PASSENGER trips on Melbourne trains dropped by almost 7 million last financial year, but the decline in rail patronage was more than matched by increases in tram and bus trips.
In total there were 536.8 million boardings on Melbourne’s public transport system last financial year, a 3.4 per cent increase on 2011-12. But the boost in patronage is almost entirely attributable to more people taking to the city’s buses, which carried a remarkable 17 million more people in 2011-12 than they did in 2010-11.
There were 123.2 million bus trips in 2011-12 – a 15.8 per cent jump on the previous year.
At the same time, the number of journeys on trains dropped 3.3 per cent, from 228.9 million to 222 million. It is the first financial year in which train patronage has declined since 1993-94. Overall, patronage has grown by 53 per cent in the past eight years.
Adam Carey, The Age, September 13, 2012