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Auckland Transport

Commute case studiesCase studies

Organisations in a range of sectors across Auckland have joined the Commute Programme and achieved great results.

 Below are some of their experiences of the programme:


Beca logoBeca were winners of the 2015 Commute Award.


Beca’s National Green Team came together in 2015 across regions to put together a campaign for Sustainable Travel in October 2015.

They targeted three themes to promote: Active Transport, Public Transport and Carpooling. They came up with catchy slogans for each theme: ‘walk ride and roll’, ‘avoid the fuss take the bus’, and ‘share the load’.

They started in August with an organisation-wide travel survey to identify how people commute to work in the different regions to allow them to target specific travel promotions. Posters were put up around the offices displaying facts about sustainable travel, results of the survey and promoting events. Weekly updates were put up on their internal intranet site and also on their media page to get some discussion going.

Regional events were organised relating to carpooling. Large printed maps of the city and surrounding suburbs were put up in foyers to encourage staff to place a sticker in theirs suburb and come along to the event.

This was a great way to visualise which areas staff are travelling from. A shared lunch was organised and interested carpoolers wore name tags with their suburbs written on them and ‘matched up’ with others from the same suburb to organise carpooling.

They created carpool agreements to ensure ‘ride rules’ were set from the start. Regional events were also organised around Walk and Bike to Work Day. Free breakfast was provided by Beca for those taking an active mode of transport during that week. This was a great way to celebrate those making the effort to use active transport.

They calculated the total distance travelled and how much ‘carbon’ we saved compared to driving. Bike reps were established in each office and introduced during these breakfasts.

Other events during October including liaising with Auckland Council to have their electric cars available during one lunchtime at Beca to allow staff to try them out.

The mobile app Chariot was also invited in to present on the app and their plans for enabling ride sharing in New Zealand. Finally a panel discussion event was also organised called ‘Transport Back to the Future’ with speakers from the Ministry of Transport, Chariot, Uber to which all staff and several clients were invited.

“This thought provoking event reinforced the way transport is evolving and what we might expect to see in the future” – Genevieve Smith They intend to have a follow up survey early next year to identify any shifts in staff behaviour as a result of our efforts. Beca’s initiative proves that consistent message, management commitment and people approach is the perfect recipe for success.

Beca - Cut the carbon campaign

2015 Beca cast study poster - Mike

Auckland Distict Health Board

ADHB logoADHB were winners of the 2015 Commute Award.

ADHB's innovative approach to travel planning

Right from the start the Travel Demand Approach by ADHB has been innovative. They have been using a co design approach where staff, patients, visitors and the community have been involved in the process of identifying the issues and in developing the solutions.

The hospital has also partnered with AUT design student’s to expand thinking in this area of wayfinding and placemaking. Several design projects were submitted by the students engaged in the ADHB design Lab in this AUT collaboration.

Their communications plan has always been identified as a key to the project development. With the help of AT they have created a commute travel guide providing new staff with all the information they need on travel choices to work, this information was updated on their intranet as well. They took a very relatable approach by sharing real stories about how staff travel to work and what benefits they have from cycling, car pooling and taking public transport to work.

The large screen in the hospital main lobby area has been a platform to share AT videos on travel options and messages with staff and patients. They have managed to keep their staff and patients engaged by regularly sharing stories in the staff NOVA magazine, on the staff intranet and via the ADHB twitter account.

ADHB collected data of the travel behaviour and mode of their staff, patients and visitors. This was presented with impact in an engaging and meaningful way with info graphic designs. The data collection also included the physiological impact and real personal experiences of staff and patients travel experiences.

A Travel Forum was held to share the results of the travel surveys and ensure staff and the community were on the journey. The Forum had two international presentations by Charles Montgomery and Sue Philbin currently working for Auckland Transport. The local Grafton residents were also invited to attend making the event a whole community approach along with staff.

In November 2014 a new covered and secure bike storage cage was installed celebrated by a bike to work breakfast and free bike checks. Over 17 events and expos have been implemented in 2015 promoting a number of key travel options including carpool expos, travel expos with a focus on public transport, new network engagement expos, Active travel promotions and the ADHB commute guide produced and launch linked to the ADHB wellbeing week, September 22nd- World Car Free Day promotion, cycle events (electric bike taster sessions, beginner bike and bike maintenance sessions), among others.

“The project is looking at public, private and Auckland DHB supplied travel options, parking capacity, wayfinding to the hospital and how we help people get from our car parks to our front doors. A joint approach with Auckland DHB staff and design students from the Design for Health and Wellbeing Lab, a collaboration between Auckland DHB and AUT, working with our staff, patients and local community to come up with solutions.

As well as external stakeholders including Auckland Transport to ensure that our vision matches the developing Auckland transport network” ADHB understands the benefits of traveling by sustainable modes, and has proved that clear and constant communication, commitment and cooperation are bases to creating a sustainable transport culture.

2015 ADHB poster



AECOM logoSarah Dove, AECOM, Travel Plan Co-ordinator, 320 employees in Auckland

AECOM reinvigorated their travel plan in preparation for a move to a new 5* green rated building in central Auckland.

“Supporting employees with the move to our new building not only helped them to consider sustainable transport options, but it also fits with our sustainability policy, a move to a green building and Corporate Social Responsibility framework” explains Sarah.


About AECOM in New Zealand

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. 

In New Zealand, AECOM’s advisors, engineers, designers and planners work together to find smarter and more-efficient solutions to their clients’ most complex challenges. From offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch, AECOM teams share and source knowledge, insights and experience from around the world to apply lessons learned locally,

A leader in all the markets it serves, AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments.  More information about AECOM can be found at

What has your Auckland Transport Commute travel plan focused on?

 AECOM started by surveying employees before the move to see what opportunities existed for and establish a baseline.

“Before the move, we focused on how we could make the process smoother for our employees. The new site had limited car parking which would require a change in commuting for many, but it has excellent showers, a towel service and bike parking facilities and it’s really close to Britomart. The Auckland Transport (AT) Commute Team came in and delivered a travel expo to our employees so they could see their travel options to and from the new office” said Sarah.

Being located an easy 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from Britomart meant that Public Transport could be an option for many people.

Employees received personal information on their public transport routes into the city at the travel expo and eligible staff participated in a public transport trial upon moving to the new location. Staff interested in carpooling were encouraged to sign up to the national carpooling programme and cyclists received cycling information, resources and journey planning to the new location.

“Fitting in with the ethos of being a green building, we obtained a grant to provide a public transport subsidy to our staff and having the information they needed in advance was really useful. From our pre-move baseline, we managed to go from 19% of people using public transport to 39% of people at our new location”.

Having fantastic lockers, showers and cycle facilities in the new building made it easier to promote cycling as a commuting option.

A year after AECOM’s move, about 10% of staff indicated that cycling was their main way of getting to work, with even more indicating that they cycle a few days a week.  

“There are around 30 bikes parked in our building every day and the number of people cycling is really increasing. Our free towel service for the showers reduces the amount staff have to carry and is another incentive to cycle.”

The Auckland Transport (AT) Commute team delivered a bike maintenance session for staff in support of the Go by Bike day event and a breakfast was organised to encourage and reward all cyclists.

AT recently provided AECOM with two fleet bikes to encourage staff to cycle. These were available for two months (February and March) during which time usage was monitored.

Was it easy to get started on the Commute programme and what resources did you need?

Moving to a new building with strong environmental credentials made it easier for AECOM to get management support to reinvigorate their travel plan in addition to a change management review of their facilities prior to the move which had components of developing measures for a travel plan. 

‘’Having the Auckland Transport (AT) Commute Team’s support and the resources they provided meant that we didn’t have to start from scratch.  As an organisation, we have a strong Green Office programme and promote ‘Health and Wellbeing’; travel planning fits with our ethos”.

What’s been your biggest success to date?

AECOM has seen some great results following the move to their new premises including a 20% increase in the use of public transport (from 19% to 39%), and reduced costs for staff to get to meetings, as many now walk or use public transport.

The Commute programme provided the resources and opportunity to promote a change in transport behaviours.

Sarah explained that one of the biggest successes is a change in communications and environment. Combined with a move to a green building sustainable, opting for public transport is now seen as ‘walking the talk’.  There has been a culture shift in the organisation to give greater consideration to green thinking, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. 

“Employees are more engaged in areas of sustainability and the support provided by Auckland Transport has been well received”. 

Would you recommend the programme to other businesses?

Sarah explained that the Commute Team provided help with ideas, materials and guidance around how to bring their travel plan to life and would recommend the programme to other businesses.

“They supported us through the process and were ready to answer our questions, providing good examples and lessons learned, which helped to sustain and grow our travel plan”.

For businesses considering joining the programme, Sarah advises that organisations need to get management support early and get buy-in from different departments around the organisation. An in-house coordinator is essential to manage this and needs to provide regular and consistent communication.

Mahitahi Trust

Mahitahi TrustNgahuia Hunter is the Quality / Health and Safety Manager at Mahi Tahi Trust. The company has 75 employees with 30 visitors to the site each day and employees also travel to visit communities. 

Transport Challenges:

  • Congestion and parking.
  • Effective fleet vehicle management.
  • Promoting staff wellbeing.

Mahi Tahi Staff

 Mahitahi is a charitable Trust working to support those with barriers to mental wellness and promote wider wellbeing. Following a review focusing on value, efficiencies and development of a wellbeing plan for employees, a number of transport initiatives were identified.

There was a shift from staff having a company vehicle which they could take home to having the fleet of vehicles stored at the work site.

“This meant helping our staff to find alternative ways to work and help ease the financial burden of no longer housing a company vehicle. I contacted the Commute programme and found they could help us reach our goals and more.” says Ngahuia. 

What has your travel plan focused on?

Mahi Tahi with the Commute Team delivered their first travel expo in August 2013 which gave staff information on their personal commutes. This coincided with the changes in company car policy to help staff through the transition.

‘’To make better use of our fleet vehicles, we used Outlook and encouraged staff to schedule appointments to limit travel time, for example, booking appointments in the same area and consecutively to prevent the need to travel back to the office in between appointments. We also encourage carpooling where staff have appointments close by. Since our first expo, we have delivered the Commute Cycling and Public Transport packages”.

Was it easy to get started and what resources did you need?

The Mahitahi Travel Plan leveraged off their wider wellness policy, which included transport items and a commitment to staff wellbeing. Timing was also a factor with making the travel plan work as it was launched on the back of resource and efficiency changes.

“There was some initial resistance, but through consistency of messages we got more buy in and the travel expos came at the right time to demonstrate that there are other options available at an affordable cost.

We started with a travel choices expo and grew from there. Initially, I wasn’t sure whether to approach AT as travel planning was new to me and I admit I was hesitant. Travel was discussed in our wellness plan so I enquired and our Commute travel planner came to visit and showed us what we could do, I’m glad we took the opportunity.”

What was the biggest success?

Ngahuia explained that since staff had experience of walking, cycling and public transport, they began empowering their clients to plan their own journeys.  Some clients had the opportunity to go on excursions around Auckland which gave them the experience of traveling on the train, bus and ferry. Employees have bought into the sustainable transport message and see value in it, which has become part of a wider wellness programme.

“Our staff were offered cycle training followed by the opportunity to trial a bike for three months to see if cycling to work was for them. We also had some bikes to trial which staff could use to get to meetings. As a result, we’ve installed bike parking and in the future plan to install shower and locker facilities. Even though we lease the building and will be putting these in at our own expense, we believe it demonstrates a commitment to our staff”.

The wellness group has won the support of the CEO in delivering the travel plan and wellness programme. “Our management has really supported our wellness plan, our Wellness group encouraged everyone to go for a 10 minute walk in the mornings, and as we move into colder weather we are planning other exercise activities such as indoor netball and weekend cycling. Our CEO even bought a treadmill, vibra machine and exercycle for our staff and clients!"

Ngahuia explains that “congestion is an area we continue to focus on and our next opportunity is to promote the Carpool programme to our staff during Kiwi Carpool week in June 2014. We will promote carpooling in a fun and interactive way which we envisage will further decrease the congestion around our work site” 

Would you recommend the programme to other businesses?

“Without AT, we wouldn’t have had the support and resources to achieve as much as we have. We wouldn’t have been able to promote the messages to this extent; the programme has been an eye opener”.  

When business think about travel planning and approaching Commute programme, Ngahuia recommends:

  • Identifying the opportunities of travel planning and linking these to organisational goals to get senior management buy-in
  • Ensuring you have resources available or a dedicated person, being consistent with the programme and messages is important to success.

Counties Manukau District Health Board

Counties ManukauTransport challenges:

  • Creating an efficient parking management system.
  • Promoting travel choices to staff to help free up space for visitors.
  • An increasing Auckland population will mean more people needing to access the site.
  • Linking transport to the wider sustainability programme.

“As an organisation, we try to be sustainable and promote fitness and wellbeing with programmes such as health checks and campaigns to get people moving. Travel planning fits in with our wider goals” says Debbie.

Counties Manukau Health is mandated to have a travel plan as part of its resource consent and has had a long history with Auckland Transport (and its predecessor), beginning in 2008 and transitioning to Commute when it was launched.

What has your travel plan focused on?

Since 2008, the Counties Manukau Heath travel plan has looked at parking management, infrastructure improvements and promotions to enable greater travel choices. There are now 8 carpool bays which are monitored and enforced using the Commute Carpool permits. Infrastructure improvements include the installation of bike parking for up to 40 bikes and to help increase take up of walking and cycling, shower and locker facilities were also installed.

Manukau District Health Staff

Recently taking over the travel plan, Debbie has focused on building on the successes of her predecessor by delivering a number of Commute Packages for staff including Carpooling, Public Transport and Cycling promotions.

Proving popular with employees, the Public Transport package brought Auckland Transport’s travel planners to Middlemore Hospital to help plan routes to work and provide information. Eligible staff also benefited from progressing to a public transport trial to see if it was for them.

Debbie explained employees are finding matches on the Let’s Carpool website ( and also have the opportunity register in their dedicated employer section to carpool with colleagues.

“The cycling workshops, training and bike trials for a month allowed staff to gain more confidence on a bike and try cycling as a transport option. There are now at least half a dozen more regular cycle commuters. As a result of more people wanting to cycle, we negotiated staff rates to purchase a bike at a local bike supplier”.

Was it easy to get started on the Commute programme and what resources did you need?

Counties Manukau Health already had a good foundation in their existing travel plan and organisationally have a commitment to sustainability and creating a healthy workforce.

“As the current Sustainability Officer, I took over managing the travel plan alongside my other sustainability work which helps to give the travel plan traction. Although it can be a challenge to manage a large travel plan in a split role”.

What’s been your biggest success to date and what are you looking for in the future?

Counties Manukau Health has had a number of successes, but a large number of shift workers can present challenges in promoting travel choices.

“Our biggest successes to date would be the installation of bike parking, shower and locker facilities along with the implementation and monitoring of dedicated carpooling bays for our staff. This is a result of the work undertaken with Auckland Transport.”

They are looking to continue developing their travel plan and have a number of initiatives planned including an area on their intranet providing information and promoting events. They are also developing new way finding around the hospital and looking to have a travel information board at the hospitals entrance. Sustainable travel information for new starters in their induction packs is also planned.

Would you recommend the programme to other businesses?

“There’s so much Auckland Transport can help with, being on the Commute Programme we have our own travel planner who helped us concentrate on our goals and guide us through the processes. I would recommend the programme to other organisations but they need identify their needs and goals before hand”.

Debbie also suggests that businesses should look to get management support and try to leverage off, and link to existing objectives and goals, like sustainability, wellbeing or efficiencies. A good two-way communications process to get staff buy-in and to understand what staff want is important.

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