Auckland Transport has announced a day of free public transport to celebrate smashing a patronage figure not seen since the city’s tram network was in its prime in the early 1950s.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on June 5 said commuters would be able to enjoy free travel on June 23, as a thank you from Auckland Transport after 100 million trips were made over the last 12 months.
“We haven’t seen this much use of public transport since 1951,” Goff said. “We need more people on public transport to ease congestion caused by the yearly growth of population by more than 40,000 in Auckland. Every person on a bus, train or ferry is one less car clogging up the roads and adding carbon emissions to our atmosphere.”
The milestone comes just weeks ahead of the Australasian Railway Association’s return to Auckland for the 2019 edition of the New Zealand Rail conference, which takes place at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on June 19 and 20.
The event also follows the inclusion of $1.4 billion in new money for rail in the New Zealand budget, with transport minister Phil Twyford, infrastructure minister Shane Jones, and Ministry of Transport chief executive Peter Mersi all slated to speak.
KiwiRail CEO Greg Miller, whose operation receives up to $1 billion from the new budget, will deliver a presentation outlining KiwiRail’s future.
On top of this, finalists have just been announced for the event’s Young Rail Professionals Pitching Competition, with ARTC Inland Rail project engineer Andrew Roberts, Arup graduate rail engineer Kaylarnee Meleisa-Murray, and Frequency associate Emma Parry all named by the ARA on Monday.
“We’re delighted to announce the 2019 Young Rail Pitching Competition Finalists. Andrew, Kaylarnee and Emma will each be pitching their idea for dramatically enhancing rail in New Zealand on Day One of the conference,” the ARA said.
“Join us to share their ideas and cast your vote using the event app before the winner is announced at the ARA Conference Dinner later that evening.”
For more information on the agenda and how to book tickets, click here.