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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Transport and access in Auckland, 2050

It is 2050, and Auckland's population is around 2.5 million people. The way people, goods and services move around Auckland are very different from what it was 30 years ago. The fast pace of technology development was the main factor shaping this change.

While information and communications technology have replaced some of our travel needs, the basic human desire to interact with other people means that more people are travelling around on a transport network that largely existed in 2018.

Sustained investment over the decades allowed us to broadly keep up with growth and provide much better travel choices. However, major gains in access and reducing congestion only happened through technological advances and a much more sophisticated approach to charging for using the transport network.

A much larger proportion of the vehicle fleet is now driverless, but the real impacts of technology have been in blurring the distinction between different ways of travelling, including:

  • electric bikes
  • driverless mini-buses
  • mobility as a service
  • taxi bots
  • optically guided buses
  • local air travel
  • light-rail vehicles that carry over 500 people. 

Aucklanders now have a wide range of travel options available to meet their needs.

Graphic showing the wide range of travel options available.

As a wider variety of travel options emerged and investment into public transport and cycleways began to complete these networks, the share of travel by traditional private vehicles declined.

A greater proportion of vehicles now move goods and services around, although driverless technology is leading to further major disruption for the transport and logistics industry.

The vehicle fleet is nearly fully electric, which contributes to the much-needed reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and to eliminating other harmful air pollutants.

Improvements in vehicle technology and a continuing commitment to road safety have also substantially reduced the road toll.

Despite these improvements, access challenges remain for Auckland in 2050. One ongoing challenge is about how we appropriately balance the allocation of street space between a greater number of residents, workers, travellers, and visitors.

Another relates to cyber-security and privacy concerns about a transport system that is ever more reliant on technology.

Finally, it has required ongoing effort to ensure all Aucklanders – not just people in more central urban areas – are able to benefit from these improvements.