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 (18 May)

  • 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 13 May, combined bus patronage for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch decreased 85% compared to the equivalent week last year, but increased 18% compared to last week this year. Likewise, Auckland train and ferry patronage decreased 90% and decreased 96% respectively in the week ending 13 May compared to the equivalent week last year, but increased 18% and increased 40% respectively compared to last week this year. Metlink announced that under Level 2, Wellington buses will carry 40% of capacity and trains will carry 30% of capacity (compared to 20% and 15% under Level 3 respectively). Similarly Auckland Transport stated that buses, trains and ferries will operate at 43% of their capacity.

  • Road traffic – For the week ending 8 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. The difference is not as significant as previous weeks. Traffic count data supports this and is showing that in some cities heavy vehicle counts are now higher compared to the same time last year.

  • Air travel – For the week ending 13 May, international passenger arrivals decreased 99% compared to the equivalent week last year. There was a decrease of 17% compared to last week’s (ending 6 May) arrivals. As of 10 May there were no flights scheduled to arrive in Christchurch on 16 May, but this may differ from actual flights.

  • Rail freight – For the week ending 10 May, KiwiRail’s freight decreased 18% compared to the equivalent week last year and increased 13% compared to last week.

  • Heavy vehicle travel – As of 13 May 2020 the total distance heavy vehicles travel has increased 3% compared to 6 May 2020, and visits by heavy vehicles to ports has on average increased 8%. There have been marginal changes to regional proportions of travel over the last week (ending 13 May).

  • Cook Strait – For the week ending 13 May 2020, truck boardings on the Interislander decreased 4% compared to last week (ending 6 May) and passenger boardings increased 15% compared to last week.

  • Imports and Exports: Sea – Imports decreased 38% and exports decreased 32% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Fish exports have significantly reduced in April 2020. May data is still incomplete and April data is subject to some change due to time lags in data.

  • Motor Vehicle Registrations – New and NZ-new vehicle registrations for the week ending the 13th of May decreased slightly to around 64% of the equivalent week in 2019.

  • Fuel sales – For the week ending 5 April compared to the weekly average pre-lockdown, retail petrol and diesel sales decreased 80%, similar to the traffic count change. Fuel sales at truckstops (for heavy vehicles) decreased 54% and jet fuel sales decreased 83%. However, marine fuel sales only decreased 39% and compared to the previous week (ending 29 March) had increased 82% in contrast to the other fuels whose sales have decreased compared to the same week.

  • 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 4 road deaths so far for Level 2 that began at 2359 Wednesday 13 May. As at midnight 17 May there were 105 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 six weeks, attitudinal surveys were conducted as part of Waka Kotahi’s Sector Research Programme:
    • During the last two weeks of surveys (both performed during alert level 3) 0% of respondents said they had stopped using public transport because they did not think it was permitted (this is down from 17-21% during alert level 4).
    • During alert level 4, 69% of respondents reported walking for at least 10 minutes, at least once per week, the same as pre-Covid. There was a small but statistically significant increase to 71% during alert level 3. Similarly, during alert level 4, 12% of respondents reported biking, at least once per week. This increased during alert level 3 to 15% (this was not statistically significant), the same as pre-Covid cycling.
    • Last week 55% of respondents who normally use private vehicles to commute to work pre-Covid were still commuting to work, whereas only 34% of respondents who normally use public transport to commute to work pre-Covid are still commuting to work (the rest have either stopped working or have started working from home).