PTV Release: Station Patronage Data

 
  Tribitaka Station Master

Richmond station has increased than decreased. Interesting!
For an area which recently has started becoming a hub for newly renovated apartments and town houses, and still has the same amount of sporting events, I'm surprised!

Sponsored advertisement

  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Since Revenue has asked, I will explain a few:
MATH stations (not including South Yarra here, it's classified as a separate segment) has had some significant drops in patronage over the years, and all of them have dropped. Here are some of my explanations why, and where patronage is going instead.

The express patterns have changed quite significantly in the past few years, with more and more trains running express through those stations, and no day time access to the city loop. With significant overcrowding occurring before trains even get to those stations and the poorer frequencies compared to what it used to be, most people have opted to take the tram instead (which are getting just as bad). It would be good to see if there is a correlation between increased patronage from routes 64/5/6/72, and the drop in patronage from the MATH stations.

A few things I am surprised at:
Toorak has only a 4.6% access by tram - it should be higher than this.
Also, does Malvern include transfers to tram 64 or 5 even though it is not completely nearby, but it is still close? Tram access should be higher than Armadale, I would imagine.

What I would also like to know:
1. How are access modes calculated?
2. Is car including only parking in station car parks, or is it including parking in nearby places which might be all day? What about "kiss n ride"? I am surprised that you can get large numbers for car access from Armadale, Hawksburn and Malvern (and why would it be Malvern? Why not Caulfield if you are going to drive?)
3. Walking - how far are we determining a walk, and how is it determined? If passengers walk to let's say route 5 from Malvern station, which is a fair walk, is this included from stats?
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
But thankyou to the PTV team for FINALLY releasing such good stats!
  Braddo Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narre Warren
I've often wondered is the term MATH/MATHS officially used or was it invented by rail fans?
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

I've often wondered is the term MATH/MATHS officially used or was it invented by rail fans?
"Braddo"


I've never seen it used officially. Doesn't mean that it hasn't been used by the rail operator though.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

But thankyou to the PTV team for FINALLY releasing such good stats!
"AzN_dj"


I'm really glad the data has been released. I terms of accuracy, I think that you can assume that it is very accurate. It isn't based on one data source, but many. This includes intercept interviews of passengers at stations, ticketing data (which includes records of multi-modal trips), validation rate surveys (eg. working out how likely people are to validate at particular locations and for particular types of trips - so validations can be factored up appropriately to reflect patronage), etc.  We have a large team of part time staff who are out on the network surveying a variety of things - they are normally in plain clothes so don't expect to see them. Plus, if staff at a gated station know we are checking how many people they are letting through without a valid ticket then they might change their behaviour (which reflects the results), or a bus driver might let fewer people on without validating.....so they have to be in plain clothes so that we can accurately factor up the number of validation to reflect patronage.

A lot of work goes into this, and I think that everyone can have a very high level of confidence in the data.

I think what is interesting is that people are commenting on the number of transfers, etc... For example, the comment above about tram to train transfers. This data gives a good indication of where there are opportunities for marketing, or better customer education.

In relation to Melbourne Central declining, this presumably reflects the removal of loop services. It means that if a passenger for Frankston is at the Bourke Street Mall they know to walk to Flinders Street rather than Melbourne Central to avoid changing trains. Similarly, if a passenger is going from Melbourne University to Frankston, they can decide to stay on the tram past Melbourne Central and change at Flinders Street - hence only having to transfer once and not twice. Melbourne is becoming like London, Paris, NY, etc.. people are working out that it isn't always best to go to their nearest station, but that sometimes a slightly further walk can result in a more direct service.
  ChoooChoo Chief Train Controller

Great explanation Revenue, and of course, better services (and more financially feasible) will be able to be provided as more people accept not having a bus stop or tram stop right near their door step.

That leaves my questions for:

6) Mount Waverley had a drop of patrons from 4000 in 2008/2009 to 3,100 in 2011/2012 (almost 1000 less commuters) any ideas as to why?

7) Box Hill had a drop from 11,119 in 2010/2011 to 9,440 in 2011/2012. Why?
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
I would also attribute Melbourne Central's faster decline to the 401? It is getting more popular should be taking quite a load off the station.
Also on North Melbourne - it seems that the number of people walking to the station and transferring from buses is quite low. Why does it need barriers?

One more thing: Congratulations on the Altona section. It has been successfully reduced and is being killed off, which none of the stations exceeding a thousand daily passengers.
Funnily enough, the Williamstown section dropped in patronage also during this time. Was there really much benefit then?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Melbourne is becoming like London, Paris, NY, etc.. people are working out that it isn't always best to go to their nearest station, but that sometimes a slightly further walk can result in a more direct service.
Revenue
Until you leave the 10km radius centred around this place called "Melbourne" and have to catch a certain thing which doesn't run on rails, commonly called the bus. The last of the untamed, unpredictable beasts. Humans have been able to conquer and control everything from the horse and carriage to cars, trains, aircraft and even space travel, but the bus remains a mystery yet to be explained.

So far, little is known about this species, aside from that it is diurnal and tends to leave society at dusk to sleep, whereas trains and trams run until 11PM or even later. It may or may not go into hibernation for one or two out of the seven nights and may not be seen until Monday morning. On these two days, it is generally lazy and will not be seen until 9AM or later, and its road usage will generally be half that of the weekday, we are unsure of why this happens. Additionally, on these two days when the bus decides to be out and about, the bus goes away to sleep much earlier than every other day of the week, again we do not know why this happens. It is also well known that it is afraid of larger predators, generally known as the train and tram, as it tends to run away when it sees either vehicle in the distance, leaving former train passengers stranded for between 30 and 120 minutes until the next bus arrives, if one even does arrive (as is the case on many weekend services, where some buses can finish at any time between 12 noon and 7PM, if they even run at all - and an 8-9PM weekday finish is mediocre at best, not even coming close to the "London, Paris and New York" standard). On some occasions, the bus may hide around the back streets until the train leaves, then pull up at the station two minutes after and let out passengers who may have wanted the train; the next off-peak train being half an hour away. It should be noted that there is one species which does the exact opposite; it is only seen between midnight and 5AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but never during the week. It should be noted that this is probably because its predators, the train and tram, are not usually awake during this time period, although they are also not awake during this time period for the rest of the week either, so it is unclear why this species of bus is only seen two nights per week. Some people call these buses NightRiders, although they are sometimes also seen on Ventura services during the day.

I believe there is a way to tame this beast however. If we can somehow extend all bus services to operate until midnight to be in line with trains and trams (and not just those bus routes which finish at 9PM already, but the notoriously early-finishing ones too, like the 367 and weekend 366, which ironically does run until 11/midnight on weekdays), while holding bus services which terminate at train stations until the train arrives and train passengers have time to enter the bus and bus passengers can catch the train (a bus which arrives 1 minute later than a train is useless to anyone wanting the train, likewise an empty bus leaving 1 minute before a train arrives is useless to everyone wanting to catch the bus). Additionally, if more buses, even older buses, can be utilised in a way which makes off-peak services more frequent (every 20 minutes at worst), this will make the bus more competitive with other modes of transport, particularly the taxi and more importantly, the private car.

In short:
All buses should run at every 20 minutes at worst, from 6AM (if 5AM is not possible) until at least 11PM, seven days a week. If SmartBus can run until midnight on a Saturday timetable there is no reason why it can't do the same on Sunday. This only inconveniences people and forces them straight back into their cars. Not only that, why is it considered "Smart" when it runs every half an hour on those days? MediocreBus sounds much better on the weekend.
  lomlate Locomotive Driver


2. Is car including only parking in station car parks, or is it including parking in nearby places which might be all day? What about "kiss n ride"? I am surprised that you can get large numbers for car access from Armadale, Hawksburn and Malvern (and why would it be Malvern? Why not Caulfield if you are going to drive?)
AzN_dj
Caulfield station is around Monash University where parking is around $8/day.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Caulfield station is around Monash University where parking is around $8/day.
lomlate
Yes, but There is no parking at Malvern or Armadale.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

I would also attribute Melbourne Central's faster decline to the 401? It is getting more popular should be taking quite a load off the station.
Also on North Melbourne - it seems that the number of people walking to the station and transferring from buses is quite low. Why does it need barriers?
"AzN_dj"


You are quite correct - North Melbourne didn't get barriers because of passengers walking to/from the station, but it did get them because of the 401. When the barriers at North Melbourne are closed (hopefully post V/Line implementation when the number of paper tickets dramatically reduces), it will target passengers going to/from the 401 bus - which helps to protect revenue and enables easy checking of concession entitlements by AOs at the station. The cost of installing barriers isn't actually as high as many people think. Let's assume North Melbourne barriers cost half a million (I'm not sure what they cost, but it would be something in that ball park). Over twenty years, that's about $25K a year, about $500 a week or $100 a day. This obviously excludes staffing costs and maintenance costs, but it gives a good idea that provided you stop a few hundred people fare evading each day, then that's more than paid for them.  Gating North Melbourne also stops people from catching one train into the station without touching on in Zone 2, alighting and touching on in Zone 1 before travelling on (eg. when they change trains). So that's a benefit. The other thing is that it means that we can do rear door loading of 401 without risking revenue - which means faster boarding/alighting times which leads to increased efficiency (and therefore defer the need for an extra bus - so you need to consider that saving). If you can reduce the dwell time of the eight buses on 401 by one minute each, then that's the equivilent of adding over a bus of additional capacity (for example). All figures above indicative, but they give you an idea of the sorts of issues that were considered in the decision to gate North Melbourne. Plus you also need to factor in patronage growth - when you install gates you make certain predictions about patronage growth.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Yes, but There is no parking at Malvern or Armadale.
"AzN_dj"


No parking in the surrounding streets? There are plenty of people who drive a kilometer to get closer to the station rather than walk the whole way.
  Braddo Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narre Warren
There are plenty of people who drive a kilometer to get closer to the station rather than walk the whole way.
Revenue
It disgusts me that someone could be that lazy. Absolutely dispicable.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
No parking in the surrounding streets? There are plenty of people who drive a kilometer to get closer to the station rather than walk the whole way.
Revenue
None at all - not anything more than 2 hours! I think Malvern has a small area of impromptu car parking, but Armadale has nothing at all!
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
You are quite correct - North Melbourne didn't get barriers because of passengers walking to/from the station, but it did get them because of the 401. When the barriers at North Melbourne are closed (hopefully post V/Line implementation when the number of paper tickets dramatically reduces), it will target passengers going to/from the 401 bus - which helps to protect revenue and enables easy checking of concession entitlements by AOs at the station. The cost of installing barriers isn't actually as high as many people think. Let's assume North Melbourne barriers cost half a million (I'm not sure what they cost, but it would be something in that ball park). Over twenty years, that's about $25K a year, about $500 a week or $100 a day. This obviously excludes staffing costs and maintenance costs, but it gives a good idea that provided you stop a few hundred people fare evading each day, then that's more than paid for them.  Gating North Melbourne also stops people from catching one train into the station without touching on in Zone 2, alighting and touching on in Zone 1 before travelling on (eg. when they change trains). So that's a benefit. The other thing is that it means that we can do rear door loading of 401 without risking revenue - which means faster boarding/alighting times which leads to increased efficiency (and therefore defer the need for an extra bus - so you need to consider that saving). If you can reduce the dwell time of the eight buses on 401 by one minute each, then that's the equivilent of adding over a bus of additional capacity (for example). All figures above indicative, but they give you an idea of the sorts of issues that were considered in the decision to gate North Melbourne. Plus you also need to factor in patronage growth - when you install gates you make certain predictions about patronage growth.
Revenue
Yes, but we shouldn't be putting barriers around willy nilly. There should be some threshold in place.
If we look at the stats for North Melbourne, 722 bus, 141 car, 35 cycle, and 687 walked, that is a total of 1,585 per day that are actually using the exit at the station, with only 863 no longer needing to get their tickets checked again, but let's just assume the bus stops checking. Approximately 10% fare evasion would mean that 158 people that are boarding would get away with fare evasion. Sure it sounds like a lot, but if we look at another station like Springvale, or Clayton, we have over 5,000 boardings per day, and 10% of 5,000 is 500, so it would make more economical sense to introduce barriers at either one of the two stations over North Melbourne.

Sunshine doesn't have barriers either, and the number of boardings are 7,032 per weekday (although subtract 1,532 that are transferring to buses, so 5,500 people are using the station and not getting checked further on). Again, it becomes more efficient to place barriers at plenty of other places rather than North Melbourne.

I reckon a reasonable threshold for barriers should be something like over 5,000 people entering/exiting a station per day, which would put the following stations on the list for having barriers that currently don't:
Footscray (RRL works, understandable)
Caulfield? (There are no stats indicating which platforms have the most boardings)
Sunshine
Essendon
St Albans (wait for being rebuilt, it has to happen sooner or later)
Laverton
Watergardens
Oakleigh
Springvale (could be done when rebuilt)
Clayton
Hoppers Crossing
Noble Park.
As daily patronage has exceeded 5,000 boardings per weekday, with about that many people entering the station.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

When considering barriers you also need to consider where people are travelling to/from, and whether the station has been designed to accomodate them.

If most customers from a station are travelling to/from a gated station there isn't a lot of benefit in installing barriers.  But with North Melbourne you have a lot of passengers who are travelling from ungated stations, which adds to the business case. As also discussed above, there were people who switched from Melbourne Central to North Melbourne because they realised they could fare evade on the 401 bus due to the need to board people quickly on that service.

North Melbourne is a station that was designed for ticket barriers. This has a number of advantages in their installation and management. The staff in the ticket office can see straight down the barrier line, and there will be windows on the paid and unpaid side (not at the moment as a fence is in the wrong place due to V/Line ticket sales).

In relation to the list of stations you suggested - there are certainly plans to install barriers at more stations. Some will happen as part of RRL works. Some will be retrofits into existing stations.

So it isn't appropriate to nominate a number of people as a threshold - it depends on the type of passengers, where people are going to/from, how barriers can be accomodated, and other factors.  Quite a lot more science than just a number of passengers.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
Well if that is the case, would it be easier to gate the 401, rather than the entire station?

Also, another thing I realised won't be appearing in stats - bus transfers at Parliament.
Why? The method of counting relates to BOARDINGS, not how many passengers alight at a station.
There is quite a number of people disembarking at Parliament, and walking to the DART bus stop. This doesn't happen in the opposite direction.

I was surprised when the stats said 0.0% for buses, but then I remembered that it was boardings only. So that's something that will easily fall through the data analysis.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
I would like to see the current data,  for example is more people travelling to Clifton Hill station instead for using any station before Clifton Hill on the Hurstbridge line because lack of lack of express services outside peak times.

Personally I been driving to Clifton Hill station on the weekend on the bases there is no advance of using any station before Clifton Hill because there is no more express service outside peak services on the Hurstbridge line.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Boss, Gwiwer

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.