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Auckland Transport

Regional Land Transport Strategy

The 2010 Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) sets the direction for the region’s transport system for the next 30 years.

The RLTS identifies what is needed to achieve an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable land transport system that can cope with population growth and the changing economic environment. It does this by setting regional objectives and policies.

The RLTS is a statutory document prepared under the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA) 2003.

Te pai me te whai rawa a Támaki - the prosperity and abundance of Auckland. 


The Challenges

By 2051, Auckland region's population will almost double, to around 2.3 million people. Continuing our current travel habits would result in an extra 1.25 million trips being made by car and an extra 60,000 trips by public transport each day, by 2040.

We can't build twice the road capacity to meet double the demand for car travel. Just 4.5km of new road required to complete the Western Ring Route at Waterview is costing $1.4 billon. There are a number of other reasons to reduce our reliance on cars including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using energy efficiently and promoting more active lifestyles.

The Solutions

We must make better use of what we already have and invest in a range of transport solutions - public transport, walking and cycling, behaviour change initiatives and roads.

Transport improvements need to be led by public transport and supported by strategic priorities that will make it easier for people to choose more sustainable transport options and reduce the impact of transport on the environment.

Use of public transport in the past year has been higher than in any year since 1985. Rail usage has risen 97 per cent over the past five years. It's vitally important we continue the momentum already generated, to get on with priority projects that will make a significant difference across the region.

Delivering the Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) will require a shift in how local and national transport funding is currently allocated between roads and public transport.

Why we need a new strategy

This RLTS 2010 replaces the RLTS 2005. The new strategy is required because there have been changes since 2005 in both legislation and the issues facing Auckland.

Government decisions have altered the duration of the strategy, introduced national targets the region is expected to work towards, and altered the way transport funding is being prioritised.

This strategy addresses a renewed emphasis on economic growth and productivity plus strengthening concerns about transport's contribution to climate change and its use of non-renewable energy sources.

The Land Transport Management Act 2003 requires the Auckland Regional Transport Committee to prepare a new RLTS to be approved by the Auckland Regional Council by the end of April 2010.

This strategy identifies the actions, policies, priorities and funding needed to achieve a land transport system that enhances the Auckland region as a great place to live, work and play.

Auckland Transport is expected to be required to act in a way that is consistent with this RLTS.


Complete Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) 2010-2040 (PDF 5.7MB)

Please contact us for a copy of the strategy or visit any public library within the Auckland region.

Research and Background


The Regional Transport Committee, which prepares the strategy published a position paper in May 2009 that proposes the strategic direction of the new Regional Land Transport Strategy (RLTS) be built on the following themes:

  • Support and contribute to land use policy that supports a compact and contained urban form consisting of centres, corridors and rural settlements
  • Continue major investment in rail, bus and ferry infrastructure and associated service improvements
  • Implement behaviour change programmes
  • Improve the operation of existing roads, especially regional arterials
  • construct limited additional road capacity
  • Reduce the impacts of transport on the natural environment and communities.

RLTS Strategic Directions Position Paper May 2009 (PDF 738 KB)


A large amount of research is undertaken to support the development of the RLTS. A Technical Advisory Committee took the lead in developing, editing and endorsing around 20 working papers.

The committee consists of officers from all of Auckland's former councils, as well as government agencies like the New Zealand Transport Agency, the former Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Ministry of Transport and the Regional Public Health Service.

Preferred Option

Funding the preferred option

There are three principal sources of funding for the preferred option: the New Zealand Transport Agency, local government and KiwiRail (funded by central government).

Funds likely to be available over the next 30 years: in the range of $32.5 billon to $46.6 billion.

Cost of implementing the Preferred Strategic Option: estimated at $45 billon.

To reflect preferred strategic option, the RLTS allocates land transport funding over the 30 years of the strategy as follows: 13 per cent to state highway infrastructure, 16 per cent to other roads, 25 per cent to maintenance and renewals, 42 per cent to public transport and 4 per cent to walking, cycling and managing demand for travel.

RLTS 30-Year ExpenditureThe National Land Transport Programme currently allocates 53 per cent of the transport budget over the next three years to state highway infrastructure, 26 per cent to other roads, 19 per cent to public transport and 2 per cent to walking, cycling and managing demand for travel.

NLTP Expenditure 2009-2012

If a similar allocation were to be made over the 30-year life of the strategy, a significant shortfall in the funds required for Auckland region's priority projects would result.

To ease the financial burden on ratepayers and tax payers, investigations will be made into alternative sources of funding, including developer contributions and public/private partnerships.