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Auckland Transport

Forty-five thousand new Auckland bike riders last year

Auckland is experiencing a biking boom with a report released today by Auckland Transport showing big numbers taking to 2 wheels over the past year and confidence in cycling at an all-time high.

Forty-five thousand people starting riding in 2016 and there has been a 62 percent increase in cycle trips in the city centre since 2013.

Bikes now make up 9.4 percent of inbound traffic via Upper Queen Street and on the Northwestern cycleway there has been a 27 percent increase since 2015. Grafton Gully has seen a 34 percent increase and the Mt Roskill Shared Path has gone up 16 percent.

These numbers are in part due to the network effect as Auckland’s plan for high-quality cycling infrastructure is rolled out across the city.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Cycling is an important part of Auckland’s transport system. It gives Aucklanders transport choice, lessens pressure on our roads, reduces carbon emissions, and helps people to stay fit and healthy.”

Auckland Transport’s Manager for Walking, Cycling, and Road Safety Kathryn King says, “We are now seeing what other cities around the world have experienced over the past decades. When you meaningfully invest in a well-planned cycling network, people will leave the car at home and take the bike to work or study.

“Unitec is a great example: being close to the Northwestern cycleway means they have 4.3 percent of students biking, rather than the average of 1.7 percent which we see across other tertiary education sites. And I’m sure next year’s report will see this increase further as the Waterview Shared Path opens in the coming months.”

Auckland Transport has two key measures for cycling and in 2016 beat the target for kilometres of cycling infrastructure built but narrowly missed the target number of individual trips (as measured at counters around the city). “We built 16.8km in 2016 which is well over the 7.4km target and we measured 995,000 trips against a target of 1.1million.  We are really pleased with these numbers,” says Ms King.

While Aucklanders still mainly use their bike for recreation, 2016 saw increases in every other category of bike use including shopping, getting to education, getting to work and to public transport. Positive sentiment is strong with 80 percent of people saying that investment in cycling is important for giving people more travel choice and 54 percent of people saying that more people cycling is better for people driving.

Ms King says, “As well as the great list of projects we completed in 2016, it was also a key year for us talking to Aucklanders and finding out what people want built to help them travel in a more active way. We had over six thousand pieces of public feedback over 12 cycling infrastructure and network consultations during the year. That’s a massive response and we have carefully used that feedback as plans continue to unfold for the network.

“We could not have done this work alone, and I’d like to acknowledge the partnership between Auckland Transport, the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council and the local boards. Together with the dedicated special interest groups who have also collaborated with us over the past year.”

Key points:

  • 45,000 Aucklanders started cycling in 2016.
  • 62 percent increase in cycle trips in the city centre since 2013.
  • 16.8km of cycling infrastructure built in 2016.
  • 995,000 recorded cycle trips in Auckland in 2016.
  • 80 percent of people say investment in cycling is important to provide more travel choices.
  • 34 percent increase in trips on the Grafton Gully cycleway since 2015.
  • 27 percent increase in trips on the Northwestern cycleway since 2015.

Read the full Auckland Cycling Account (PDF 6.8MB)