Wu, Hao and Levinson, David (2020) Access Across New Zealand: 2019. TransportLab.
This report measures access to jobs and to resident workers for 3 major New Zealand cities: Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, covering around 49% of employment opportunities and 46% of resident workers nationally. Access is the ease of reaching valuable destinations, namely urban opportunities. Access is measured in the report as the cumulative number of jobs (or workers) reachable within travel time thresholds. Access by four modes of transport are included: automobile, transit, walking, and cycling, and further compares access between cities, and across modes. City level access measures are produced as a population-weighted average to best represent the experience of the working population. The effects of traffic congestion on automobile travel times, and the walking and transfer elements of the transit mode are reflected in the access measures. The access measurements capture the combined efficiency of land use and transport infrastructure in facilitating people reaching valued destinations. Automobile provides better access than transit, walking, or cycling. Auckland has the highest regional job and resident worker numbers, and the best overall automobile access among the three cities. The majority of jobs and workers within Christchurch and Wellington can be reached by automobile within 30 minutes, so increasing travel time beyond 30 minutes has little effect on raising access in this two cities. Transit access is at a significant disadvantage compared to automobile. Transit reaches 12% of jobs reachable by automobile within 30 minutes in Auckland, 17% in Christchurch, and 38% in Wellington. Wellington has the fewest number of employment opportunities and resident workers among the three cities, but has the highest number of jobs reachable by transit at the 30-minute threshold. Transit accessibility tends to be higher in city centers, and low in other places. Cycling provides a viable option for improving accessibility. Assuming cyclists are willing to ride on-street, more opportunities can be reached by cycling than by transit in all three cities. Within 30 minutes, cycling can reach between two to three times the number of urban opportunities reachable by transit in all three cities. Walking access is lower than other modes of transport. Wellington has the highest walking access to jobs, suggesting a close proximity between residences and high-density employment centers. Christchurch has the lowest walking access to both jobs and workers. Accessibility measurements are made at the ‘Areal Unit’ level for 8:00 am trip departure time. Maps of 30-minute accessibility are included in this report.