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Passenger transport in New Zealand - statistics & facts

Due in part to New Zealand’s geographical nature, its passenger transport sector is diverse, encompassing private passenger vehicles, public transport, rail infrastructure as well as water-based transport.

Globally, personal transport was the dominant type of passenger transport; private vehicle miles were roughly double the vehicle miles accrued by public vehicles, and this is expected to continue over the next few years. A similar trend can be seen in rail passenger traffic, which is predicted to reach approximately 5.15 billion passenger kilometers by 2025. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic reduced global growth in air traffic by more than half, although this is predicted to recover within twelve months.

In New Zealand, the largest number of licensed vehicles, by a significant margin, were passenger cars. In 2020, there were 2.17 million on the country’s roads, compared to seven hundred thousand miscellaneous vehicles and tractors. Notably, Kiwis adoption of electric cars has seen significant, substantial growth in recent years, peaking at just over seven thousand in 2019.

Domestic air travel is also popular in New Zealand, with the number of passengers carried within the country by Air New Zealand and enjoying year on year growth over the last few years. Additionally, Air New Zealand’s passenger load factors have also enjoyed year on year growth across the same time frame.

Examining public transport, Auckland Public Transport has seen steady month to month patronage across all its services. The company operates train and bus services in and around Auckland, as well as ferries on a small selection of routes. Service to service patronage followed similar patterns, and all were affected by the lockdown imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

Passenger transport is a significant sector when it comes to employment. More staff were employed in the Auckland region in the road transport industry than in the rest of the country, and the same can be said for transport support services.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Passenger transport in New Zealand".


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