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Source: Auckland Council

North Shore residents will benefit from upgrades to existing bus services, new low-emission ferries and increased investment in safe cycling infrastructure if the council’s proposed Climate Action Package is supported by councillors as part of this year’s annual budget.

Mayor Phil Goff says the Climate Action Package will help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging more people to use public transport and making it safer and easier to walk and cycle around the city. It will also enable more than 15,000 mature native trees to be planted across Auckland.

“Auckland Council voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019, and while we have increased investment in climate action since then, we are still not doing enough. A recent progress report on our Climate Action Plan stated that Auckland’s emissions are not remotely tracking in line with our target of a 50 per cent reduction by 2030,” Mayor Goff says.

“If we are to have any chance of meeting our goal to reduce emissions, we need we need to provide more frequent and accessible public transport so Aucklanders aren’t forced to rely on private cars to get around.

“The Climate Action Package includes a more than half-billion-dollar boost to deliver new and frequent bus services throughout the city, which will see more than a million Aucklanders living within 500m of an improved bus route. The package will also provide for 79 new electric or hydrogen buses, new low-emission ferries and infrastructure upgrades to bring forward the decarbonization of the ferry fleet, increased funding for cycling and walking infrastructure, and urban ngāhere (forest).”

For the North Shore, the proposed Climate Action Package will fund service improvements to two frequent and five other lower North Shore bus routes as well as the NX1 and NX2, and deliver more safe cycling facilities in Takapuna.

North Shore Councillor Chris Darby says encouraging mode shift to public transport, cycling, walking and shared transport is critical for addressing Auckland’s emissions reduction responsibility.

“A massive 40 per cent of Auckland’s carbon emissions are from transport, with private car users, largely in single occupant vehicles, the prime culprits,” he says.

“To achieve our climate ambitions we need to accelerate the provision of bus, ferry and train services that are reliable, frequent and climate-friendly to encourage more Aucklanders to climb aboard public transport. If we do, we know people will use them—the runaway success of the Northern Busway being a shining example—leaving more room on the road for those who cannot use alternatives, like freight and tradies.

“Providing more bus services and improving existing ones is one of the key levers we can pull to reduce emissions. When combined with increased tree planting to cool our city, safer cycling and walking infrastructure and an electric ferry fleet we will be on the way toward a climate resilient future for Auckland.”

The Climate Action Package will be funded by a Climate Action Targeted Rate of around $1.10 per week for ratepayers with a median-value property, now worth more than $1 million, as well as co-funding from government and fares from increased public transport patronage.

“It’s a small weekly sum but a big investment in our city and in our children and grandchildren’s future,” Mayor Goff says.

Consultation on Auckland Council’s Annual Budget, including the Climate Action Targeted Rate, is open until 28 March. Visit /budget to find out more and have your say.