per cent
• Gold Coast line: 83 per cent
• Ipswich/Rosewood line: 85 per cent
• Redcliffe Peninsula line: 81 per cent
• Shorncliffe/Northgate line: 89 per cent
• Springfield line: 77 per cent
• Sunshine Coast/Caboolture line: 80 per cent.

All figures are estimates and have been averaged across the month in question for each of the
time periods (peak and off-peak). Calculations have been based on ticketing data, which means
these represent an estimate on capacity only, as incomplete go card trips are unable to be
correctly counted.

As Queensland Rail run routine maintenance requiring track closures over weekends and late
nights, data can be incomplete in these periods due to rail replacement operations and, therefore,
estimates have been taken across weekdays only between 4am and 9pm.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 06:48:34 AM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1306333817200762880
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Offline brissypete

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 08:27:36 AM »
I moved to cycling (ebike pedal assist) back in March and fully intend to keep it up, I get to and from work quicker and get exercise as well.

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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2020, 01:05:09 PM »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2020, 12:54:45 AM »
Couriermail --> Brisbane CBD still impacted by work-from-home phenomenon

Quote
It’s not only public transport revenue that’s been smashed by the pandemic-related decline in commuters, as new figures reveal.

GHOST TOWN

If you think the Brisbane CBD looks quiet these days, you would be right, with latest public transport figures showing patronage is still down by over half since the start of the pandemic.

While patronage has recovered somewhat as students returned to classrooms and some workers went back to their offices, you are still pretty sure of getting a seat on a bus or train coming into the city.

A TransLink spokesperson tells your diarist that in the week ending September 13, passengers on buses, trains and ferries in the Brisbane CBD were down 53.5 per cent when compared to the same week in 2019. The figures do not include South Bank or the Valley.

Public transport has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, with patronage across the SEQ network dropping by more than 80 per cent at the height of the pandemic, when compared to the same period in 2019.

According to property industry sources, big office towers in the city remain up to 70 per cent empty as the WFH (work from home) phenomenon takes off.

“Public transport is an essential service and south east Queensland services have continued to run as scheduled across all modes during COVID-19 to ensure essential workers such as health staff and customers who rely on the network can continue to travel,” the spokesperson said.

An additional 960 weekly bus and 105 weekly train services were introduced on the network from August 10 to help customers maintain social distancing.

The drastically reduced foot traffic in the city has meant tough times for many traders, particularly those close to transport hubs.

Among the heaviest hit have been the Myer Centre, which has a big bus interchange in its basement, and Anzac Square, which funnels a lot of passengers from Central Station into the City.

Both shopping centres have reported a big slump in trade, with an increasing number of outlets closing their doors altogether.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2020, 02:04:16 PM »
Updated for August 2020



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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2020, 01:15:51 AM »
Auckland is interesting.  They reached 80% of normal PT patronage before the second lot of restrictions, and are heading back.

I expect that we will see return to normal patronage levels next year in SEQ.

https://twitter.com/StuartBDonovan/status/1313999066078932993
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2020, 12:10:33 PM »
I have had official advice today confirming patronage for TransLink SEQ is now around 60% of pre-COVID 19.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2020, 12:25:04 AM »
Brisbanetimes --> How COVID hit SEQ's public transport usage - and how it could bounce back

Quote
Will public transport usage ever bounce back to pre-COVID numbers, and if so, when?

It's a question being closely studied by experts and governments around the world, while in south-east Queensland data shows patronage is still down by nearly 40 per cent.

TransLink, the state government's public transit agency, says across buses, ferries, trains and trams, patronage has still only recovered to 61 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

In February, as the pandemic took hold, the agency decided to keep the full public transport network operating as normal – not only to ensure people could still get to work, but to maintain social distancing.

Griffith University transport expert Matthew Burke said this decision stood in positive contrast to other countries that immediately cut public transport services to save costs, causing "terrible" impacts to low-income workers in particular.

"We have a couple of factors that is different to the rest of the world. The first is that one in six passengers on the TransLink network in SEQ are tertiary students," Dr Burke said.

"So with the universities basically still running off-campus and online teaching, there is one in six trips that has pretty much vanished from the network."

And with universities predicting a return to in-person teaching only in the second half of 2021, those trips are not likely to return in the immediate future.

"The public transport networks are exceptionally radial in south-east Queensland, that is they all tend to head in to the Brisbane CBD," Dr Burke said.

"No more so than our rail network, which everything runs to Roma Street and Central, and with office workers very much continuing to work from home in large numbers, that has meant that those services have really seen a decline."

With companies now considering whether to keep workers at home and reduce their inner-city office spaces, or bring workers in just for a few days a week, Dr Burke said the "big debate" remained about if this was the new normal.

"Beyond that, there is also an avoidance function which is happening here, where people are – if they have a choice – choosing to avoid public transport and choosing other modes," he said.

Brisbane City Council, who operates buses and ferries in agreement with TransLink, released figures on Tuesday showing monthly bus and ferry patronage is still well below 2019 figures.

The sharpest difference, naturally, was during April and May when the entire state ground to a halt.

In April 2019, 7.6 million trips were taken on Brisbane's bus network: in April 2020, just 1.3 million – a decline of 81 per cent.

By September this year, however, patronage was still down by 45 per cent on buses and 48 per cent on ferries, which were hard-hit by the loss of international and domestic tourists.

Earlier this week, Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus said police were seeing more people on the roads, and congestion almost worse than pre-COVID levels, triggering a worrying rise in the road toll.

The council's public and active transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy said it was "hard to predict" if or when patronage would return to pre-COVID numbers.

"While there is no community transmission in Queensland, commuters can have a total confidence that our public transport is safe to use," Cr Murphy said.

"There has been a noticeable shift in more people travelling actively, for both commuting and recreation and we’ve seen significantly more people using the riverwalks and bikeways.

"I think this is a positive change that residents are exploring different travel options and getting outside and enjoying our wonderful climate and active travel options."

Dr Burke said the decision to keep public transport services at pre-COVID schedules meant people could travel quite safely while staying socially distanced.

"Two things we can be really proud of," Dr Burke said.

"A: that we've kept up services to people – at great cost, TransLink's wearing that cost – and B: we've managed to keep those operations as COVID-safe as possible.

"I think we can do more and further encourage mask-wearing on public transport, and ... if the numbers pick up in Queensland we will need to move to making masks mandatory as they did in Victoria."

A TransLink spokesperson said the agency had added more services to help people socially distance while travelling, and while there were no plans to cap numbers on public transport, it would continue to monitor capacity and take advice from Queensland Health.

But while services have stayed operating as normal, and people can ideally find space on public transport to travel safely, the cost is not sustainable in the long term, Dr Burke said.

"It's unsustainable – we couldn't do it for three years," he said.

The TransLink spokesperson did not provide details on the agency's timeline for any discussions about reducing services if patronage figures remained low, saying it was an "essential service".
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 01:22:49 AM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1319296187682287620
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2020, 12:56:17 AM »
Updated for September 2020



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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2020, 02:03:46 PM »
Updated for October 2020



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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2021, 11:03:53 AM »
Updated for November 2020



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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2021, 01:53:10 PM »
https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/91435

SEQ patronage jump points to strong signs in economic recovery
7th February 2021

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

South east Queensland has recorded the most trips on public transport in a single day since the first COVID measures were introduced in March last year, showing strong signs in the state’s economic recovery.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said more than 460,000 trips were taken on buses, trains, trams and ferries throughout the south east corner on Wednesday, February 3 – just 27 per cent below the same time last year.

It comes after patronage fell by as much as 80 per cent in 2020 as Queenslanders stayed home and helped to manage the health impacts of the pandemic.

“Unlike places in the US, Europe and UK, here in Queensland people are returning to the workplace and school because we’ve been strong and swift in our response to COVID-19,” Mr Bailey said.

“The same strong response to COVID-19 that has enabled the Palaszczuk Government to deliver a $50 billion infrastructure guarantee, which in turn is creating jobs that Queenslanders are using public transport to get to.

“We’ve ramped up cleaning of vehicles and stations, we’ve introduced cashless payment where possible and added more services during the pandemic to accommodate social distancing – and the continued rebound in patronage shows confidence in the measures we’re taking.

Increased hygiene measures on public transport were introduced last year in response to COVID-19 and also included:

Increased cleaning and sanitisation of vehicles, stations and touch points
Hand sanitiser at all train stations and at major Busway stations
Rear-door boarding on selected bus services where practical
Scheduling larger vehicles on busier routes in peak periods.

An additional 105 train services were also introduced and made permanent, while hundreds of additional bus services were added to the network.

“We’ve since added a service capacity tracker on the TransLink website which gives commuters an idea on whether there are seats available on their bus, tram, train or ferry – or whether they might want to take the next service just a few minutes later.

Mr Bailey said with commuters returning to the network, the Palaszczuk Government would continue its investment in transport infrastructure including major projects like the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, $550 million Sunshine Coast rail upgrade, $709 million Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 and statewide smart ticketing system.

“Before COVID hit, we were on-track for a third record year of public transport patronage, and we want to make sure that as more people get on board, we have the infrastructure in place to accommodate that growth while also creating those much needed jobs in industries like construction.

“It’s why we’re investing a record $26.9 billion in roads and transport across the state over the next four years, supporting 23,600 jobs."

Mr Bailey urged commuters to remember to play their part by doing things like keeping up social distancing where possible, to bring a mask to wear if social distancing wasn't possible, and regularly washing their hands or using hand sanitiser.

“Public transport staff and operators have done an excellent job in keeping services running throughout the pandemic and making sure that it’s as COVID-safe as possible, but we need everyone to play their role.”

For more information head to www.translink.com.au

ENDS
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Offline aldonius

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2021, 03:06:18 PM »
Early March is the usual peak, with university commuting. So I figure whatever percentage that ends up being of 2019 is the new normal.

Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2021, 03:49:36 AM »
Couriermail --> Projected revenue from QLD public transport falls by $260m $

Quote
THE fall in public transport patronage amid the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped hundreds of millions of dollars from projected ticketing and fare revenue in Queensland.

Post-COVID forecasts have revealed the State is now set to haul in $943m from public transport over the next three financial years, down from a $1.204bn prediction before the pandemic struck.

The 21.6 per cent fall in forecast revenue – uncovered in Budget papers – comes as the state’s southeast recorded its highest day of patronage since COVID measures were introduced in March last year. ...
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Offline ozbob

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2021, 02:30:38 PM »
Updated for December 2020

Spreadsheet --> https://backontrack.org/docs/tl/dashboard/dec20/trips_oct19_dec20.ods



Spreadsheet --> https://backontrack.org/docs/tl/dashboard/dec20/trips_oct19_dec20rec.ods

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Offline techblitz

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Re: TransLink patronage during COVID-19 situation
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2021, 11:39:26 AM »
https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8631-public-transport-patronage-in-the-time-of-a-pandemic-february-2021-202103010704

Quote
New research shows over 7.8 million Australians aged 14+ (37%) used public transport during the December quarter 2020. This is up over 950,000 from the September quarter 2020 when just under 6.9 million (33%) were using public transport – a low reached during Melbourne’s long second lockdown and significant restrictions on people’s movement in Sydney.


Despite the quarterly increase, public transport usage in the December quarter 2020 was down by almost 4 million people (a decline of 33.5%) on its pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels when 11.8 million people used public transport in the December quarter 2019.

For the first time buses were the most popular form of public transport used by 5.15 million (24%) just ahead of trains used by 5.13 million (24%). Nearly 1.8 million (8%) travelled on trams and just over 880,000 (4%) travelled on ferries or rivercats.

This new data comes from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

 Public transport use in Australia from 2016 – 2020



Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2016 – December 2020, quarterly average sample n = 13,143. Base: Australians aged 14+.

 Buses leading form of transport in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart

Analysing the results for Australia’s Capital Cities shows that buses were the most popular form of transport in Perth (35% travelled by bus in December quarter 2020) just ahead of Adelaide (33%), Brisbane (32%) and Hobart (24%).

Although over a third of Sydneysiders (36%) travelled by bus this was significantly behind the 44% that travelled by train. Train travel was also the leading form of public transport in Melbourne used by 21% of Melburnians ahead of bus travel (16%).

Another consequence of Melbourne’s long second lockdown was that the city lost its ‘crown’ as the city with the highest level of tram usage to Adelaide. In the December quarter 2020 17% of people in Adelaide travelled by tram compared to only 14% in Melbourne. A year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than three times as many Melburnians (43%) travelled by tram.

It’s worth noting that for almost the entire month of October Melburnians were heavily restricted due to the city’s long second lockdown and there were considerable restrictions that persisted throughout the remainder of the quarter in the southern capital.

Travelling by ferry/ rivercat is far more popular in Brisbane (9%) and Sydney (7%) than other cities although usage in both was well down on a year earlier when 14% travelled by ferry/ rivercat in Sydney and 12% did so in Brisbane.

 Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the December quarter of 2020 marked the first upturn in public transport usage across Australia since the beginning of the pandemic:

“Public transport usage in Australia was much lower in the December quarter 2020 than it was a year ago although the quarter did mark the first increase in public transport usage across the country since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“In the December quarter of 2019 11.8 million Australians (56%) travelled by public transport including trains, buses, trams or ferries/ rivercats. This dropped to a low of only 6.9 million in the September quarter 2020, when Melbourne was plunged into a long second lockdown, but subsequently recovered to over 7.8 million in the December quarter 2020.

“Despite this increase public transport usage was still down a sizeable 33.5% on a year earlier as millions of Australians continued to work from home. Since the end of Melbourne’s long lockdown there have been short and sharp lockdowns enforced in South Australia, Brisbane, Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Perth and Victoria to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks that have meant going back to work in the office has been something of a stop-start process for many.

“As the COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out around Australia during the next few months the expectation is that restrictions will be fully lifted at some point later this year and 100% of workers will be allowed to return to the office if they wish to do so.

“However, despite the return to the office of many workers already the experience of 2020 shows many people are able to work well from home which suggests not all workers will in fact return to the office. This consequence of the pandemic, as well as ongoing worries about new strains of COVID-19 emerging, are likely to keep public transport usage below the high levels of 2019 for some time to come even once most Australians have been vaccinated later this year.”

 

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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan