Why we need to improve transport

Wellington is a great place to live and visit, but our population is growing and our transport system is showing signs of strain.

We're already experiencing problems

We know there are problems with Wellington City’s current transport system.

These include:

  • Growing traffic congestion and unreliable journey times
  • Poor and declining levels of service.
  • Safety issues, especially when cycling and walking.
  • Vulnerability to disruption from unplanned events (for example, natural disasters).

You've told us you want these transport problems addressed and that you support significant change. So do we. As a region, we cannot afford to do nothing. Without major change, our transport system will start to undermine the things we love about Wellington, like its livability, and culture.

Our population is growing, fast

An economic, cultural and education hub, Wellington City is also the fastest growing part of the region. So, it's no surprise that over the next 30 years, 50,000 to 80,000 more people will call it their home!

Where we are right now:

  • The Wellington region is home to almost 500,000 people. Of those, 200,000 or 40% live in Wellington city.
  • More than 30% of people who work in Wellington City live elsewhere, with many businesses relying on customers who travel from other parts of the region.

Based on forecasts, we’re likely to see:

  • By 2030: Visits to the Wellington Hospital emergency department increase by 60%.
  • Over the next 30 years: Between 22,000 and 31,000 more jobs in the central city, with the CBD’s employment share increasing from 39% to 42%.

With more people travelling into, out of, and through central Wellington, the problems we are already experiencing will get worse. We must act now.

There will be trade-offs, but also opportunities

Wellington’s unique geography, compact city, and small number of road networks means our transport problems can be tricky to solve and trade-offs will be required. We will always do our best to balance the needs of everyone, but it is possible the chosen solution for a project may not match your personal preference.

Let's make Wellington an even better place to be

Change can be challenging but it also provides opportunity. We believe with the right mix of improvements, we can transform Wellington city and prepare it for the needs of future generations.

So, we're focused on developing a transport system that meets the following objectives:

  • greater liveability, including enhanced urban amenity and development
  • more efficient and reliable transport access
  • reduced carbon emissions by increasing mode shift away from reliance on private vehicles
  • improved safety for all users, and
  • resilience and adaptability to disruptions and unplanned events.

Join us on this exciting journey and help shape Wellington’s future.


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