The transport dashboard contains primarily key lag indicators. Therefore, the impact of COVID-19 may not necessarily be evident immediately in the graphs. This will be updated weekly and will focus on those indicators (or components of indicators) showing an increase or decrease, when compared to the previous year. The transport dashboard is supplementary to indicators captured in other COVID-19 dashboards, such as economic indicators.

Summary of impacts to the transport systems from the latest dashboard (25 May)

Summary of impacts to the transport system:

  • Comparisons to 2019 – The week beginning 22 April 2019 had two public holidays (Easter Monday and Anzac Day). This resulted in a significant change in travel patterns for that week (fewer people travelling for work, fewer services operating). This will be reflected in many of the graphs in this dashboard and some may show different trends from previous dashboards as a result.

  • Public transport – For the week ending 20 May, combined bus patronage for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch decreased 65% compared to the equivalent week last year, but increased 140% compared to last week this year. Likewise, Auckland train patronage decreased 71% compared to the equivalent week last year but increased 177% compared to last week this year. Auckland ferry patronage decreased 71% in the week ending 20 May compared to the equivalent week last year, but increased 600% compared to last week this year.

  • Road traffic – For the week ending 15 May, average speeds continue to be higher compared to the equivalent week last year for all four key urban areas, implying a reduction in road traffic levels. Traffic count data for the week ending 20 May supports this and is showing that in some cities (not all) heavy vehicle counts are now even higher compared to the same time last year.

  • Air travel – For the week ending 20 May, international passenger arrivals decreased 99% compared to the equivalent week last year. There was an increase of 1% compared to last week’s (ending 13 May) arrivals.

  • Rail freight – For the week ending 17 May, KiwiRail’s freight decreased 16% compared to the equivalent week last year and increased 10% compared to last week.

  • Heavy vehicle travel – As of 20 May 2020 the total distance heavy vehicles travel has increased 8% compared to 13 May 2020, and visits by heavy vehicles to ports has on average increased 2%.

  • Cook Strait – For the week ending 20 May 2020, truck boardings on the Interislander increased 12% compared to last week (ending 13 May) and passenger boardings increased 120% compared to last week.

  • Imports and Exports: Sea – Imports decreased 21% and exports decreased 17% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Fish exports have significantly reduced in April 2020. May data is still incomplete and April data lags have now been corrected.

  • Motor Vehicle Registrations – New and NZ-new vehicle registrations for the week ending the 20th of May increased to over 95% of the equivalent week in 2019.

  • Road fatalities – During the Level 4 lockdown (2359 hours Wednesday 25 March to 2359 Monday 27 April) there were 13 road deaths from 13 fatal crashes, during Level 3 (2359 Monday 27 April to 2359 Wednesday 13 May) there were 8 road deaths from 8 fatal crashes. There has been 8 road deaths so far for Level 2 that began at 2359 Wednesday 13 May. As at midnight 24 May there were 109 road fatalities year to date, this is 50 fewer road fatalities than the same time last year.

  • Self-reported behaviours and attitudes – Over the last seven weeks, attitudinal surveys were conducted as part of Waka Kotahi’s Sector Research Programme:
    • Alert level 2 has seen most transport modes (aside from bus) return to, or return close to, usual pre-Covid levels (note – we do not have usual pre-Covid data for plane usage, although we know from other data that plane usage has definitely not recovered to usual pre-Covid levels).
    • Of those respondents who cycled for leisure or fitness during alert level 4, 48% cited fewer vehicles on the road as motivator. Likewise, 27% of people who walked or ran for leisure or fitness during alert level 4 cited fewer vehicles on the road as a motivator.
    • Last week 27% of respondents said they do not feel able to get where they need to go (this has remained relatively steady between 26-31% over the last seven weeks).
    • Last week 5% of respondents said they still do not understand the current travel/movement restrictions (this too has remained relatively steady between 4-7% over the last seven weeks).