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Commuting

Commentary

Overview

Travel to work by public transport, or by walking, jogging, or biking, has been increasing in central Auckland and North Shore city. However, it has been decreasing in other parts of the Auckland region.

Mapping commuting

Figure 12.1 shows how far people travel to work, with lighter shades indicating shorter distances. In areas coloured with the lightest shade, median distances travelled are less than five kilometres; in areas coloured with the darkest shade, median distances range from nine to 27 kilometres. (A median distance of, for instance, five kilometres means that half of all commuters travel less than five kilometres and half travel more.)

Figure 12.1

Median Distance Travelled to Work

Note: More information about interpreting the maps can be found in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 12.1 (PDF, 5.1MB)
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Figure 12.2 shows the modes of transport for people who commuted to work on census day. The upper maps show the percentage of people who took a bus or train; the lower maps show the percentage who walked, jogged, or biked.

Figure 12.2

Percentage of commuters travelling to work

Note: More information about interpreting the maps can be found in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 12.2 (PDF, 3.8MB)
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Trends in commuting

In 1996, short commutes were common in central Auckland, North Shore city, and northern Manukau. Ten years later, short commutes were still common in central Auckland and North Shore city, but less so in Manukau city.

Use of public transport, and walking, jogging, or biking, has been increasing in Auckland and North Shore cities. It has, however, been falling in Manukau city. Over the Auckland region as a whole, use of buses and trains increased slightly between 1996 and 2006, up from 6.7 percent of commuters to 6.9 percent. Walking, jogging, and biking decreased slightly, down from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent.

The Auckland Regional Growth Strategy aims to promote housing along transport routes, and consolidate growth within the existing metropolitan area (Regional Growth Forum, 2007).

Implications

There are implications for transport in the Auckland region:

Although a long-term decline in public transport use has recently been reversed, overall usage remains low. Increases in parts of central Auckland and North Shore city have been offset by decreases elsewhere.
Commutes are shorter in areas of high population density, and more people walk, bike, and use public transport.

Related topics

Graphical summary
Labour force
Population density

Further information

This page is part of Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region, available on www.stats.govt.nz.

Notes and sources

Definitions

Commuting distances were estimating by calculating the distance between the centre of the area unit where respondents live and the centre of the area unit where they work. This is an approximation, but it should be a good one for urban dwellers, since urban area units are small.

In the calculations of bus and train use, and walking, jogging, and biking, commuters are defined as employed people aged 15 and over who do not work at home.

Data sources

The historical data are based on the census usually resident population count from the 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 population censuses.

The maps display data at area unit level. Area units are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities. They generally coincide with suburbs (in urban areas) and rural neighbourhoods. The Auckland region is made up of 399 area units, while there are 1,927 area units throughout New Zealand. Digital boundary files, used for constructing the maps, can be downloaded from Digital Boundaries on the Statistics NZ website.

The Auckland region is one of 16 regions, which are aggregations of area units governed by regional councils. More information about the geographical hierarchy of areas and the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

References

Regional Growth Forum (2007). Growing Smarter: The Auckland Region in the 21st Century. An Evaluation of the Regional Growth Strategy Auckland Regional Council.

Further reading

Goodyear, R K (in press). "Has commuting to the cities of Auckland increased since 1996?" Draft report, Statistics New Zealand.

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