TRANSPORT – Four opportunities to transform New Zealand transport

4 July 2017

Last week’s SBN Smart Transport Forum identified potential next moves to get this country moving. Do you want to be part of it?

More collaboration is needed to speed up the delivery of low carbon, sustainable and smarter transport. That was a key theme from last Wednesday’s SBN Smart Transport Forum. It means coordinated advocacy, consistent communication and sharing best practice.  

Could increased income from an enhanced Emissions Trading Scheme help make that happen?

Here are the four areas with the most potential for change.

1. Boosting the national electric vehicle fleet

We believe businesses can be more transparent about the current make-up of their vehicle fleets and proportion of electric vehicles (EVs). Clear information about the nation’s network of charging stations also needs to be freely available.

We think there could be more incentives for building owners to fit electric vehicle charging facilities. Buyer groups could be getting together to purchase EVs, and charging stations. As buyers we need more financing options to reduce the purchase cost of electric vehicles.

2. Getting our people more active

Promoting health and well-being is a powerful way to get people active. As a nation we should also be de-prioritising car use. This could be done with things like lower speed limits and higher parking charges. And we should be investing in bike share schemes in our urban areas.

Smarter transport should be an early consideration in the planning of our towns and cities. This would provide a greater focus on extending the range of public transport. It could ensure we have safe routes for cycling and walking.

3. Flexible working to free up traffic capacity

What if the card in your pocket gave you instant access to all the transport systems available? It could be linked to everything from public transport to car shares.

Could a fair congestion charge help control traffic demand in Auckland?

This could be combined with work flexibility, local working hubs and office shares. That way we can do more of our work closer to home.

4. Caring for sharing

We need large-scale smart transport action plans for our major cities. This could include enhanced licensing for shared transport services. It could also support innovative pilot projects. And it could help incentivise more use of information technology to make work more flexible.

SBN CEO Rachel Brown said: “The Forum generated a wealth of very practical ideas on how to improve New Zealand’s transport. This is a big deal. It offers us the chance to cut greenhouse gas emissions, cut wasted time and resources and make New Zealand a nicer place to be.

“We will continue our current work to establish a one stop shop for EV charging information. And we will continue to campaign and work on active modes of transport. We are keen to talk to members who would like to work on these ideas in some detail.”

All our Forum participants will receive a report on the opportunities identified. If you would like to know more or get involved, contact rachel@sustainable.org.nz