That is the remarkable statistic revealed in the above OIA response from the Greater Wellington Regional Council. (The journeys figure for 2019 actually looks a little lower than one would expect, given the increase over the two previous years.)
It explains why parking around the station — and the town centre — has become such a big problem.
It is something that the WCB members are looking at right now in conjection with council staffers and Beca consultants involved with Town Centre traffic and safety.
One of the answers must be to encourage Waikanae people to use the buses more — we are told that the route around the hill zone streets is poorly patronised, for example.
But there is also the fact that many commuters from Otaki and Levin drive to Waikanae to get the trains. Not only that, Jill Griggs says she knows of Paraparaumu people who drive to Waikanae, because it is standing room only on the trains there.
Short term an answer is to run longer trains and we’re told that the power substations on the Kapiti line have been upgraded to allow that.
Longer term, well, congestion at the Elizabeth Street level crossing is going to get steadily worse. But on a slightly more positive note, a separate response from KiwiRail says that there were no blockages on the level crossing caused by stopped trains in the past 5 years. One hates to think of the chaos that would cause!