Appraisal of factors influencing public transport patronage in New Zealand

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - demand, economics - appraisal/evaluation


public transport demand forecasting, time series data analysis, elasticities


This paper examines the demand for local bus and rail services in the three major regions in New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. In order to determine the drivers behind the changes in public transport ridership over time, econometric analysis techniques were applied to analyse the time-series data collected for the last decade. A dynamic model was identified for each region by mode relating per capita patronage to fares, service level, car ownership, income and fuel price. The results indicated that the three cities all have different characteristics and the drivers behind the long-run and short-run trends were also different. It also appeared that the significant fluctuation in fuel price in recent years did have a positive effect on public transport patronage in all three cities.