Tauranga residents participating in yesterday's World Car-Free Day, were all smiles as they were greeted on arrival with treats from Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff, celebrating the benefits of taking the bus and leaving their car at home.

With the city's population growing each year traffic congestion has become an issue for councils, according to the Regional Council's Mike Furniss.
"We're involved in the world car free day for lots of really good reasons. To promote public transport. Public transport's a great way to get around the city. With public transport you don't have to worry about parking hassles. You can get on the bus and you can do what you want to do. That's productive time. You're not staring at the road in front of you."

The Mayor of Tauranga, Stuart Crosby says changes to the school bus system are part of the congestion problem.
"Unfortunately a number of those students haven't got onto the Hopper bus service so their parents are taking them to school and that creates an enormous amount of congestion at peak times."

Some residents are taking the benefits of leaving their car at home to another level, making use of the city's cycleways.


Meanwhile car free commuters jumped at the opportunity to submit their contact details and go into the draw for the chance to be the lucky winner of an iPad.

Made with funding from NZ On Air.