MP calls for more pub­lic trans­port

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

Auck­lan­ders who live the great­est dis­tance from the city cen­tre are the most re­liant on their cars.

Fig­ures re­leased by the Green Party show the per­cent­age of peo­ple who drive to work is high­est in out­ly­ing ar­eas.

Green MP Keith Locke says the re­sults show bet­ter pub­lic trans­port is needed in the sub­urbs.

“Over­all the map shows that in ar­eas with good pub­lic trans­port the de­pen­dence on cars drops away dra­mat­i­cally,” he says.

“We need to make sure we of­fer peo­ple more af­ford­able pub­lic trans­port to give every­one a choice of how they get to work.”

One­hunga and Hills­bor­ough res­i­dents are the most car-de­pen­dent in Auck­land city, with two-thirds of com­muters driv­ing to work.

Res­i­dents in Pon­sonby, Mt Eden, Grey Lynn, Free­mans Bay and New­ton are among the least re­liant on cars, with more than half us­ing al­ter­na­tive trans­port.

In Auck­land Cen­tral only one in five peo­ple use their car to get to work. Across the Auck­land re­gion, the high­est driv­ing rates were in the out­ly­ing sub­urbs of To­tara Heights, Golflands, Point View and Dan­nemora.

The fig­ures were taken from 2006 cen­sus re­sults, and Mr Locke says he ex­pects pub­lic trans­port use to have in­creased in some ar­eas. He ex­pects more peo­ple will choose to live closer to work or pub­lic trans­port routes as petrol prices rise.

Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil chair­man Mike Lee says the coun­cil is work­ing on pro­vid­ing bet­ter pub­lic trans­port links.

He says ser­vices for south­ern Auck­land city will im­prove when the One­hunga branch line re­opens to passenger ser­vices in De­cem­ber 2009. The coun­cil has also re­opened rail links to He­lensville, Kumeu and Hua­pai.

“We’re con­fi­dent more and more peo­ple will be leav­ing their cars be­hind,” Mr Lee says.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Car city: Green MP Keith Locke says bet­ter pub­lic trans­port in Auck­land’s out­ly­ing sub­urbs would help get more com­muters out of their cars.

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