STA's March 2012 Quarterly Performance information has recently been released. In short, it shows that overall patronage has reduced as compared to the previous corresponding quarter, but Metrobus has increased. Newcastle buses has increased slightly. The question not addressed in this is why its patronage would decline?
One possibility is Harbour Bridge bus congestion is pushing people back to their cars. I blogged on what I think of the plan to fix this before.
Hopefully the 8th of March, 2012 eastern region rebalancing will help send more buses where they are needed, but there needs to be much more done.
The question is, have STA actually been asked to increase public transport use? The only performance objectives I am aware of in Sydney are about increasing public transport's market share of the journey to work or study. So therefore it is hard to criticise the STA if they have done what they have been asked to do, even if that falls short of the mark.
Even more recently, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian is asking STA to become more "efficient", or face the possibility of privatisation. It seems that increasing patronage would be lucky to become an afterthought.