Auckland Mayor Phil Goff (INL Picture)Phil Goff
Auckland, September 5, 2019
Best wishes and Ganapati Bappa Morya to everyone celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi this week. I hope you enjoy the festivities.
If you are out with the family this weekend, you can take advantage of free travel for under-16s on public transport.
From Saturday September 7, 2019, children aged 5 to 15, using a registered AT HOP Card, will be able to travel free on Auckland Transport bus, train and select ferry services on weekends and public holidays, when services are under-utilised.
Tackling congestion is a priority for us.
As our City grows towards two million people, making better use of public transport is one of the best ways of easing congestion on our roads.
Us of public transport has been growing at three to four times the rate of population.
In the year to June 2019, Aucklanders took more than 100 million journeys on buses trains and ferries—our biggest year for public transport since 1951, when we still had trams.
There’s much more we have to do, and these changes are coming. In the 10-year Budget last year, I was able to secure $18 billion more in central government funding to enable a record investment through the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.
This will deliver more busways and double-decker buses, extended service hours, electric trains and upgraded bus and train stations—making public transport easier and more efficient for Aucklanders and creating the world-class transport network our city needs. It will also deliver improvements to major arterial roadways and create roading infrastructure for new housing developments.
Other projects already underway or due to start soon, such as the Puhinui Station Interchange, will deliver further improvements, including rapid transit to the Airport and its employment precinct.
Bus fleet expansion
The City Rail Link, when completed will double the rail network’s capacity and reduce travel times into and through our city.
We are working with the government to bring forward the conversion of our bus fleet to electric and hydrogen, and to increase the number of electric vehicles on our roads, and from 2020 the council will only purchase electric or hybrid passenger vehicles.
Improving Auckland’s public transport network and transitioning towards sustainable transport is key to tackling our climate change and environmental challenges, as well as making our city a better place to live.
Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland.