Ask any Tauranga resident what our city’s biggest problem is and chances are the most frequent answer will be ‘traffic congestion’.
SmartTrip for reducing traffic congestion – just an idea at the moment
We are taking the opportunity while we are consulting with the community on our 10-year plan (Long-term Plan 2024-34), to also find out what people think about SmartTrip as a concept which could ease congestion and help fund future transport network improvements.
While SmartTrip will not be included in the city’s next 10-year plan, we do want to hear whether people think it should be looked at in more detail, so that it could be considered as a future solution. Whether or not it goes any further will depend on the community feedback, so we encourage everyone to share their views.
Share your thoughts on SmartTrip
Sadly, there’s no easy way to make our traffic problems go away. Our rapid growth, geography and high dependency on private motor vehicles are major contributors to our traffic congestion problems and because there’s little scope for increasing the number of lanes on many of our roads, we have to look for other solutions to prevent the situation from getting worse.
A study undertaken by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council indicates that there is a potential solution – SmartTrip variable road pricing.
What is SmartTrip?
SmartTrip essentially would replace the current toll road charges with variable charges across Tauranga’s highway, with higher costs during peak travel times and lower costs when demand is less.
Its intent would be to encourage people to think about their road use and, where they can, change their travel time, work from home, share their vehicle use, or use another transport mode like public transport, cycling or walking. Those who chose to, or had to drive at peak travel times would enjoy a faster trip, saving them time and in many cases money.
SmartTrip is new to New Zealand, but similar concepts have worked well elsewhere in the world. You can learn more about variable road pricing under the document library.