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Strong Sydney traffic: Will it drive the Transurban (ASX:TCL) share price higher?

The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price could be driven higher today after reporting major traffic growth in Sydney.

Transurban share price on track for growth?

This morning, Transurban has revealed a huge increase in its Sydney traffic.

For the March 2021 quarter, Sydney average daily traffic (DAT) increased by 21.8% to 936,000 trips. Average workday traffic increased by 20.1% and average weekend/public holiday traffic went up by 28.1% for the quarter.

Of the total ADT, car traffic increased by 21.4% and large vehicle traffic rose by 26.9%.

Sydney was largely free of restrictions during the period. Average daily traffic of 37,000 on NorthConnex continues to exceed expectations set prior to COVID-19. The M8 and M5 East assets continue ramp up.

However, when excluding the new assets of M8, M5 East and NorthConnex, Sydney traffic was only up 4.5%.

What happened on the rest of Transurban’s road networks?

Total average daily traffic only increased by 1.1% compared to 2020 and decreased by 3.8% compared to 2019.

Traffic impacts across each of Transurban’s markets continue to vary.

Melbourne ADT decreased 15.2% to 675,000. Of total ADT, car traffic dropped 18.5% and large vehicle traffic decreased 2.6%. Transurban blamed restrictions enforced during the quarter.

Brisbane ADT increased 3.3% to 403,000 trips despite two short lockdowns in January and at the end of March. The Logan Motorway continues to be the network’s best performing asset.

North America ADT decreased 26.9% to 101,000 trips. The average dynamic toll price decreased by 15.9% on the 95 Express Lanes and decreased 33.4% on the 495 Express Lanes.

Restrictions in the Greater Washington Area continue to impact traffic and pricing on the Express Lanes assets are still down on pre-COVID levels, although volumes did improve throughout the quarter.

A ‘Safer At Home’ order remains in place in Virginia, though the vaccine rollout is progressing quickly.

ADT on the A25 in Montreal was down 4.8% for the quarter.

Anything else?

During the period, Accelerate Maryland Partners, led by Transurban and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), was selected as the developer to deliver the American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Relief Plan (also known as the phase 1 of the Maryland Express Lanes project) in Maryland.

Also, the Transurban Chesapeake partnership reached financial close at the end of the quarter, realising gross process of US$2.1 billion.

Transurban said it’s well funded and positioned for the pipeline of opportunities which are currently materialising in core markets.

It’s good to see that traffic is returning in some places for Transurban. However, I think it looks as though the business is still some way from returning back to its pre-COVID heights both in terms of the Transurban share price and ADT on pre-COVID assets.

There could be a permanent change of less traffic with more people working at home, moving to non-metro places and so on. I’ve got my eyes on other ASX dividend shares as income opportunities.

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Is BNPL the opportunity of a lifetime or is the sector a ticking time bomb?

Rask's analyst has just finished a 7,500-word report, The Ultimate BNPL Sector Report, taking a deep dive into this booming ASX sector. It shines a spotlight on each of the major players. You can get the full analyst report for FREE by CLICKING HERE NOW.

Note: the report is 100% free.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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