New Zealanders spend 146 million hours getting to work every year – most of that in cars, alone. We’re encouraging Kiwis to switch up their commute and make it low emissions, low cost and low stress. 

Our cars are driving climate change

Pre-Covid, around two-thirds of people driving to work would be by themselves in their cars — that's 5.5 million empty seats travelling every day. Emissions from transport make up over one-fifth of the country's overall emissions, and road transport emissions have doubled since 1990, which makes it a huge opportunity in tackling climate change.

Commuting in New Zealand

  • If a fifth of those who usually travel to work by car chose to work at home at least one day a week, we could avoid 84,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
  • 66% of commuters have no passengers.
  • Highest perceived benefit of driving: 62% say it's quick.
  • Highest perceived disadvantage of driving: 63% say traffic is too slow.

It's time to join others and take action

Our research shows that around a third of New Zealanders already report driving less in order to reduce their emissions, which is fantastic. But we still tend to default to our cars to get around. Even in areas where there’s good public transport and active transport infrastructure, the vast majority still commute by car.

Waka Kotahi data shows that 78% of commutes are by car. The biggest perceived advantage of driving is a quick journey, but the biggest disadvantage noted is that traffic is too slow. The data is really clear that driving stresses people out and it’s expensive, but it’s still our default.

Take a trip on the Right Side and try a car-free commute

Now is the perfect time for us to rethink our commutes. People are about to head back to their workplaces for the new year - for a big part of the population, it might be the first time they’ve had to commute in months. It's Summer, it's light in the evenings and it's a new year: this is the ideal time to rethink how you do it. 

We’re asking New Zealanders to be on the right side of history when it comes to climate action – it can be as easy as getting on your bike, or the bus.

Keep reading

  • Article

    Choose a cleaner trip

    Switch out your car trip for a climate-friendly option and be on the right side of history.

    • Low emission transport

    10 December 2021

  • Article

    Top low carbon commutes

    Whether it's walking, biking, or catching the bus, kick off the new year with a lower carbon commute - even just for a couple of trips a week.

    • Low emission transport

    14 January 2022