Just ask any traveller: you can tell a lot about a city by its public transport. Take Auckland and Wellington, for example. While a substantial proportion of Wellingtonians use their city’s bus and rail systems, it seems the majority of Aucklanders would rather drive, according to the latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation New Zealand report.
Almost half of Wellington’s population (49.5%) caught a bus in any given three-month period during the last year, and 36.1% took the train. In Auckland, on the other hand, a much lower 38.9% of residents travelled by bus and just 22.9% by train.
Taxi usage is also higher in Wellington, with 29% of residents travelling by cab in an average three months (compared to 20.7% of Aucklanders).
The flipside of this scenario, of course, is that Aucklanders drive more than Wellingtonians, racking up an average 14,000km per year (compared to 12,800km in Wellington). Though this will come as no surprise to anyone who’s experienced the city’s notoriously congested traffic, it’s lower than the rest of New Zealand, where the average distance driven per year is 14,600km.
Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), April 2012 – March 2013
Base: New Zealand population aged 14+
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“With its electric train system and reliable bus services, Wellington provides a more user-friendly public transport system than Auckland, resulting in a much higher rate of public transport use across age groups, genders and other demographics.
“In contrast, Auckland’s public transport system has not been able to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly growing population. Auckland Council is all too aware of this situation, flagging the city’s ‘overburdened and inefficient’ transport system as a priority in their long-term strategy The Auckland Plan.
“Plans for a fully electric train system by 2016 and a CBD City rail link by 2021 should ease the pressure, but for the next few years at least, the love affair between Aucklanders and their cars looks set to continue.
“Having larger distances to cover and fewer public transport options, rural Kiwis in the rest of the country will also keep clocking up the kilometres on their odometers.
“Public transport is just one of the regional differences explored in our ‘Spotlight on Auckland vs Wellington vs Rest of New Zealand’, along with areas such as attitudes, housing, technology and more.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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