Howick councillors stage cross-town transport challenge

Two teams from Howick Youth Council and Community Patrols New Zealand have taken part in a transport challenge set by Howick councillors Sharon Stewart and Paul Young.

The group members formed two teams and were told to use public transport to get from Lloyd Elsmore Park to Henderson and Manukau.

Setting off at 7am, team one caught a bus to the Panmure train station, rode to Britomart and changed for Henderson, taking 90 minutes. Team two rode the same bus to catch a train to Manukau, taking just over an hour.

Councilor Stewart says the challenge was a way to better understand what residents face when commuting without cars.

“While we continue to work on improving our infrastructure it’s important to understand why people use cars. I wanted to work alongside our Youth Council and Community Patrol members to look into public transport issues.”

Youth Council member Jack Collins says he was surprised by how well it went.

“I’ve never been a big user of public transport, but it was excellent. I loved getting across the city by train. It was a really nice way to travel.”

He said using a hop card and Auckland Transport’s travel app removed any concern over fares or connections.

Fellow council member Ben Fraser enjoyed the challenge. “It’s often young people relying on public transport, so we were happy to take part in a project that will help identify potential improvements.”

Community Patrol member Errol Flynn said it was an interesting experience.

“More transport centres might simplify bus travel. Trains area easy but figuring out bus routes is a bit more difficult.”

Councillor Young praised the challenge participants for taking part.

“Our young people have great insights, so I was delighted to be involved in an experiment that provided us with an opportunity to ask them what they think.

“Transport is an important issue for our community and we will continue to work hard to improve the services that connect Howick to the rest of Auckland.”

Most Howick Ward residents travel to work in cars. According to the 2013 census data, 87 per cent of the population uses a vehicle to travel from their home to work and back.

Almost 100 million trips were made on the Auckland Transport network last year.

  • Story courtesy of Auckland City Council