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Ask any Tauranga resident what our city’s biggest problem is and chances are the most frequent answer will be ‘traffic congestion’.

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 corridors, 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.

Next steps

In the Council’s forthcoming 2024-34 long-term plan (LTP) consultation process, the community will be asked for feedback on the SmartTrip concept and whether we should investigate it further. 

You can have your say on the concept through the LTP consultation process, which runs from 15 November to 15 December 2023. 

Want to discuss further?

Community Relations team
Email: communications@tauranga.govt.nz

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