Why transport and access is important
To lead successful and enjoyable lives, it is vital that people can easily, safely and sustainably reach the things that matter most to them, such as work, school, friends, recreation and healthcare.
To achieve this we need efficient ways for people, goods and services to move within and across Auckland, throughout New Zealand and across the world.
For Auckland to be a truly accessible city we also need to make sure that people of all ages and abilities, including people with reduced mobility levels, can go about their daily lives and get from one place to another easily, affordably and safely.
This means tailoring the way
infrastructure and services are provided so they meet the wide range of Aucklanders' needs.
Find out more by visiting the
Universal Design website and the
Office for Disability issues website.
Transport and access in the past
Our transport system is key to making Auckland more accessible, and for us all to benefit from growth. While great improvements have been made over the past 20 years, historic under-investment, combined with rapid population growth, means we still face big challenges.
Past decisions shaped Auckland into a relatively low-density city where private vehicles were the only viable option for almost all trips.
Auckland's continued population growth and a concentration of job growth in a few key locations have put this car-focused transport system under significant strain. Congestion has led to delays and highly variable travel times that adds cost and undermines our quality of life. Reducing the impact of congestion on people’s lives is a key component of improving accessibility. However, there is now widespread recognition that we cannot simply build our way out of congestion. This means making progress requires a combination of:
- additional investment
- rebalancing effort to other forms of mobility that can avoid congestion
- focusing on changing our travel behaviour.
A big increase in transport investment over the last two decades has mostly completed the motorway network and started to develop a quality public transport system. That makes it possible for people to avoid congestion when they travel by bus, train or ferry.
Auckland’s rapid transit network barely existed a decade ago, but investment in the rail network and construction of the Northern Busway mean this network now carries over 26 million passengers a year, with use continuing to grow strongly.
Over the last few years there has also been increased investment in cycle ways. Read about how we're
making Auckland more cycle friendly.
In some areas there have been improvements for pedestrians as well, such as the
Te Ara Mua Future Streets project in Māngere, ranging from how traffic is managed, to better paving, lighting and safety.
However, the legacy of past decisions is still felt today. Many projects that were first planned decades ago, such as the City Rail Link, are only now being built. This makes it difficult to address today's problems, let alone prepare ourselves for future growth. Read more on the
Rail Link website.
As a consequence, people living in large parts of Auckland still don't have many choices in the way they travel. Major chokepoints and bottlenecks also remain on many main roads.
How we can improve transport and access
An integrated strategy
Improving transport and access in Auckland requires an integrated approach and is a partnership between Auckland Council and central government. In 2016The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) was established to develop a long-term strategic approach to address Auckland's transport challenges.
This work emphasised the need to focus on:
- getting much more out of existing
- maximising new opportunities to influence travel demand
- ensuring investment is targeted to the greatest challenges