PT Beats Cars To Work


Here’s the annual commuter contest up for lively debate.

This year’s result: Buses are the quickest mode of transport for Auckland CBD workers, beating car users and cyclists. But cyclists are the fastest travellers from three other Auckland destinations.

Each year, the Urgent Couriers event puts bikes, cars and buses to the test in a commuter race during peak-hour morning traffic.

Competitors for each mode of transport this morning departed from Onehunga, New Lynn, Ellerslie and Birkenhead at 7:15am, racing to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

A bus from Auckland’s North Shore ridden by Tyrone Campbell was the first challenger across the finish line, with a travel time of 20 minutes.

Second place went to a Craig Wright, who arrived by cycle from Ellerslie after 23 minutes, closely followed by a car user who also departed from Ellerslie and arrived in 24 minutes.

The last to arrive at the destination, with a travel time of 51 minutes, was Willi Uili who rode a bus from Onehunga, which stopped at almost every bus stop between the suburb and the city. And that is the downside of some bus travel.

Commuter challenge competitors with the Mayor

Last year cyclists also won except for the Shore – the bus won there as the bike was help up on the ferry.

Urgent Couriers’ managing director Steve Bonnici says the event, in its fourth year, has once again proved that public transport is the most efficient way for Auckland CBD workers to get to their jobs.

“It’s tempting to take the car to work, especially on rainy days, but even taking the bus or biking to work once or twice a week can make a difference, not only to help reduce Auckland’s traffic congestion, but also to the environment and personal fitness.




  1. rtc says:

    They should have taken the train from Onehunga!

  2. Matt says:

    rtc, trains weren’t part of the challenge.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Bodnar, AKT. AKT said: Buses fastest way to get to the Auck CBD but cycling best from some areas in annual test #auckland [...]

  4. rtc says:

    They could easily have been made part of the challenge….PT is more than buses.

  5. mark says:

    Probably because they wanted the same types of travel from all directions in the challenge.

    Was a nice event - and having the mayor there, enjoying himself, and talking of good things to come - that was was great too. No compare with Banks last year.

  6. Matt says:

    It’s not part of PT from the Shore, though, and this is the first year it’s been an option from Onehunga.

  7. Nick R says:

    Why the hell weren’t they then? In the case of Onehunga the train beats any other option hands down!

    Let them run on the trains, or from the Shore, the busway. See who wins then.

  8. mark says:

    Whoa, it’s their choice, folks! There’s no conspiracy here.

  9. Joshua says:

    Depends what time you go for the train in Onehunga, I’ve spent 30 - 40min just waiting for it to turn up! otherwise agree.

  10. Luke says:

    onehunga really needs higher frequencies. even 15min peak and 30min off peak would make a big difference. I guess we are lacking trains at the moment to make this happen.
    Any updates on how patronage is going?

  11. Matt L says:

    Luke - It is not a case of trains (although it might have some effect) but is a case of not having enough space at Britomart. The Western line is expected to move to 10 minute frequencies this year and after that all tunnel slots at Britomart are meant to be full until we can get the CBD tunnel.

  12. Matt says:

    Luke, it already has 30 minute frequencies. It can’t get much better while still a single-track line, because the Penrose-Onehunga run takes six minutes each way excluding dwell at Onehunga. Even 20 minute frequencies would be cutting it pretty fine, given how unreliable our trains are.

  13. Matt L says:

    Matt there is a crossing loop next to Te Papapa that just needs to have the signalling and points motors installed to allow it to be used.

  14. Matt says:

    Matt, interesting, but still be pushing it to get better than 20 minutes. Miss the timing and end up with a train stationary for several minutes in the loop while the other train passes by. Not a good way to encourage passengers.

  15. Joshua says:

    Matt, mostly 1hour frequencies with 1/2 hour at peak times, my start and finish work times are outside those peak times.


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