The system must also cater for the different places where people live and work, from high density urban centres to local suburbs and rural areas.
Making it more affordable, convenient and sustainable for people to access work, school or training is particularly important. This will increase economic productivity and everyone's prosperity.
To make this possible, it is important that land use change enables people to easily access services and amenities close to where they live. This helps encourage shorter, cheaper and less emission-heavy journeys.
A transport system that offers reasonable commuting times to a wide range of jobs has multiple economic benefits:
- it enhances the ability of employers to find suitable workers
- it boosts job satisfaction and business productivity
- it reduces the vulnerability of workers to long-term unemployment in the event of (unforeseen) employment change or job loss.
The efficient movement of goods and services is also essential to prosperity. The Ports of Auckland and Auckland Airport are two of New Zealand's main international gateways, so the city has a significant role in the distribution of freight within Auckland, to neighbouring regions, as well as to the rest of New Zealand.
While major upgrades to State Highway 1 to the north and south of Auckland are planned or underway, these improvements may have to be complemented by future upgrades to the rail network to better connect the upper North Island. (See Inter-regional passenger rail transport for more information.)
The vast bulk of freight and commercial travel in Auckland is by medium and small size vehicles distributing goods to retailers or to homes, and by service workers such as plumbers or electricians. Travel delays and uncertainty about trip times from congestion create real and substantial costs to businesses. This increases costs for everyone.
An integrated approach will improve our ability to ensure consistent service provision, with affordable and sustainable travel choices.