More people choosing public transport

By Alison King

More people are using public transport in the Bay of Plenty and fuel consumption has dropped.

These are two findings from the Regional Land Transport Strategy's data collection for 2012.

From July 2011 to June 2012 the use of public transport in the region rose from 8.2 to 10.6 annual trips per person.

Fuel consumption dropped by 1.3 per cent.

Exports loaded at Port of Tauranga increased 20 per cent, with more than 10 million tonnes of exports loaded, and more than 332,000 containers were carried into the region on the East Coast main trunk rail line - an increase of 91,000 on the previous year.

The data collection also found 96 per cent of bus users surveyed in Rotorua and Tauranga rated bus services as good, very good or excellent.

Regional Transport Committee chairman councillor Jane Nees said the results highlighted economic growth in the Bay of Plenty and positive change in travel choices.

"The data is a good indicator that people and businesses are making more considered transport choices, and also finding our transport services efficient, reliable, and good value for money," Mrs Nees said.

"It also shows that the Bay has seen some positive economic growth, with an increasing role for rail in the movement of freight in our region.

"The Port of Tauranga in particular continues to be a major source of economic development, and with further investment planned this year it is on the right path for continued growth."

However, she said the report also highlighted that road safety was still a major issue.

"While fatalities and serious injuries on our roads have actually decreased, alcohol and speed are still major contributors to road accidents. Over a quarter of all fatalities and serious injuries have alcohol and speed as contributing factors ..."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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